So I got out early and cruised up to R32 for the first look. Empty, but the trees looked full of bait or something. Started trolling and eased up around R34 still seeing nothing. Looped around once and then up to R35. Saw a little bait but nothing else. Needed to be down lake anyway so I headed down to Betty's. Only found a couple boats working the area so I wasn't hopeful. Saw our illustrious club president there drowning some 'wives but didn't see anything bite. Bob? So I worked all the way up the creek and only saw a very few fish on the TV. I was thinking positive so I made a couple loops. Zip. So I took a break to pick up a reel for repair. On the way back while trolling near the condos, I was passed by the worst boater I've ever seen. Came within 20ft of me! The worst! After I cooled down, I continued to fish with no luck. Came out of Betty's and was crossing Beck;y's and was bit by a voracious 20". Saw a few fish and a couple groups but they were low down, 40-70ft. So by noon I was headed to the ramp. The early out gave me time to stop at Conrad's for a boat quote. Waiting for the other quote then I'll be ready to bite. Just a reminder. I'll be out of town and out of commission for a week or two so no temps. I suspect that there won't be much change any time soon.
So I was out twice last week. Tues 7/3. Was out at the crack of dawn as usual and headed up to R32. Looked around there but saw little. Hunted along the edge of the river channel up to R34 and started to see fish, so set out the lines to troll cranks. First fish came at 6:30, a plump 26". Surface temp was running at 84. This fish hit a Bomber Model A that was running about 15-17ft. That's just above the thermocline noted above. Seems a good depth to run baits.
Was seeing a good bunch of fish in this area (R34 to R35) so made a couple of loops and then dropped some A-rigs for a change. Second fish came at 9:00, only a 24" but at these temps I didn't risk throwing him back, so in the box he went. Technically I was done for the day, but I stayed out to experiment a little and just ride around. It was such a nice morning. But no more fish. I was off the water by noon. Thurs 7/5. Out on the water before dawn and running up to R32. Saw just a few fish so kept moving up river. Again I found fish starting at R34, just no big schools (or little schools either).
On a hunch, I kept moving up river. Got the first fish at Hatfield, an over-aggressive 12". I kept moving up and kept seeing fish but couldn't convince any to bite. I finally ended up at Beaverdam and the fish sorta' went away. So I started back down pulling the A-rigs and got nothing all the way back to R35. Saw fish all the way; up, down and all over. Just kept moving and finally found a BIG bunch at R34. I kept circling them and even called another boat over. They got at least one of the bunch but I could get none. I had those A-rigs shallow, deep and in between (I even had them juiced-up with secret sauce).
By now its 11:00 and its getting hot and the boat traffic is getting ridiculous. So since I was seeing fish I decided to make one last loop trolling cranks at a fast pace. Started at R34 and was nearing R35 when I got the first, a tough fighting 26". Whoopee! Got the lines back in the water and 10 min and 200yds later came the second fish, a twin of the first. Both these came on the same Bomber Model A in white/char. Ten minutes to get the two fish! I coulda' slept in late. Things as they were, I raced back to the ramp and to a nap.
My freezer is getting full of stripers so I may switch to chasing crappie, or bass, or Philpot for walleye, or the New for muskies. But if I'm on the lake, I'll still get the temps. I'll be out of town this weekend for about a week helping my daughter move in Virginia Beach. I hear they have some piers you can actually fish from!!! Imagine that. Need to take a rod or two...
From the Water by Joel Janecek
Joel shares with us the trials and tribulations, as well as the fun and excitement while out on the water in pursuit of a nice striped bass.