Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kiser Lake, Round 2 Redemption

Sunday, Amanda and I met up with Neil Farley to fish Kiser Lake once again. The rivers have been blown out and he mentioned that he would be fishing there on Sunday. Amanda had a blast the last time we fished it while using frogs, and I was ready to redeem myself from my last trip to Kiser lake. So Sunday morning we got up at 3:30am and started loading the car. We stopped along the way to get a couple gas station breakfast burritos, which turned out to be one of the worst things I have ever tasted. With a stomach full of nasty burrito and red bull I continued the journey. We got on the water at 7:30am and met Neil.
As we paddled across the lake we came across a school of shad getting blown up by dozens of fish. We all took the time to stop and see if we could get lucky and catch a remaining striped bass or hybrid striped bass. After 10 minutes of casting we decided to head over to the lily pads and begin fishing for largemouth.

Once we got to the lily pads I started tossing a frog. The fish seemed to be eating small shad everywhere but I couldn't get them to eat my frog. Neil on the other hand had adapted to the situation. He saw a small shad get chased onto a lily pad. At that point he made a lure switch and started tossing a small spinnerbait. A few casts later and I hear the sound of a fighting bass, a couple quick jumps and Neil had landed his first bass of the morning. After moving from one section of lily pads to another I finally found that the small shad had disappeared. With the lack of competition I finally found my first fish. A nice largemouth at 14", and a good start to the morning. As the morning progressed the frog bite picked up. At 11:44pm I got my largest fish of the day, a skinny 16.75" largemouth.
From that point I found a pretty good pattern. I was tossing my frog about 25 feet into the lily pads and working the frog toward the pad edges. I was erratically twitching the frog as hard and fast as I could while in the pads and then walking the frog back and forth on the edges. I was getting fish to explode right on the pad edges. At this point the sun was still hid behind the clouds, so the bass were sitting on the pad edges still aggressively feeding.

As the day progressed and the sun got higher in the sky I found that my bites had disappeared. At that point I took a break to stretch, eat a muffin, get a drink, and watch Amanda fish for a bit. She was also throwing a frog, but she had failed to land one yet. I watched her for 5 or 6 minutes and she had at least 20 bites. She was sitting at the edge of the pads and throwing her frog way into the pads and slowly reeling the frog over the pads. The bass were doing everything they could to eat the frog through the pads, but they were too thick for them to explode and actually eat the frog. Some of the bass would jump out of the water, land on the pads and still try to eat her frog but most of them would fail. It was quite fascinating to say the least. What I took from watching her was that the bass where deep in the pads and that they would chase a frog a good way.

From that point on I started to target holes deep within the lily pads. I would toss my frog past the hole 10 or 20 feet and quickly reel my frog over the pads to get to the hole. Sometimes literally reeling my frog while fish were busting my frog from under the pads just to get my frog to the open water. As soon as the frog hit the open hole I would let it sit. Once I felt I had waited a sufficient amount of time I would walk the frog very slowly through the open hole until I reached the other side of the hole. This technique was just what the fish wanted. At one point I actually pulled three fish out of the same hole in less than 10 minutes. My second largest fish of the evening came using this approach, a 16.25" largemouth.
Here's a picture of the bass with the frog inhaled and the pads behind it.
Some of the bass were so irritated that they were crushing the frog more aggressively than a normal topwater bite. At one point I thought I had lost my frog to a very angry 15.5" bass.
It took me a couple minutes but I finally fixed the legs and pulled the body out. Once I landed 3 fish in a row Amanda had figured out my plan and started burning her frog into the holes of water near her. Once again she got a ton of bites, however this time around she landed a good 15" bass. Shortly after she got a second. At this point it was 4:30pm and I still had a 2.5 hour drive home so we called it a day. On the day I ended up with 13 largemouth and my three largest were 16.75'', 16.25'', and a 15.5'' for a grand total of 48.5". This was 7.75" larger than the three fish total I had submitted at the buckeye kayak fishing trail tournament at Kiser lake a week before. If it had been a week earlier those three fish would have took first place by half an inch. Given it was a different day, I like to think the rest of the anglers would have done similar. Needless to say I felt that I had redeemed myself for my poor performance a week earlier.

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