Monday, May 12, 2014

5/10/2014 Pre Storm Largemouth

Saturday morning I set out to do some largemouth bass fishing. Conditions were perfect, 70 degrees, light wind, overcast with storms on the horizon. Now storms may not sound perfect but fishing right before a storm is one of the best times to fish for just about anything, especially bass. The problem is, it can be hard to get the timing right, mother nature doesn't often work to your schedule. On this particular day it was looking like the storms would be rolling through sometime midday so this gave me the perfect window to fish in the morning. So I headed out to what was looking like a promising day of fishing.

I got on the water around 10am. Water clarity was perfect at 1-2ft of visibility. I prefer water that is not too muddy/stained, but also not too clear. Water temperature was 69 degrees. I brought 4 rods with 4 different baits to try. I had a shallow square bill crankbait, top water frog, wobblehead, and a green pumpkin jig. I decided to start shallow and work my way deeper as I expected the bass were fairly shallow and nearing spawn. I started out alternating between the crankbait and the frog. 15 minutes in, I caught my first and smallest bass of the day on crankbait. After 45 minutes or so I finally got my second strike and hook up on the frog. The hit was fairly subtle, unlike the typical top water explosion you think of when frog fishing. After two leaps into the air this largemouth had won the battle. It was a decent one at approximately 16", but that's the way frog fishing goes.

I soon started moving out into deeper water as I failed to get anymore bites in the shallow water (1-4ft). I switched up to throwing jig and occasionally the frog into any shallow coves I came by. Wobblehead was only going to be my "if all else fails bait". 30 minutes went by and I only had a couple nibbles on the jig when I finally got the bite I had been looking for. I pulled the bass out of the wood it was hiding under and maneuvered it around my Nucanoe away from the snags. A couple runs later and I had the lunker in my net. Could it be? the illusive Fish OH largemouth? In all my years of fishing I have only landed 2 largemouth at or over the 21" Fish OH mark, although in the past couple years big bass have become much more common. I attribute this to two factors. Bigger baits, particularly jigs, and fishing from a boat/kayak/canoe. And the length..... 20.25". Not a Fish OH but still an awesome fish that I was pumped to catch. The bass weighed on the lighter side at 3lbs 10oz.
20.25" 3lb 10oz Largemouth Bass
20.25" 3lb 10oz Largemouth Bass
From this point forward I really dialed in on the bass, mostly due to location. These bass were still holding to deeper structure. I caught several more bass in the 12-16" range on the jig. A couple hours later I even got my first bass of the year on frog. The bass took my frog so lightly that I thought a bluegill had nibbled at it but then my frog was gone. Shortly after the catch on frog I got my second big bass of the day on jig. An 18.5" 2lb 11oz.
18.5" 2lb 11oz Largemouth Bass
18.5" 2lb 11oz Largemouth Bass
This was turning into the type of day that I dream about. The wind at this point was almost non existent. The temperature was in the 70's, and the fish were biting. I couldn't ask for more.

A couple 12-14 inchers and an hour later I got my third decent bass of the day. A 17" 1lb 14oz.
17" 1lb 14oz Largemouth Bass
17" 1lb 14oz Largemouth Bass
This was when I looked up at the sky and saw this...
Approaching Storm
The storms had arrived. It was 3:30pm at this point. I herd some distant thunder but didn't see any lightning so I decided I'd make this trip last as long as possible. 10 minutes went by and some light rain began to fall. Still no lightning up to this point when suddenly lightning came crashing down just over the hillside with thunder so loud I nearly fell out of my Nucanoe. I quickly hightailed it to the boat ramp as it began to absolutely downpour. I had rain gear but as usual, I waited until it was to late to put it on. I loaded up as quickly as I could in the torrential rain. When I was nearing completion the rain even decided to turn ice cold, how nice of it. When I was done I was dripping wet, so wet that I decided to drive home in my underwear. As I drove home It rained so hard I had to slow to a crawl more than once. With or without the rain it had been a great day, one that I wont soon forget. If anything the rain just adds to the story. When I got home the garage had 2" of standing water, something that isn't all that uncommon as the draining system isn't great. I thought to myself, "Is my NuCanoe going to float in the garage?" As I was pulling my NuCanoe into the garage I noticed my cats food dish was floating around in the water. That's when my cat came wading in and started eating out of the floating bowl, she didn't even seem to mind. I thought that was pretty funny so I had to mention it. Got to love spring fishing!

11 comments:

  1. hello, I was thinkign aobut buying a jon baot for the ohio river but have been looking at kayaks since reading your blog. I have my eys on this onehttp://www.basspro.com/Ascend-FS10-SitIn-Angler-Kayak-Camo/product/11081905012223/ and just wanted to get your opinion on it and how hard it would be to add a fish finder and are they anything you think i should get to go with it? also how do you handle a big catfish on a yak do you let it pull u around or how do you fight one on one? thanks
    and how do you think this kayak would handle i n the scioto river in portsmouth and the Ohio river?
    this would be my first time out on the water so i think i would start with lakes first around the area. well let me know bud thanks

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  2. I'm no expert on kayaks but here is my advice. For the scioto river a kayak would be perfect. It gets pretty shallow not far from the ohio river so bigger boats are not able to navigate it. The scioto also has a pretty good flathead population. For fishing the ohio river, it can be risky due to wind, weather, and bigger boats. I would stick to the tributaries until you have some confidence, typically better fishing there anyway.

    As far as your kayak choice, that would probably be a good starter kayak. Although you may want to consider a sit on top style, they seem to be the preferred kayak for fishing especially for bigger fish. Shouldn't be hard to add a fish finder, most yaks built for fishing having easy mounting options. Of course a life jacket, paddle, couple rod holders, and an anchor are probably essential. A light if catfishing at night.

    To handle a big catfish in a yak I would recommend tying off to branches and logs otherwise you will be at the mercy of the fish. Meaning it could swim and a snag and get off, or pull you right into a big overhanging tree. Starting on the lakes would be a safe bet. Good luck.

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  3. ok another question im kinda worried about flipping a kayack, it is hard to flip one?

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  4. Fishing kayaks are built to be stable. Its not easy to flip them but it is possible, mainly in faster moving water, bigger waves, or if making awkward movements. Just try to keep everything in dry storage compartments and everything strapped down that can be. Prepare for the worst.

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  5. well it sounds like most the stuff i been told about flipping kyaks are mostly myth so far and it sounds like this is going to be a great purchase over a jon boat sounds better after hearing you explain some stuff just some people told me that a small wave can flip one easy and that a barge wake can spell disaster the barge one i sorta believe when u guys are out on the river and you see a barge coming what is your action to deal with the wakes do you go into shore or?

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  6. Barge waves are not as bad as you might imagine. Generally the pleasure boaters are worse or a barge that isn't hauling a load can be bad. Basically if you see any decent size waves (over 1ft) you want to hit them head on. Avoid letting them hit you side ways, this can cause a roll. Something to consider would be a float on your anchor line so you can quickly disconnect your anchor and not lose it. This way you can adjust for any on coming waves quickly. Sorry for the late reply.

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    1. all right appreciate the reply.Looks like this is going to be great man thanks for the help.Ill try lakes and such till I get use to the yak then when I feel confident in my ability on it ill try the Ohio River close to bank til l feel more comfortable going out a little further.

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  7. well I had a weird turn of events.Instead of gettign the yak I come into a deal on a 10 ft jon boat.I know its kinda little.But I have begun work on it.Adding seats sanding paint etc.You guys owned a jon boat before correct?Ever take it out on the Ohio River?Seems liek it would be a little mroe stable then a yak i dont know though.I seen where u guys rhino lined the bottom did it add much weight?

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  8. Sean had a 14ft Jon boat for a couple years. We took it out on the Ohio River several times, was a bit nerve wrecking at first but no worse than a kayak would be. Definitely more stable. The biggest concern is swamping a Jon. If you have a lot of weight on the stern a wave could easily wash over, flooding in water. It never happened to us but it was a concern. The rhino liner did add some weight, I couldn't tell you how much. It also added drag making it slower. I'm sure you made a good decision getting the Jon. Getting off the bank and out on the water makes a big difference.

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  9. Go for the best quality product possible and research before purchasing one. Wasting money is not something anyone likes, better spend sometimes on research and get the right fishing accessories.

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  10. Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. tips bass fishing

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