The wife and I bought our house about 11 months ago. After seeing dozens of houses, we came across “the one”, here in Virginia Beach. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that one of the biggest reasons I knew right away that this was our house, was the fact that it sat in a neighborhood with a huge private lake. I was fortunate enough to have about a month to fish it last year before deployment, and I was pleasantly surprised. A large and healthy population of largemouth, with a good amount of “Lunkers” and almost no outside competition. I’d argue to say that removing a few of the mid-sizers would be healthy.
It’s a relatively deep lake with average depths being in the 15-20 foot range, and as deep as 50 feet in the middle. Needless to say I didn’t have much interest in meticulously fishing a deep lake in the late winter when I returned home. Now, with the weather breaking and spring upon us, it was definitely time to drop the Yak and hit the honey holes.
I only brought 2 poles (I find that bringing too many complicates simple fishing too much) One of which I dedicated to my favorite rig from last summer, A drop-shot wacky rig. And another that I’d mix between a Spinner-Bait, Rat-L-Trap, or other Jigs/Cranks.
I had available a wide color assortment of Senko’s ready to go and started out with a Black w/ Blue speckle Combo. I ran straight to my Honey Hole from last summer, and started a Blitz of Cast’s all over it. I hit the Senko with about 5 spread out cast’s and then switched to a Rat-L-Trap, and then finally a white Spinner Bait to no avail. Switching back to my senko, I finally hooked up on the extreme edge of what I consider my honey hole… It was a pretty thin, and light in color male that was all spawned out. A fish on the road to recovery from an assumingly vigorous spawn. But I got one none the less. However no more after about 4/5 more cast’s so I switched colors on my senko. MOVE OF THE DAY!
I slapped on a Strike King KVD Perfect Ocho / Baby Bass Color (Senko), pushed just beyond my honey hole and went to work along a wall. Cast after Cast after Cast. I think I hooked up six times in a row! Everything I was catching was in the 15-17″ range, Male and Female. Things were solid. I caught a couple more in the area and started to move on to a new area. Before I did, I threw my spinnerbait a couple of times in the area I was catching em. but no dice. I think I need to work on my Spinnerbait game…
I started working back towards the Kayak Launch, catching about 5 more in route. The sizes of fish started falling off a little bit as I worked a different part of the lake, but they were definitely hungry still. On 2 occasions my bait was hit on the initial descent from the cast, somewhere in the middle of water column. In 2.5 hours of work, I caught about 15 total fish, leaving them biting with some decent day light remaining. Here are 2 lessons from a successful day that I’d like to leave:
Lesson #1: Don’t forget your pliers!! Rarely when using larger Crank Baits or Fat Frogs is hook removal an issue. On two separate occasions yesterday I found myself unfortunately cutting hooks from deep hooksets, that I POSSIBLY (no guarantee) Could have removed with pliers had I not forgotten them.
Lesson #2: Small Hook = Early Hook Set!! I use a smaller hook for my drop shot rig, which is easily swallowed by bass. My second and Third fish were both hooked deep in the mouth (Extreme rear of the tongue) because I allowed them too much time before setting the hook. After your first one, you should have the feel of the bite down. Give it about 3-4 seconds after the bite; Set the hook; Reel vigorously. Chances are your hookset is very near the front of the mouth, and maybe barely in there (Probably depending on your line). Reel Fast and keep the pressure on too avoid lost fish. Bear in mind the whole point is to save the fish and avoid gut hooks.
The Senko (Strike King KVD Perfect Ocho/Baby Bass) and one of its victims.