Well, after two very cold, very windy and very unsuccessful trips in the weeks prior I was finally able to catch some fish this past weekend. Got a pretty late start to the morning and didn't even get to the lake until around 9:30. The main lake was getting killed by a stiff north/northwest wind blowing from 10-20 miles per hour so I decided to run down river to a long, deep creek arm to see if I couldn't get out of the wind as well as try to find some stained and warmer water as the main river water temps were in the low 50's.
Pulled up on my first spot and immediately saw large schools of baitfish with some bass in and around them on the graph-always a good sight to see. I picked up a custom painted wiggle wart and started chunking and winding pretty fast with some intermittent pauses and jerks and by my third cast I had called up my first customer of the day- a chunky little largemouth probably right around two pounds. Threw him back and made about 2-3 more casts before I caught another largemouth about the same size. I kept working down the bank of this main creek point keeping my eye on the graph to see if I was going over any potential drop shot fish but all the fish seemed to be suspended in the middle of the water column, about 8-10 feet down, or chasing bait. Maybe 10 more casts I caught another fish on the crankbait, a non-keeper spot. As I moved down the bank to where the point started to edge into a secondary creek I switched to an A rig and made about 3 casts before I picked up a chunky spotted bass in the 2-2.5 pound range.
Things cooled down after that first spot and even though I could find bait in other areas I never did find any fish willing to commit to the crank or A rig. Even though I felt several fish come up and hit the rig, none ever took the baits. So that started the ole run to a spot, scan to find bait, cast for a little while, change lures and then move to another area. I checked several small creeks off the main lake that had some small schools of baitfish and some warmer water temps into the upper 50's but the fish just weren't there yet. I think the significant cold snap the southeast saw several weeks ago really set our fish back after the lake was inundated with all that cold rain/runoff and a week straight off temps in the 10's-30's. Right before I called it quits I fished the main lake point right in front of my parent's house which has an old railroad bed running parallel to the bank. I got thumped on my second cast of the crankbait so hard that it knocked slack in the line but no hook up. I immediately reeled in and shot the crank right back out to the same spot, reeled the bait down to start hitting rock and paused it. As soon as I let the bait float up for a couple seconds and then started back the retrieve I got nailed by a football of a spotted bass. That was my last fish of the day and my first limit of the year; a little redemption after no fish the trips prior.
I will be able to fish both days this weekend and after a week of days in the upper 60's/low 70's I fully expect the fish to be in full blown pre-spawn/spawn mode.