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Kerr, VA East FoM, 30 MAR 2019

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  • Kerr, VA East FoM, 30 MAR 2019

    Got into Clarks-vegas late in the afternoon on WED. Had a little daylight left so I motored around a bit just to check out the conditions. Still heavily stained above Goat Island. Water temps were 54 at OSP, 55 in Panhandle, 54-56 in Rudd's/Butcher's, and 55 near Northbend park. At these temps and with ~stable weather for the next few days I knew the first wave of spawners would be moving up, if not up already. With that I decided I start towards the backs of creeks and main lake coves/cuts, then work my way out until I found staging fish.

    Practice: I made the run down to the lower end of the lake and worked my way back. At my first stop I picked up a couple fish holding on points. These fish were very pasty - they'd just come up. I hit a few other stops targeting similar points and found willing fish at almost every location. From there I moved up into the flooded brush (water was at 303 so you have to fish the buck brush - it's a rule, you know). Found plenty of willing fish there with a fluke, a spinnerbait, and a squarebill crankbait. Over the course of the two days I practiced I was able to get these patterns to repeat almost everywhere. The water conditions downlake were better (~2-3' of viz) over mid- and upper lake so I decided I'd start there on TX day. My confidence in fishing that kind of water is way higher than it is in water w/ 12-15" of viz.

    TX day: I start in a main lake pocket across from Nutbush. This pocket has a series of tapered points w/ sharp breaks and a well defined channel that snakes thru it. While the water temps in this pocket were a couple degrees cooler than other places it was the water condition and the presence of bait that led me to start there. There are two points at the entrance that pinch together on the channel, making the perfect ambush spot for feeding fish. I start there and am rewarded w/ the first bite of the day ~15 mins into the event. I hook up only to have the fish shake off about half way back to the boat. Not a giant but a solid fish. (Little did I know this would be a foretelling of how my day would go.) I work the first stop for the better part of the morning, landing two keepers and a couple peanuts. From there I bounced my way back uplake, stopping in places that had similar set-ups and point structure. Second stop was like the first - I hook up on a solid fish only to have it shake off about half way back to the boat. (I've already checked drag and I'm using a 7-6 c-rig rod so I know I'm taking up the line quickly on the hook sets. I'm kinda shaking my head at what's going on.) I hook up and land keeper #3 at my third stop. There were 2 more swings, hook-ups, and misses after that. I hook up on keeper #4 out the flooded brush late in the afternoon but it didn't help (the ol' 2 over 12", 3 over 14" rule). I finish the day with 3 for a paltry 3.83. I don't think the fish I missed would've won it but I know I left a limit out there on the lake. A frustrating end to an otherwise perfect weekend of fishing.

    Observations: 1) Water temps ranged from 51.6 at OSP B ramp on THUR AM to 59.2 in the afternoon in the back of Panhandle. Steady at 55+ all over the lake. 2) Clarity was a challenge. Near-choco milk above goat island. It actually got worse on FRI. Clarity steadily improves as you make your way downlake. There are some places in the backs of the bigger feeder creeks where water clarity improves. Not sure where the stain is coming from - driving in the Dan River looked fine. Something going on in the Roanoke River???3) Wind blowing across a point or stretch of bushes was better than wind blowing directly in. The wind made fishing mainlake stuff nearly impossible on SAT afternoon. The bite was scarce and very lite when the wind was calm. 4) Bait was a mixed bag. It's well in the backs of creeks/coves in some places, still lingering in the main channel at the mouths in others. 5) A squarebill crankbait produced the most fish. The c-rig produced better fish. Had a couple decent keepers in practice on a fluke skipped into the brush and on a spinnerbait speed rolled along the front edge of brush. 6) Long tapered points were best. Points w/ a sharp break on or near a channel swing were money. 7) I caught a few fish in shallow water (2-5') but the better fish came from 8-12'. All were holding on breaks. 8) Lots and lots of flotsam on the lake, doods. Stay alert, stay alive.

    After I checked in I motored back to the OSP B ramp to trailer the sled. I saw a police boat and a group of officers standing on the pier. As I drew closer I could see orange cones everywhere. I figure it was a license/sobriety check point. After I tied up on the pier and began walking up to the truck I noticed the body bag on the entrance to the pier. An officer met be about half way and explained what was going on. Someone had found him floating in the main channel and brought him in. The coroner was loading him up as I made my way to the truck. The slight delay in trailering gave me time to reflect on the importance of safety while on the water. My thoughts quickly shifted to the family, more specifically to the person who would have to go to the county morgue and identify the recovered body. If you've never seen a drowning victim before you're lucky - it is not pretty (for any of the senses). For those who have y'all understand what I'm saying here. A very sad event is about to become even sadder. Please, please, please wear your friggin' PFDs, doods.

    Didn't make breakfast at Michelle's but did stop by for lunch on FRI. Had another great dinner at Cooper's Landing on THUR nite. I'm on Anna next weekend for my final regular season event. Shoulder surgery sked for 25 APR and I can't wait. It's killing me. Looking forward to fishing pain-free again. Simple pleasures, yes?

    peace, B

  • #2
    Good to see you this weekend 31! Fishing was definitely tough! Way to stick with it.

    2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions



    • #3
      Great report 31, such detail, might have to change your handle to Hemingway. All jokes aside, roger that on the PFD, it will save your life indeed. How one finished in a tournament definitely seems a bit less important when you have to witness what you did at the ramp. Thanks for sharing and driving home that point.
      "I may be crazy, but it keeps me from going insane"

      - Waylon Jennings