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Smith Mtn Lake, 5 APR 2020

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  • Smith Mtn Lake, 5 APR 2020

    Got out for about 6 hours today. Had planned to go yesterday but the wind caused me to hold off. Glad I did - it was perfect today. Beautiful sunrise, slight breeze, and only one other dood at the ramp rigging to launch. Parking lot had maybe a half dozen trailers.

    Put in at the state park and noted the water had a slight stain to it. There's ~5' of viz (perfect by my standards) but a stark change from my last outing. WT was 55.2 at launch. As I eased out of the state park cove I noticed a bit of surface activity. I switched to side scan and immediately picked up a number of small baitfish pods. There was plenty of action associated w/ them. Under other circumstances I would've worked that stuff over hard but I was on a mission today. I had three main lake coves/cuts I wanted to explore. Main lake stuff has been real good to me on other bodies of water (esp Kerr). I wanted to see if that kind of bite was an option on SML.

    My first stop was a cove that was maybe a mile or so long. The Navionix chart showed a channel running thru the center of it. The channel had a number of turns in it as it made its way to the back. A couple of the turns bumped up against small, subtle points. Curiosity got the better of me so I hit those to see if the bite I enjoyed 2 weeks ago was still there. SML didn't disappoint. Picked up my first keepers on do-nothing points that touched the edge of the channel. Fish were holding in 6-10' of water. Bites were kinda lite initially, almost like they were sneaking up on it. I missed a couple as a result of my failure to recognize the nature of the bite. As I dialed that in my hook-up ratio improved significantly.

    I was able to make this pattern repeat in three different coves. All three had about the same depth/length. Only the channel and point patterns varied. So long as I was on a point that touched a channel ledge I got bit. I did have a couple of off-pattern bites - one off of the edge of a concrete ramp and one off of the front of a dock. Everything else came off of points. No bites on moving baits. I did have one swirl on my buzzbait early in the AM. No takers on cranks, spinners, chatters, or jerks. C-rig and jig did the damage for me today.

    Observations: 1) WTs ranged form 55.2 at launch to 57.7 about half way back in the last cove I fished ~midday. Water was stained everywhere I fished (all within a few miles of launch). 2) Baitfish is everywhere. Some smaller pods, some larger pods. Saw some surface feeding activity but it was sporadic. No pattern to it. Bait was up in the water column today. 3) Everything I marked on my electronix was on the deck (again). Nothing hanging up in the water column or suspended. All of my bites came from 6-10', most of those in the shallower end of that range. 4) Wind blowing across a point was better than wind blowing straight in on it. No wind, no bites. 5) Inside sides (the side facing the back of the pocket) of points were better than outside sides (the side facing the channel). Most of my bites came off of really subtle structure. In most cases it was a small protrusion on the channel ledge. I did fish one long, tapered point ~mid morning and caught several fish off of it (to include the dock fish). There were no other points like this one in the water I fished today. If I had been in a TX today this (long, tapered) would've been my preferred structure. 6) About 10 AM the bite changed. The fish deserted their sneak attacks and started freight-training my baits. I mean hammer jobs. I enjoyed this bite right up until I came off the water. 7) The map view was the most valuable to me today. I zoomed in close so I could see as much detail as possible. This enabled me to pick up the subtle indentations and protrusions I fished. Maps I have of SML (GMCO, others) do not have the kind of resolution I needed today.

    Very few boats on the water today. A few fishermen, a few striper doods, and a few rec doods. The water I fished today I had to myself. I'll be back out this FRI. Hope the forecast holds up!

    peace,
    B
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