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Sml, 26 aug 2020

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  • Sml, 26 aug 2020

    I normally have every other FRI off. It's a new work schedule thing our HR bubbas came up with to make their lives easier. Good by me - I enjoy having a longer weekend every other week. This week I have a stack of phone calls and virtual meetings on FRI so the boss let me take my SDO today. I am pleased to report I was on the water w/ the engine warmed up and ready to rock before the sun came up.

    I had zero plans for this day other than to simply enjoy being out. Was hoping for some decline in the rec boat activity (y'all can laff at me later if you like) so I could get a full day in. I am 0 for August on both accounts - the rec doods were out in force by 9 and they chased me off at 11. But it wasn't a total loss.

    As I was rigging to make a run uplake the water started exploding all around me. I mean right next to the sled. I could see'em - nice sized stripers chasing shad. I managed to get my spook out and into the water in short order and on my third cast hook up on a chunky 24"er. A few casts later I hook up on another one about the same size. Didn't take long for that to play out so I finally got around to making my run and started bass fishing. Had another small guy on the spook on a main lake point. Nothing on cranks or chatterbait. Switched to a jig and got bit almost right away - a small dood who nailed it on the fall. He was hanging out on a rock pile near a point. After the jig bite played out I switched to the c-rig and managed a few more, better quality fish, also on points. I spent the final hour bouncing back down lake to the state park, hitting points and bluffs. Nothing worth mentioning but it was nice to get some fish stink on my hands.

    Observations: 1) WT was 79.8 at launch (SMLSP) - 7 degrees cooler than my last outing. WT rose to 82.4 around 11:00. Slight stain on the water midlake - maybe 3' of viz (perfect for me). Gets a little dirtier the further uplake you go, clears up some as you head down lake. 2) Small pods of baitfish everywhere. Suspended over points, scattered in the shallows running the banks, suspended up in the water column over deeper water. Saw three small herring schools as I made my way around. These were hugging the bottom in 15-20' of water. I did see some feeding around some of these pods. Marked a lot of fish around them. 3) All of my bites came in places where I marked bait. No bait, no bites. Just to give you an idea of how prolific the baitfish activity was, I made 31 stops today. I marked bait on 22 of these. Of those 22 I got bit on 17. 4) Points with a small flat area on them were best. The optimum set-up was a point w/ small rounded flat and sharp drops on all sides (no shortage of these on SML). Boat was in 30', easily casting to ~6-8'. Main lake points out-produced secondary points today. 5) I had some success on offshore structure. I worked a couple of humps midlake that sit right on a creek channel. These places were covered up w/ bait. 6) 12-15' was the magic range today. I did have a couple bites in deeper water (~18-22'). 7) Marked a lot of new brush piles today. Many of them were holding fish (suspended on the top). Several of my bites came after my bait either deflected off of or pass thru wood. 8) Bites were pretty aggressive today but you had to be patient. It took three or four casts before I drew a strike. Was key to make repetitive casts to submerged cover. The little nip on the first cast often resulted in a hammer job on the next. 9) Speaking of nips, I had these light taps on my baits all day long. Not panfish nips. These were sharper and in deeper water. On several (many) retrieves I saw small groups of small bass (4-6") following the bait in.

    Based on the amount of rec boat activity I'm gonna guess the kids are not in school (in person). I saw lots of families w/ school age kids on the water today. No problem here, mind you. Just wondering when things might let up. I know, I know. Never. C'mon fall.

    Hope everyone is safe, sound, and healthy. We'll get thru this. Just keep doing the right thing.

    Last edited by 31Airborne; 08-26-2020, 03:01 PM.

  • #2
    Lot of great insight Brian, Im ready for cooler water temps too.


    • #3
      SML is no bueno for me from May 1 to Nov 1. I can't stand it.