It seems like a yearly trip now that a buddy and I go up for a day to the islands on Lake Champlain and chase bowfin sun up to sun down. It is hard to beat their action!
After catching a dozen or so bluegill, pumpkinseed, and perch we headed for a sheltered bay trying to escape the high winds. With large octopus hooks tied on under medium bobbers, we chunked up our bait and send it out.
While the pattern that produced fish didn’t take long to establish, fine tuning it did. We found bowfin at all depths out to about the 9′ mark but they were very loyal to weeds and wood. Especially where the two were abundant. As we worked the shoreline, any indent in the shoreline with duck weed, wood, and at least a foot of water was stacked up with multiple fish
Going spot to spot, we found that some were better than others. In many cases, we were getting bites every cast when they were placed correctly but the sweet spots were very specific. Hooking up with 10-15 fish per spot was common but as usual, we seemed to lose quite a few. Luckily the numbers of fish put the odds in our favor!
After we worked over the entire area over, we decided to change up species and hit some bass waters. Although they were mostly unproductive, we located a few spots with some pumpkinseed and bluegill still sitting on beds. To pass the time until heading home, we posted up and casted out some bobbers for some hot action.
It was a great day on the water with many fish over 26″. If not again this year, we will certainly be back next summer!
Now that quite a few night trips are in the books, we have a pretty good gauge of when and how they bite. Not to mention the average size fish that are around. For this night, things were a little different. We had a storm rolling in around us but it was predicted to miss the area. We all know how the weathermen are though…
We were on the water with a good bit of time before it was dark so we putted around catching some panfish and bass to pass the time. As the clocked ticked 8, we began searching for the depth the trout were running at. We located them in just over 26′. After passing over several small pods in a small area we anchored up and dropped the Hydro Glow Fishing Lights.
The fish started biting right after the lights were on but things really picked up after it was completely dark. After the sun set there was a wicked hatch of hexagenia. The trout were crushing them everywhere including right over the side of the boat. We got to see a ton of fish throughout the hours that we were out.
On average, the fish that we catch are 14-16″ with a few bigger and smaller. Tonight the average size seemed to be 19-21″. Certainly nothing to shake a stick at! The fishing stayed steady until just after 1 am. After about 30 minutes with no fish, we decided to pack it up and head home.
I got on the water early this morning. I wanted to try to beat some of the high winds that were suppose to come through later in the day. Unfortunately, the waves were already over a foot and they weren’t suppose to lighten up at all.
The fishing started off pretty good. I began the day throwing crankbaits along the tall weed edges after my anchor wouldn’t hold. I was drifting roughly in 8-10 feet of water with a pretty good clip moving me along. I was throwing a splattershad “Crappie Crankbait” from Arkie Jigs. They dive 2-6′ depending on line, cast distance, and speed of retrieval. I chose this bait because I was able to dive it down to the weed tops where the crappie were holding. While these seemed to be holding everywhere there was a few spots that had a better size class of fish.
After I had nearly a limit of crappie, I decided to try anchoring up again. After a few attempts I finally got it to bite. Within a few casts, I located them. They preferred the chartreuse glo “Live” Baby Shad Sickle Tail from Lake Fork Trophy Lures. I tried other colors but nothing seemed to work. For the most part, the fish were holding up on the windward size of structure and were holding tight. Every cast that was correctly placed yielded either a fish or a snag.
After only a few hours on the water I had a limit. Because I had been up since 2 am I decided to take a nap. The hour long nap recharged my batteries just fine and made the drive home just a little more enjoyable!
With hopes of some walleye willing to bite, a buddy and I were on the water for sunrise. The bite was slow but with enough water to keep us occupied until he had to go to softball late in the afternoon, we figured that we would find something to save the trip. We fished spot to spot that had produced in the past with very limited success.
While the rockbass were willing to bite just about everywhere, it wasn’t until we got in some shallow water that we found some bluegill and perch. Big gills too! Anywhere that there was woody debris in the water with weeds nearby seemed to hold quite a few biters.
After locating several new spots that the panfish were holding up on, we spent the rest of the day scanning the bottom looking for new structure. We marked some new trees and bottom irregularities that looked promising. While this part of the day was just about wrapped up, I had plans to hit the water later that night with Bobby for some trout!
We motored around a good deal of the lake as neither of us had been there before. We never found much promise but after a seeing a few fish in a tight area we anchored up and submerged the Hydro Glow Fishing Lights.
Fishing before the sun set was pointless. It was nearly impossible to keep the small perch off the hook. Once it was dark things changed. Although we didn’t catch a ton of fish, the perch more than doubled in size and the water below us loaded up with smelt. Lake trout were the only trout species we caught even though rainbows were our target. The lakers that we caught were spitting up tons of smelt when we brought them into the boat.
One of the key points from the night was that lakers wanted the bait moving. Maybe only a few inches up and down but constantly. After a few hours of tough fishing we decided to pack it up and make for home. We learned a new body of water and caught a new species at night.
We will be back soon!
The blog has taken back seat recently. Sure there has been a few fishing trips but with a new house and a need for firewood, time has been short. Most of my time on the water lately has been at night.
I went out with two buddies who had never fished trout at night. The moon was going to be full which was ideal for hitting them after dark. We began the night with 1/32 and 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with crawlers. We staggered lines in hopes of finding a consistent depth that the rainbows were running at. Setting over 31 feet of water left plenty of area to cover!
Once the Hydro Glow Fishing Light was submerged we began to talk fishing. Having an organized boat makes fishing at night easier. Having to retie, the need for forceps, or getting the net are all routine things that can easily be complicated if they are not in a designated area. After explaining my game plan, we wet a few lines.
The fish came through in spurts and were for the most part willing to bite. While most bites occurred while the jig was still, as the night passed by, light jigging started to produce more and more. With three of us in the boat, we were able to have confidence in our patterns on what the fish preferred.
After several hours of fishing, things slowed down so we decided to pack it up. We all caught fish and it was well worth staying up late. When it was time to back the trailer in, some yahoos had left a present in the form of glass liquor bottles behind my tires. Awesome way to end the night!
After a long day on the water already, my buddy Andy and I launched his boat with intentions of getting a night bite for trout. We didn’t really know where to go but we had identified a few spots on Navionics.
The lake was alive with life. There were trout rising everywhere. We were unsuccessful with initial attempts to catch them casting so we motored to our first destination and anchored up. The wind was out of the west so we allowed enough of a tether to get us right over the spot. With the Hydro Glow Fishing Light submerged just below the surface of the water it was game time.
The boat was set up over 22 feet of water but the swing from the wind had us swinging back and forth out over 26 FOW. Before too long, the graph was marking fish from 10-13 feet below the boat. For the remainder of the night. Small pods of fish constantly pushed through.
We fished two different set ups throughout the night. One was a 1/32 ounce jig tipped with a whole crawler and the other was a snelled hook with a small split shot a foot above with a half crawler. We made short casts and let them swing down below the boat. Once we found where the fish were biting, we tied on small pieces of floss to mark the depth so we could replicate over and over. Throughout the course of the night, the smaller fish that we caught were on the snelled hook and no matter what set up was used, the fish wanted it still. The bites were light so being on the ball was key. The best method seemed to be setting the pole up so that it would move with any kind of action on the other end. The dark made it tough to see the bites and you couldn’t keep lights on because of the bugs.
By midnight, not only did we have our limits but we had tossed back several more limits worth. All but the bluegill and brook trout were between 13-20″. Good enough for a first outing!
The crappie bite wasn’t on today. They had been set up on structure for about a week but they had moved off within the last 24 hours. Not only were they hard to locate, the large pods of them sitting on main lake breaks were spooky. Catching one or two on a pass was doing well. While it was hard to stay on them and vertical jig, it seemed like trolling would be the most effective method for the day.
With jointed shad wraps tied on, we sent them back 40-70 feet. The first few passes produced fish in the 45-55 foot range. Each pass allowed us to zero in on where the fish were. 45 feet back seemed to be the ticket at 1.9 mph.
Along with the crappie, some largemouth bass, pike, and sheephead. One of the sheephead was a nice one! As the time passed, the bite slowed up even more so we called it a day early. If only I could make sense of when and why these fish don’t bite!