Not being able to find anybody to fish with on this particular day, I decided to make an adventure out of it. I made a long drive to fish southern Lake Champlain. Knowing that the moon was full I did not know what to expect while planning on targeting crappie. One thing was for sure, I was going to stick to one game plan.
My goal for the day was to explore a bit and find some new structure using the side scan. I was able to find more than expected but was disappointed when most of what looked like fantastic habitat was not holding decent numbers of fish. I really couldn’t figure out why these spots weren’t holding fish so I decided to check out few of our spots that have always produced in the past. As I pulled up to our third reliable spot I was pretty discouraged to find it was fishless. I had been on the water for almost three hours now and have yet to put a fish in the boat. By accident I stumbled onto a pattern that put a few fish in the boat.
The full moon has pushed many of the fish holding structure off and they scattered along deep weeds lines. Wanting to stick to my plan as along as possible, I slowed down my presentation knowing that the fish were going through a transition period and they might be a little fussy. The bites were hard to detect as I slowly dragged my Lake Fork Trophy Lures “Live” Baby Shad across t bottom adjacent to the structure. A subtle twitch in the line was the only indicator that I had one on, I really had to pay attention.
All in all not a very productive trip from the fish catching standpoint but I did confirm that when the moon is full, the fish move and you have to slow your presentation down.
My family has a camp in the North East Kingdom on a lake with great bass fishing. As my wife and I decided to head up for a few days for the 4th of July, I decided that I was only going to bring one rod with me, and one box of lures, including my top water plugs. Since I was a young kid I have always fished the bass there on using top water baits. It’s something about the suspense waiting for that explosion as the bass attacks my bait.
My wife and son went to bed early on this particular night so I decided to try my luck. Equipped with only a small ten foot row boat, a net, and my gear, I rowed to a nice inside turn that has always produced quality fish at dusk.
I started on the furthest rocky point. My lure of choice was a torpedo. I like to make long casts with this bait, quickly popping it back to the boat. Thankfully the water was calm that night and I was able to drift in the direction I wanted to fish. After about a half hour of no action I made my way in. I knew that there was a nice deep weed bed in this turn that shelfed up onto a nice sandy flat.
As I worked my way towards the flat making long casts, the fish lunker of the night slammed my bait and jumped about four feet out of the water. The hit came from the break line, right where the weeds transition onto the sandy flat in about 5 feet of water. I took this and ran with it making casts to target that depth. The first fish I landed was a hog. Only being in a small boat it was literally moving the position of the boat as it made it’s effort to throw the bait. The bass at here are amazing. A three to four pound average is not uncommon. This fish probably was pushing four and a half pounds and over twenty inches.
I continued working my way back towards camp and was able to land several more decent smallmouth. There was something about this trip and fishing without all of the modern technologies and fancy boats that brought me back to my childhood. More memories in the bank.
After I got out of work at 4 pm, I hit the road to get on the water for sunset with my buddy Dan. We were going to stay on the water until the catfish stopped biting. He was already on the water so he had caught some panfish for our evenings bait. After locating some good weed edges, we diced up our bait and sent it out.
The wait wasn’t long. Within minutes, Dan landed the first cat of of the night. It was only 7 or 8 pounds but it was a start. Over the next couple of hours, we landed a cat about every 30 minutes. While most were around 10 pounds we caught a few in the middle to upper teens. One of the biggest swam right to the boat, slid into the net but flopped out and popped the hook all within only a matter of seconds. That’s fishing!
Throughout the course of the night, we made several moves trying to find a more consistent location. While no spot seemed better than another, they all produced at least a fish right off. As the sun started to break, the bite died off so we packed it up before things got hectic on a beautiful Sunday morning!
Bobby and I had a chance to hit the water again tonight with the Hydro Glow Fishing Lights. We had a mission to bring home some rainbow trout to put on the smoker. With pleasant weather above, it was go time at dark.
We set up over 29 feet of water after we found a decent concentration of fish. The fish were cruising the bottom half of the water column before dark but within about 30 minutes of submerging the lights, the fish tightened their corridor to only the bottom six feet. As usual, we ran 1/32 and 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with crawlers. After locating bottom and staggering our baits through the active zone, we waited.
The bites were constant throughout the night but the hook ups weren’t. In general the trout bite like regardless of their aggressiveness but this was different. Most times, a short striker can be enticed for a second round with slight jigging. This theory was thrown out the door though. It was just a tough night of fishing.
We ended up bringing home 5 of the smaller fish for a future day of running the smoker.