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Thread: Kerr, VA West FoM, 27 FEB 2016

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Blacksburg, VA (for now)
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    3,099

    Default Kerr, VA West FoM, 27 FEB 2016

    More of a weather report than a fishing report. Lots of the former, very little of the latter. The only lesson of any value in this is diligence - this time of year you have to watch the weather daily. It changes so fast and so many times that daily might not be enuff. Over the course of 5 days the forecast for the greater Clarksville area changed 9 times.

    The opening event for our 2016 season began with a bang. A huge storm pushed thru WED bringing heavy rain (2.77" in 26 mins in Clarksville), strong winds, and even a few tornadoes. Think about that rain total for a second. There's no way the ground can absorb that much water that quickly. It all ends up in the rivers and creeks. The Dan and Staunton Rivers went from normal levels to flood stage in a matter of a few hours. Creeks were up and over roads. At some point all of this water made its way into Kerr and all of it was pure chocolate milk.

    I've seen the effects of heavy rain on Kerr before. It'll usually jack up the upper lake and rivers but the regions midlake and down are usually fishable. Some stain but enuff visibility to work a full variety of lures. I've seen a few floaters after these rains. They collect in the usual places - mouths of creeks, around coves, and in turns. This rain was different, special. All 50,000 acres of Kerr was mud. From the headwaters to the dam, every creek and cove was pure dirt. 0" of viz.

    I've seen some pretty high water on Kerr before. I've often joked about catching fish off of the picnic tables at OSP (true story, btw). In the week before this event I tracked the CoE water flow schedule to get a feel for what I could expect. The CoE website showed 301-302 ~steady for the entire weekend. About normal for this time of year. Nope. When I put in on THUR AM the water was up in trees and bushes I'd never seen submerged before. I found out later that THUR's water level began at 304 and rose to 306 by the end of the day. Think about that for a second, doods - the water level in a 50,000 acre lake rose 2 feet over the course of 12 hours. And it was all mud.

    About the only thing in the weather forecast that remained constant was the wind. Forecast said 16-18 mph sustained with gusts to 22. Uh uh. More like 30 mph sustained on THUR (one of the locals at the FoM meetings said winds were at 40 mph according to the Clarksville FD). FRI winds were forecast at 12 mph sustained. Nope. Easily 20 mph w/ some pretty solid gusts. Needless to say it wasn't safe out there.

    Temps were all over the map. Was 72 as the super storm blew thru on WED. Temps that nite dropped to 36. THUR's high was 46. Dropped to 26 that nite. FRI's high was 48. 27 at launch on SAT. Wind chill factors on THUR and FRI were off the charts.

    And then there are the floaters. I mean thousands of them. They were everywhere. Big and small, long and short, thick and thin, floating on top and just below the surface, all colors and shapes.

    So, I said all of that to say that the bass fishing sucked. I got bit in practice (jig, crankbait, spinnerbait) but I'm more inclined to say that was luck more than skill. I did catch a decent 5-fish limit on TX day but they were all stripers. Had one 27" and a couple of 25". Lil bastages creamed my Rayburn Red crankbait. All of them were caught in less than 5' of water.

    Observations, such as they were: 1) There was no visibility in the water until SAT. Had maybe 8-12" in some of the northern most reaches of the creeks. Water around the bushes and trees cleared a little faster - maybe 18" of viz around those. 2) Crappie are ganged up and moving up. They are everywhere. 3) Water temps ranged from low 40s on the main lake to 48.4 in the northern most reaches of the feeder creeks. Temps did come up a little better on SAT - the light winds helped in that regard. 4) I saw bait in the creeks. Most of it was concentrated over the main channels. No feeding activity associated with it.
    5) The few fish I caught in practice were tight, tight, tight to wood. Had to get in it to get bit.

    In spite of the conditions it was good to be out. I made the decision early on to focus on scouting water (new and old) for future events. I knew there wouldn't be much catching this trip. To that end, I registered some 100 WPs over 3 days and saw a ton of new stuff. All of this will come in handy. I don't lament doing poorly in another post-front event. The conditions this past weekend were just brutal. Lots of learning. Another great event by Russ Nixon and the VA West crew. Looking forward to the 2016 season. Next stop: Lake Anna.

    peace,
    B

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    886

    Default

    I don't feel so bad about my a$$ kicking on Smith yesterday now. At least I had good weather to not catch fish in. And fresh striper for dinner last night.

    I've been on Kerr when it was trashed like that before. Tough conditions for sure.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Montclair Va
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    1,025

    Default

    Thanks for the report B. Those are tough conditions indeed. I believe you will recover well on Anna.
    1st Place VA East FOMNTT Potomac River 2006, VA East FOMNTT Big Bag 2006, VAO Frog Only Tournament Winner 2011

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Mechanicsville, VA
    Posts
    200

    Default

    Your report was very accurate Brian. Bassmaster7 (Mike) and I fished this event as well and were blown away by the condition of the lake. We just decided to put our heads down and grind it out. At a lost for what the fish were doing with the water condition and rapidly changing levels, we figured that you were going to have to hit then on the head to get bit. We found lots of bait, but after throwing everything at them but the kitchen sink, we were continuing to struggle. About 9am Mike was throwing a jerkbait along a bank that had a channel swing coming in close to it (main lake) and connected with our first keeper 2 lber. Nothing for the next couple of hours. Now it's about 11am, so we venture just inside of a creek off of the main lake and Mike marks what looks like bass stacked up off a point in 18-20 ft. We decided to give it a try and see if we could get bit. After many, many casts with several different baits, we decided to head towards a bank that looked decent with deep water close by. However, before Mike started towards that bank, I feel a strong tap, set the hook and land our second keeper, another 2 lber. I immediately threw back exact same place and fell another gentle tap, set the hook and we get keeper #3, a solid 5 lb+. Feeling pretty pumped now, we get no more bites for the next hour. We pick up now and head to another main lake pocket and after many, many casts, Mike connects with 4th keeper (2 lber). At last with time winding down, we head back to the area where we caught the two back to back in deeper water and with minutes before we have to head in, I connect with our 5th keeper (2 lber). We were blessed to finish in 2nd place with big fish as well (5.26 lber). Total was 13+lbs. It's said that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while and that was our case, because it's not like we had much of a clue with the conditions as they were. We saw you Brian, but did not see Squire?

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    Default

    Congrats on a great sack of fish. Steve is in India this week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Roanoke
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Are the results posted anywhere yet?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Mechanicsville, VA
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    200

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    Not sure if the results are posted yet, but I can tell you that 1st place was 15+ lbs, 2nd place was 13+lbs, 3rd place was 9+lbs, 4th place was 5+ lbs, 5th place (?), 6th place was 2+ lbs. They paid 6 places and had 30 boats in the tournament. A very tough tournament.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Mechanicsville, VA
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    2,249

    Default

    I've seen the lake like that as well. I remember an FOM when the water level was 315 and muddy. Not a lot of fun. Good luck to yall on Anna!
    Eric

    2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,201

    Default

    Good work to both you guys. Thanks for the reports.

    I have a long weekend planned with my boys there in April. Sure hope it's on fire that weekend so my boys can get some fish in the boat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    202 Norfolk Dr Ruther Glen VA 22546
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    Default

    Nice write up Brian, and nice sack of fish BigD. Not a fun one to fish but you both gained a ton of experience in this one. Congratulations
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper



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