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Thread: Gaston, 26 AUG 2016

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

    Default Gaston, 26 AUG 2016

    With travel complete (for at least a while) and more than enuff hours logged for the pay period I took FRI off and headed to Gaston for a little scouting. Had never been there in the summer (usually a spring or fall gig for me) but since our final Elite 70 event is there in ~3 week I thought it prudent to get a little TOW in. I also used this occasion to see some new water. I focused on the far east end, near the dam, exploring the feeder creeks and main lake cuts/coves down thataway.

    I put in at the Pea Hill Creek public ramp and was shocked to see no trucks, no trailers, and nobody there. The ramp was dry as a bone. Made the ~10-12 min run to my first stop. Marked small bait fish pods almost right away so I started w/ a square bill crankbait. Keeper number one nailed it on a shallow, tapered point. That bite lasted until the sun came up good. I switched to sharper, deeper points and threw a Tx-rigged creature bait. Picked up a chunky 2.5 lb fish on the third cast. As the sun got high and the weather hot (and it was hot, doods) I focused on shaded shoreline and deeper water docks. Caught my best fish of the day - a long, skinny 4 lb'er - on a fluke skipped up under a dock. I finished the day with a jig, landing a couple small keepers and a few knotheads along the way. I visited 7 new areas this day and was able to get these bites to repeat in all but one. Not bad for mid-AUG and 100*.

    Observations: 1) Water temps ranged from 83 (at the ramp at launch) to 88. The wind was up a little bit so I'm sure it would've been closer to 90* if it had been calm. Water is clear everywhere (easily 4-6' viz), maybe as clear as I've seen Gaston. The water in upper Pea Hill Creek is a little tannic but then it's that way all the time. 2) Pods of bait fish were everywhere in the creeks and cuts I visited. Most of these were small and suspended over the main channels. 3) I saw schooling activity in several places. Fish blew up for a few seconds then were gone. 4) Deeper water docks (10+' fronts) were better than shallow water docks. Docks in the shade were pretty reliable. 5) Wind blowing across a point was better than wind blowing directly in on it. 6) Sharper ledges and breaks were better than shallow tapers. 7) Most of my fish were surprisingly shallow - 4-8' was the magic range. There was no real pattern to where they were holding. Rocks, stumps, laydowns, or the break itself all held fish. 8) Smaller, more compact baits were better than larger profile baits. All of my bites were no-doubters. The fish absolutely killed it.

    Not bad for a hot, humid summer day. Was 100* with a 114* heat index at 1100 AM. That's about when the bite died. Strangely, the bite turned back on around 2 and was hot-n-heavy for about an hour before I got off the water. They were pulling water at that time so that's the most likely explanation. The rec boat traffic was heavy starting around 10 AM. Watched this one dood skillfully launch a 35' cigar boat on a little private ramp. His trailering skills were the best I've seen. Still not sure how he got that big azz boat down that tiny ramp access but he did.

    Had one interesting mechanical (sort of) thing come up. I had landed a fish and was on the back deck freeing my bait form the carpet when I saw an oil sheen coming off of the big motor. Bounced around to a couple more spots, checking each time. Yep, still there. I was close to the ramp where I put in so I ran up there, trailered, and pulled off the cowling. There was 2-stroke oil everywhere inside. Turns out the cap on the oil reservoir had come loose. After cleaning up what I could reach I put a little Teflon tape on the cap threads and closed it up. Good, tight fit and no issues the rest of the day. Had this happen on my old boat. That's one more thing for the pre-launch checklist.

    So, I saw enuff to make me feel a little more comfortable going into the final E70 deal. It'll still be hot but I saw plenty of signs that bait and fish are posturing for the fall. One or two breaks in the heat and things could really turn on. The steaks at Brian's Steakhouse in South Hill are as good as ever. If you're in the area it's a must-go-there place to eat.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    not a bad august day at all!
    I'm about to play my Ace

  3. #3


    Sounds like a good day out there, especially considering the heat. I had this same mechanical issue happen to my 150 OpitMax on a practice day for a FOM VA East on the James River. It kept us on the Trolling Motor all day for the tournament. Glad the Teflon fix worked for you, because changing out the oil reservoir wasn't tough but annoying.
    Best of luck in your E70.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    thanks for the report sir

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