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Thread: Leesville VA West FoM, 17 JUN 2017

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

    Default Leesville VA West FoM, 17 JUN 2017

    We haven't been to Leesville in 3 years so it was good to see some 'new' water. The weather wasn't the most accommodating but it wasn't bad enuff to keep us off. Managed to get a lil time in on SML while I was there so it was doubly good.

    Practice. I managed to piece together an NGS topo map to help w/ scouting. It didn't have any water contours but it did show me the main lake channel. This helped focus my practice time. I recalled from my previous trip that water levels fluctuate wildly on this lake. I suspected the recent rains would make this an even bigger challenge. Leesville gives Claytor a good run for its money when it comes to debris after a storm. It was covered w/ junk from stem to stern, making it ~impossible to run at any speed. I found fish willing to eat a jig, crankbait, fluke, and c-rig in a number of places. Points, wood, and chunk rock all produced. I felt comfortable I had enuff to start with and switch to depending on how water levels would be managed between THUR and SAT. I spent half the day FRI on SML (report posted in that section), getting a little time in for summer fishing (our FoM regional is on SML in late SEP).

    TX day. I was dead last in the field (32 boats) and was surprised to see my #1 spot wide open. No takers on topwater but I caught my first keeper on my 3rd cast with a medium runner. Didn't take long to bang out a couple more shorter keepers (you can keep 2 12" fish here, all others have to be 14" or better) on the same bait. I decided to make a 2nd pass working the opposite direction and was rewarded w/ the fish of the day. An absolute beast inhales my crankbait off of a laydown. As I'm reaching for my net it makes a run towards the back of the boat and the line breaks. I watched her swim away, with my crankbait firmly fixed in her mouth, while I stood there dumbfounded. I won't guess at a weight but it was [much] bigger than the 3.25 I weighed at the end of the day. After the crankbait bite played out I started hopping points w/ a jig and c-rig. I banged out a couple of punks, then land the 3.25 off of a main lake point. Later in the day I hook up on another solid fish, about the same size as the 3.25, and she breaks me off right at the boat. I fished out the day but wasn't really focused. I had watched 10 lbs of fish swim away w/ my baits in their faces. It was a little hard to swallow. I finished w/ 3 fish for 4.5 lbs.

    Observations: 1) Water levels dropped almost 3' from THUR's practice. The bushes that were in the water on THUR were bone dry on SAT. The best of the wood I fished on THUR was also dry. 2) Fish didn't pull back very far. All of my points produced at the same depths (8-15'). The bites, what few I had, were very aggressive (esp on the crankbait). 3) Water temps varied from 76 at launch to 79 ~midday. Cloud cover helped keep temps down. 4) Water clarity was surprisingly good considering we had the mother of all rains FRI nite. Viz downlake was better than 4'; a little less midlake; maybe 2' uplake. 5) All of my fish (practice and TX) came off of first breaks near sharp drops. I had to keep the boat right up on the shoreline and parallel cast in order to get bit. Any more of an angle was wasted time and effort. 6) Fish activity was cyclical, almost like the power company had Leesville on some sort of regular release schedule. The bite would pick up for 15 or 20 mins then stop. Maybe one of you locals can help me out here - was I imagining things or is this the case? 7) I saw what looked like spawning activity (fanning beds, jittery fish guarding them). I know a few fish will spawn well into the spring and sometimes into summer but this wasn't random. It was all over the place.

    It's all about execution, doods. This means so much more than setting a hook. It means you have to do all the little things to ensure you land the fish you hook. Checking line, esp when fishing rocky or woody terrain, is something you should do ~every cast. Always retie after snagging your bait on a rock or stump. Be sure to run your fingers up the line from the bait a foot or so - sometimes the nicks aren't at the knot (just sayin' . . .). When in doubt retie. Period.

    It was a real treat to fish all day without seeing a rec boat. Leesville is a special place, full of good fish and a variety of ways to catch them. I'm looking forward to going back.

    Last edited by 31Airborne; 06-18-2017 at 03:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Mechanicsville, VA


    Tough with the line breaks 31! We have learned this the hard way fishing the barnacle infested Chick. Sometimes it's unavoidable but you do have to check your line constantly when fishing the rough stuff. Sounds like you had the bites for a good finish though.

    2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Ashburn, VA


    nice job B, sounds like an interesting lake. You know you have the ability to create custom maps with your electronics right? lol

    2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
    Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    I believe they run current on the lake every hour....if you are down towards the damn you will hear a siren go off when they start releasing water.
    I'm about to play my Ace

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