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Thread: SML, VA West FoM, 22-24 FEB

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

    Default SML, VA West FoM, 22-24 FEB

    This was the first event of the 2018 season. Was nice having Mother Nature send us some spring-like weather for it. 80* on THUR, a still-above-normal 62* on FRI, and then 75* on TX day. Was also thrilled to see SML at (a little above actually) full pool. Thank you, Lord.

    With all the time I invested in SML last year, all of it was focused on summer/early fall. Virtually no work done in the winter/early spring months. It showed. BLUF: I knew what to look for (bait). I didn't do a good job of finding and profiling it.

    Practice (22-23 FEB): Was kinda cool being able to fish in shorts and sandals in late FEB. I focused on main lake and secondary points w/ deep (20+') water close by. All of the points I explored were on or very close to channel swings. I spotted some baitfish activity (all gizz) but wasn't able to develop any kind of trend or pattern to it. I fished all day THUR without much to show for it. The hi-lite of the day was a nice striper (see first reply below). FRI was a lot better - finally picked up on a couple things that dialed me in to specific points and transition areas. Jerkbait, dropshot, and crankbait all produced. Was able to get the bites to replicate in a couple different kinds of structure and cover. Also picked up another good striper (see reply #2). It was going to be a[nother] run-n-gun kind of day.

    TX day. I made the run about half way up the Roanoke arm and started off on a main lake point. Had 2 in the box within the first 30 mins. I'm thinking this is gonna be a good day. Not so fast, cowboy. I went the next 2.5 hrs without a sniff. Ran a little further up to series of rocky points and banged out keeper #3 - a chunky 3 lb'er - on a medium diving crankbait. After that I didn't have a nip, a nibble, or a sniff. I mean nothing. I finished the day w/ 3 fish for 5.19 lbs.

    Observations: 1) Water temps ranged from 47-48 on the main lake (midlake area) to 54 in the very backs of creeks. The milder overnite lows held temps steady. 2) The water up in the ROA arm is still muddy. I fished (and caught my best fish) in water w/ ~12" of viz. Water midlake and down is clear. I did not venture into the Blackwater arm but was told the backs of creeks there are muddy. 3) I saw huge pods of gizz ranging from the mouths to about half way back in some of the northern feeder creeks. The striper fishermen were all over this, as were the gulls. I fished this activity hard w/ an a-rig, blade, underspin, and other baits. Nothing. 4) I marked fish holding in 20-30' on just about every point I worked. They were right on the bottom. I worked these fish hard w/ a dropshot, damiki rig, underspin, and jig. Nothing. 5) Winds picked up pretty good on FRI and yesterday but were not a factor (for me anyways). I can usually count on the wind to enhance the bite but not this week. 6) The jerkbait fish I caught were up shallow - in less than 6' of water, If I didn't cast to the edge of the bank I didn't get bit. 7) Riprap was better than bare bank and natural chunk rock.

    So, a rather inauspicious start but a start all the same. Was great seeing everyone. Russ has been busy in the off season. We had 38 boats for this event - a VA West record. Kerr is next (2 trips there in MAR).

    Thursday's Striper

    Friday's Striper
    Last edited by Snowblind; 02-26-2018 at 06:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Blacksburg, VA (for now)


    Well, by the time I get within the size limits you can't see the pics. Admins - lil help, plz. What am I doing wrong?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Thanks for the report 31, get em at Kerr!
    I'm about to play my Ace

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Ashburn, VA


    Nice report pard and those picts of the Stripers were NICE, you sure got better weather than I did.

    . I went to LKA yesterday (Sunday) with the forecast of 71 and little rain as of sunday morning on weather stay the f*ck underground.wrong

    What I got was FOG, Rain, more Rain and a high of 56. Brought my new Simms RainSuite as insurance and GLAD I did.....woof

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

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