Saturday, August 29, 2009

Loch Raven Ambush

The island at Dead Mans Cove, Loch Raven Reservoir. When the reservoir is fuller, this is a great bass spot - good structure and very deep water
Tug and I had a morning to kill while he was in town so we planned a little bass outting. Our last few trips there have not been super-productive so we thought we'd invite along Donnell from the Baltimore Planning Blog and see if the infusion of some beginners luck might help. Rented a bass boat with actual seats, right when the LRR fishing center opened at 6am. The first thing we noticed as we ducked into the first sheltered cove was that the grass beds have gone nuts! Most coves had a nice 6' - 8' wide channel open, but on the channel sides were 10-12' vertical walls of dense grass (submerged aquatic vegetation). Fish of every size, from bait to lunkers, could be seen in the weeds....visibility was about 6-8' - very unusual, especially given all the rain we've had this year.
T Dizzle with one of the several small black crappie we landed.
The rain, once again, turned out to be our hex. No, the weather during our outing was perfect...but less than 72 hours before, Baltimore (and more importantly, points upstream toward the PA border) had been socked by a 3.5" rain storm. We got the feeling immediately that even though the water was clear, the fish were all very well fed. We threw - literally - everything at them. Eventually we found a good tactic (intermittent retrieve, 4-8' depth, parallel to edge of grass bed) and started catching fish. I can't remember many of them, but I'm sure that none were over 8" or 0.5lb. We caught no bass, several sunfish hybrids, black crappie, and I seem to recall that we landed a gizzard shad - who seem to be schooling and taking up large areas of habitat. Wonder if that will turn out to be a trend? I know that some lakes in northern Virginia are beginning to get overrun with the oily, foul-tasting gizzard shad.
Donnell tries to de-foul a crappie bug lure.
It turned out to be a very slow morning for fishing but conditions were beautiful and the ever present motto, "at least we're not at work" was thrown around pretty frequently. By about 9:45am, the sun was up sufficiently to convince us that no big fish would be caught that day.

Your host....sweating and fish-less.



nice catch my friend!

Ben G. said...

Too bad you didn't catch any bigger fish, but you got to enjoy a great day on the water none the less.

Toure Zeigler said...

Hopefully next time I can catch a fish!

{nUtTyPrOfFeSsOr} said...

betta to be sweatin' & fishless than featless and swishless?

Kirk Mantay said...

WTF Whitey! That was random.

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