The great thing about the Small Water Anglers Newsletter is that I don’t get to share just my thoughts and stories, but also those of other readers. This month is a sharing month. My brother lives in a part of SW Virginia that is an outdoorsman paradise. Hunting, hiking, biking, and of course my favorite activity fishing. The lakes and rivers of his area abound with Smallmouth Bass and this month he shares a recent small water adventure he made to a great fishing hole he calls his home lake. Hope you enjoy.
Note: if you have a small water adventure you would like to share please let us know. We would love to share your stories with your fellow SWA Newsletter readers.
High Mountain Smallmouth Adventure
By: Roscoe Worth-Jones
Thirty minutes up a steep gravel road with multiple switch backs lies Virginia’s highest lake. Hidden in one of the most remote parts of the state this lake is a Smallmouth Bass jewel. On any given day with a little luck, a little planning, and some patience an angler has a good chance to capture a Virginia citation Smallmouth of 20” or more. I’m fortunate to call this Virginia lake my home lake so I know it well. In my trips to the lake I have had the good fortune of pulling out more then a few citation size fish with my personal best being 23”.
In late spring or early summer of every year I pack up my boat, a Twin Troller X10, some camping gear and head up to the lake for some primitive camping and a few days of fishing. I enjoy camping at a remote part of the lake away from the other lake visitors, and the X10 allows me to pack in all my gear and get to these out of the way places.
It is the perfect boat for this lake and for this type of trip. These trips usually follow a familiar pattern. They start with an afternoon arrival, travel to and a quick set up of camp, then its out onto the water to fish until dark or later. Mornings start cool and early with fishing at daybreak and a late morning breakfast. Back onto the water for a few more hours fishing, in for an afternoon nap and early dinner, then back out for more fishing until after dark. This pattern repeats for a couple of days and I never tire of it.
Catching a few Smallmouth is like catching any other species of fish. Anyone can catch a few small to medium size fish but it takes time and effort to catch the big ones. It also helps to have the right equipment, and the Twin Troller is my most important piece of this equipment. It gets me to the spots I need to get, and keeps me on those key spots even in the wind. This advantage allows me to make consistent casts to locations where the big ones like to hide. During every trip to the lake there are numerous times I’m able to fish in back water areas that bigger boats have to pass by, and due to the wind kayaks are unable to fish effectively.
Many times this has resulted in catching a large fish. As with most anglers I have spent a lot of money over the years on gear, but the best money I have ever spent has been on the Twin Troller. I truly believe that on any given day I can out fish most anglers in any other boat with a cane pole and my X10. Of course it’s not just boat positioning that puts the fish in the boat. Knowing what lures to use and where to cast are key to catching most fish and Smallmouth are no different. My go-to bait is a weightless Texas rigged 4” Senko but l have caught big fish with swim baits, tubes, Ned rigs and weighted jig heads. I just use the right lures for the targeted area and trust in it. This approach usually pays off for me.
Well all good thing must to come to an end, and after a few days on the lake I have to drag myself back off the mountain and home to reality. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a couple of summer trips to this mountain retreat, but my late spring trip is always my favorite. The nights are cool, the days are pleasant and the bass are feeding.
By: Bob Lusk
By: Mike Pehanich