Just wanted to follow up with a report from my short 4th float. My initial plan was to go to the Pennyfield lock, and paddle up toward the Seneca breaks fishing the ledges. But, due to the recent storms, the road in was closed so I proceeded up to Violette's Lock. The road into Violettes, (narrow anyway) had a tree down partially blocking it, and a low hanging power line, that almost closed line me on the way in at 7a.m. Fortunately my lightening quick reflexes prevailed. Then the drag to the put in required another detour as the main track was completely blocked by a downed tree. I finally got into the water, alone except for a lone wader at about 7:30. Dropped the chute on the Va side, turned around and tossed a Superfluke into the pool and immediately hooked up with a nice 14.5". July4_smallie1
, on Flickr
The bass were crushing bait fish on topwater all around me, but I forgot my hard jig and topwater box.
I caught a few more smaller fish on the fluke and senkos, but as the sun got high I switched to a 1/4oz tandem spinner bait and targeted current breaks/structure in deeper fast water. I had good luck last year in similar conditions using a swim jig (no spinners), to get deep and bounce the rocks but since I forgot the jigs, I went with the spinnerbait. That got me three more nice fish, the largest being this 16.5" that took me for a backward sleigh ride through the rapids when my boat slipped off the rock I was wedged on. July4_smallie2
, on Flickr
This fish took three cast to a submerged log in the middle of the main stem current. True to the suggestions, all the larger fish were holding against structure in the smallest of current breaks and hit as I let the spinnerbait drop against the structure. I think it would have been easier to keep an actual jig in the strike zone longer.
I used the C/O canal to return a little after noon and was happy to find that though there were some trees down, there was enough water to paddle through the limbs (watch for wasps & snakes!. The last couple hundred yards were pure salad so save some energy for that last little push. Overall, a nice quiet float on the 4th.