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Old 01-28-2018, 03:01 PM
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Coenen Coenen is offline
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Default Lanier 1/27: A first, and a best!

Long Report, bear with me...

Got the Kayak out on Saturday morning; the weather forecast was pretty good(warm / prefrontal), fishing forecast seemed bleak. Tried to get some "hot scoop" from the guy at the bait shop, and he didn't have much for me. Something along the lines of, "Most folks aren't going, and the ones that are, aren't catching much." I snuck out last week as well, worked the middle part of the creek with weighted freelines. Actually caught 6 or 8 spots, and a few pretty decent ones, but no stripers. Had tried my hand with some downlines in the afternoon to no avail. This week I resolved to work further out towards the mouth of the creek.

Put a couple of lines out right off the bat for the initial paddle to the spot I really wanted to work, just in case. Didn't even get a whiff. Saw a few boats around, even one skiff chasing the birds like mad, trying for a striper on the fly. Turned into the inlet I wanted to target, and saw a few marks on sonar. Back behind me, all of a sudden the birds were working hard, didn't see any active surfacing fish, but it was nearby, so I moseyed over to have a look. The screen little up with fish and bait.

I grabbed my extra(non-bait) rod, and sent down a spoon. I have never had any sort of luck with the spoon before, but today was my day. I got it down to the depth the fish were at, gave it four or five lifts, and a fish absolutely clobbered it. Got him in the 'yak with me, and it's about an 18 or 19" spot, and he is comedically fat. Not a bad "first" on the spoon.

The school moved on, and I moved towards another nearby area that the birds had been working. A steep bank, with the wind shooting down parallel. Sitting in about 40-ish FoW. Marking a couple of fish here and there, roaming in the middle of the water column. Got my full spread of planers and lines out, and bam hooked up on another fatty spot. Got to the back of the pocket, and turned back up straight into the wind, and line starts peeling off of one of the planer rods. I look back, and the board is gone. I tighten the drag and the fish is still running. Fish tows me around for a bit, and I finally get him in with me, a NICE striper. I was trying to get him situated for a measurement / photo, he flopped on me, and ended up wedged in the front of the cockpit where I couldn't get him back with me. Ended up giving him an extra shove from behind and he torpedoed off the bow, and swam away strong.

Rough estimate, he was about 32-34" and in really solid condition, so a mid to high "teenager". Previous biggest confirmed for me was 28", so bad picture or not, he was still a PB.

Continued up the bank after that, picked off a number of spots, and another solid striper. Had one take me on a tour of his favorite piece of timber, and another break off because I played him like a dope close to the boat.

I did see some surfacing fish. Mostly it was subtle, just a boil here or there, but there were a few big-time blowups like we like to see. All of my success recently has involved targeting what I interpret to be "active" fish adjacent to nearby deeper water. You know a steep bank near to a hump or some timber? You got a nice flat that falls off into a deep drain or creek channel? You probably know a spot to find some fish. I was genuinely surprised at the condition these fish have been in, every one has been solid at worst, and most have been OBESE. While we've been trying to stay warm, they've been trying to eat every shad in the lake. Small baits were king, and light leaders were (I believe) a difference maker. I had 4 rods out, 3 with 12lb fluoro, and one with 8lb. The 8lb rod went 4-1 against the other three before I decided to switch them all. Leader length didn't seem particularly important. The middle part of the day seems best. 10am-2pm or something like that, maybe that's just me though.
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