I hit Gate 14 at Scar Hill Road late afternoon yesterday in the cool, overcast weather with some sporadic light showers, hoping it would have the smallies shallower and more active, particularly for the evening bite.
I threw a variety of baits in the cove south of the gate, and also at the ledge beyond the cove where there's a good dropoff. The water level is up from when I was last there a month ago, my Chu debut, so I had to bushwhack through the woods to reach the ledge area. For three hours, nothing.
About 7 p.m., I had returned to the head of the cove, about a hundred feet down the shore from the point. The trout fishermen who were set up there earlier were gone; just a row of forked stick rod holders remained.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a furious splashing in the shallows of the point, so I hustled up there with my gear. Saw nothing, but started casting. Still no action. Then I noticed a few bait fish wriggling at the water's edge, half out of the water entirely. Had a bass chased them ashore, or had the trout fishermen, who I noticed were using live bait, dumped their leftovers? I believe they were either shiners or shad.
I lip-hooked one of them, stuck a bobber two feet above, and lobbed it about thirty feet out. I stuck my rod in one of the stick holders and continued to throw a top water with my other rod.
At one point some more bait fish splashed in the shallows, and I caught a glimpse of a lightning-fast smallie veering back to deep water. The smallies were definitely doing a roundup, riding herd on one of their favorite meals.
Within ten minutes the bobber went under, fast. I grabbed the rod quickly and set the hook, and after a spirited battle I had a 14 inch, 1.5 pound smallie in my hand, my first fish out of the Chu!
I rigged another bait fish, but he was barely moving any more, and got ignored. I threw some top waters as dusk came over the rez, but the only thing I caught was a free concert as the loons started calling.
# of Hotspots:
1. Chu smallie taken on live bait fish Details:Hide
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