I hadn’t been to Clarks Hill for a few years and the last time I went my target fish was stripers. This time was different as my buddy Mercer and I were looking for bass with a few new color patterns I came up with just for the occasion. After a couple margarita’s on Friday evening I went back down to the tackle shop to make one final color pattern before our early morning departure for the Lake. I had different shades of blue and some greens as well as chartreuse, but I wanted one more pattern with a couple of colors that that have always been good for me and those colors are plain old black over white. Thanks to the margarita’s I put a little twist on the colors and came up with “The Zebra Shad”. That’s how the zebra shad was born. I made 2 of them before going to bed Friday night and off we went to Clarks Hill early in the morning in search of Large Mouth Bass. We arrived at the lake at around lunch and launched out right away. It looked like there was a big tournament going on because bass boats were everywhere we looked. We made our way back into a creek and started looking for any signs of life. We started with points and on our second stop we saw some baits being pushed to the shore by a school of small bass so we sat down on the point and started moving around. After a few casts, I decided to scrape my jerkbait across the crown of the point and I picked up my first fish which was a nice 2lb LMB. I put my second cast in the same area and got the same result, another nice fish. Well, it worked twice so I hit the same spot again and got the same result again on the third cast. . After the third fish we caught a couple of dinks before it died off. We moved around the rest of the afternoon and saw some bass swimming with their fry in some of the pockets we worked but after the lunch bite it was slow fishing. I caught a lot of chain pickerel and a few perch in the evening when I switched over to a chartreuse jerkbait. Even nailed a 5lb turtle on the jerkbait. At the end of the day I hade racked up 5 largemouth, 5 chain pickerel, a perch and a turtle. For Mercer, he couldn’t buy a fish. He threw the box at them but just could get into a rhythm.
The next morning we hit the lake shortly after dawn and hit an old road bed I was very familiar with from past years. As soon as we pulled up on the point and got settled we started seeing a lot of surface activity right on the top of the roadbed. I saw lots of shad flipping followed by a lot of fish feeding on the shad. Mercer tied on a weightless twitch bait and immediately locked up with a nice big striper. It was a good fight to start the morning. I was steady working my Zebra Shad. Not long after the big striper rodeo I finally hooked up with a respectable largemouth to start my morning. We eased the boat into a good position to work the area and continued to catch bass, stripers and hybrids for the better part of the morning. The fish that we caught were off the jerkbait and unweighted flukes. We lost count of the fish we caught and had to cut through some dinks to get to the bigger fish. Every once in a while a school of hybrids would surface and almost immediately Mercer would get one on the unweighted twitch bait. Water temps ranged from mid 60’s in the early hours of morning and heating up to near 70 in the afternoon. I was a great trip for us and it was nice to get on some good fish.
More to follow but here’s a few pictures from our trip and “The Zebra Shad.