Bald Ridge Creek Report 4-19-2015

I made it out to the creek 3 times over the past week. When we fished the last HD bass trail tournament a week ago, I caught most of my fish on the medium diving sand key crankbait around rocks. Although we fished the tournament on the north end of the lake I used the same crankbait in the creek over my last 3 trips and I’ve done well with it. I’ve caught some nice keeper bass by working the crankbait around the rocky points, shallow rocky road beds and shallow water markers. I’ve been keeping my boat in around 20 feet of water and working the crankbait from the shallow shoreline back to the boat. The smaller fish have been coming from the shallower 1-10 feet of water and the bigger guys have been coming from 10-20 feet of water. The key to getting fish with the crankbait is to find the bottom and keep it there as long as possible. Once I find the bottom with the bait I hold the rod loosely with the tip pointed down and I bounce the crank softly off the bottom. You want the crank to mimic a small bait pecking at the bottom as it travels along so a soft bouncing motion with the rod tip has gotten me more bites. The hits have been soft and most times the rod just loads up. Another pattern that has been working for us is throwing small plastic 1-2 inch swimbaits around shallow blow downs and grassy pockets. There are a ton of smaller bass and a few big spawners around the shallows right now and throwing small stuff around shallow structures will definitely net a few bass.

The water temps have been steadily cooling over the week and as of yesterday the surface temps were in the mid 60’s again. I have been seeing some surface activity and I’ve been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time last Friday when I happened onto a striper and bass topwater feeding frenzy at mid creek in a pocket. I was able to catch a nice striper and 3 bass on the surface with the Vixen topwater plug. I gotta tell you, right now is the time to keep a good topwater plug tied on and at the ready. For the most part the topwater bite is just about non existent for me but every once in a while I can get a good fish on the Vixen if I time my cast right and I have perfect placement of the plug. There are stripers showing themselves in the creek right now. You can find some nice fish over the creek channel and pulling boards and freelines is a good way to catch a couple of nice big stripers on the surface. Soon we’ll be seeing a shad spawn and the crankbait bite should really get going good. It’s only going to get better as the water temps warm.

I’m going to offer a 2 pack of my two favorite Lanier medium diving crankbaits that have been producing for me on Lanier for the past year at a great price. These two cranks are a must if your fishing Lanier this spring and summer. These are hand painted with my Sand Key pattern and the two different body styles offer 2 different wobble patterns. Both baits have produced for us just about any month of the year and if you look through my photo page (https://castawayblog.com/pictures/) you can see the two crankbaits in some of my photos over the past year. These cranks have produced some big fish over the past year and now is your chance to get a couple of rare Cast Away custom crankbaits. If you’re interested in the cranks, just shoot me a message for the details on how to get the two pack. Here’s a picture of the two pack and one of the fish from last week.
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Lanier Striper Report (Spring)

I haven’t posted much lately but it’s not been from a lack of fishing. I believe I set a record for time on the water over the last 5 days. My sponsored striper team came over to Lanier from SC and they stayed at Cast Away Cove for the week. We spent five days pre-fishing for a big striper tournament on Lanier. I had to shift gears and go from bass fishing to stripers for the upcoming tournament. We mostly concentrated our striper fishing efforts to the north end of the lake because our resident creek fish had already moved through the back of the creek in spawn mode and back out to the main creek channel. Once they hit the main channel they are very hard to locate and track and we were looking for big spawning males and females still in the backs of the creeks.
From what I gathered over the past week, there are still stripers moving in and out of the creeks in spawning mode but the bulk of the spawn is over for a lot of areas. During the pre-spawn the stripers are very aggressive eaters and they were biting all over the lake for the past couple weeks while in pre-spawn mode. There are also a lot of staging fish in the mouths of the creek over deeper water. The tournament was actually won by a team fish over deep water pulling topwater herring on the surface. Our strategy was pulling big gizzard shad shallow, looking for a couple good bites a day from spawning fish. Over the five day stretch we didn’t have many good bites but tournament day was the only day that counted. On tournament day we fished up north on the Tee side of the lake and worked on some fish we had found in a feeder creek up river. The water temps were a little above 60 degrees and there were some stripers swimming around but not many eating. We finally popped a 19lber around mid day on a blueback behind a planer board. Turns out, it was a tough day for most teams in the tournament and we were able to pull out a nice 6th place finish and won some pretty cool prizes.
Here’s a pic of my teammate Patrick Miller and I with our tournament fish:
Jim and Patrick
All in all it was a great time with the team but I’m wore slap out and need a few days to recuperate. Next week it’s back to bass fish with another big bass tournament next weekend.
Here’s a couple videos from the past couple weeks, including some nice stripers caught on topwater during the spawn.