In preparation for the event I was able to fish Clopper Lake for a couple of hours over the long 4th of July holiday weekend. I found that a floating Rapala fished along the shoreline like a top water bait, and not a jerk bait, produced decent numbers of fish in the 10-12 inch range. The plan was to get some fish this way and then switch to either a spinner bait or jig for some larger fish. To fish the Rapala like a top water I would cast the lure and then let it sit until all the ripples disappeared. Then I would give it a small twitch with the rod tip and again let the ripples disappear. This process was repeated 2-3 times. If this did not produce a fish, then I would fish the lure like a jerk bait.
Saturday’s forecast called for some light rain and scattered showers until around 8am. The scattered showers ended as forecasted but not before they kept some of the HOW attendees at home so we were left an over-abundance of HOW guides. This allowed me to get on the water and fish in the month long Mid-Atlantic Kayak Bass Fishing’s July online tournament. During last week’s scouting trip I was able to get a pair of small fish to submit to the online tracking system. The plan was to again use the floating Rapala to get some fish and then throw a spinner bait or a jig for some bigger fish. Mother nature had other ideas.
We had another week with copious amounts of rain so the water clarity was murky and the amount of vegetation had not only increased in area but also in thickness. Every cast with the Rapala resulted in treble hooks with clumps of grass. I continued to throw the Rapala determined to stick with my game plan. I had purposely left most of my tackle trays back in my truck so I would be forced to stick with a lure/technique until it worked. This is actually one of my goals for this season – make a game plan and try and stick to it. Too many times I’ve gone out fishing and spent most of my time switching baits and tying on different lures instead of fishing. To paraphrase a well-known cliché, plan to fish and fish the plan. During days of tough fishing this hard to do but perseverance does have its rewards. While it might not be always be the size you are looking for but a small fish is better than no fish.