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Author Topic: Gardner Lake - Salem  (Read 1951 times)

Offline Curt

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  • My Biggest Bass: LMB - 9 lbs. 2 oz. (RI) 9 lbs. 14 oz. (California Delta) - SMB 5 lbs. 10 oz. (CT)
Gardner Lake - Salem
« on: August 07, 2016, 10:51:16 AM »
Time fished: 10 PM - 6 AM
Water Temps: 78-79
Air Temp: 68
Wind: 10-12 MPH SSW
Depth: 3 - 8 FOW
Baits: 1/2 oz. homemade spinnerbait

I went into this tourney armed only with past knowledge of the lake, since I didn't get to pre-fish it the week leading up to the tourney date.

I had planned on starting out in a specific area where have always started any tournament there over the last 20+ years. But as we all headed out, there were two other boats headed in that same general direction, so I made a last minute change and headed to a small cove where I have caught a few decent fish over the years.

I fished that cove pretty thoroughly with no bites or signs of life at all. At that point, I decided to just cover water and see what I could find.

I worked my way down a shoreline, chucking a spinnerbait and buzzbait, alternating between fishing the shoreline and casting to the outside and working the spinnerbait in 4-6 FOW.

Before long I had my first bite and landed a small keeper Smallmouth. Whew.. got rid of the skunk!  (yes)

I then worked my way into another cove where I have had good success in the past, but had no takers there at all. So I kept moving.

About 10-15 minutes later, I started seeing some weeds in 4-8 FOW so I started working them really thoroughly with the spinnerbait, letting it flutter down into them and then slow rolling it through them. Bingo! In the next 20 minutes I landed 4 more keeper bass to give me my limit.

All of the fish were small, under 2 lbs. But at least I had a base to work from now, while I looked for some bigger nites.

Over the course of the rest of the night, I covered a LOT of water, picking up a keeper here and there, as well as some shorts. All but one of those bass took the spinnerbait. But one was caught on a Texas rigged 4 inch stick worm, fished with a 1/16 oz. bullet weight.

As daylight approached, I went back to the second cove that I had fished in the first hour of the tourney and threw a buzzbait and hollow body frog, hoping to land a good quality bass from around some of the shallow weeds. It paid off with the 2.39 lb. fish, which hit the buzzbait.

I also went out and hit a large hump in open water, which tops out at about 7-8 feet, with 18-20 FOW around it. Nothing. Not a single fish.

On a final note, I had a ton of short strikes on the spinnerbait, mostly as I let it flutter down into the 6-8 foot deep water. I had so many of them that I decided to add a trailer hook to my spinnerbait, which I do only about .01 % of the time!

I ended up landing a couple fish that were caught on the trailer hook, but I still had a ton of short strikes that I was unable to hook, which leads me to believe that it was either panfish nipping at the bait or small bass slapping at it.

I have to admit that I was shocked when I won and took lunker with that bag of fish. But I'll take the win either way!

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