I Got Skunked
We heard the winter bass bite was on. Being home from college means I am ready to hunt or fish. My friend Andy Thomasson lives on Claytor Lake. He knows it well. Our friend Myles Wickham was ready to fish and shoot video of some fish catching. Andy had been catching some bass up there recently, so we decided to go meet him on Claytor on a recent winter day. We knew we were going to get some bites or so I thought.
Heading to the lake
Before Myles, Andy, and I hit the water, we knew there were a few places that have the potential to produce big bags this time of year. Bluff banks, medium depth pockets, and main lake points were going to be our main areas of focus. We were going out to target bass that were schooled up and on the hunt for baitfish. The air temperature in the morning was 21 degrees and it got up to 26 degrees in the afternoon. The water temperature was 43 degrees in just about every place we fished and the wind was blowing at about 8mph on the main lake. Although a little chilly, it was a beautiful morning and there was not a single boat out on the lake. The conditions were set up to have an ideal day on the water, but my hopes turned out to be too high.
What Really Happened
The first spot we went to was a bluff bank and we were marking fish, but there was one problem. We could not get any of them to bite. All three of us were throwing different things at them and they just never seemed to get aggressive enough to eat. The second spot we went to, Andy caught a small one right off the bat and we thought we had found the juice. After fishing there for about 45 minutes and not getting a single bite, it was clear that we had not found the juice. We bounced around after that for a few hours and it continued to be extremely slow. The last spot we went to was another bluff bank and Myles was hooked up right away. It turned out to be a nice 3 pounder who could not resist the Missile Baits Shockwave 3.5 that swam by its face. The funny thing is that I had the exact same bait tied on and had been throwing it for at least two hours. It was just not my day.
Never Get Discouraged
I never leave the house saying, “I can’t wait to go fish for hours and not catch anything!” The real truth of the matter is that everyone gets skunked and you can’t go out there and have good days all of the time. Instead of being discouraged, I came back and asked a handful of other trusted anglers what I did wrong. I got some great suggestions that I wish we had tried like dead sticking a drop shot around that bait. Each time you fish, you learn even if you don’t catch anything. Now I have a part of me that wants to go back to Claytor and try that drop shot trick to see if it will work. That is why I love bass fishing.