Saturday, May 3, 2008

Burke Lake, Va: Fishing has started

It's May, and after a colder than average spring, the fish are finally out and about at Burke Lake (and probably all the other lakes in the mid-Atlantic). Today I caught these sunfish around 9 am on soft plastic lures on little lead-head jigs (1/16 of an ounce).
When I got to the pier, I noticed all the people were out in the deeper water, but I saw fish in the shallow water, two or three feet deep. It's clear enough to see to the bottom there. I caught one and got lots of bites just bouncing my lure straight down below the rod.
None of these other people caught any fish at all. I took a look, and they were using worms below a float, which is very good. But they were in 10 to 15 feet of water, with their bait only one foot below the surface, which is bad.
I suggested to one daddy on the pier to take his sad little boy to the shallow water. It worked. They were getting bites when I left, and if nothing else they had the excitement of watching fish come up and grab their bait. (They also could have probably caught fish in the deeper water if they dropped their bait down ten feet or so, but that's a lesson for another day.)
By the way, the fish that were so visible at 9 am in the clear shallow water were mostly gone by ten am, presumably to deeper water to escape the bright sunlight, so this is one place where it might be true that getting up a little earlier can make a difference.

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