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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently returned from my 10th trip to Chautauqua. After virtually checking in and unloading our food/gear, we dropped the boat in and poked around a couple of close spots to get a feel for water temp, weed growth and to see if we could figure out what stage the fish were in. Everything seemed to be a bit behind as they had snow less than a week earlier. We always seem to check a largemouth spot 1st as there have been years where they can keep us busy but it was not one of those years. Water temps were 52 to start the week. Buddy did pull an 18”er off of brush on a Big Joshy on the 2nd cast which stood up as big largie for the trip. The rest of that area was kind of a bust with the exception of one tree/deadfall where we pulled 5 fish from and lost a couple of others. We trolled and jerked a bit as the sun started setting with the hopes of securing a couple of walleye for dinner but only managed a dink smallie.

Our 1st morning we hit an area that always treats us well for smallies but not this year. They just were not there. We really did not even see much in the way of perch which is very uncommon but the panfishermen in camp said they did quite well on perch for the week. We searched and searched in the 20+mph SE winds and finally found a few bites including an 18.5” smallie. The evening trip was more of the same with a fish here and there and the best smallie at 17.5”. I also caught, kept and cleaned a 15.5” eye on a paused rogue.

Fish Fishing Bass Fish Carp


Morning #2 again brought strong SE winds. We made a run north and I landed a 19.5” smallie pretty quickly. Buddy took advantage of me needing to take a call and caught a 17.5” eye which was great as that secured dinner for us that night and man was it good. The rest of the morning was quiet. As we were heading to the dock for lunch, I decided to hit a familiar stretch of water. I was casting a spinnerbait into the wind and of course backlashed it. It was bad so I set it down and picked up a swimbait and 1st cast landed my pb smallie for that lake at 20.5”! The evening trip was uneventful with a handful of fish being caught but nothing of note. We trolled outside of the deep weed edge without a bite.

Fish Fishing Bass Fish Recreational fishing


Fish Fishing Bass Recreational fishing Fish


Morning #3 again brought strong SE winds. We traveled to the south basin looking for warmer water and a change of scenery. It was unexpected and I still have a hard time comprehending it, but I landed another 20.5” smallie! It was on a small point but the water was very muddy and I easily should have not made a cast where I did. It took me 4 years of primarily chasing smallies there to finally catch a 20”er after a lot of 19.5”ers and then it happens on back to back days. The old girl was pretty beat up and it was the only fish I caught that morning but I didn’t care. I had a toad do me dirty on the evening trip.

Fish Fishing Bass Recreational fishing Outdoor recreation


Morning #4 and we finally got a break from the wind. Rain was in the forecast as was spot-hopping. We moved quickly through areas where we had success earlier. The bite was a little more consistent and the water was up to 58 just about everywhere we checked. I hit a 17.5” smallie on a paused spook for the only topwater fish of the trip. The clicker that day broke 20 which is not great but much better than previous days as we only hit 66 fish total on the 8 trips out on the water.

Fish Fishing Fish Bass Carp


As usual, more brown fish than green fish. Tough fishing but some big bites which seems to be the theme the last few years on our spring trips. Now to decide if we continue our trips at that lake or start a new tradition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the report. I was up over Memorial day weekend. We caught all largemouth. Couple nice 4#. Panfish was good. C &R.
I figured the bass fishing was on the verge of really improving as soon as we left (Saturday morning) with the wind shifting and the temps going up drastically. We caught a few fat 16" largemouth throughout the week. We mainly fished north of the bridge.
 

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I recently returned from my 10th trip to Chautauqua. After virtually checking in and unloading our food/gear, we dropped the boat in and poked around a couple of close spots to get a feel for water temp, weed growth and to see if we could figure out what stage the fish were in. Everything seemed to be a bit behind as they had snow less than a week earlier. We always seem to check a largemouth spot 1st as there have been years where they can keep us busy but it was not one of those years. Water temps were 52 to start the week. Buddy did pull an 18”er off of brush on a Big Joshy on the 2nd cast which stood up as big largie for the trip. The rest of that area was kind of a bust with the exception of one tree/deadfall where we pulled 5 fish from and lost a couple of others. We trolled and jerked a bit as the sun started setting with the hopes of securing a couple of walleye for dinner but only managed a dink smallie.

Our 1st morning we hit an area that always treats us well for smallies but not this year. They just were not there. We really did not even see much in the way of perch which is very uncommon but the panfishermen in camp said they did quite well on perch for the week. We searched and searched in the 20+mph SE winds and finally found a few bites including an 18.5” smallie. The evening trip was more of the same with a fish here and there and the best smallie at 17.5”. I also caught, kept and cleaned a 15.5” eye on a paused rogue.

View attachment 359349

Morning #2 again brought strong SE winds. We made a run north and I landed a 19.5” smallie pretty quickly. Buddy took advantage of me needing to take a call and caught a 17.5” eye which was great as that secured dinner for us that night and man was it good. The rest of the morning was quiet. As we were heading to the dock for lunch, I decided to hit a familiar stretch of water. I was casting a spinnerbait into the wind and of course backlashed it. It was bad so I set it down and picked up a swimbait and 1st cast landed my pb smallie for that lake at 20.5”! The evening trip was uneventful with a handful of fish being caught but nothing of note. We trolled outside of the deep weed edge without a bite.

View attachment 359351

View attachment 359353

Morning #3 again brought strong SE winds. We traveled to the south basin looking for warmer water and a change of scenery. It was unexpected and I still have a hard time comprehending it, but I landed another 20.5” smallie! It was on a small point but the water was very muddy and I easily should have not made a cast where I did. It took me 4 years of primarily chasing smallies there to finally catch a 20”er after a lot of 19.5”ers and then it happens on back to back days. The old girl was pretty beat up and it was the only fish I caught that morning but I didn’t care. I had a toad do me dirty on the evening trip.

View attachment 359355

Morning #4 and we finally got a break from the wind. Rain was in the forecast as was spot-hopping. We moved quickly through areas where we had success earlier. The bite was a little more consistent and the water was up to 58 just about everywhere we checked. I hit a 17.5” smallie on a paused spook for the only topwater fish of the trip. The clicker that day broke 20 which is not great but much better than previous days as we only hit 66 fish total on the 8 trips out on the water.

View attachment 359357

As usual, more brown fish than green fish. Tough fishing but some big bites which seems to be the theme the last few years on our spring trips. Now to decide if we continue our trips at that lake or start a new tradition.
I recently returned from my 10th trip to Chautauqua. After virtually checking in and unloading our food/gear, we dropped the boat in and poked around a couple of close spots to get a feel for water temp, weed growth and to see if we could figure out what stage the fish were in. Everything seemed to be a bit behind as they had snow less than a week earlier. We always seem to check a largemouth spot 1st as there have been years where they can keep us busy but it was not one of those years. Water temps were 52 to start the week. Buddy did pull an 18”er off of brush on a Big Joshy on the 2nd cast which stood up as big largie for the trip. The rest of that area was kind of a bust with the exception of one tree/deadfall where we pulled 5 fish from and lost a couple of others. We trolled and jerked a bit as the sun started setting with the hopes of securing a couple of walleye for dinner but only managed a dink smallie.

Our 1st morning we hit an area that always treats us well for smallies but not this year. They just were not there. We really did not even see much in the way of perch which is very uncommon but the panfishermen in camp said they did quite well on perch for the week. We searched and searched in the 20+mph SE winds and finally found a few bites including an 18.5” smallie. The evening trip was more of the same with a fish here and there and the best smallie at 17.5”. I also caught, kept and cleaned a 15.5” eye on a paused rogue.

View attachment 359349

Morning #2 again brought strong SE winds. We made a run north and I landed a 19.5” smallie pretty quickly. Buddy took advantage of me needing to take a call and caught a 17.5” eye which was great as that secured dinner for us that night and man was it good. The rest of the morning was quiet. As we were heading to the dock for lunch, I decided to hit a familiar stretch of water. I was casting a spinnerbait into the wind and of course backlashed it. It was bad so I set it down and picked up a swimbait and 1st cast landed my pb smallie for that lake at 20.5”! The evening trip was uneventful with a handful of fish being caught but nothing of note. We trolled outside of the deep weed edge without a bite.

View attachment 359351

View attachment 359353

Morning #3 again brought strong SE winds. We traveled to the south basin looking for warmer water and a change of scenery. It was unexpected and I still have a hard time comprehending it, but I landed another 20.5” smallie! It was on a small point but the water was very muddy and I easily should have not made a cast where I did. It took me 4 years of primarily chasing smallies there to finally catch a 20”er after a lot of 19.5”ers and then it happens on back to back days. The old girl was pretty beat up and it was the only fish I caught that morning but I didn’t care. I had a toad do me dirty on the evening trip.

View attachment 359355

Morning #4 and we finally got a break from the wind. Rain was in the forecast as was spot-hopping. We moved quickly through areas where we had success earlier. The bite was a little more consistent and the water was up to 58 just about everywhere we checked. I hit a 17.5” smallie on a paused spook for the only topwater fish of the trip. The clicker that day broke 20 which is not great but much better than previous days as we only hit 66 fish total on the 8 trips out on the water.

View attachment 359357

As usual, more brown fish than green fish. Tough fishing but some big bites which seems to be the theme the last few years on our spring trips. Now to decide if we continue our trips at that lake or start a new tradition.
nice haul! What week did you go up there? Trying to plan a trip with my father.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
we usually go the week before memorial day or week after.
 
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