After a solid week of pounding and big bags at the weigh-in of BFL Regionals, last week, Chautauqua Lake is still turning out big bags of smallmouth.
Today, we fished a partner's tournament hosted by Chautauqua Lake Bassmasters. At send-off, my partner Ron and I headed for the south basin of the lake, to an area where we had done well in the past. It's a point with a mix of grass and rock. Great smallmouth water! The water temperature hovered at the 50 deg. mark and was slightly stained. We started on the inside of the weeds, in about 3-4 feet of water. After some topwater, spinnerbaits and traps, with no results, we went right to pitching and casting tubes. It didn't take long with the tubes, and I found myself at the other end of a good smallie. We popped 3 good fish within a few minuted off that little rockpile......... then it went dead.
Knowing that those fish live on that point, we knew enough to just keep moving around to relocate those fish. With not much more happening in the shallows, we moved out to the outer weed line, in about 7-8 feet. We were quickly rewarded with another good smallie on the outside weedline.
Actually, we found the bite to be a bit slow, but if you had an area that you had confidence in and stuck with it, the fish would eventually find your bait.
The fish seemed to move progressively deeper, as the day wore on, and with only a couple minutes of fishing time left, I stuck another good fish. It went a bit over 4 lbs. and anchored our final bag of 21+ lbs.
Nice bag you say? We were certainly happy with our day's efforts. But it was a 24+ lb. sack of smallmouth that stole the day. That team didn't fish far from us. As a matter of fact, we passed each other a couple times, working that area. We ended up in 2nd place, and the 3rd place team had around 19 lbs.
It's amazing how a lake can get pounded as hard as Chautauqua has, and still keep producing quality sacks.
C'ya on the water,