Monday, May 22, 2017

Fishing Report for Logan-Martin 5/20-21/2017

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Logan-Martin has been, by far, the most fun lake each year we have fished it. Now, we only fish it once a year, but we circle it every single year in February when the scheduled is put out. The first two years, I fished it with Josh. Last year, I fished with Brad and we decided to team up again. 

While I've cashed a check in every event we've had on Logan-Martin, it's been more about the experience than the money. We would fish Friday and Saturday and every trip, we would catch a TON of fish including some magnum Coosa river spotted bass. You can read about my first three trips to Logan-Martin by clicking the links below.

As you may notice when reading those three articles, the key to winning (or at least separating yourself from the pack) is to catch largemouth. Sure, you can catch a TON of spots, but rarely are you going to catch one or two over three. Conversely, if you can catch largemouth, even an average largemouth is going to be larger than a big spot. The key last year was catch a limit of good spots and then go to the grass for largemouth. We upgraded three times late last year with largemouth caught on a frog or a swim jig.

So, Brad and I got down to Lakeside Marina around 930 on Friday afternoon. When we dunked the boat, we noticed a plethora of grass growing along the banks of the far side of the creek. Without even firing the big motor up. I pulled out my extra heavy rod with a Spro frog tied on and went to it.

Down the first stretch of grass, I caught four decent largemouth, though none over three pounds. Three were on a frog and the fourth came on the edge of a grass line with a PTL 7" Tickler in Kitchen Sink. 

Trying to add to the pattern, specifically by finding those spots, we began to fish some areas I have had found success on in the past. This included fishing offshore rock piles, boat docks, and sea walls with a collection of baits, but specifically shakey heads with the Ticker and the 5" Sick Stick as well as a few different top water baits like a buzz bait.

We found virtually no success from the hours of 10AM to 5PM. Truly, other than a quick double of short spots that we picked up with shakey heads, we didn't have a single bite until late that afternoon. 

The lone top water bite I had came on a strange and completely random cast across a point where I had seen shad skipping. A very, very nice largemouth swirled the buzzbait and  I failed to set the hook because I believed the fish had missed it. The largemouth shook off the black Strike King buzzbait, but we didn't let it bother us, as we didn't really want to catch four and five pounders in practice anyway. 

Around dark, we began to find success as fish that had been sitting on main creek channel ledges moved shallow. These channels were all within 10 yards of the bank. These fish came from 18-20 feet to feed and we began to get bit reliably. We also caught this....

We went back to the grass to check it and on one of the very first casts, I caught another frog fish, making it five largemouth. 

As we put the boat on the trailer, a local man was casting off the dock. He asked how we did. I told him we struggled to get 10 pounds and they were all in the grass. He remarked that he had caught seven largemouth from the dock, all by flipping a worm into the local grass.

We decided that our game plan would be to start on the spot we started on the previous year. The fish had been tight to a seawall and a combination of buzzbaits had produced a very, very fast limit of spots. 

The next morning, we found that there were over 300 bass boats fishing two different tournaments. We had to use another ramp and we blasted off early to avoid the rush....or so we thought. Turned out, the high school tournament left well before safe light and we found a boat sitting on our spot already. That's the luck of the draw and all, but frustrating. 

Bouncing around, we didn't have the first keeper at 10AM. We had to fish behind a boat or two everywhere we went. So, we decided to go where the rest wouldn't: 20 miles up river. Josh had fished a section of ledges last year and sent me the coordinates. We made the run, though we stopped on a set of rock piles I had fished in years passed. This did get the stink off the boat as Brad caught a couple of short fish on a shakey head, but all of them were short. 

Meanwhile, I had some nice fish blow up on a Lucky Craft Gunfish, but none found the hooks.

Eventually we made the run. Sure enough, there weren't many boats. I guess that was for a good reason. While finding bait and fish was no problem, catching them was. We simply could not get bit. 

Brad had an idea that the fish may be in the center of the smaller creeks off the main channel. That would make sense. I had experienced spots getting low in the creeks during winter months in order to hug the warmth. Getting away from the 87 degree surface temps sure made sense. 

And, catching a nice spot on the first cast sure didn't hurt. Over the next few hours, we did catch four measuring fish off this pattern. This issue? After catching one very quickly, we would spend an hour trying to find another bite, which never came.

The time began to run short on us and we returned down river. After hitting a few spots with no luck, we decided that we would spend the last 30 minutes fishing grass, just hoping that maybe we could catch a kicker and perhaps cull this tiny spot we had.

Sure enough, I got the bite we needed.
We went to weigh in with full knowledge that we weren't going to win with this tiny sack of fish. And, we were correct. 

Now, the interesting thing is, we were a lot closer than we thought. First place was around 7.50. Second place was less than 5 ounces than that. Us? How about a 7.40. That's right. The difference between first and third was less than .10 of a pound. After all that struggling and fighting, we were right there. 

Perhaps the most amazing thing is, we had the biggest spot of the day, a 1.92. That alone shows how tough Logan-Martin was this past weekend, at least for us out of towners. 

I really, really wish we had devoted a bit more time to the the grass. All things considered, all of our bigger fish (Save Brad's bigger spot) were caught on a frog. We only caught around 15-20 fish over the two days and the top five were all largemouth caught on a frog and all within a few hundred yards of the ramp. Could we have fished grass and not gotten another bite? Sure. But one thing is FOR SURE. One more frog bite and we would have won. 

That's the way it goes. One thing is for certain, I won't hex myself next time by telling people how easy Logan-Martin is to fish!