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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a few hours Saturday and all day Sunday to fish. Weather was not what I call 'ideal' but I have to fish when I can. Went to Belews to see what was going on Saturday afternoon. Was pretty quiet overall, not much surface activity, and not much bait to be seen on sonar. Much of it was plastered to the bottom in 35+ feet along channel swings, which is not usually a good prognostic sign for the fishing at Belews. Found a few bait schools up in the water column here and there but nothing concentrated. Coaxed a bite on a shakey head on a steep rocky point that I like, and I did manage to find a good hit on a Texas rig worm on a newly discovered steep laydown. To illustrate what I mean by steep, I was parked in 80 feet of water, casting at the tree trunk on the shore. Those two were about all I could find.

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So I decided to gamble and pay a visit to Randleman on Sunday; Belews had proved a little quiet, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was really going off at my usual fishin' hole. I gambled... and it didn't really pan out as well as I'd hoped. I actually think I would have done better at Belews. Didn't get skunked but it was a tough bite for sure. I was determined to fish moving baits because this time of year, they're supposed to be chasing shad. I tried to get into areas where I found bait balls (found a handful) and I threw cranks, lipless cranks, swim jigs, and twitch baits on points, steeper banks, stump areas, pockets, main lake, road beds, rock ledges, and anything I could think to try. After nearly 5 hours and half my day gone with no bites, I resorted to the old stand-by: Texas rigging laydowns on main lake areas. I started (as Jerry calls my excessively thorough approach) picking bark off some laydowns, and I got a bite or two but missed the set. Hope was kindled, so I kept going with that pattern for a few hours. Most of my favorite spots were quiet, but managed a couple dinks here and there. One on a swim jig, the rest were on T-rig, and the bites were subtle and low-energy. I am pretty sure I missed a couple that were just 'there' and didn't pull at all, but let go before I clued in. Can't be certain on several but two I was pretty convinced I just failed to swing on them. Got one keeper off my favorite laydown, and 4 dinks on various spots. That was it for fishing 8am to 4pm. Pretty day but it was cold. Water temps were 51 degrees in the morning to 53 in a few spots when the sun came out, and back to 52 by day's end. Water is down about 2.5 to 3 feet.

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Pretty soon the water will be in 40's, so I think my few outings will be at Belews from now on. Randleman closes for the winter at the end of this month. Hope you guys found a few more willing fish than I did!
 

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Had a few hours Saturday and all day Sunday to fish. Weather was not what I call 'ideal' but I have to fish when I can. Went to Belews to see what was going on Saturday afternoon. Was pretty quiet overall, not much surface activity, and not much bait to be seen on sonar. Much of it was plastered to the bottom in 35+ feet along channel swings, which is not usually a good prognostic sign for the fishing at Belews. Found a few bait schools up in the water column here and there but nothing concentrated. Coaxed a bite on a shakey head on a steep rocky point that I like, and I did manage to find a good hit on a Texas rig worm on a newly discovered steep laydown. To illustrate what I mean by steep, I was parked in 80 feet of water, casting at the tree trunk on the shore. Those two were about all I could find.

View attachment 67201 View attachment 67202


So I decided to gamble and pay a visit to Randleman on Sunday; Belews had proved a little quiet, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was really going off at my usual fishin' hole. I gambled... and it didn't really pan out as well as I'd hoped. I actually think I would have done better at Belews. Didn't get skunked but it was a tough bite for sure. I was determined to fish moving baits because this time of year, they're supposed to be chasing shad. I tried to get into areas where I found bait balls (found a handful) and I threw cranks, lipless cranks, swim jigs, and twitch baits on points, steeper banks, stump areas, pockets, main lake, road beds, rock ledges, and anything I could think to try. After nearly 5 hours and half my day gone with no bites, I resorted to the old stand-by: Texas rigging laydowns on main lake areas. I started (as Jerry calls my excessively thorough approach) picking bark off some laydowns, and I got a bite or two but missed the set. Hope was kindled, so I kept going with that pattern for a few hours. Most of my favorite spots were quiet, but managed a couple dinks here and there. One on a swim jig, the rest were on T-rig, and the bites were subtle and low-energy. I am pretty sure I missed a couple that were just 'there' and didn't pull at all, but let go before I clued in. Can't be certain on several but two I was pretty convinced I just failed to swing on them. Got one keeper off my favorite laydown, and 4 dinks on various spots. That was it for fishing 8am to 4pm. Pretty day but it was cold. Water temps were 51 degrees in the morning to 53 in a few spots when the sun came out, and back to 52 by day's end. Water is down about 2.5 to 3 feet.

View attachment 67203

Pretty soon the water will be in 40's, so I think my few outings will be at Belews from now on. Randleman closes for the winter at the end of this month. Hope you guys found a few more willing fish than I did!
Grab a pointer from Lucky Craft and let's head to Badin when it turns that cold. I always catch 'em in cold water on that bait.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is that cold!! 33 degrees now and dropping like a rock in Hickory.

Darrell
Yeah the water will be in the 40's very soon here as well, especially with all the radiational cooling the next few nights.

I'm game for it sometime, Jerry. Harder part for me is finding the time. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to go this weekend until the night before each trip. When I can go I typically go to Belews just because I know a few spots to try... gives me a little more confidence. I don't know the first thing about finding bass at Badin in the cold. :D
 

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When the water cools down like this, I've had some of my best days on bass throwin a Rapala Shad Rap. I usually start with the #5 an then go deeper if that don't work. the #7 an 8 will usually get bit if they ain't hittin the 5. I do best on the crawdad an shad colors. I throw them on spinnin tackle with a 6 -10 lb test mono. wind it down pretty quick then use a stop an go retrieve. If they don't work, then I go to the Pointer, Rogue or Husky Jerk. Outside creek bends are some of their favorite areas now. Go up the feeder creeks to the back end an work ya way back out. Hope this helps ya on ya next time out!
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Appreciate the advice, I'll try it out!
 
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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah that's a lot of what I was doing the other day... guess it was just off while I was there, or maybe I was. I'm going to really make an effort to throw more hard baits in the coming season(s). I think I am missing out on at least the ability to locate some fish by covering a bit more water, and I need to make myself a little more versatile.

I do have a couple pointers, bought them last year on your suggestion, Jerry. I'm always nervous throwing them since they're a bit pricey, but I have given them some time in the water here and there. I have a box full of crankbaits but many of them I have had a long time and don't have a lot experience and thus confidence in them. Most of them I don't feel go deep enough... I always feel like if I can't feel the crank bouncing off cover or the bottom, it's not 'doing' anything... which may well be wrong but that's just how I feel intuitively. Need a couple successful days cranking and that will help my mojo a lot. :D
 
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Use a 7 ft rod an 14 lb line on ya Pointers, I've lost only one in the last several yrs an I have a 3700 Plano box full that have all ben used extensively! and learn to use ya cranks in a progressive manner. Like I said about the Raps, start with the shallowest runnin one first then use plugs that go deeper. You do need to be deflectin it off the bottom. I have several cranks tied on when I'm searchin. One that runs 2-3ft, one that goes 4-5ft, another runnin 6-8ft, 10-12ft, an 12-15ft. Learn to thro whats needed to hit bottom in ya targeted depth, an ya don't hang up near as much. Plus ya cover water in a systematic manner. Ya find the "hang-ups" that are the places you will catch ya fish! When ya hang or hit something hard, get you a line up on it with 2 things on the bank(rifle sight). These are ya contact points where you will find schools of bass at times.
 
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