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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my kayak wars team has had an excellent March. Problem this weekend is we've maxed spotted bass, crappie, chain pickerel, sunfish, and largemouth bass for the month. I had the option of shooting for some more blue cats or trying something different. I opted for different. I decided to head to Lake James in search of Smallmouth Bass. I figured with me now being navionics equipped I could troll the lake a lot more effectively than the first and only time I went there before.

Launched out of the canal access right there by 126. Put my spread out right away and headed towards the Linville arm. As I got to the bridge I could see a bass boat parked right where I wanted to troll through, so I cranked everything in and waited. Once the boat finished not catching I put everything back out and went through.

Picked up my first ever meanmouth bass not too far from where the boat was.

Fisherman Fish Fishing Recreation Ray-finned fish


Trolled around for a while with no action then something tries to take off with one of my lines.

Yellow Fish Safety glove Glove Fisherman


Water Sky Boat Watercraft Smile


Happy dude ^

Alright, well lets troll back through there and see if another one is around. Ziiing line goes off again.

Vertebrate Fisherman Yellow Fish Fishing


Lake was calm and glass most of the day...but fish were also skiddish.

Water Sky Cloud Plant Tree


Pulled into a cove area and saw what I thought was a beaver or muskrat swimming. My most boneheaded move of the day was not tying on a topwater. The commotion was a big smallmouth trying to catch some sort of baitfish. I didn't see what it was til the baitfish made for my kayak and the smallmouth came charging in, only to be spooked by me. Oh well, live and learn.

Trolled around some more and got a small hit.

Yellow Fish Fishing Fin Recreation


Went around to a point I know holds fish and ran over a school of white perch.

Fish Fin Ray-finned fish Fish products Seafood


Put that lure back out and it got slammed again.

Yellow Fish Outdoor recreation Fisherman Fishing


Water Boat Sky Vertebrate Watercraft


Water Boat Fluid Liquid Watercraft


Decided to start heading back, but not before trolling through where I got the smaller smallie again. I was rewarded with screaming drag and a fun acrobatic display off my bow.

Yellow Fish Fisherman Fishing Salmon-like fish


Saw some birds working and I began to chase them down. It looked like the fish were going to get cornered into a cove and I eagerly pedaled to the area with visions of fish catching going through my head. Those visions were quickly shattered as a bass boat came roaring in full throttle into the cove and scattered everything. Fish and birds later popped up across the lake. :mad:

No action after that. Tried deploying some presentations at 80, 90, and 95 feet with no love.

Was rewarded with another serene twilight cruise.

Water Cloud Sky Natural landscape Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I pretty much got hit on whatever I tossed out, that being said lures only got changed out when they were donated to the lake, with the exception of a secret steelhead lure I've been tinkering with. Berkley Flicker Shad 7's, Berkley Flicker Minnow 9's, and Bandit B shads did the work though. Flicker minnows are still tough to find, only place I can buy them besides online is Sportsmans Warehouse in Columbia, SC. Bandit B shads are hard to find, only the Cabelas in Greenville, SC carried them and they out them on closeout. Needless to say at $2.89 I cleaned them out of every single one they had. Hopefully I will go back up there next month and see what happens. First time there I caught same amount of smallies but biggest was only 14.5". Still would like a walleye and the chance to find a elusive muskie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The muskie are up the Catawba arm around the North Fork mouth. And you would need bigger tackle (plus leader) to properly target them.

Good luck.
Yeah I heard they prefer the Catawba arm since it is a little more nutrient rich. My buddy got a nice sleigh ride last yeah on Linville side. Interestingly enough it pulled him around in a big figure 8. The hook popped out right before he got color. We just both assumed the only thing on that lake big enough to pull a kayak around like that would be a muskie.

And what do you mean bigger tackle...we all know the big fish will always hit the smallest rod, with the lightest pound test. If you come properly prepared they just won't bite!
 

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Yeah I heard they prefer the Catawba arm since it is a little more nutrient rich. My buddy got a nice sleigh ride last yeah on Linville side. Interestingly enough it pulled him around in a big figure 8. The hook popped out right before he got color. We just both assumed the only thing on that lake big enough to pull a kayak around like that would be a muskie.

And what do you mean bigger tackle...we all know the big fish will always hit the smallest rod, with the lightest pound test. If you come properly prepared they just won't bite!
Only if you bring a camera and a net...........otherwise they bite hard.

Speaking of trollers.......................136 members and 543 guests on the board right now:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Usually a gopro with full battery and plenty of memory space chases fish away too. I was kidding about the line and all, but it does seem like the fish know which line to hit to have the best chance to win the fight. Now I know chain pickerel are no muskie but a few weeks ago I landed 29 of them up to 25 inches and only had one bite off...though that pickerel was a monster and had the lure sideways in its mouth. No leaders, just 10 pound mono. :) Cheapest trolling run of the year I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am not at liberty to share the pickerel spot as I promised the kind angler who shared the spot with me did so under condition I would not share with anyone. I don't mind answering questions on this trip since all the work was done by me, otherwise spots shared by friends or worked on together with friends remain classified out of respect for them. I hate not helping fellow anglers but I hope you understand!
 
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