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Fished another West Point lake today - what a difference a day makes!

Tuesday was mediocre as far as fishing goes, with only 28 caught of the usual species: largemouth, sunfish, perch and crappie. But Wed. on a different lake was like night and day! The weather was different : overcast with sprinkles vs. sunny; the lakes were much different: the previous lake is much larger and deeper with miles of wetlands; the lake yesterday 25' shallower with no wetlands but with a rip rap dam at one end and a long steep bank with overhangs.

Both lakes have produced great catches in the last few years, especially in spring and fall. In fact the shallower lake produced three big catfish (5, 5 1/2, 7 1/2lb) on panfish grubs this year.

After the previous day I wasn't hopeful, not having done great the previous trip (only 35 fish). But 70 fish (of the same species mentioned) kept me busy fishing 3/4 of the shoreline and in deeper water 8-11'.

My usual challenge is to see what grub designs that I produce that fish will bite so I can make more in different sizes and colors. Maintaining confidence in any lure requires that lure to get bit most outings as well as trying different retrieves and jig weights. Standard is a 6lb test f/carbon leader attached to 8lb test braid, medium and light action rods, spincast and spinning reels.

Here are a few of the fish and lures that did well:

As I pointed out in a post about lure unnatural design, this grub has four flat sides and some very large metal flakes. I caught over 20 fish including four warmouth:

(Thanks again for helping me ID this fish.)

Some of the perch were as usual quite nice:

The grub pictured is a prong tail grub that I have an injection mold able to produce ten grubs at a time. I haven't cast this design in a while and figured it was time. It caught all species and the hits were hard!

The grub design that always catches anything that swims is the spoon minnow design with thin flat tail:

I used it on 1/32 and 1/16 oz jigheads. When too many strikes are misses, I bend the hook out a bit to increase gap. No more (or at least far fewer) missed hook sets. Here are a few of the sunfish species it and other designs caught:

What gives with the strange body shape?!

A red breast and the overhang it was caught under:

(I've improved my sidearm cast to areas way under overhangs.)

Another on a prong tail grub:

Another banner day near the end of summer!

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Comment by Frank Manuele on September 1, 2016 at 7:15pm

I didn't detect any injury but I have caught a few deformed perch in this lake. (spinal deformities). Wouldn't surprise me since the property has always been owned by the Army and who knows what kind of dumping went on years ago. Recently, a reservoir that supplies all of the water to Newburgh, NY, was shut down due to pollution from the dumping of chemicals via rusting barrels that began leaching into the ground water years ago. I wonder if the federal law was in effect when an Air Force general gave the ok. 

Not sure if I'll ever again want to eat fish from any local waters.

Comment by Tony Livingston on September 1, 2016 at 2:05pm

The unusual body shape on the female might well be the result of a heron strike, or similar injury. No redbreasts, but male, northern strain bluegills.

Comment by Frank Manuele on September 1, 2016 at 10:08am

Over the years of keeping logs of all the stuff the experts said influence fish location and activity, I've come to the conclusion that on most days fish are susceptible to the basics: right lure, right presentation at the right depth. The lures of choice:  five, different straight-tail grub designs that move with the slightest angler input. Others I'm sure get inactive fish (the majority IMO) to bite with other lures designs, but the designs I use allow me to pretty much always use the same presentation no matter the depth or environmental factors such as lunar gravitational pull, fronts, early and late season lulls, etc. Fish are fish and respond differently than other life forms to specific angler controlled stimuli - our lures.

What was outstanding was being able to catch fish in 3' on one small flat, along rip rap in 5-10', in 5-10' at the shallower north end, under overhangs and alongside floating docks. Cooler yet was to float over fish seen on the sonar, in 10',  back the boat up about 10' and then catch one or two cast to that spot!  Doesn't usually work that way for me, but the overcast cooler day made for far more exceptions to the rule than I would have expected. Nice thing though is that it's only going to get better as far as fish quality, typical of cooler nights and dropping water temperature!

Comment by Slip Sinker on September 1, 2016 at 5:37am

excellent report Frank! sounds like an excellent lake.

fishing has been on fire for me the past couple days also...

how much weight to you give lunar influence?... especially with the new moon coming up?

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