Finally brought the kayaks out for a fishing trip at Spruce Run Reservoir with Frank Deluca on Sunday July 14, 2013. Despite getting a late start, we managed to get out on the water at 4:30 p.m. in some sunny 90 degree weather, with a slight breeze coming from the west. Surface temperature was 80 degrees and the gage height was 272.35 feet. We started out working the shoreline for some Bass with Rapalas and other various crankbaits, with no luck. After probably about an hour or so of that, I put on a bigger Rapala to troll behind me and moved out to deeper water and trolled along a rock ledge for a bit to try for some Pike, also with no luck. Though while I was trying for Pike, Frank put on a large Shiner and dropped it down to the bottom in 5 feet of water and not even a minute after dropping it down, Frank was into a fish. After putting up a nice hard fight, Frank landed a 15-inch Largemouth Bass.
Shortly after that, both Frank and I decided to move out into about 25 feet of water and try for some Hybrids, but it became clear after one drift that the wind was making us drift too fast for that to be effective. So we went back into the same cove we were fishing before, though this time we set up a drift going along a rock ledge in 10 feet of water. Shortly after I began my first drift through the area, I got a nice hit on one of my rods and was into a fish. Once I got it up to the surface, it turned out to be a Channel Catfish, which weighed in at 4.5-lbs and 20-inches, so I wouldn’t really say it was big, but it was definitely a decent size and put up a fun fight from the kayak. On my second drift I hooked up with a decently sized fish, which turned out to be another Channel Catfish, probably about 5-lbs, though unfortunately it spit the hook right next to my kayak before I could net it. After that, we set up a third drift through the same area.
Right as we started our drift, I hooked up with another decently sized fish which shook the hook before I could get it in close enough to see it, though I’m pretty certain it was another Channel Catfish judging from how it was fighting. A short time after that, as Frank and I continued our drift, we started getting a lot of smaller hits from smaller, more finicky fish. Frank managed to pull one up and it turned out to be a 10-inch Crappie, which led us to believe that we were drifting over a school of Crappie, though that was the only one we managed to land. We tried one more drift after that, with only one or two hits, so we decided to call it a day and got off the water at 7:45 p.m.
A few days later, on Wednesday July 17, I headed back out to the same spot, this time with Chris Moran. As opposed to last time, we started out later in the day and got out on the water at 7:30 p.m. so we could target some Channel Catfish, and by that time the water temperature had dipped down to 76 degrees. We went straight to the same area over the rock ledge that Frank and I had fished the other day and immediately dropped our bait to the bottom and began drifting. I was the first to hook up with a fish after a slow start to our trip, and my fish turned out to be a small, 14-inch Channel Catfish. After trying a few more drifts over the same area, as well as a few different drifts in different areas with no luck, I moved over to the same area Chris and I had been catching all of our fish back in April. Shortly after I began my first drift there, I was into another fish and managed to land a slightly larger, 16-inch Channel Cat. A few minutes later in the same area, Chris hooked into and landed another Channel Catfish, about the same size as my last one. After that, it slowed down for about 15-20 minutes with nothing hitting our lines, until out of the blue, Chris got a big hit on one of his lines. He was using a light 4-lb leader we normally use for Trout so he had his drag set fairly low so the line wouldn’t break, which made for a fun fight. After a good fight which lasted a few minutes, Chris finally landed another Channel Catfish, which ended up being our last and biggest fish of the night. Chris’ fish ended up weighing in at 4.75-lbs and measuring 22-inches.
We kept trying for about another 45 minutes or so with no more luck. All of our fish were caught on live Shiners fished on the bottom while we were drifting between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Didn’t land any real big fish this trip, but definitely had a nice night fishing from our kayaks and had some fun reeling a decent haul of Channel Catfish. This trip was also Chris’ first time kayak fishing…or is it fishing from a kayak, so it was something new for him and I’m sure we’ll be getting out on them yaks again real soon!