Category Archives: Largemouth Bass

February 22, 2014 – Spruce Run Ice Fishing Report

Went out and hit the hard water again at Spruce Run Reservoir a few weeks ago on Saturday, February 22 with a few other people for the meet and greet.  I got out a little late, around 8:00 a.m. and most other people had already set up their tip ups, or were almost finished doing so by the time I made it out to everyone.  Between all of us, we had a pretty good spread around us and had pretty much every type of depth and structure covered; from five feet of water, to about 15 or 20 feet of water, river channels, drop offs, and everything in between.  For bait, most people were either using live Shiners, or big dead baits.  It didn’t take all too long for us to get our first few flags, which was on Matt J.’s (The same Matt that taught Chris and I how to fish for Carp) tip up with a big dead bait on the hook.  While this was happening, I was on the other side of our tip up spread finishing up getting my lines in the water, but Matt landed a nice fat 32-inch Pike.

Spruce Run Pike
Matt J. with his fat 32-inch Pike caught on a large dead bait.

Before all that somebody else landed a decently sized Channel Catfish on a live Shiner (Which I missed as well), so we definitely started our day off pretty decently.  About an hour or so after that, Matt got another flag on another dead bait on the bottom, so we started our journey over to his tip up and about half way there the guys that stayed by our stuff started yelling that we had another flag, on the opposite side of our spread of tip ups, and this time it was one of mine.  So Rob J. and I started our way back over that way to my tip up, and by the time we got to it, it had all the line spooled off of it and was doing a little dance in the hole for us.  So I got the tip up out of the hole, immediately felt a fish on the line and set the hook.  After pulling in what felt like a mile of line, I finally got the fish to the hole and the first thing we saw was the big head of a nice Largemouth Bass, and with the help of Rob J. we got it through the hole and onto the ice.  While we didn’t take any exact measurements since we were a good distance from our gear and I wanted to get the fish back into the water, we estimated it to be somewhere around 4 or 5-lbs.

Spruce Run Bass
Me and my 4-5 pound Largemouth Bass caught on a live Shiner about two feet off the bottom in 10-12 feet of water.

Meanwhile, after we took a few pictures and got the Bass back into the water we found out that while we were handling my fish, Matt had landed another 25-inch Pike on a dead bait fished on the bottom.  After that, the action slowed down for probably about an hour or hour and a half.  Though soon enough we got another flag, this time on one of Dave’s tip-ups rigged with a live Shiner, conveniently (For me at least, haha) Dave was too far away from his tip-up when the flag went up, so I was able to get in on the action.  When I got to within 20 feet or so of the tip-up, I could see the spool spinning out like crazy as the fish stripped the line off the spool.  So I got the tip-up out of the hole, set the hook, and started taking line back.  Once I was able to get the fish within reasonable distance of the hole, it went on a pretty strong run and took a few more yards of line back out.  Though that was it’s last big run, we ended up landing a decently sized 25-30 inch Pike.

David Allen with his 25-30 inch Pike caught on a live Shiner.
David Allen with his 25-30 inch Pike caught on a live Shiner.

That ended up being our last fish of the day before I headed out, but I know the guys that stayed behind landed another nice 30+ inch Pike shortly after I left.  Overall I’d say it was a great day of fishing; met some new people and saw a few people I haven’t seen or fished with in a while, catching fish on top of that was really just an added bonus for the day.  All of the fish we landed were in pretty shallow water, about 10-12 feet of water or less, and were all on either live Shiners on or close to the bottom, or big dead baits on the bottom.


Round Valley Fishing Report

I personally have been going to Spruce Run to fish for Pike the past few weeks, so I’m not certain of the current ice condition at Round Valley as of March 6th.  Though I do know that over the past few weeks people have been catching Lakers out in deeper water on Shiners on the bottom under tip-ups, as well as jigging with lures such as Swedish Pimples and Binsky’s.  I’ve also heard that people have been catching Browns and Rainbows in close on Shiners under tip-ups in 5-15 feet of water.  As far as the swimming side goes, I haven’t heard much buzz about fishing on that side, but last time I fished there around mid-February the Pickerel bite was still going strong.  We were having success with them in 5-10 feet of water or less, and were catching on live Shiners under tip-ups set about a foot off the bottom, as well as on jigs such as Binsky’s, Rattle Traps, and Rapala Rippin’ Raps.

Me with a nice Chain Pickerel I caught on one of my last Round Valley trips in mid-February on the swimming side.
Me with a nice Chain Pickerel I caught  (and released) on one of my last Round Valley trips in mid-February on the swimming side.

November 20, 2013 – Shore Fishing Report

Fishing has been pretty slow for me the past few weeks (hence the lack of posts on here), but even though the action has been slow, the fish are still there to be caught.  I went out and fished the Round Valley shoreline this morning from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. with Zach Batren and Tom Niedbala.  Zach B. and Tom arrived a little while before I did, and set up right in the boat launch area to the left of the concrete boat launch.  Even though they only beat me there by less than an hour, Tom had landed a beautiful 15-inch Rainbow that he caught fishing a live Shiner about two-feet under a slip bobber by the time I had got there, and Zach B. had a big Rainbow follow a Rapala (Brown Trout pattern) while casting off the docks.  It followed long enough for Zach to see that it was an RVTA jaw tagged Rainbow.  Though after I got my lines in the water, we got nothing except for one hit I got on my Powerbait and a few hits Zach B. and Tom got on Shiners under slip bobbers as well as Shiners on the bottom.  So around 9:30 a.m. we decided to move over to the area just to the left of the sandy point across from the boat launch.

Once we got set up at our new spot the fishing was slow for the first hour or so, with the only action we got being one hit Tom got on his slip bobber, as well as one Largemouth Bass Tom landed; also on his slip bobber.  Then, around 10:30 I got a hit on one of my rods that I had salmon peach Powerbait on, and as soon as I set the hook I knew it was a good fish.  After a nice fight, I landed a nice 21-inch 2-lb, 4-oz Lake Trout, which was definitely a nice surprise for the day.   

Round Valley Lake Trout
My 21-inch 2-lb, 4-oz Lake Trout caught on salmon peach Powerbait

After landing the fish, I quickly got my lines back in the water in the same area I hooked into the Laker, and got two more decent hits within 10 minutes of casting back out.  Though after that flurry of action, we didn’t get anymore action for about another 45 minutes or so, which brought us to 11:30 and I had to leave for work.  So we called it quits after landing Tom’s Largemouth Bass, and 15-inch Rainbow, as well as my 21-inch Laker.  Not the best day of fishing, but could’ve definitely turned out worse so we were happy with the outcome.

September 26 & 29, 2013 – Round Valley Shore Fishing

Went out to Round Valley to fish for some Trout from the shoreline on Thursday, September 26, 2013.  After getting a pretty late start, I got out to the Valley at around 10:30 a.m. and just as I arrived, I watched one of the guys fishing next to where I was land a nice approximately 15-inch Brown Trout on a live Shiner about four feet under a bobber.  So despite my late start to the day, seeing that got my hopes up that there were still Trout around to be caught.  As usual I was fishing with three rods out, and this time I had two with slip bobbers set to seven and 12 feet down with live Shiners and one rod with Powerbait about 2.5-feet off the bottom.  After about 45 minutes, one of my slip bobbers shot under and I set the hook.  Not sure what exactly it was that was on the end of my line since I didn’t get a chance to see it, but right off the bat it was screaming out drag and ended up shaking the hook right as I got close to the end of the line on my reel.  So I reeled in, cast back out, and 30 seconds later my bobber was under again, though this time I landed a 16-inch Rainbow Trout.

Round Valley Rainbow Trout
16-inch Rainbow Trout caught under a slip bobber

After that it was slow pickings the rest of the day, with a few fish here and there.  For the most part I only landed little dink Largemouth Bass that hit the Shiners under slip bobbers, and by the time I left I landed nine Largemouths to about seven or eight inches and two Smallmouth Bass about the same size.  Though in addition to my 16-inch Rainbow, I also landed one 14-inch Brown Trout that hit a slip bobber, as well as another 15.5-inch Rainbow that hit my Powerbait.  All in all it wasn’t the best day of fishing, but I did beat the skunk and caught a few Trout which is all that really matters in the end.

I headed back out again few days later on Sunday September 29, 2013 and this time I was joined by Chris.  We started out nice and early and got our first lines in the water around 6:45 a.m. just as the sun was coming over the horizon.  Between the two of us we had six rods out, two with Rainbow Powerbait on the bottom, two with Salmon/Peach Powerbait on the bottom, and two with Shiners under slip bobbers.  Probably about ten minutes or so in, one of Chris’ Powerbait rods doubles all the way over with the tip almost touching the water and starts screaming out drag out of nowhere.

Jaw tagged Rainbow
21-inch, 3-lb 1-oz Rainbow Trout. Chris’ first RVTA tagged trophy Trout!

With that said, both Chris and I knew there was a good fish on the other end of his line before he even engaged the fish, and the fight that followed definitely proved it.  After setting the hook, it continued to peel out drag and run from left to right for almost the entire fight.  At one point, Chris had managed to get it within 20 feet of where we were standing on shore and it jumped a good two feet clean out of the water, which is when we were able to see it was a nice big Rainbow Trout.  Immediately after that it went out on another run back towards deeper water and we were back where we started, though the fish clearly started to tire after that last run.  Shortly after that, we got the fish in close to shore and began to get it under control so we could net it; which we always do with larger fish, even when fishing from shore.  After netting it we were finally able to get our first real good look at the fish and were able to see it was a “JOIN RVTA” jaw tagged Rainbow that was stocked by the Round Valley Trout Association back in early May 2013.

Jaw Tagged Rainbow
RVTA jaw tagged Rainbow

The fish weighed in at 3-lbs, 1-oz and measured 21-inches in length.  Definitely made Chris happy since it was hit biggest Rainbow ever caught, his first Fall shoreline fish from Round Valley, and his first tagged Trout!  After that it was slow pickings of tiny Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass again and after landing around ten or so of those and losing what we assume was a Trout that hit my Powerbait rod, we called it a day at 10:00 a.m.  While Chris’ fish was the only real fish we caught that day, we definitely can’t say it was a bad day of fishing after landing that beauty of a fish!

Round Valley – October Shore Fishing

As the weather starts to cool down and Fall begins to set in, the shoreline fishing for Trout at Round Valley begins to heat up as the water cools down and the Trout come up shallow and start swimming the shoreline.  Last year was my first year fishing at Round Valley during that time, as opposed to previous years where I’d either be too preoccupied with school or fishing at Spruce Run.  Though last Fall at Round Valley definitely got me hooked on going back and fishing there every Fall almost exclusively.

Fall Brown Trout
Brown Trout from Fall 2012 at Round Valley

This was back before I started writing for this site, and I just happened to be looking through some of the articles and came across one that Rob had posted about shore fishing in October using slip bobbers, which got me curious about trying it out.  However, I wasn’t fully convinced to get out until I heard from Lebanon Bait & Sport (This was before they closed down of course) that people were starting to get into a few Trout from the shoreline, so then I decided I would go out the next morning and see how I could make out.  That decision ended up being one of the best I made to this day in terms of fishing and ended up being the beginning of almost three weeks of beautiful Fall weather, and some phenomenal fishing, some of the best I’ve ever had the entire time I’ve been fishing!

Fall Round Valley Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout from Fall 2012 at Round Valley

I remember my first day out there last October like it was yesterday, I stopped and grabbed 2 dozen Shiners from the bait shop, and was out at Round Valley putting my first lines in the water not too long after 6:00 a.m.  I cast out my first rod, which I had rigged up with a slip bobber 10 feet down, and before I even got a chance to turn around to bait my second rod, my bobber was gone, and the first fish of the day for me was a 14-inch Chain Pickerel.

Chain Pickerel
My first fish from Round Valley during Fall 2012

After releasing that, I cast my rod out again, and just as I finally get my second rod out, my first bobber goes under again.  This time it was a 15.5-inch Rainbow Trout!  After putting that one in the cooler, I cast my second line back out, and not even 5 minutes after that I was into another fish, this time a 15-inch Brown Trout.  Now what was all within a time frame of 10-15 minutes or so, pretty good start to a day  if you ask me.  I ended up going back to the bait shop two more times that day because I kept running out of bait!  After that, it only got better for me as October went on.  I had a good amount of days that I was able to land 100+ fish, all of which were released perfectly healthy, except for my daily limit of two Trout whenever I felt like keeping a few for dinner.  Nearly everyday I got a mixed bag of fish as well, between Chain Pickerel, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, and the occasional Smallmouth Bass.  While most of the Bass were on the smaller side, nearly all the Trout were 15+ inches, which is keeper size at Round Valley for those of you that may not know.

Fall Rainbow Trout
One of the many beautiful Rainbow Trout I got during Fall 2012 at Round Valley

Last year, I got nearly all my fish on Shiners fished under slip bobbers, with a small percentage caught on artificial lures; Rapalas and small spinners.  Though with the amount of fish swimming the shoreline that time of year,

Fall Bass at Round Valley
Largemouth Bass from Fall 2012 at Round Valley

you’re pretty much bound to get something eventually with whatever it may be that you’re using.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting for this time of year again since last year, and I’ll be sure to be out there nearly everyday come October.  So if you haven’t tried Fall shore fishing at Round Valley, I suggest you give it a try, and if you see me out there feel free to come say hi!  Overall, Fall at Round Valley to me means; beautiful weather, awesome Fall scenery at Round Valley, and not to mention lots of fish … Who could pass that up?  I know I couldn’t!

Kayak Fishing Reports – Spruce Run Reservoir

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.

Spruce Run Largemouth Bass
Frank with his 15-inch Largemouth

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.

My 4.5-lb, 20-inch Channel Catfish
My 4.5-lb, 20-inch Channel Catfish

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.

Spruce Run Channel Catfish
Chris with his 4.75-lb, 22-inch Channel Catfish

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!

Spruce Run Kayak Fishing
Sunset on Spruce Run