The long Thanksgiving Day weekend typically has some nasty weather thrown in each year just to remind us of the lean times ahead, but this year, Mother Nature was pretty nice to us and it allowed me three days of fishing. Thanksgiving morning my son and I were able to fish Lake McDonough from the bank for 2.5 hours. A couple of hours of above freezing temps allowed us to nab 8 largemouth bass all between 1.25 lbs. and 2.25 pounds. The toughest part of the morning was trying to work our baits uphill through the rock littered bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water. If the water had been down another three feet, we would have easily been able to stand on a deep flat lip bordering the drop off. Instead, we had to crank our baits up the drop quickly as to not to snag but that only gave us a short distance to work our baits even on the longest cast. Unfortunately, we donated a fair share of baits that morning. We caught them on 4” curl tail grubs, Tubes, a jig & pig and a 3.8 inch boot tail grub. As long as you could keep it near the bottom, and snake it over the rocks a bit we could get rewarded occasionally.
Friday dawned clear and cold with no wind what so ever, but it wasn’t until about 9:30 AM that my friend Adam and I could start fishing for smallmouth in Colebrook. What a nice day it turned out to be. With light south winds and not a cloud in the sky, Adam was fishing in a T-shirt for a bit. Of course, once he took his jacket off, the wind started up and never really dropped below 5 mph. Didn’t matter though as the first spot we pulled up onto had some fish on it and the first one into the boat was a nice chubby 18.5 inch smallmouth bass. Adam and I only threw a ½ ounce silver or gold blade bait and a 3.8 inch Kietech Fat on a ½ ounce football head. And within a short time, I took Adam’s silver blade off and swapped it for the same gold as I was throwing because I was already up 3 – 0 on the guy. He had never thrown either of these baits before but got the hang of the retrieve OK but apparently never got the feel of the bite down as he ended up only landing an undersized smallmouth and rock bass. Adam hasn't fised in a long time and is starting to get back into it after a long absence. We were around fish though, and seeing he couldn’t hook up on the Blade bait I set him up with the big grub and gave him half a dozen casts of instruction before I ever wet my bait. Of course the first cast for me with the same rig gave me a three pounder. The second cast gave me a 1.5 pound smallie. Another 20 minutes and Adam still isn’t hooking up. We ended our day at 2PM with a total of 12 smallmouth and I ended up getting all of them. A few of them were nice fish in the 18.5 to 19 inch range. I felt really bad for my friend but he understood that presentation and presence were key.
Today, November 25, I texted my buddy as I was having a cup of coffee on the back porch. Bill wanted to fish in the morning and I told him the lake was dead calm again with a sunny sky. We made plans to meet at the Highland Lake boat ramp in a short amount of time. Once we launched the boat, of course the wind started up. It gusted so strong out of the south when I went to get out of the truck, I had an issue opening the door. And then, the wind never let up, all day. Bill doesn’t have the Spot lock on his boat as I do and today I got a good reminder of just how fortunate I am to have some state of the trolling motor. Again our bait choices were narrowed down to a blade bait, a 3.8 inch grub and a little bit of heavy jig & pig thrown in for good measure. We started our day at the deep flat at the southwest portion of the lake and found absolutely nothing except for one fish I hooked up with on the blade bait in about 25 feet of water. This was a strong, heavy fish with a lot of head shakes. Almost more head shaking than a smallmouth should have. But alas, we’ll never know as the fish pulled off half way back to the boat. We tried a few other spots and could get nothing going for us until we finally got out to the “good spot” in second bay. We wrapped our day up there with Bill getting two largemouth on a blade bait and myself getting one on the jig. My jig bite kind of funny as this mottled, black spotted bass, absolutely cracked my jig but I ended up foul hooking it in the belly! Our only good fish from the morning was a nice 20” brown trout Bill hooked on the 3.8 grub/swimbait.
Hopefully there will be a few more opportunities to get out on the weekends before we really have to button things up for the season. I winterized the small boat this afternoon and am hoping I don’t have to put away the Nitro for a few weeks yet. There are still some good fish to be caught.