Drawdown, increase in cover has turned 500-acre lake around
Maynor Creek, a 500-acre lake near Waynesboro, is a Pat Harrison Waterway District lake. One of the older lakes in that group, Maynor Creek had issues with its dam almost 10 years ago. The state pulled the water level down to repair the dam.
While the water was down, a tremendous amount of grass and brush grew up from the bottom of the lake. Once the lake level rose back to a normal level, that growth provided extra cover for spawning bass and young bass. Maynor Creek is in very good condition and is producing some 3- to 5-pound bass, as well as crappie and bluegills. You may catch a postspawn bass at Maynor Creek that weighs 7 pounds or more.
From just at daylight until about an hour after, I’ll be fishing the lake’s causeway. A small bridge there is at a place where the lake necks down, and the bass have to pass through that area to reach the northern end of the lake. The causeway and the bridge create a funnel for baitfish and bass to move back and forth from one end of the lake to the other. At daylight, you’ll usually see plenty of bass action in that area, and perhaps even schooling bass.
I’ll be fishing this region with a white, ¼-ounce buzzbait and a shad-colored Zara Spook. To fish the buzzbait, I’ll use a 7-foot-2, medium-heavy Shimano Expride rod and a Curado 200 XG reel with 23-pound test White Peacock fluorocarbon. I’ll use a 6-foot-10 medium-heavy Expride rod with the same reel with 30-pound bass braid and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader to fish the Spook. I’ll cast both lures from the points of the causeway bridge down the road embankment to about 50 yards on either side of the bridge and on both ends.
The bass will be congregating in this section of the lake, since the baitfish will be feeding and holding there during that first morning light, until the sun comes up fully and forces them into deeper water. In an hour, I’ll expect to catch three to five nice bass in this vicinity, with one weighing 3 pounds or better, up to even 5 pounds.
The bluegill spawn
During May, bluegills will be spawning, and the bass will feed heavily on them. To locate bluegill beds, I’ll have a shad-colored Mann’s Reel’N Shad rigged up with a ¼-ounce jighead on a 6-foot-10, medium-heavy Expride rod with the same reel spooled with 20-pound fluorocarbon.
I’ll parallel the bank primarily in the mouths and the centers of pockets. At the same time, I’ll be looking shallow for bluegill beds and sniffing for them, because they smell like ripe watermelons. I don’t really care if I catch any bass on the Reel’N Shad, but I’ll know from the bites that the bass are feeding on bluegills in that pocket.
Once I pinpoint bluegill beds, I drop my Power Pole to hold the boat where I want to fish. I’ll start fan-casting a 3/8-ounce black/blue Stone Jig with a black/blue crawfish trailer. I’ll use a 7-foot-6, heavy action Expride rod to make long casts to keep my boat well away from the bluegill beds. I’ll hold my rod tip high, swim the jig and shake my rod tip to give the jig an erratic action.
I don’t expect to catch more than about three bass out of each pocket or bluegill bed I fish, but they will be in that 3-pound or better range. I’ll also cast the Zara Spook and the buzzbait I have on my casting deck into those pockets.
Fish the bridge again
My next move is to return to the bridge and use my electronics to identify the creek channel. I’ll fish that slowly with a ¼-ounce shakey head and Mann’s 6-inch junebug Jelly Worm on a Shimano spinning reel with 15-pound bass braid and a 15-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 7-foot-2, medium-heavy Expride rod. This creek channel is the most-defined creek channel at Maynor, and it holds many big stumps and rocks.
I’ll fish very slowly all the way from the bridge to the dam. I’m mainly trying to locate the turns on that underwater channel, which is not all that deep — usually with only 4- to 6-foot dropoffs. This channel is a migration route for bass that have finished spawning and those holding in deeper water during their summer pattern.
On Maynor Creek in May, I’ll expect to catch 10 to 20 good- sized bass in a day.
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