Fish upper end of lake with topwater, crankbait, buzzbait with frog trailer
In October, I like to fish Maynor Creek, just west of Waynesboro, because it’s a small lake. You can fish it in a day, it has plenty of lily pads and the bass there stay shallow almost all year-long. The bass will be in 1 to 3 feet of water, the lake’s vegetation will have thinned out and the shad and the bluegills will move into the lily pads.
I’ll start early morning fishing in the upper end of the lake, which is divided by a bridge and roadbed going across it. Around the bridge, I’ll fish a shad-colored Zara Spook on 30-pound bass braid with a 20-pound White Peacock fluorocarbon leader, on a 6-foot-10, medium action FX Custom rod and a 7.3:1 Bruin reel. I’ll work both sides of the rocks around the points of the bridge and for about 50 yards below the bridge and around the bridge pilings with the Spook.
I’ll start off fishing the Spook fairly fast but will let the bass dictate how they want the lure. This won’t produce numbers of bass; however, you may catch 3- to 5-pounders, and possibly a 6- to 8-pounder.
I’ll also fish a shad-colored Mann’s C4 crankbait there on a 7-foot-1, medium-action FX Custom rod with a 6.2:1 ELS Bruin reel and 20-pound fluorocarbon. If I have some bass blow up on the Spook or the crankbait without a hookup, I’ll follow up by casting a Mann’s SpringR worm with no weight on 10-pound bass braid with a fluorocarbon leader on a 7-foot-4 FX Custom spinning rod. I’ll rig the SpringR worm with a No. 1/0 wacky rig hook. I’ll spend 1 to 11/2 hours at first light fishing around the bridge.
After that, I’ll crank up my big engine, go to the back end of the creek and begin fishing the edges of and the pockets in the lily pads with a 3/8-ounce buzzbait with the skirt removed and replaced with a soft frog. I’ll have two of these combinations on rods on my casting deck. Putting the frog on keeps the buzzbait riding higher in the water than with a skirt, and you can fish it more slowly. My line will be 40-pound bass braid spooled on an 8:1 ELS Bruin reel on a 7-foot-3 heavy action FX Custom rod. I’ll tie the frog straight to the buzzbait with no leader. I prefer a clacker-type buzzbait that I can reel slowly and barely get it to clack. Watch your lure as it’s coming to the boat, because often, bass will sneak up behind the frog and suck it underwater.
Next, I’ll fish that same area with two different types of frogs: a Mann’s Super Frog, which is a walking frog, and a popping frog on 50-pound bass braid on a 7-foot-3, heavy action FX Custom rod with a 7.3:1 ELS Bruin reel.
I’ll spend most of the rest of the day north of the bridge, and I’ll fish it thoroughly. I’ll pay close attention to the spots where I hear the most baitfish smacking under the lily pads, because the bass will concentrate in those places.
I’ll retrieve the white walking frog fairly fast, bringing it across the tops of the lily pads and then slowing it down at openings in the pads. I’ll cast a black popping frog in the thicker pads; I’ll cast it onto the tops of the pads, pull it off into open water pockets and pop it. Once the frog reaches the edge of open water, I’ll pop it, let it sit still for an instant or two, pull it out of that hole up on top of the pads, reel it to another open pocket and repeat the same action.
When you’re fishing both frogs using both techniques, you’ll miss about 50% of the bass that attack your baits. But you can return later and fish those same places, since bass may be holding in the same areas.
A good day of October fishing at Maynor Creek should produce about 15 bass, most weighing from 11/2 to 3 pounds, but you’ll probably have a chance to catch an 8- or 9-pound bass.
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