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Bassin' - Lake Curtis
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Nice sunny weekend last Sunday, so I rounded up the basswife and we headed out to Lake Curtis.  I had spent an hour surfing the VDGIF website looking for lakes where gasoline motors are prohibited - puts everything on a level playing field with the basscanoe.  In addition, I also prefer lakes with a slot limit as they should have a better, more viable breeding population.

Curtis fit the bill, so we headed over there, arriving around 1400 or so.  There is a concrete boat ramp at the tail end of the parking area. that is pretty gentle - looks like it would be easy to dump a jon boat into the lake.  Not a problem for us as we executed the immediate action drill to unload the canoe, rig up and hit the water.  I was immediately impressed with the lake.  Not only were there only two other boats on the lake, but it was full of great looking structure - tree stumps galore!

We headed out and immediately discovered the downside to the structure - you have to creep along as there are numerous stumps submerged just under the surface.  The basswife was a great help in the front of the canoe as she pointed at them as they passed her (rather than looking ahead so I could steer around them) causing me to scramble to pull the motor up or just brace for a bump.

In typical recon fashion, I wanted to see the entire lake to get a feel for it.  So, we headed to the far end with the eye on the depth gauge.  Just as the VDGIF site promised, it is very shallow at the upper end.  That, coupled with warm water - 88 degrees per my PiranhaMAX 30 - assured me that there would be no action up there.  We could not resist throwing at a few of the stumps - and then worked our way down the western edge of the lake.

It was a very warm day - air temp around 90 or so - and it dulled my senses as I hit that outdoor zone where you just enjoy life.  I watched as something picked up my brown GULP Worm and started swimming away with it.  I even remarked that I "had one".  But never set the dang hook!  Ouch - probably was the world record bass.  I've been well trained on setting hooks by Andy Raio who I fished with in Maine a few times - he is a great guide who is always the first to see even a tentative twitch - provoking vigorous and colorful encouragement to set the hook.

That was the only action of the day - no other hits.  We did see plenty of surface action - baitfish jumping or bass jumping - could not tell.  Tried to get them with buzzbaits and Scum Frogs but they would not have anything to do with them.

We worked our way back to the dock and pulled out at 1600.  Granted, not the best time of day to fish, but good enough for a recon and good enough to come to the conclusion that this is a potentially great spot - low pressure, slot, structure.  Bottom line is that I will come back and work this again.

Getting there: From I95, take Route 17 North.  Turn north on State 616 and then make a left on State 662.  There will be a sign for a public boat launch at the turn.  Need more info - call 540-899-4169

Caution: The directions on the VDGIF website are incorrect.  They tell you to make a left on State 622 - a typo

View back toward the parking area (in the distance)  Note all the grey trees sticking up - it's a real forest in the lake!

Saw plenty of wildlife - also saw a raccoon and some golfers.  There is a golf course that surrounds the lake - you can't hardly see it as a result of the tree and shrub buffer.

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

Finally, access points may be different or restricted based on changes in property ownership since posting the original article.  It is up to you to make sure you are fishing where it is legal.

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