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