My wife and I hit Breckenridge down at the Quantico Marine Corps Base again this weekend (April 3). Breckenridge is a great spot for those of us who can only afford a simple canoe or Jon boat – it’s electric motors only and the “boat ramp” is a gravel dip that a bulldozer must have scooped out in a single pass. Water depth at the “ramp” is around a foot on a good day. This trench leads out to the main channel of the primary creek that feeds the reservoir. Even there, the water depth rarely gets over a foot except in a few potholes marking the turns. This access limits the pressure on the lake as those with the big boats head over to the full service Lunga Reservoir that’s only another mile or so up the road.
We were out earlier in March when the weather spiked up into the mid-60s and it was just too great a temptation. We did not have any luck that day as the water temperature was barely 50 degrees – the fish were not visible on the fishfinder and we did not get a strike at all. Sadly, our luck last weekend was no different. It was a great day of fishing, lousy day of catching.
Weather was bright and sunny, light wind that was not uncomfortable and the water was clean and clear. But, the water hovered at 59 or 60 degrees and there was no movement. After launching into the channel, we put the trolling motor on a mid speed and went searching for fish. Also wanted to start looking for structure now that I have a decent fishfinder. I’ll publish the latitude and longitude of the likely spots over this summer. He headed down to our favorite point and saw that two other boats were fairly close to it – so we skipped it and headed farther south into the deeper water. Heck, given the temperature, that’s where the big guys should have been anyway. Geez, we were lucky to mark two fish all day! No action – no luck. But, we did mark a few likely structure spots and I identified a number of transition spots where the bass should move to when they become active.
Other folks had the bug as well – there were three other boats on this 80 acre lake. Chatting with them revealed that they had a similar lack of success. I had an interesting discussion with a fellow member (well, actually my wife is the member) of BASS who took advantage of the high water to get his bass rig onto the lake. He normally does the Jon boat thing, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use a more comfortable craft. Hey, more power to him – as long as that gas motor does not cut on – no harm done. Anyway, he was another Breckenridge lover like me. His experience is that when the temperature spikes up another few degrees, the action will explode as they hit the beds. Now, with my luck/skill the bass don’t have anything to worry about – even when they are sitting ducks on the beds – and I was happy to discover that this guy felt like I did about catching bass on the bed – purely catch and release. Even then, be careful that you do not wear them out.
Looking down the lake towards the dam
Looking up the lake to the North towards the creek
Breckinridge has great structure scattered along the bank
The inlet – looks wide – it is – but it is only about a foot or so deep
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore