Great day on the West Fork of Smith Lake near Aquia. Absolutely pleasant Saturday in May – air temp around 73 degrees and bright sun. We hit the lake at around noon, launching from the Aquia side of the lake as shown on the map.
Crisis! I forgot to bring the paddles for the canoe. What the heck, we launched anyway – the electric motor I have been using has proven to be absolutely reliable. We started fishing across the lake – no luck there so we decided to head to the top part of the lake to check out all the water.
Immediately noticed that there is not as much structure on this side of the lake as the other – which may account for the fact that we only saw two other boats on our side. Since the wind was blowing from the Northwest, we decided to buzz to the top and then get blown down the shoreline with our sea anchor deployed.
This turned out to be a great decision – once up to the top, we encountered nice structure – plenty of trees blown down into the lake. Since it was such a pleasant day, I decided to fish with a top water Scum Frog and immediately started picking up some smaller bass – in the 12 inch range as shown below.
We worked our way around the corner and Donna laid into a huge one! After fighing it for about a minute, she hauled a snapping turtle to the surface – this thing was about as big as the steering wheel in my truck! Thankfully, it let go of the plastic worm and disappeared back into the lake.
Right at the corner, I got a lucky cast back deep into the structure next to the bank and BANG! A nice two pound bass slammed that frog! Saw the whole thing – and was able to pull him into the boat after about a minute of working him around the branches.
It was about 3 PM at this point, so we decided to start working down the bank to get back to the truck when I noticed that the motor was not as lively as it usually is.
Oh, rats! The motor may be reliable, but it runs on a battery that will drain! We abandoned our plans for further fishing and slowly started heading back down the lake – just waiting for the motor to conk out when the battery died.
I decided to assist by grabbing one of my bait boxes and using it as a paddle. Donna also provided an assist by using her umbrella as a sail – we actually made some good time!
We made it back to the truck without further incident – other than the dirty looks I got from Donna. Maybe we do need a checklist – after all, it’s easy to overlook items of equipment as you load up.
Conclusion – Smith Lake is pretty nice. And – I bet the upper corner is not well fished purely as a result of the battery issue. Remember that this lake prohibits gasoline motors – so folks probably fish closer to the entry points.
Typical smaller fish nailed with the Scum Frog
Picture of a bass caught earlier on Smith Lake – the great one described above was lost as a result of operator error working the camera – rats! But it was about this size.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore