There is no bigger rush in bass fishing than setting the hook on a giant largemouth, with one exception…setting the hook on two of ’em!
Heading into this past weekend I was pretty confident that the big bass would be shallow and eager to feed. Water temperatures across Ohio had finally dipped well into the 40’s, and the smaller fish had already been feeding aggressively for a couple of weeks. So on Saturday I left my house at 5:30 a.m. on a mission to catch a November hawg. I decided to focus on a small public reservoir located to the south-east of Columbus. This body of water is a jig-fisherman’s dream. It has an abundance of shoreline wood, slightly stained water color, and a history of pumping out giants.
I arrived at the lake at 7:00 a.m., with the sun peeking through the early morning clouds. The forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, a 10-15 mph west wind, and a high of 55 degrees. Water temperatures to start the day were a frigid 42 degrees. Upon surveying the lake, my attention was immediately drawn to a series of large shoreline laydowns. I began pitching my Reevesy Jig tight to the base of each piece of wood, methodically working it through the submerged branches, and out into deep water. Midway through a cast to one of these laydowns my jig got thumped, and my rod bent. I immediately knew it was a big fish! After a short but spirited fight, Marshall netted this 5lb 1oz beauty.
I was fired up! I got a couple of quick pictures, put the fish in the livewell, and sat down on the front deck to re-tie my jig and let my nerves settle. We fished a couple hundred yards of shoreline without a bite, until we came to another large fallen tree. I pitched to the base of the laydown, and again my jig got crushed! The fish surged for deep water and I could hear my line stretching. I turned her back towards the boat and got her into the net. I put the fish on the digital scale, and it went 5lbs 8oz!
Don’t let cold water temperatures discourage you from bass fishing. This time of year, the big fish will feed until ice covers the lake. Both of these fish were caught before 10 a.m. with water temperatures below 45 degrees. They made for a pair of beautiful November pigs! Here is a short video we shot while on the water (you can expand the screen by clicking on the double arrow icon in the bottom right hand corner).
I would have been completely satisfied if I hadn’t had another bite all day. But the fish were on fire, and we ended up catching another 15 bass, including this pair (3lbs 10oz and 2lbs 7oz). All fish were caught flipping wood.
The good news is that the bite will only get better throughout the state as the water temperatures continue to drop. If you would like to hear more of my thoughts on the fall bass bite in Ohio, tune in this Saturday morning (November 26th) to the Buckeye Sportsman radio show with Dan Armitage. I’ll be doing a segment on the show that will discuss, amongst other things, fall tactics and specific lakes to target. To find your local radio affiliate and broadcast time, click on the following link: Buckeye Sportsman Affiliates and Times
On a final note, I want to wish everyone a very safe and happy Thanksgiving. Spend time with your loved ones, eat a lot of food, watch football, and if you can find the time, hit your local lake or reservoir for some late November Ohio bass action!