Saturday morning Evan and I headed off to Smith Mountain Lake to do a little prefishing for the Virginia Tech Bass Fishing Team tournament we had on Sunday. On Saturday we ran all around the lake getting tossed around by high winds, but were not able to find bait nor fish. We threw everything but the kitchen sink at them; we threw swimbaits, A-rig, jig, Texas rigs, drop-shot, and just about everything else in our tackle boxes. Despite our best efforts though we only landed two shorts, and a couple green sunfish.
When Sunday morning rolled around, we were the first team to launch. We immediately headed far up the Blackwater arm. The day prior we talked with some guys at the ramp who told us that the bait was in a cove passed the 4-H area, and that was our end destination. After a 20minute run we reached the cove, and immediately saw striper fisherman in there and got excited. I started off with topwater, but only managed a couple short strikes, probably from sunfish.
We continued to work the cove, and found bait stacked up in spots. However, the bait was not holding fish. Instead, we started catching fish off docks on drop-shot in <10FOW. My first fish was 13.9in-14in depending on how you measured it, but we were too worried it wouldn't be long enough if placed on the board at weigh in so I tossed it back.
The morning quickly gave way to the afternoon, and we only had short fish to show for it. We caught around a dozen fish 12-13.9in (a Claytor Lake limit!). The afternoon went faster than the morning did, and soon it was time to head back to the launch for weigh-in.
I was relieved to hear that we were not the only team to struggle on the lake, not one of our teams caught a limit. The winning weight for our tournament was less than 7lbs with 4fish and the Weekend Series Championship was ~12lbs/day. Both pros and joes alike struggled to find the fish out on a low Smith Mountain Lake.
There were many tournaments over the course of the weekend, and I would like to blame the lack of fish both days on that. However, I think the root cause of no keepers was the lake being down close to five feet from normal pool. All the spots we would usually fish were high and dry, boats were on lifts that hovered over dry land, and floating docks in inches of water! It was a tough two days of fishing, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.