My brother Jeff called Tuesday night and asked if I wanted to meet him at Fayette County Lake the next morning. Of course I said yes. For those of you that do not know, Fayette is a power plant lake just east of LaGrange, Texas. Around 2,500 hundred surface acres, it is a great little lake. It has lots of grass beds, both deep and shallow, and many areas are lined with reeds. It has a 14 -24″ slot, which means there are lots of bass, and one of the things we like about it is that it often allows you to fish several ways successfully. Many people fish deep as it has depths to 70 feet, we like it because you can fish shallow much of the year, and that was the pattern of the day.
We started off fishing shallow running Shad Raps, a bait that has been highly successful for us on Fayette in the spring. Shad is the major forage, so it is a good crankbait/jerkbait lake. We started in the Park Prairie Park cove. As we headed down the first bank we just struck out. And I mean not a bite. But there was lots of action in the reeds, and so the logical choice was to hit them. So we eased in and went to pitching.
We started catching them on Swimming Jigs, at least till I lost the only 1/4 oz. I had, and then I switched to a craw with a 1/4 oz. Texas rig, Jeff stayed with the jig. They bit pretty consistently on almost any bank with reeds. Most of the bites came right on the outside edge, though some were farther back in. As Jeff only brought regular rods, it was a little tough for him, but it worked out.
Jeff’s first good one pitching a jig. Nothing like your first attempt at it!
While I probably caught 8 to 10, and he caught 5 or 6, the jig was clearly the better choice. The craw got bit quite a bit more, but the results were not as good. When he caught one on the jig it was a good one, and he managed several like this, where I only caught one in that category. But either way, they were in the reeds tight to cover. And you would feel very few of them actually hit it, it was simply weight, and often they would swim with it. Neither of us is that accomplished at pitching or flipping, but today they taught us a lesson. That pattern should continue for awhile, until the majority head for deeper weeds and drops.
We did not even cover a small portion of the available reeds, but it was time to do some jerking and cranking. I started off with the shallow running Shad Rap, and Jeff threw a Rogue Jr. in a funny orange color. I was reeling the Shad Rap at a moderate speed, and when they did hit it, they whacked it, there was no missing them. We caught maybe 10, but the jerk bait was winning. Not only did he catch some, he had several try to take the rod out of his hands.
After a while he made the right choice, switching to the smaller 2 hook Rapala Husky Jerk in the chrome with a black back. They really liked that, and he caught several good ones, lost a big one, and had another real hoss follow it right to the boat. I meanwhile threw the book at them, including spinnerbait, deep diving crankbait, a tilapia color Rogue Jr. (they are spawning all over the lake, Jeff foul hooked a big one), and a few other assorted baits trying to see if they would hit anything else. One side note, there are so many shad in the lake right now that we were foul hooking them frequently. But one thing was clear, if there were shad in the area you got bit immediately.
I finally gave in and threw that 2 hook Husky Jerk, and boy am I glad I did. I got it halfway back to the boat, where most of the better ones came, and I felt one really thump it.
You could not see the Husky Jerk it was so far down her mouth. There is nothing like a big fish eating a jerk bait with bad intentions.
We were staying off the bank about a cast and a half. And then jerking it along at a moderate rhythm in a jerk/jerk – pause – jerk – pause, and do it all over again. Many of the banks on Fayette have grass beds off the bank, and I assume most of the better ones were coming out of the grass in 5 – 10 feet to eat it. Points in the coves were clearly the best for us today. And one word on the smaller jerk bait like the Husky Jerk, it works best on 10 or 12 lb line. Be sure to watch how it flashes by the boat to get the best action. You are trying to simulate a dying or injured shad.
It was now about 4:30 so it was time to put the camera on my head and do a little filming. With about 2 hours of record time and daylight left it was the perfect time. I was hoping to get a good one on film but it did not happen. Less than a half hour later here comes the rain. And off in the distance it was starting to thunder, so as discretion is the better part of valor, we quit. So here is a short clip of one of the couple of small ones I caught in the last half hour right before we quit. It will give you an idea of how we were using it.
So all in all a good day. When you have a set of conditions and a lake that allows you to establish several good patterns it is a thing of beauty. If you get a chance to head to Fayette give this a try. Patience is the key, but if you will stay with it you just might get that big bite.
And a side note, there was an area south of Hallettsville headed to Victoria where it must have rained a ton. There was a trooper with his lights on, the ditch was full, and water had been on the highway. The little creeks in that area were hauling, so maybe we will get a break in the drought.
Again, thanks for reading my stuff. I appreciate it every time you come to my blog. We try to give you real information and accurate reports. So if you have any comments or suggestions let me know.
Good Luck and Tight Lines.