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Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

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Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Luni on Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:12 pm

Got a tip that the lakes around Hoffman are under fished and hold a decent mix of game fish.  Went out to Cameron Lake and it looked like the water was down at least 4 ft with almost no vegetation, no structure, and a flat sandy bottom which you could see through the crystal clear water.  I managed to have one small bass run off with a super fluke out of a fallen tree but he didn't take the hook and let it go.  Went back to the inlet which was a foot deep channel in a grassy mud hole.  Packed it in and went to Scotland Lake which was nearby.  Water level was down even more and everything just looked dead.  Didn't even get out of the truck.  Decided to hit Little Muddy and try to save the day.


Vegetation was starting to die off and making mats on the surface and shallows had lots of patched muddy islands of lake bottom sticking up.  Wasn't getting my hopes up and tried working a soft plastic around the edges and in the pockets.  Got a hit on the fluke topwater in the shallows but mistimed the hook set and tossed it.  Then the topwater action started.


I lost count of how many fish I missed today.  I want to say around 4 on the spro frog. Topwater timing is tricky. First fish I got to the hit the frog ever had jumped clear out of the water when I spotted him and looked like a giant. I was surprised when I walked the frog right over where he was sitting and he slammed it. Rushed the hook set and launched the frog back to the boat. Repeat that scenario a few more times. See fish break the water, throw frog at fish, fish hits frog, blast frog out of water back to boat. When this guy hit it I just sat for a second and felt the weight of the fish then set the hook like I was trying to rip his head off. Still only barely got him in the corner of the mouth. I'm just glad I finally figured out the topwater thing.  The fish would only hit the frog when it was on top of them so I settled into a pattern where I'd just float and watch the surface for the a fish strike then paddle over and work the frog.  Figured out the cadence the bass wanted on the frog and got a hit every time.


All day only put one fish in hand but it was worth it to see some new areas and figure out some new techniques.








Brought the measuring tape and he was a solid 16".  Hit the frog right next to the kayak and I waited until I could feel the weight on the line then set the hook like I was ripping his head off.  Still barely hooked him in the corner of the mouth, he wrapped up in the weeds and I brought him to the boat with the net.  I really need to go with a braided line if I'm going to keep this up.
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Luni
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Join date : 2013-08-22
Location : Hoke County

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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Snagged on Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:17 pm

Nicely done.  I need to zero in some top water frog action one of these days.
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Snagged
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Join date : 2010-09-07
Location : Raeford, NC

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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Luni on Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:37 pm

I was wondering what all the fuss was about but there's a rush when you watch the water explode in the middle of the weeds and your lure disappear and a cinder block hits the end of your line and the rod doubles over.  Then it's half dragging the fish to me and half dragging the kayak to the fish.  I'll be back out there next chance I get.
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Luni
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Join date : 2013-08-22
Location : Hoke County

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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Coach on Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:33 am

Very nice. I like hsrd body poppers thrown around logs.  Have had lo ts of luck with this.

One of the hardest things to do is let the fish take it when you see the torpedo flying up at the bait. Can't tell you how many I've missed like this.
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Coach
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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Luni on Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:35 pm

Made it back out to Little Muddy.  Water level dropped about a foot from last time and sure enough the fish scattered.  Worked over the same spots as last time just to check and had one fish that really wanted to frog, hit it twice, carried it a few feet, but couldn't hook him, I'm guessing it was a dink. Swapped over to a crankbait and put the first fish in the boat in open water.  Found a channel between some floating weeds and had a big bass nail the crankbait but shook the hook on the jump.  Tossed it back out and it carried the lure out of the channel but couldn't set the hook.  Guessing he hid in deep water after that.  Went back a couple times to see if I could pull him out of the channel and didn't get another strike.  Got another hit on the frog in a back cove full of lily pads with some fish hitting the surface but couldn't hook him.  Started fan casting open water with the crank and the wind blew me into a large patch of lily pads so I changed back to the frog and just hucking it as far as I could to cover the flat.  Second cast I blasted it out until I was almost out of braid down to the mono backing near some stumps.  I was half paying attention working the frog back and when I went to pop it I got solid dead weight, I gave it a second to see if it was just a snag and the rod tip started bouncing and I jammed the hook in.  Probably a good 50-60ft from the kayak in the middle of the weeds, I reeled myself to the fish more than the fish to me and got him in the boat.  He swallowed that frog.  Paddled around for a couple more hours to cover the rest of the pond and finally packed in it when I couldn't figure out the pattern for the fish and the wind was blowing to heavy to get a decent cast out.

Put 2 fish in hand.  Both measured in at 14".  It was a weird day.  In the end I caught fish in blue bird conditions with low water and missed a couple others but I just never got a feeling that I had a figured out the pattern and left feeling a little defeated.  Both fish were probably instinct strikes that I pulled in on luck but that's what I get for leaving the house late and missing the morning bite.

Interesting coloration.  Very dark.  Compared to the 2-tone river bass that I thought was a spotted bass it looks like a totally different species.  Really starting to appreciate the difference in fish that I'm catching in different ponds.

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Luni
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Join date : 2013-08-22
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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Coach on Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:58 pm

Lots of good advice in this video Luni. He's fishing the new kvd popper but good overall advice for all poppers.

http://www.wired2fish.com/topwater-fishing-with-kvd-splash/
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Coach
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Join date : 2010-10-18
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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  dboreliz on Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:30 pm

In the back of Little Muddy there is a old dock past the spillway. It's near the SERE training site close to the bleachers. Since I only have a 19ft flat bottom, I never put in at Little Muddy. However, I park in the back of the lake and walk the back shoreline. Every time I get close to that dock, no matter how sneaky I am, big fish get really spooked and blast out like torpedoes. I'm not exactly sure what they are but, they're big. Maybe if you took your kayak, you might have a better chance at em and finally put an end to the mystery.Smile
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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Luni on Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:54 pm

I know the one. Last time I was out there it was late morning by the time I fished my way to the dock and the real fish had moved deep. I think the low water might mess with it a bit too.
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Luni
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Join date : 2013-08-22
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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

Post  Snagged on Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:51 pm

You've inspired me...I went out and picked up a few frogs and I'll be giving them a whirl this weekend, probably at McArthur
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Re: Hoffman lakes and figuring out topwater

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