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It’s almost Thanksgiving, a chill is in the air and most of the talk I hear is about deer or duck hunting and college football. I’m a bit outside the circle right now because my mind is focused on the water and more importantly…largemouth bass. My favorite time off year is upon us, It’s cold steel time again.

When the first few cold fronts pass through north Georgia and knock the lakes’ water down into the fifties a couple of things are inevitable. First, the water clears thus allowing deeper water to contain dissolved oxygen. This allows shad to migrate into the depths. Not far behind these shad are the bass that has but one goal. That is to gorge on the available baitfish so that they’ll be healthy enough to make it through the winter.

I know from experience that these fish are catchable at some extreme depths with a variety of techniques. Most any method that involves a lure that imitates a shad will work and this includes a lipless crank, variations of a paddle tail swimbait, an Alabama rig and my personal favorite, the flutter spoon.

On Tuesday, November 13 2018 there were prefrontal conditions in north Georgia. Temperatures hovering around 45°, winds up to ten miles per hour and a chance of rain. Lucky for me I was scheduled to be off work for the next few days and what better way to spend your off time than fishing.

I arrived at the lake around eight in the morning, quickly unloaded my Jackson Coosa FD, rigged it up and headed out into the water. I kept my eyes on my fish finder screen as I searched the obvious spots that I knew had held schools of bass this time of year. Deep structure held none, a couple of ledges had none and as I eased across the lake I spotted shad schools which is a good sign yet still no bass were found. About a hundred yards away in an open section of the lake, on a virtually featureless bottom looked to be the mega school of bass I was searching for. My side imaging lit up with countless numbers of larger dots blanketing the bottom. I said out loud, “surely that isn’t bass” as I pedaled around to approach from downwind. I marked a few fish directly below me around 20’ and positioned just off the bottom and at that point I launched my flutter spoon. Once my line went slack indicating I had hit bottom I began my retrieve…lifting the rod tip and letting the spoon fall on a slack line in a pretty simple pattern. At about the third lift of my rod I felt a fish smash my spoon. The fish gave a valiant effort but I won the battle as I hoisted a healthy three pounder into my kayak. The next hour was almost non-stop action. If I wasn’t catching a fish I was getting bites and the few times I didn’t have a rod and reel in my hand I was circling the area in order to pinpoint exactly where the school had relocated. From 9:30am until 11:00am I had caught over ten bass up to seven pounds and one big catfish, all in a generally small area on my flutter spoon.

Around noon the bite was over and I decided to cruise around in search of any other schools of bass that I could find. I spent several hours searching, I fished some shallower water and went to some areas I generally don’t fish during cold weather. While on the opposite end of the lake I saw the one soul that was out in the not so pleasant weather that day. I pedaled over and struck up a conversation with the young kayak fisherman and found out his name was Sam and he had just graduated high school this past spring. He seemed like a very cool kid and I could tell that he really loved kayak fishing. Sam said he hadn’t had a bite all day. I told him about my day then invited him out to where I had last seen the school of bass from this morning. Once we arrived I gave him a spoon, a quick lesson and we set out looking for active fish. The school had actually moved north about one hundred yards and in no time I was hooked up. It seems like it always starts with the smaller schoolies hitting first then the big girls tend to fire up. I had caught several when Sam hooked up and boated a very nice five and a half pound bass. From 3:30pm until 5:00pm it was on fire. I landed several with my biggest of the day being caught that weighed eight pounds six ounces and Sam’s biggest being six and a half pounds. My five best bass for the day measured a whopping 109” and pushed thirty pounds.

Even though the weather was dreary the fishing was absolutely amazing and it was such an honor to be able to share a day like that with a young passionate kayak angler and show with him my favorite technique for big bass. Looking at my weather app the cold front would be slowly moving through for the next couple of days and I was hoping the fishing would continue to be active on these last few off days. Stayed tuned for part two of this blog and see what the next two days had to offer, what my rod and reel setup is and what spoons I like to use. Until then…Tight lines and as always, “Thank God for little plastic boats!”