Jordan Lake & Gaston Lake Report July & August

Sorry its late, but the striped bass fishing on Jordan Lake and Gaston Lake was really good during July and the first couple weeks of August.

I got out multiple times by myself, took Michelle a few times, and even took her nephew out on his first striper trip and we caught fish every time; keepers too.

Crankbaits, bucktails, swim bait rigs, it didn’t seem to matter if you could get on top of the fish and stay with them. Striped bass move around quite a bit in summer and can be notoriously difficult to fish at times during the hottest months.

And there seemed to be no markable thermocline this year, add that to the list of crazy 2020 happenings. And in addition everything seemed late.

Anyway, here are a bunch of pics of the fish we caught for our summer season, back to work for me!

Brandon’s first ever striped bass!

The spotted and largemouth bass were thick in the mix on Gaston Lake all summer long, especially on big spinners trolled fast through the upper water column. Stripers seemed to be 20′ down on both lakes for over a month, you just had to find them.

Jordan stripers were feeding well then I got too busy to fish, so I don’t know what’s going on there now…..

And don’t forget to check out cedarscrimshaw.com for game fish artwork like these….

Tight lines!

 

Gaston Lake Stripers May 2020

The striped bass have been feeding heavily on Gaston Lake this month, along with the blue catfish and spotted bass.

Gaston Lake has been on fire! The hardware bite has been very good for us for multiple trips now, and the live baiters are also telling of really good fishing.

Started on the river side chasing them when Dominion was pulling water and did ok, but that bite has seemed hit or miss this year, so I started on the main lake. The striped bass are scattered but when you find them its really good fishing. I’ve been having success in 18 to 24 foot of water running 4 colors of leadcore to either cranbkbaits or swim baits. No hits on bucktails as of yet, but the fish are hitting plugs and sassy shad type plastics hard.

Along with the stripers have been a good number of spotted and largemouth bass, and of course the famous Lake Gaton, gear-wrecking blue catfish. These three species have been readily taking the same baits in the same areas in the same depths.

Hope this helps!

Get out there and let me know how you do!

And for gifts like these below, for the sportsman and sportswomen in your lives…check out my cedar scrimshaws!

Memorial Day Weekend on Gaston Lake

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The striped bass have continued to be active on Gaston Lake, so I headed up last Friday to try my luck again.

After a few hours of searching last weekend, I’d found a large school of schoolie stripers near the back of a long creek on the lake. I didn’t expect them to be in the same spots, but to my amazement, they were not only still there, but there seemed to be more of them. These young striped bass are ferocious when it comes to attacking baits and even more so once landed. Anglers should be very careful when handling stripers, young or old, these fish are full of piss and vinegar long after you’ve fought them to the boat.

I hadn’t been on the water twenty minutes Friday afternoon when two of four rods doubled over on the first pass. I fought both fish to the boat and happened to land them on Capone’s bed. He was nowhere near as thrilled as I was with the double hookup.

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Both fish hit crankbaits and were positioned in fifteen FOW on a hump in twenty-two FOW. These young fish are truly beautiful specimens, and are likely naturally spawned fish. Gaston Lake has a very healthy, naturally-reproducing population of stripers. The colors are slightly crisper on the smaller fish, much like reptiles, young striped bass’s hues really pop in bright sunlight. You can see purples, blues and even pink shades in the white areas on the younger fish.

That afternoon was filled with multiple striped bass hookups, and I boated a ton of perch too. There was a good size class of white perch feeding in the same areas the stripers were occupying. I fished til sunset and called it an afternoon with plans to hit the water early the next morning with my Dad and stepmother on their boat.

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The next morning was calm and started off with cloud cover. It was perfect. We knew the lake would get extremely busy sometime around midday since it was a holiday weekend. So we got out at dawn and quickly started catching fish. I offered to drive their boat and just let them catch fish and they graciously accepted.

We started off slow, only catching white perch, but it was steady action, and we had a few doubles that kept my family engaged in the outing. Then, we came across the school of striped bass one time and they each landed one. Shortly afterwards my father landed a largemouth bass and a few more perch as well.

After a few hours the traffic started picking up and we opted to break for breakfast. But after we got back to the dock, I couldn’t stand it (of course) and decided to take my boat back out for a while.

I don’t know what it is, but my Alumacraft is just a striper magnet. I hadn’t been in the area a few moments and dropped three rods back, all with crankbaits attached. I was preparing to drop a fourth rod back when all three rods doubled over at the same time. I wasn’t even in the most productive areas at the time. But in short order I boated a triple and snapped a quick pic.

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Two of the fish were fairly small, but the third was close to the 20″ minimum. Regardless, I released all three of them and kept after it. I trolled around another few minutes and hit the school a few more times, which resulted in more short fish; then started catching the perch again. Once they started I couldn’t get the baits down to the linesiders anymore. I even had a few perch quads! It was hilarious and the action was so steady, I started just fishing with two rods out. The traffic made it hard to troll and even harder to do anything besides hook the fish, fight the fish and toss them back in the water as fast as I could.

After perhaps another hour or so boat traffic got so steady it was impossible to fish the lake, so I decided to join the revelers and enjoyed the afternoon. There was even a pizza boat!

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All in all it was a really fun couple days of fishing, and we even had a great time giving up the water to the jet skies, wake boarders and skiers. Sometimes you have to just join the park-tanners and fish in the early and later parts of the day. Those are the most productive times of the day anyway.

I caught all my fish on crankbaits this past weekend. I’m sure they would have hit other baits, but when a crankbait bite is on, it’s as easy as it gets. The fish were still hitting in shallow water in the creeks and I found no fish on the main lake. The larger fish are still working their way back down lake, as they have been spawning in the river.

But I would guess the big fish will be hitting the main lake in the next few weeks. Stay tuned….