Sunday, June 9, 2013
Lake BV - Fly Fishing for Bass
I went fishing on Lake Bella Vista. A bit disappointing. The lake is about 5 or 6 feet lower than usual. The lake has a dam, spillway and what appear to be a levy. My understanding is that on of those features needs repair and Bentonville is trying to decide how to repair the lake properly which means deciding on how to acquire funding. I think they were looking at state money or assistance from Bella Vista. The lake sits at the north end of Bentonville of which it is part of the city - not Bella Vista - although, I think it was part of Bella Vista at one time. There used to be a bait shop or two at the lake when it was a part of Bella Vista. But now, this poor lake has yearly algae blooms and was pretty dirty and stinky. Unless you fish the east side where the creek flows in and pushes the water northwards. There is a lot of timber and what seems to be sorts of farm equipment to provide cover for fish. Most folks fish from the banks and the feeder creek to the south. My buddy has done well in the creek. There are sizable spotted bass and warmouth in the channel.
I went to War Eagle Creek and was practically forced off by swarms of families floating in tubes and kayaks. The lake is full and the creek is backed up and with not much flow, folks were paddling up and down the stream - even watching videos on their phones with the volume turned up loudly. After a frustrating outing with a few small spotted bass, I decided to find somewhere else to relax. Yes, relax. I don't do that much on the water these days.
So, I changed into some dry clothes and loaded up the kayak. One the way home from the creek, I kept thinking of fishing that tournament next weekend and if I could hang with guys tossing chatter baits and flukes. It's been over a year since I had the kayak out much less fish for largemouth bass. I figured it was time to practice and prepare for the tournament.
In fishing just a few hours, I caught several bass and crappie. It was tough going. I had to fish a protected cove which receives a lot of shade from the bank and a jetty. The creek channel flows on the far side of the lake and a lot of fallen timber provided just what I needed. This area rarely sees bank fisherman much less anyone kayak fishing. Canoes and kayaks are only allowed on the lake.
I fished the creek channel and the mouth of the creek. It was pretty clear and I tried to sight fish. I saw no fish - not even those little sunfish. I worked the timber with purple and brown crawdad patterns. Foamies presented in an attention grabbing plop brought no response.
Pistol Petes brought a few strikes but nothing solid. I weighed anchor and worked the edge of the creek channel. Then I floated down the bank with no success. It wasn't until I made my way to the west side of the lake did things turn out better. I actually lost more than I caught. I tried several flies but the only thing that worked was the Shucker. I had quite a few strikes from crappie and lost a number of bass. Partly due to the fact my Shucker only had a size 8 hook. I tried the size olive Shucker with no luck.
It was fun to fish new water instead of wading the same streams. I may hit a different lake this evening but that depends on what plans of my wife. The Shucker has been a pretty good pattern this year. I need to make some more of the black ones but may have a hard time finding the glow-in-the-dark XL lead eyes. The past few days of fishing have yielded no bluegills, goggleye or warmouth. I am a bit disappointed but if at all possible, I may hit a lake stocked with red ear and bluegills today. With the kids being at home and the summer heat drawing upon us, I hope to hit the water as much as possible until we have 100 degree days.