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Lake Reports

McClure Lake
McClure Lake By by basstrophy » Mon Feb 27, 2023 8:39 pm Slay Nations season opener at Lake McClure saw 40 anglers brave the chilly windy conditions. The air temperature was in the high 30’s to low 40’s with overcast skies, the water temperature ranged from 47 to 48 degrees, wind was calm early but blew from 10 to 15 mph later in the day. Lake McClure was stingy for most, but Max Lee found the right combination for an incredible 86.25”, besting second place by 1.5”. In Max Lee’s own words, "Going into this event I had no expectations; this was my first time on McClure Lake along with no practice. I have practiced on Pine Flat Lake which is also a highland reservoir with spotted bass. I had previously patterned the lake and gained confidence on a 3.3 fat impact swimbait with a 3/16th ball headed jig. On tournament day, the original game plan was to make the run into temperance arm. However, after realizing that fishing started as soon as we launched. I decided to fish around the boat ramp, I started in the back of a cove and found no success. I had previously done my map study and knew of high spots and points on the island south of the launch area. I figured with the water being slightly stained and the wind blowing, there was going to be some kind of bladed lure bite. I had confidence in a ball-headed Keitech, so I thought why not throw an A-rig with multiple swimmers. Upon reviewing my footage, I realized there were a few key things to trigger a bite. Crawling the rig as close to the bottom as possible, Fishing in less than 20 feet of water, casting into the wind and bringing the rig in with the wind. My first bite came on the wind protected side of a chunk rock point. The next bite came on a wind-blown chunk rock wall, I had gotten hung up and went to pop my rig loose and he ate it as I was reeling up. I continued to cover water and ran around the entire island for no more bites. My next bite was 100 yards North of the first bite on a slow tapering rock point that had a hard clay transition. That was the big fish of the day. I continued down the stretch of bank until I got to the area where I had gotten my 2nd bite of the day. With no bites I decided to double back and fish into the wind on the main lake side of the island. My 4th bite came on the northern point of the Island. I made the cast to shore on a boulder and was bit before it made it to the bottom. I fished into the wind 300 yards for no bites and was running out of boulders to cast at. I decided to make a run straight across the lake to a creek runoff area. I made one cast on the boulders on the shoreline and got my 5th bite. I would like to thank my friends and family for the support and encouragement they gave me. Along with the fellow anglers that I fish with and compete against. I appreciate and love the amount of passion and commitment my fellow peers and mentors have for fishing." Damian Thao came in second place with 84.75”. Thao started the morning off with a spinnerbait fish with in the first 5 cast of the day. He fished shallow all day long in the 5-to-10-foot range. He caught fish on a drop-shot Robo worm 6” straight tail Oxblood that attributed a few good keepers. The key to his better fish were secondary points with flats that had grass. He used his Garmin Panoptix to find the fish moving shallow and would cast to them. He rotated a few key locations and was able to catch bigger fish in the afternoon. Damian thanked his sponsors Wild West Bass Trail, Garmin, Power Pole, Duo Realis, LA Custom Jigs, TM Custom Lures, P-Line, 1st. Gen Fishing, and Kayak City. Thao displayed his appreciation to Dave Nunes with Slay Nation for putting on this event. David Morris, one of the greatest people one can meet, finished in 3rd place with 80.50”. Morris caught all his fish on a wacky rigged 297 Senko in the 5” size. He went upriver and fished 7-to-15 feet deep on rocks catching 12 fish throughout the day. Morris thanked his wonderful wife for all her support in making his fishing possible.

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