My was visiting a friend near Williamsburg, VA on Sunday to pick up some equipment, so I tagged along and had her drop me off at Diascund Reservoir to fish while she visited. Diascund and Little Creek Reservoir were close to her friend's house, which made everything easy. I fished Little Creek back when I lived in Williamsburg and caught some nice bass and pickerel there in the winter. According to VDGIF electrofishing reports (check out the list of lakes here: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/), Diascund has a bass population of similar high quality with good numbers of fish over 15", and it also has bowfin, which Little Creek doesn't. That would be a new species for me if I could find one.
There's a single boat ramp there with a dock, which is the easiest place to launch. There's parking for about 20-25 trucks with trailers and some non-trailer spots. There's no port-a-potty, surprisingly, so plan accordingly or use the woods near the parking lot. There's no charge to launch.
View from the boat ramp:
I hit the water at about noon, which wasn't optimal. According to some reports I found on other fora, the bass would be near woody debris in the shade during this time of the year. I forgot my thermometer, but the water was pretty comfortable temperature and cooler than the air, so I'll guess it was probably somewhere around the low 80s. I spent a lot of time in the sun casting to the shade, so my fishfinder sensor never cooled below 86*. The water in the reservoir was stained but really clear. I could probably see down at least 3 or 4 feet. If my lure was big and bright enough, I could often see it out to a full cast's distance away. The cool thing about this is that I saw a lot of fish during the course of the day. I saw one pickerel around 18", bass (one around 15-16"), bluegill (lots of really big bluegill in the 9-10" range), and a channel cat as it carried off my lure out of its nest. There were tons of minnows and small sunfish in the shallows and by brush piles.
According to the report, the Wahrani Creek arm had the largest bass (14" average) of the three areas they sampled, so I headed up the creek. I decided to shake up my starting line-up by including some new, more "natural" colors, like baby bass and Rapala's Helsinki shad (i.e. sexy shad), with my usual firetiger or chartreuse lures. It quickly became apparent that perch-colored or chartreuse lures were the color range of choice, but I kept changing things up in hopes of finding bigger fish. Minnow shapes seemed to be preferred to shad shapes. I ran through nearly everything I brought with me. Here's a list of everything I threw and the results:
Rapala Flat Rap, perch, 2.5: two 10 bass landed, one 5 bluegill landed, one ~18 pickerel follow, multiple large bluegill follows
Rapala X-Rap, perch, 3: one 12 pickerel landed
Rapala X-Rap, yellow perch (paler than the perch color), 1.5: few bluegill follows
Rapala floater, firetiger, 2: multiple large bluegill follows
Rapala Crankin Rap, CRR05 & CRR10, Helsinki shad: no hits, no follows
Bomber square bill shallow crank, firetiger, 2: no hits, no follows
Spinnerbait, chartreuse & white, 3/8oz: no hits, no follows
Powerbait grub, chartreuse, 2, 1/8oz: one 6 crappie, one 11 crappie, one 6 bluegill, one ~18-20 channel cat hooked, multiple large bluegill follows
Chatterbait, chartreuse & white, 3/8oz: one 13 bass, one yellow perch follow
Zoom fluke on a weighted hook, baby bass: one nice bass follow, one yellow perch follow
Powerbait worm, motor oil, 1/8oz Slider head: no hits, no follows
Norman Deep Little N, baby bass: no hits, no follows
Storm bluegill, 3: no hits, no follows
Roostertails, multiple colors, 1/16 & 1/8oz: no hits, no follows
Rattletrap, blue & silver, 1/2oz: no hits, no follows
Jitterbug, frog, 3: no hits, no follows
I caught the two little bass back to back. They slammed the Flat Rap as soon as it hit the water, which got me thinking that topwater lures would work. They didn't. The bluegill were really funny because they kept hitting the knot between my line and leader. I kept stepping down my lure size, but they didn't fall for anything. I bought a super small X-Rap for another place I had planned to fish with large sunfish, but the bluegill didn't like it. They would only follow a steady retrieve, not a "reel and pause" or "jerk and reel" retrieve. I thought for sure they would hit the dressed hook, too. Small Roostertails and Joe's Flies didn't work either. I hooked the catfish while retrieving the small Power grub from a snag. I hit a submerged branch right on the shore line. I pulled my yak in and was jiggling the lure trying to free it when the channel catfish hit it and started lazily swimming off as I watched it. I suspect it had a nest nearby. I set the hook, but my ultralight didn't have enough backbone to drive the hook home. The cat continued on unphased, so I set the hook again, which is when the cat dropped the lure and took off. I was bummed I didn't get to land it, but it was a cool series of events to watch. I was surprised I caught the 13" bass where I did because I had seen two other boats fishing there earlier and figured that area would've been worked over pretty well. It was on the way back to the ramp, so I decided to give it a try. The little bass managed to pull some drag at my striper setting, which was fun.
There were a lot of weeds and bottom scum, which made fishing the Power worm or anything else along the bottom pretty much impossible. I brought some things to jig, but I never saw many marks, not even along the many drop-offs in the lake. Also, it's apparent that I can't fish a fluke to save my soul because I have yet to catch anything on one despite several attempts with different colors and weights.
I called it quits just before 5pm. I talked with guy who had fished the reservoir for the past few days. He caught some smaller fish on Saturday but was skunked on Sunday.
In all, it wasn't a bad day of fishing despite the heat. If I wasn't set on finding nice bass and possibly a bowfin, I would've spent more time crappie fishing. There are lots of brush piles and an excellent mix of drop-offs and shallow flats. There are lots of submerged brush piles and stumps as well. The areas with stumps that I came across were pretty heavily fished by the bass boaters. The deepest water I found was about 16 feet, but I rarely saw bottom marks or bait marks in the areas I fished. I was hoping to find some lily pads/spatterdock so I could practice my frogging, but I never saw any. It's a big reservoir, I and think there are some somewhere based on what I've read. I would definitely fish Diascund again, if for no other reason that it's cool seeing the fish hit my lures in clear water.
Anadromous fish come and go, but catfish stay forever.
Great report. I think you just confirmed what I have been suspecting. Theres a local lake 3 miles from home that I have fished for 10 years and never caught a channel cat in it with lures till this year. Ive caught channels in other lakes on lures.This year I lost a lure on my crappie rig with 6lb test. Instead of reaching into my tackle box I started going through my life vest pocikets to see what was availabale. I found a new package of 2"storm shads which I have never used and tied one on. Well every night I have used that lure I have caught at least one channel cat up to 24". Now the same sections of shore line gets pounded all day long by jon bots using a variety of lures. I speak to a lot of fisherman at the ramp and noone else has caught a single cat to my knowledge on lures.I dont think half of these guys believe me but thats there problem. Anybody can learn something in fishing if your if you just listen. I noticed every cat I have caught is bursting with eggs so they havent spawned yet. All of them have come out of 4-6 ft of water just outside a thick weed bed. All have been released so they could finish spawning. There fun to catch on lite light but they sure mess up 6lb test with there circleing and rolling. Keep having to respool. As far as a zoom try white. All my other lures on other rods have been catching bass, yellow perch and other bream in the same general areas but zero cats.Thanks again for your great reports.
Ictalurus, great report, I esp. like the part about the tiny torp fouling. Don't give up on Diascund, it's a tough place to fish but holds some real nice strong bass. This time of year my favorite tactic is to use topwaters, esp. Pop R types, on the midlake humps. Make long cast and fish them between 4 and 6 feet. Helps avoid the scum, which seems to have got worse the last couple years. Bob
Excellent. Thanks for the info, gents. I'm looking forward to getting another shot at that lake. Just seeing all the fish in the clear water was pretty cool.
Regarding catfish on lures, this is the time of year for it. Even after they spawn, the males will guard the nest and hit anything that comes near it. When I was a kid, my father and I kept hooking into something big but it kept breaking us off or spitting the hook. We had to cast in a specific spot, or it wouldn't hit. After the better part of an hour, my father finally landed a 15lb blue cat while using an electric blue worm. Later that year, a drought lowered the lake level, and we saw a tire at that spot, which the cat had probably used for a nest.
I worked with a guy that routinely caught nice cats in the evening working a black Jitterbug close to shore. That might also be worth a shot.
Anadromous fish come and go, but catfish stay forever.