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Back Bay, Virginia

Discussion in 'General Bass Fishing' started by Charlie T, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Charlie T

    Charlie T Well-Known Member

    Back in the 80s, Back Bay, Virginia was in it's heyday. The entire 20,000+ acre bay was covered with Eurasian Milfoil. It was so thick you would have thought it was the prettiest grassy lawn you had ever seen. The standard method of fishing was to cast a 3/4 oz. Johnson Silver Minnow with a 4-6" curly tail grub or Uncle Josh Ripple Rind trailer as far as you could cast. The spoon would hit the grass and sit there. The grass was so thick that the spoon would not sink.

    You then started a slow, methodical retrieve back to the boat. Sometime during the retrieve a huge hole would develop in the grass and a BIG BASS would go flying into the air. As the beast came down, it attempted to grab the spoon which was still moving away at the same speed. Like as not, the bass would miss the spoon and you would stand in the boat, trying to recover from a heart attack.

    If you were extremely lucky, the bass would get the spoon and the fight was on. You could normally manage to get the fish to the surface and start cranking it across the grass for a short distance, but eventually you lost your advantage and the bass dived into the grass. At this point, you had to go get the fish.

    Keep in mind that this was the time before high power trolling motors with weedless props. Standard issue was normally a 30# trolling motor with a plastic basket covering the prop to keep the weeds off the prop. Unfortunately, it also kept the water off the prop and you spent an inordinate amount of time clearing the weeds so your trolling motor would propel you forward.

    Once you got to the fish, you netted the fish and 25# of grass. After bailing most of the grass, you reshaped the hoop on the net and searched for the fish. Sometimes it was a 1# fish, other times it was a 4-5# fish and occasionally it was an 8-10# bass.

    On the last trip I took in the 80s, I was accompanied by my nephew Wayne and my fishing buddy, Ken. We proceeded out of the mouth of the canal, heading for Pea Island where they had been catching some 9-10# bass. As we exited the mouth of the canal, we noticed a huge cottonmouth water moccasin swimming on the surface. As we watched the snake swim, a washtub sized hole appeared in the water and the snake disappeared. As the water reclaimed the hole, we noticed a huge wake moving away from the hole. A likely 8-10# bass had found him a good meal.

    Proceeding on, we decided to drift Shipps Bay instead of going around to Pea Island. We motored to the head of the Bay and proceeded to drift with the breeze. Casting and retrieving the baits, we concentrated on catching one of those elusive huge bass. Wayne was on the bow, Ken in the back and I was standing in the middle of the boat. As I concentrated to making my cast/retrieve desirable to bass, I heard a tremendous noise. I immediately thought that Ken had fallen over the side. Ken was not known as a dainty stepper. When fishing for catfish, Ken concentrated on the bait while I caught the big catfish. Ken would invariably lose every catfish I hooked and gave him the rod.

    I turned around just in time to see the largest bass I had ever seen come crashing down into the grass just inches from Ken's lure. The fish had blown a hole in the grass on the way up and missed the bait on the way down. Ken was recovering from a heart stoppage and was huffing and puffing like I have never seen before.
    I was astounded and disappointed that he had not gotten a chance to land the fish.

    Shortly thereafter, I was party to an identical situation as another huge bass came out of the water and missed my bait on the way down. Wayne, however, was luckier. His bass came up, jumped and caught the bait on the way down. After a good fight and a long trolling motor trip through the grass, he managed to put a 9-3 bass in the boat.

    We did manage to catch a number of fish in the 3-6# class that day, but the nine pounder and the two blowups were the topper to the whole trip.

    BCB and Gridleak like this.
  2. Wizard

    Wizard Well-Known Member

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  3. Gridleak

    Gridleak Well-Known Member

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