Chasing the Shad Ball at Double A

Aug 16 2023

Ryan Sipe


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Fished 8/15, hit the water at 6:40am with 76 degree temps (felt amazing) and very little wind.  Started counter clockwise from the ramp and caught a nice 2.5 lber on my third cast with the 6th Sense catwalk from the first cove.  Had two fish come completely out of the water and miss my lure in the cove in the NW corner.  After that, not a bite for 1.5 hours even though there were plenty of jumpers around the lake.  Around 9:15am the wind started kicking up to 10-15mph so I achored off the weedline in the SE corner with the wind to my back.  I started seeing a mass of shad flying out of the water and explosions everywhere from bass, so I bombed a good 35-40 yard cast past them and boom, 2lber on the catwalk.  Unhooked that one and they were still feasting, so I casted again, two completely missed coming out of the water, but the third fish nailed it, a 3lber.  The shad made their getaway for a few minutes but reapeared to my fight about 20 yards.  I could then see just how many bass were in this school, I am guessing 50-75 but could’ve been more.  Same drill this time around, cast past them, walk it very aggressively and they would massacre it.   At one point i could see 5-6 fish chasing my walking bait.  So for the next hour i would chase the bait ball, catch a few, it would disappear and then i’d try a few other things to bide the time (mini-A-rig, T-Rig, shakey head, drop shot, deep diving crank).  Zero success on anything else during this time.  Around 10:30am the action stopped, so I went to the east side and anchored down.  I don’t have electronics so used jthe maps from the website to discern where a couple good humps and points would be.  Caught 4 on the shakeyhead from there, all around 1.5-2lbs.  Fished in a few more spots with no bites and was about to head in around 1pm when I saw the school reappear.  Chased it again for 30 minutes and landed 4 fish, all of which were 3+lbs.  It died down again, so off the water by 2pm.

Total fish caught was 18 with 14 being solely on topwater and mostly from chasing that school.  It was a blast and reminded me of when I lived in hawaii chasing schools of small tuna.  All of the fish caught in the school were at least 2lbs, with most pushing 3+.  Didn’t find much of a pattern outside that fishing deep and didn’t have a hit on anything else besides a shakey head.

Always a fun lake that I am starting to feel more comfortable fishing!  Didn’t see Joe this time around, but big thanks to him as always.