Lake Columbia

Friday, March 22nd, 2019 | Author:

Lake Columbia is a 3000 acre lake near Magnolia Arkansas. Since it is about a 3 hour drive from Greenville, Jackson and I fished Wednesday, spent the night and fished Thursday. The water has a brown tint but had about a 2 1/2 foot visibility. Lily pads are everywhere as are stumps in the upper end of the lake. The stumps/trees are so bad in the  upper end of the lake there are boat roads marked by white pvc pipes. If you were in 20 feet of water you were still not completely safe. The “word was out” as, even during the week, the landings were well populated. We started shortly after 8 in pretty cool air temperatures and 57 degree water. Our first spot was a shallow bank with some pads and a few stumps. Jackson started with a spinner bait and I started with a “swim “O”, a fluke like bait with a swimming tail. We each caught a small one in relatively short order. Another fisherman was across the cove, and seeking some knowledge of the lake, I observed him intently. You could go so far as to say I spied on him. He was close in to the bank closely fishing each log he came to, giving me the idea that logs close to the bank should be inspected thoroughly.  We crossed the lake, gingerly because of the stumps, and fished a nondescript cove next to a landing which had 15 trucks in the parking lot. The cove had no pads in it and no apparent logs, but upon inspection, there were a few logs that were not very apparent. Jackson threw his paddle tail swim bait at one and set the hook. “It’s a big one”, he said and I could see it was when the fish came up the first time. The fish looked tremendous in the landing net and testimony of  “that’s the biggest bass I’ve ever caught ” and “that fish is over 10 pounds” was heard. We decided to take pictures first and weigh later. When the scales came out, mine said 8-11. ” Surely that’s wrong, must be a low battery. Get yours out”. Jackson’s scales read 8.66. I will have to admit I was completely fooled, way off on my weight estimation. It was 10:30.  Here is the pic:

We motored to the next cove to the North and started fishing again. This cove had pads everywhere but Jackson caught one right on the point by a log. As we went into the cove we caught some throwing into the pads, but in the back of the pocket there were a good many small fish. The water temperature had warmed to 62 degrees in the back of the cove. By now the wind was beginning to blow a little more and the wave action was beginning to affect any exposed banks so we explored and found a sheltered pocket in the shallow end of the lake. It was full of pads even out a good way from the bank. I threw the swim bait into the thicker pads and as it came over a pad a fish grabbed it. I hesitated, then set the hook and it was on. The fish was large, my line was only 12 pound test, and it was in the middle of a bunch of pads. Somehow I finally extricated the fish from the pads and got it to the boat. Seeing Jackson’s fish had tempered my estimating so I was not surprised at 6-7, very happy actually. I noted how the fish almost hit the bait on top and was immediately thinking Ribbit frog. I even put one on for a short while but there were no takers.Here is the pic


We caught several more fish in that spot. You can see in the photo that it was getting cloudy. Rain was in the forecast and due to the stumpyness of the lake a quick run to the landing was out of the question. The air temperature changed, the wind changed direction and the fish quit biting all a signal to us to start making our way back to the landing and fish closer to the truck. We made it back and fished the cove right at the landing with no luck. As the first light rain hit the water we loaded the boat. We caught 18, plus two of those were biggies and a couple more were in the three pound range. The best 5 were 24-10.  A great day of fishing in a new lake!

We retreated to Magnolia to find a spot for the night. All of the good hotels have inside access to the rooms only and no outside plugins so we could charge to batteries. We hunted and finally found a “no tell motel” with plenty of parking and a door you could run the extension cord out of and still close the door. It was not bad.

After a good night’s sleep and a shower we were ready to go the next morning and reached the lake at a little after 8:00.  We explored another large cove. I got a bite on my swim bait but the fish was swimming toward the boat, so when I set the hook, the hook didn’t set and about a 4 pounder came up and spit the bait out. Not a good way to start. After that nothing was happening. It became obvious we were fishing on the day after the cold front came through and the bite had throttled way back. We didn’t catch a fish until around noon. By then, we had figured out that we were going to have to really go slow with our baits. In a cove where we had good luck the day before, I was fishing with a fluke on my frog rod. It has a spinning reel with 40# Ardent Gliss line on it.  I threw it and pulled off a loop. As I tried to untangle the mess before it tied a hard knot, the boat was moving slowly dragging the fluke through the small lily pads. I thought it was hung and held the line to keep the knot from pulling tight . I could feel a tug on the other end. I made to decision to wind the mess onto the reel and try to catch the fish.  It worked and the first fish of the day came to the boat, a 3 3/4, by trolling a fluke. I threw the mess out and finished untangling it. I started just dragging the  fluke through the pads and soon caught another around three pounds. When fishing that slow you can’t cover much territory but we both slowed up. We continued fishing slow but later started using the swim bait like a fluke fishing it slow but the weighted hook helped to keep the bait down in the cover. We ran upon a cove within a cove that the wind was blowing into. There was a school of small fish in it. We were lucky to catch the 4 we caught there. Because of the wind at our backs we could cast a mile and the fish were hitting the bait when it hit the water. On a long cast a hook set is suspect but the Suffix Advance line I just started using did a good job. It is supposed to have little stretch. The wind was blowing hard, the bite became slow, we were well past our time we said we were going to leave, and facing a long drive home, we decided to call it a day.

It’s fun to go to a new lake and have a great day. It is also great to discover a new spot that is going to have some  Ribbit fishing and some big fish. All of the pads in Lake Monticello were killed by the draw down and the fishing there is nowhere what it used to be so finding a new place gives me hope. Fishing here is the pits because of the high river as is turkey season here. I predict I will have another visit to Columbia soon.

Edit: We chose to go on Wednesday because the Fishing Times website had the highest rating on that date of four stars and said “good all day”. It was dead on. Sometimes that thing is accurate as are the major and minor periods. The little front coming through right on the same day really helped too.

Tags »

Trackback: Trackback-URL | Comments Feed: RSS 2.0
Category: Uncategorized

Comments and pings are currently closed.