Lure Selections and Strategy
When targeting pre-spawn bass at the entrance of the creek, spinner baits are our weapon of choice. Terminator spinner baits in the 3/8 and ½ ounce sizes, with Tandem Blades are top producers in these areas. “ZAP” Custom spinner baits, along with Harts “Hart Throb” series, and B&D lures, Evilution V spinner bait also take their fair share of bass in this area in the spring. Color is not that important this time of year in the stained to muddy water, but we have had the best success with baits that imitate the shad, in white/chartreuse, and in “Golden Shiner” patterns. If the water is truly “muddy”, then we will use a darker skirt many times. We burn these baits across the emerging grasses and around the lily pad root systems, causing aggressive strikes with an erratic retrieve.
When we are looking for that one particular big bite, to upgrade our limit, the baits we use are “Senkos” and “Bearpaws Handpoured Baits”. These are similar to Senkos in size and appearance, but have a different manufacturing process which bakes in scents, and are a little tougher, so they last longer when the bass are aggressive. These baits also produce all sizes of bass better when a cold front moves through, and causes the action to slow down. When a severe cold front blows through over a few days, it will cause the bass to drop down to deeper water in the 10 foot range, and hold on the tops of trees. When this happens, we target them with mid range crank baits, using a stop and go retrieve, with great success. Once the bass move to the backs of the creek to spawn, “Senkos”, “Bearpaws”, “IKA” tubes, “Zoom” flukes, lizards, and Terminator jigs, flipped into the docks, grass, and pads, produce a good limit in short order.
On the weekends in the spring, this area can be crowded with many other anglers, and small to midsize crank baits, such as a “Manns” Mid-Minus, and a “Strike King” series, can be a great tool in addition to the spinner baits and plastics. Dont hesitate to throw a buzz bait around the same cover, once the water temperature warms to 55 degrees or above. This can produce some real hawgs at this time of the year. We like to use a custom type clacker buzz bait made for us by “ZAP” Custom Lures. We also have great success with the “Terminator” Ball-Buster. One year in April, with water temperatures only in the 50s, these buzz baits produced a 17 pound limit by 10:00 am, in a team tournament. with the biggest bass weighing 5.6 pounds. The old standby, the black and blue Terminator jig, with pork or plastic for a trailer, placed in and around pilings, ladders on docks, and floating piers, will always produce good sized bass. Most anglers use the jig when fishing docks, but switch to other baits many times in the laydowns. This can be a mistake, as many times in the spring, we caught several bass in the 5 and 6 pound class, flipping the wood in Turners Creek with this jig. Turners Creek is a hot spot at all times of the year, but it is especially productive in the spring. An experienced angler can expect 10-15 bass on a good day from this creek alone. Although at times, other creeks can produce more bass, this creek gives up he better quality bass on a consistent basis. Our largest bass from this creek was 6.4 pounds, but we have heard of 7 pound bass being caught on occasion.
This is the most productive spring spot on the Sassafras River, and in our opinion, on the entire Upper Chesapeake Bay. While largemouth bass spawn in several creeks along the river, the majority of them choose Lloyds Creek. While there is a very strong current at the entrance to Lloyds Creek, the rest of it has very little movement.
The shoreline, for the most part, is very shallow in Lloyds, but offers some mid depths to 6 feet just off shore. The entire creek is loaded with cover. This includes laydowns, logjams, and a variety of grasses, and an old barge. The barge, grasses, and seawalls in Lloyds are the most productive areas. The bass love to hold on these pieces of cover, and when combined with the hard sand bottom and rocks, it makes for an ideal habitat for a tidal spawning ground.
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