Besides the ideal cover, bottom composition, and sun exposure, Lloyds offers something else that makes it an ideal spawning ground for tidal bass. It has a clear and defined channel leading into the creek, and into all points along the shoreline. This provides a virtual “Freeway” for the bass to follow. This makes the job of targeting these bass under changing water conditions and seasons fairly simple. I believe that this is the reason that not only huge numbers of bass in the Sassafras come here, but I believe they come from other nearby rivers as well, and possibly even from farther away.
In the early spring, bass will begin to stack up at the entrance to Lloyds Creek in amazing numbers. The water is fast here, and goes from 16 feet in the main channel, to as shallow as 1 foot on the shore. This steep drop-off runs from about 300 yards from the entrance in the fast moving water, to about 50 yards into the creek, and stops at a large dock. The whole shore on this side is loaded with old trees, brush, and rocks. On the opposite side a huge peninsula comes across forming a perfect sand point 20 yards from the steep shore. That 20 yard space Is the entrance to Lloyds Creek. This is why the current rips through this area at an unbelievable pace. Even a trolling motor of 24 volts, can barely hold position on its highest setting in this area. The bass congregate all around this sand point and the adjoining areas. The best baits for this area are Rat-L-Traps in blue/chrome, in 3/8 and ½ ounce sizes, Terminator and Zap spinner baits in ½ ounce, with Tandem, and/or willow leaf blades, and small crank baits. About 10 yards from the tip of the point, the current swirls to form a large eddy. Many times 15-20 bass in the 1 ½ to 3 pound range can be caught on successive casts to this eddy. The other tactic is to cast your bait right up on the sand point, and then pull it into the fast moving water, and the bass just slam the bait as it enters, many times on every other cast for an hour or more. On the opposite shore, the bass bunch up on the wood, as it is the only thing blocking the current. At slack tides these bass will slam the same reaction baits as on the point, however, when the current is swift here; the best thing to do is flip heavier jigs and plastics into the wood. The reason we like the “Terminator” jigs for this and other types of cover, is the eye is recessed into the head, preventing the jig from becoming snagged at least 75 % less than other jigs. With the nasty cover in this area it is a necessity.
When this area starts to become pressured by other anglers, we have switched to an “IKA” tube, with a 3/8 ounce Tungsten weight, with great success. We flip these baits to the up current side of cover and let the tide wash the bait past the object. Most strikes come as soon as the bait washes past where the bass are holding. Watching your line is a must her, as the current makes most strikes difficult, if not impossible to detect. The only plus side to this is that because if the amount of energy these bass have to expend to fight the current, they almost never miss the bait once they commit. Heavy line with high abrasion qualities is a must here. We use 25-30 pound test line here, and still break off the occasional fish. When tournament fishing in this area, we retie after every fish.
The next spot is the dock where the river channel stops and makes a sharp right turn towards the back of the creek. The best areas of the dock are the first 3 pilings from the rocks out. Jigs, tubes, and weighted plastics take numerous bass in the 2-5 pound range from here.
These three spots form the ultimate staging area. More bass will move into this spot almost as fast as you can catch them at times. These bass are also extremely aggressive. The best tip for this area is to get there early in the year. You will not only avoid the crowds, but encounter some of the larger pre-spawn females. You catch as many bass very early in the year, but you can expect 10-15 bass in the 3-5 pound range at this time.
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