I got out on Lake Russell last Saturday for a night tournament. In the past we have done pretty well on Russell at night, but the past few tournaments, we have struggled after dark.
We still had a few hours before dark so we stop first at a shoal marker that on the surface looks good, but I did not catch a fish there when I found it last year. Saturday night made it 0 for 2. I may not be going back. We moved on to another spot and fished it for a while and it was not looking good. My partner picks up a fairly large crankbait and pretty soon had a nice 15-inch spot in the boat. He proceeded to catch another smaller keeper for our second fish. We fished there a little while longer and moved on.
We went to another spot we rarely fish and I got in on the action with a keeper on a Storm swimbait. It wasn’t real big but it was our third. After a while there, we moved on to one of our better spots with a lot of brush and normally we can a fish or two there, but we didn’t. Amazing how the fish can be there some days and gone the next. Anyway, we went on to another good point, and they were there. I managed to catch one slow-rolling a spinnerbait along the bottom. That is one of my favorite things to do on Russell in the summertime. I have caught some nice fish that way in the past, but none in the recent past. This one was no different. It was still a keeper but not what we were looking for. We managed to fill out a small limit and cull a couple of our smaller ones out.
We moved up to another shoal where we normally can catch a fish but struck out there. It was getting dark so we fished one last place and managed to catch a few more on the Texas rig and that Storm swimbait. These once again managed to cull out (barely) some of our smaller fish.
It was now pretty much dark. I do not like the transition period, about an hour, between light and dark. I never seem to catch much during that time. Once it was completely dark, we went back over our best places. The one great spot we did not get a bite at during the daytime produced two fish right at 15 inches and culled a couple of smaller fish out. Unfortunately, those were the last fish we caught. Once again, our places that once produced many and a good fish every now and then are dead at night.
Overall, it was actually a good night. We caught a decent amount of fish. The bigger fish were just non-existent again. I wish I could get over there more frequently and search around for a few more places, but just don’t have the time. It took over 13 pounds to win but our 7+ pounds almost won us some money. It seems most everyone had trouble. I don’t know why, maybe threat of thunderstorms, but the lake was fairly deserted.
Russell is still my favorite lake when you combine the fishing and lack of boat traffic. Some lakes may have bigger fish, but when you don’t have to worry about the cabin cruisers, skiers, and sea-doos, it makes it a very enjoyable experience. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but it was a tournament so I didn’t have a lot of time for pictures.