MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After a disappointing first day back on the banks of Cheat Lake, I had my new game plan ready to put in motion. I grabbed my rehashed bait box, tucked it into my backpack, loaded it along with my pole in my car and set out for Ice’s Ferry. Today was the day I was going to nab a fish in my favorite spot once again.
Except, it wasn’t. After four hours on the bank, nearly 10 bait changes and a full tumbler of coffee , I gave in to the notion that my luck in the spot is null and void.
That was corroborated around the hour 3. Someone drove into the gravel lot and asked how the fish were hitting. When I told him of my poor luck amid my past success, he said that he’s hit a brick wall at Ice’s Ferry as well. Over the last few weeks, he was using a much longer pole and was casting further than what I was aiming for and hadn’t caught a single fish.
Determined to change the narrative, I tried everything once more – soft plastic bait, cranks, poppers, a large and small spinner and a jig. After a few nibbles on my worms, I had to give in. So what needs to change? At this point, the easy answer is location.
Grab the ‘Yak
Cheat Lake has a lot of spots for bank fishing, but I think it’s time to go all in on fishing the deep water from a kayak.
My best luck comes from yak fishing back home on Cunningham Run, the Hughes River and North Bend Lake, and Cheat Lake has a lot of inlets that are only (easily) accessible by boat. The new game plan is to go from Sunset Beach, troll the calmer waters around the bend under the I-68 and Ice’s Ferry bridges and end up in the inlet that Whites Run spills into. Should my luck prove faulty once again, I’ll travel south just outside the shallow water to the mouth of the Cheat River and fish where Quarry Run spills.
With the new plan set and in mind, it’s time to see if my third day on the water will tell me it’s not my time, or if I can finally shake the rust off and snag a bass.