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Alex Takes The Win at Candlewood Lake
Want an idea of how to fish Candlewood Lake in Connecticut? Then why not ask a tournament winner? That is just what we did by talking to Alex Wetherell. Alex is a young accomplished tournament fisherman who recently added a win on Candlewood to his resume. Here is what he had to say about a day on Candlewood...
GFN: What was your winning weight at the Candlewood Tournament? And what was your biggest fish?
The winning weight for the Candlewood tournament was 13.3lbs and my big fish was a little over 3lbs. All of my fish were 2.75-3.25lbs
GFN: What was your strategy going into the tournament and how did that play out throughout the day?
My strategy going into the tournament was I knew that the past few weeks the lake had been fishing pretty tough based on other tournament results and friends who were fishing the lake. The other factor I had to consider was the time of year. Usually July and August are the busiest times of the year on the lake with pleasure boaters, especially on the weekends, so fishing offshore and deep water becomes very difficult with all the boat traffic.
With that in mind I decided that flipping would be the best option if the bites were hard to come by and the shallower grass wouldn't have nearly as much boat traffic as offshore spots.
Flipping would also give me the best shot at 5 quality fish and hopefully a 5+lb kicker.
The tournament went how I imagined it would, the bite was very tough, I was not getting many bites, 1-3 fish per spot and many spots that usually produce I caught nothing. The few areas I did get bit I could usually turn around and catch a few more if I went back through the area.
All day I was fishing weedlines in 6-10ft of water and concentrating on the middle and outside of the weedline. The healthier and greener the grass the better, if the grass was snotty and dying off I didn't get bit which is pretty normal for that lake.
I did hit one offshore spot and caught a 3lb and 2.16lb smallmouth on dropshot, and ended up culling the 2.16 smallmouth later in the day for a bigger largemouth caught flipping in the grass.
I had the winning fish by noon with 2 fish over 3lbs and spent the rest of the day looking to upgrade the other 3 but was never able to do so.
I had 3 largemouth and 2 smallmouth, 4 of the fish were caught flipping in the grass, and 1 was caught on dropshot in 20ft on the outside weedline mixed with rock.
GFN: What were your key baits?
My key baits were a black/blue craw on a 3/4oz pegged flipping weight and 3/0 mustad flipping hook, and all of the dropshot fish came on a Lunker City Ribster 5" green pumpkin with a 1/4oz Lunker City Bakudan dropshot weight (this is the weight and size of weight I use 90% of the time dropshotting...the other 10% is with a 3/8oz)
GFN: As a tournament fishermen, where does Candlewood rate as a fishery among the other lakes you have competed on and why?
I would rank Candlewood in the top 5 lakes I have ever fished because in the spring and fall the smallmouth bite can be very good and it can take 30-32lbs for an 8 fish limit which is almost a 4lb average. It's also one of the few lakes where a 5lb largemouth and a 5lb smallmouth are possible to catch in the same day.
GFN: For recreational fishermen coming to Candlewood Lake for the first time, how would you suggest they go about starting to fish this lake in the summertime?
For the recreational angler, I would suggest fishing the grass. The lake didn't used to have this much grass in it and the fish would relate more to rock, but with the amount of grass we have in the lake now the bait and the bass are staying in the grass longer throughout the year.
Fish the shoreline or any of the islands and humps on the lake and you'll likely find grasslines with fish in them. Finding the healthiest grass is usually a great way to narrow down which shorelines to fish.
Thank you Alex for such a detailed report. To follow Alex's success, check him out on YouTube and Instagram.