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Spot Lock

Tuesday, September 01st, 2020 | Author:

Lake Ferguson was at 20.0 feet this morning when the first cast was made at 7:00. This was the first trip with a new trolling motor, a Minn Kota Terrova and I was eager to see if I liked it. I did the installation and went to the lake late Sunday afternoon taking no fishing rods, to calibrate the heading sensor and to set the heading offset. It worked fine but it was different than in a fishing situation. The starting place was the West end of the 70 bank and since it was early a Yozuri was the first bait because it can operate in the shallow water. From West end to East end only one fish bit and I was beginning to be concerned. At the 70 spot itself was where it started to happen on every cast. That was where there was still some water over the land and a relatively brisk South wind was causing some wash over which probably attracted some shad and that attracted the bass. The wind was right in my face. When I hung the first fish I hit the spot lock on the trolling motor. Rather than the wind blowing me to the middle of the lake while I dealt with the fish, the trolling motor and the GPS were communicating and keeping the boat in just the right place. I sat there and “every casted ” them for quite some time. The bite slowed to a stop and I moved out a little deeper to see if they had retreated to the deep but a DT-6 could not raise one. I tried a worm but only a timid pick up and that was only if you shook it but there was also a put down after the pick up. Figuring the fish had to be somewhere close I headed back to the starting point. There was a log there not deep enough for the fish to be around but it must have herded the shad and the bass were out from it a little dining on the shad. It was one on every cast again and spot lock again. That spot lock is the bomb. I was using my new grabber most of the time especially when the fish was in the boat to hold it while I extracted the hooks. One fish while I was holding the line did that just right shake, the line broke, it fell on the front deck, and flopped into the water toting my DT-6. After that I started holding them over the open part of the back of the boat. Just like the other spot they quit just like someone turned off the switch. Probably the school just moved and I couldn’t figure out where. There was one more spot I wanted to try on the East side of the chute and I caught one there. I was almost relieved that there was not a school there because I was tired. That last fish made 61, all released in good shape. The FOD was 4-8 and there was also a 4-2, 3-13, 3-13, 3-8 , two 3’s and lots of 2-13’s. Outstanding day !

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Lake Ferguson 19.7 Feet

Saturday, August 29th, 2020 | Author:

I usually do not fish on public lakes on the weekend and this morning was a good reason why. When I arrived to meet Mickey at 6:30 the ramp was covered with hydroblaster trailers, probably 40. My heart sank at the prospect of the crowd. We launched and headed for the 70 bank, although Mickey and Frank caught none there last Sunday after I had a 41 day there Friday. Mickey said all the waves had washed over a shallow spot and muddied the water. It is a spot that is unimpressive looking but usually has some fish there. No blasters were there and the fish started biting right away. We fished down and back catching fish all along with some places better than others. The DT-6 was our bait of choice although a DT-10 and a Yozuri caught one or two. We would sit in one spot until it ran out and move until we started catching again. Another boat, not in a tournament, was fishing toward us and it just happened we were on the other end of the bank and they came upon one of our good spots . After they caught a few it was no way they were going to leave. So in essence we were sharing our spot with the other boat. The big problem for me was they were keeping the fish. They didn’t look hungry. They looked well fed so why were they keeping every fish. The limit is 10 and I’m sure they were over it . 10 apiece would have been enough for anybody to eat but they kept throwing them in the box. We released every fish we caught in good shape to survive. It makes me feel good to do that even while others are being greedy. Things slowed and we left to try a few more spots. Having no luck we came back for one last try and wouldn’t you know it the interlopers were in our spot. Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We went to the other end and caught a fish immediately which did me a lot of good. The whole time I was fishing there today I was looking for the grabber that the fish took away from me last Friday. The spot where it jumped with it in its mouth was high and dry today. Mickey was nice enough to replace it for me. We talked about how good those grabbers were when you were fishing with a bait with two treble hooks. Many times there is no way to get your hand safely anywhere close to a fish’s mouth to hold it while you dislodge the hooks. The FOD was 5 – 0 and we had 8 more between 3 1/2 an 3 pounds. 48 bass in all. Great day on Lake Ferguson even with all the blasters. The lake is in great shape but I wonder how long it will stay that way before it gets tournamented to death and ruined.

FOD 5 – 0

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Lake Ferguson 23.7

Thursday, August 20th, 2020 | Author:

I just had to go back since we had a good day yesterday and the BFL tournament is going to get the lake stirred up. It’s already stirring it up with lots of boat traffic. I was the first boat to leave the waterfront this morning and made my first cast at 6:15 with a crippled killer. The lake was quiet and slick, perfect for some topwater fishing. Not for long. The blasters shattered the peaceful morning and the slick water too. I put down the topwater after about 10 casts and picked up the rod with the Yozuri on it. Caught one on the first cast and caught a hard hitting 3 3/4 a few casts later. Heading for the spot we caught them yesterday, I was casting the Yozuri and catching one now and then. When I got to the spot it was going on, one every cast. A 5-3 showed up and also a 4 along with some 4 or 5 on the day in the eyeballed 3 pound range. Later in the day just to check myself I weighed one of the eyeballed 3 pounders and it weighed 3-2. At 7:15 I had caught 16 fish. By 8:15 it was 24 and by 9:15 it was 29. The bite had almost quit in the good spot but I figured there were still fish around maybe farther back or maybe out, so I started prospecting. The BFL people were plentiful and some were just idling pretending to be looking at their depth finders but their head was looking and watching. When they came by I would just throw out into the lake so I would not catch anything. Backtracking I started fishing deeper with a DT-6 and caught one here one there. After reaching the end of the bank and trying to decide what to do there was one last log sticking out. The wind was blowing slightly from the West and apparently the bass were letting the log hem up the shad and they were out in front of it scooping them up. The DT-6 did a good job on them except for one about 4 pounds that jumped and threw the hook clean. About 10:00 I caught a small fish, probably 1 1/2 pounds and was using the small gripper to hold it while I removed the hooks with my pliers. I have great respect for those sharp hooks. The hooks came out and at the same time the fish shook, the gripper slipped from my wet hands and the fish hit the front deck and flopped into the water gripper still attached. To make matters worse, about an hour later I happened to see the fish jump back in the trees and could see the orange gripper. I felt as if I could have caught a few more but my time was up and I had had a great day. Ended up with 41 bass. My biggest 3 probably would not have won the tournament but I would have given them hell on Major League Fishing.

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Lake Ferguson 23.6

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 | Author:

Jackson would have been proud of Mickey and me this morning because we left the waterfront in the dark with the idea of doing some topwater fishing. We went into the willows where it was about 4 to 5 feet deep and started throwing around the downed tree tops and “fuzzy” willows, the ones with small limbs around the base. It was slow to begin with but picked up as there was more light. The strikes picked up but not the catching. Except for one, it was obvious the fish just didn’t have their heart in it. We then tried a DT-6 just on the outside of the trees and began to catch a few. The DT-6 was dredging up willow leaves so we switched to a Yozuri. After one pass down the bank we made another and the places we caught fish on the first pass were good again. One place was much better than the others so we would sit there and catch several only to leave and then come back and catch some more. There were three main spots where we could depend on getting a bite. Mickey caught one and when he took the fish off of the hook threw the bait over the side while doing something else. He noticed his rod bumping up and down, pulled it up, and there was a fish. We surmised that a fish that was following the fish he caught saw the bait and grabbed it. We left for a side trip trying a couple of other spots when the bite slowed but came back to the main spot on the way in. We caught a few more but only a few. The fish were of decent size with a FOD of 3 – 8. There were a couple of others we eyeballed at 3 or a little better. We ended up with 31 bass. There was a Northeast wind blowing most of the morning that felt almost like air conditioning. Pleasant day. WARNING: BFL tournament this weekend, 100+ boats = madhouse. Only good thing is a 3 fish limit but both for boater and non boater. Six fish per boat.

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Log Loader II

Sunday, August 16th, 2020 | Author:

Mickey and I went to Log Loader Chute this afternoon with plans to start fishing around 3:00. I didn’t look at my watch when we started but we were close. We caught several right off the bat that were small but the wind was blowing a gale out of the North making it difficult to hold position on the spot. At the higher speeds my trolling motor is hard to steer because of the torque and that was a real problem. Using two feet to steer helped but was not the real solution. The first spot gave out but there were others that looked just like it. Unfortunately the fish were not in them. The stripes were a real pain and difficult to get off of the DT-6 without getting stuck with a hook or one of those sharp gill plates. The day was not without mishap. First a big eyed carp of substantial size bit my DT-6, had the bait in its mouth, and was taking drag, going under the boat, and just generally clowning. I was afraid the little pretty blue back DT-6 was going to be lost. Mickey took my boat hook when the fish came close and hooked it in one of the hooks on the bait and pulled the fish up to the side of the boat where I took my pliers and unhooked the fish. Next we saw some fish schooling in shallow water and went over to investigate. They were mostly stripes but in the process of finding out what they were the level wind pawl in one of my reels shot out. Second one lately. Then a jumping carp launched over the side of the boat right into a pile of Mickey’s rods. Rods went everywhere and it was amazing none were knocked into the water or none were broken. Next a gar, one of many, cut off an XD5 of mine that I had just put some over sized hooks on and that had caught a few fish. In the almost a mishap category, I had caught a stripe and had unhooked it and thrown it back and dropped my Yozuri into the water. The rod started jumping and I pounced on it because another stripe was trying to make off with the whole thing. After seeing fish deeper on the depth finder we switched to an XD5 and started to catch a few more. We patrolled the same section of bank until we could catch no more. We ended up with 30 bass and a 3-6 FOD. The FOD had a 4 1/2 pound head and a sunken belly. Also we caught innumerable stripes, two catfish, a goo, and a bunch of gar that we usually left with a headache.

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Discretion is the Better Part of Valor

Friday, August 14th, 2020 | Author:

I went to Lake Ferguson this morning knowing there was a 100% chance of rain but today was the only day because tomorrow is Saturday and that means tournaments. Ferguson has been hammered lately it seems. I started off with DT’s, both 6 and 10 and a worm but could get nothing going. There were some shad moving down a shallow bank that were being harassed from time to time so I tried a Whopper Plopper and finally caught one after some misses, really didn’t want it. Probably had caught so many shad they were full but were still feeling mean and harassing the shad. I tired of all the misses and put on a Crippled Killer but again nothing but misses and little ones at that. Headed again for the deep to a spot I marked that had a treetop under the water where Mickey and I wore the fish out a couple of times. Hard to tell sometimes exactly where it is so I had it marked on the depth finder. Found it exactly but no bass there. Lots of other fish however. I then went to the 70 bank, a favorite place of mine to fish but I saw a couple of fish hit on top in the trees and was going to try to do some good there but then I heard the first lick of thunder. I did not hesitate even though it was relatively far off. Headed lickety split for the waterfront. Everyone else had heard it too and I was afraid there would be a traffic jam but the waterfront is wide with plenty of space for a lot of people to load at the same time. I was home in the garage before the boat got wet. Caught 2 small bass.

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Timex Fishing Trip

Wednesday, August 05th, 2020 | Author:

Jackson and I went to Bussey Brake again and got a lickin’ but we are still tickin’. We arrived early and everything was looking good . We went to the spot where we had the most success on our last trip. We fished with frogs, swim jigs, top waters of several descriptions, vibrating jig, worm, both Texas and wacky, paddle tail swimbait and something I’m sure I left out. Caught a grinner on the swim jig to start. Had a baby bass to come up and kiss the leg of my Ribbit and one to wake behind it. Jackson had a bite on the swimbait. I had a bite on the wacky close to the boat and the leader was not tied correctly and separated on hookset. You are supposed to make 20 turns on the Albright knot but after getting hung and breaking off, I thought only 14 would do. It didn’t. You may have noticed a lot of topwater baits that’s because there is a lot of random coontail moss and its almost impossible to fish anything under the water. That was our day. We took a licking.

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Sunday, August 02nd, 2020 | Author:

The big orange moon was setting just under the clouds this morning as I was driving to the Garhole. I would have tried for a photo but the camera on my phone is severely lacking. The depthfinder had quit working after a while the last time I fished in the Garhole boat. The depthfinder is powered by the same wire as the trolling motor and I thought that may be the problem so I ran a new wire this morning before I started fishing. It took about an hour. Fishing started at 7:00 and two fish were caught pretty quickly even though there was no activity visible. I have one Cripple Killer top water left and do not know where to get another. On a cast close to the bank a gar hit the bait and cut it off. After a concerned moment the bait floated up. By 9:00 I had 4 fish, not exactly a stellar start. The major period was supposed to be from 12:30 to 2:30 but I always think it happens two hours early. The fish were caught on a top water, a jig, and 2 on a DT-6. By 10:00 the number had risen to 6 fish, still at the 2 fish per hour rate. At 10:30 I hit one spot with a DT-6 and was catching them, not every cast, but at a much better rate than I had been. The size was good too. The FOD was 3 1/2 and a good many were not too far under that. When that spot ran out I went looking for another. You could tell that the feeding time had arrived because the fish were biting in a lot of different spots, not all schooled up like that one spot. The bite wound down but I kept trying to catch a few more. My goal was 20 and I probably spent 45 minutes trying to catch the last one. Finally caught number 20 and stopped for the day. Six were between 3 and 3 1/2 pounds. A fun day of fishing.

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Bussey Brake

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 | Author:

Bussey Brake is a 2,200 acre lake near Bastrop, Louisiana that was given to the Louisiana Game and Fish by a paper company. It has been renovated and improved and closed for a few years. Two weeks ago it was opened with good success. For instance, one group fished there for two days and caught 25 bass, two of which were over 10 and one over 9 pounds. Jackson and I were there this morning at daylight. We really had no idea where to go but there are acres and acres of lily pads with bushes and willow trees. Lots of open water with some stumps and coontail moss which was very prevalent. The most common depth was 8 feet. Just looking at the boat dock the lake is about 4 feet below being full. We started off with hollow bodied frogs and then after no interest we progressed to try out the tackle box. By 9:30 we had on a Ribbit and a spook and the Ribbit chased off the skunk with a skinny sunken belly 1 1/2 pound fish. We tried to fish in several places to explore the new spot but were not having much luck until about noon. At noon it was obvious the switch had been turned on. We had some bites caught one and finally caught the FOD at 4-12. At that same time, two guys I was watching caught 5 small fish in a short period. I believe they were fishing with worms but I don’t know how they were rigged. The moss was everywhere making it hard to fish a Texas rigged worm. I will go back.

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Log Loader 14.5 AR City

Sunday, July 26th, 2020 | Author:

This afternoon I went to Log Loader at Rosedale and started fishing at 3:30. I started catching fish right off the bat on a DT-6. It was not every cast but it was obvious the fish were active. Minnows flinched every time the bait hit the water near the bank which had a steep drop off to it. The fish were small but accommodating. I was paying attention to the weather because the clouds were plentiful. After a while I could see a rain to the Southeast but it looked as if it might “go around” as Curlee used to say. It did and now I was using a DT-10 hoping something a little deeper would catch more. It caught about as many as the 6. The secret seemed to be throw it close to the bank. They were still biting but “up jumped the devil” in the form of another shower. This one appeared to be following the same track as the first one. There was no lightning so I fished and watched. Soon it became obvious that it was indeed going to get me so it was time to leave. When a rain comes, especially on Sunday afternoon, everybody heads for the landing at the same time. That was the case today. I was the last one out but made it up the ramp and was securing the boat when the rain hit. I put my tackle bag in the truck and I hopped in too to ride it out. Usually I wait too late to leave and get wet but not today. I was proud of the good decision. Quit at 5:30 with 19 fish and a FOD of 3-13. A fun two hour trip.

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