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Joe Pool Lake – July 03, 2008

August 22, 2011 Comments off

Lake Joe Pool – July 03, 2008

Fishing Partner: JW Smits
Air Temps – mid 90’s
Water Temp – 83
Skies – Sunny (small clouds dotting the sky periodically)
Moon Phase – new moon (+0)
Winds – Light, S/SW 10
Surface conditions – Calm to Choppy
Precipitation – None
Water Clarity – Stained to Muddy (mid-afternoon)
Structure/Cover Fished – Humps, flooded timber, brush, points, bridge pilings
Other Contributing Factors – Baitfish (loads of baitfish!), Heavy mayfly (spinnners) hatch

Fishing equipment used – Daiwa D-Shock spinning reel w/10# P-Line/Daiwa D-Force 6’6″ rod; Professional Angler 9’0″ custom rod / Daiwa D-Force spinning reel w/17# Berkely mono; Pinnacle Solene low-profile baitcaster with 12# P-line / Shakespeare Excursion graphite 6’6″ rod

Catch Count:
LMB = 1
Crappie = 0
WB = 0

My final outing on a 3-day fishing spree during my vacation.

Well today was another awesome day on the waters and I spent it with JW! When I arrived at JW’s house and saw the boat, I knew that we were going to have some serious fun!! Here’s a pic of the boat and then one of JW at the wheel.

Well we hit the water at Lynn Creek and headed off to the bassin hole! JW started off working with a small Rat-L-Trap and I started with malibu-style senko (did I mention I like those senkos?!). After JW’s fifth bass, I decided to give up on that senko and tie on my firetiger Rat-L-Trap. Well there were some hits but the ones doing the hitting were some young bucks and just not taking my offering. But I soon found out that string, rocks and a sunken tree branch just loved that firetiger Rat-L-Trap. So much so, that one rock decided to keep it all to himself!! We began working some sunken cedars… JW on a modified carolina-rigged lizard and I on my Texas-rigged senko. All of a sudden WHAMMO BLAMMO!! I had a lunker on and it was takin’ drag!!! I’m a-reelin’ and a-reelin’ and wondering when this lunker is going to surface!!! And then JW says, “Are you hung up?”. I stop and suddenly realize that I am!!! Thanks JW… just couldn’t let me live in the moment any longer could ya?!

I went back through the motions trying to figure out what had just occurred. There was definitely a serious THUMP! and that line did suddenly move to the right. After going through the motions a couple of times, JW and I surmised that it was a 7-pound bass that hit the senko and then got me all wrapped up in that cedar. I shall have my revenge on that bass one day!

Now it was time for some crappie fishing. Once on the humps and near the secret ‘house’ location, we set up our spider rigs and started trolling for crappie.

Those crappie must have orderd some baitfish to-go from Ray Roberts cause they weren’t biting!!! Nonetheless, we found a new feature in the water and have it marked so that we can come back and fish that spot knowing exactly what’s down there! While there, I noticed a lot of mayflies and caught one so that I could take a pic of it to use for reference when I’m tying up some flies later on.

Now we’re off to work a brush pile that was down in about 33 feet of water. I rigged up with a tandem drop-shot rig and started working that brush. Several tap-tap-taps but nothing ever solid taking hold. We were then off to work some bridge pilings where again a lot of tap-tap-taps and JW even got one to the surface before she shook off! Next we headed to some flooded timber and I was able to get a bass to the surface. But like JW’s crappie, this one shook off right at the surface.

Although the fishing action wasn’t what it was expected to be, it was still a joy meeting JW and swapping stories of our military days and just being on the water with someone who truly loves to fish. Can’t wait to get back out on the waters with him soon!!

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Lake Ray Roberts – July 02, 2008

August 22, 2011 Comments off

Lake Ray Roberts – July 02, 2008

Fishing Partner: Kyle Chrisman
Air Temps – mid 90’s
Water Temp – 83
Skies – Sunny (small clouds dotting the sky periodically)
Moon Phase – new moon
Winds – Light, S/SW 10
Surface conditions – Calm to Choppy
Precipitation – None
Water Clarity – Stained
Structure/Cover Fished – Humps, flooded timber, brush, points, bridge pilings
Other Contributing Factors – Baitfish (loads of baitfish!), Heavy mayfly (spinnners) hatch

Fishing equipment used – Daiwa D-Shock spinning reel w/10# P-Line/Daiwa D-Force 6’6″ rod; Professional Angler 9’0″ custom rod / Daiwa D-Force spinning reel w/17# Berkely mono; Pinnacle Solene low-profile baitcaster with 12# P-line / Shakespeare Excursion graphite 6’6″ rod

Catch count:
LMB = 1
Crappie = 0
WB = 9
Gar = 1
My second day of a 3-day fishing spree while on vacation.

Well this was my second day of fishing Ray Roberts this week and my third time overall. I warned Kyle that the fishing was going to be challenging if it was anything like the day before … and it was!!! On my first-ever trip on Ray Roberts, I spent the day with Kyle and we just had the time of our lives and have been trying to pick a date that worked in our schedules to get back out on the water together!

We went back and hit a couple of spots that I had fished with Gary the day before; at least the spots that I could remember!!! And those baitfish were still there in massive numbers!!! We worked the bridge pilings for quite a while! What a blast it was to watch those sandies pushing the baitfish up to the surface and seeing the water just boil and boil!! As the schools moved from one piling to the next, we just trolled beside them casting into the melay and bringing in those sandies!!

After hitting the sandies, we moved out to some flooded timber in hopes of making up for yesterday’s crappie performance on my part!! We tied off to a tree branch and started working that area. All of a sudden I felt one serious THUMP! on my line! I thought to myself that it was either one big crappie or a catfish. Much to my surprise I pulled to the surface the first gar that I’ve ever caught!!! Let me just say for the record that it shocked me to see that thing on the end of my line! The first thought I had was, “How in the heck am I gonna get this off my hook?!!” By now I have this prehistoric creature in the boat and it’s flopping around!!! Okay, it isn’t that big but it’s got tons of surgeon scapel-sharp teeth and I want to keep all my skin intact!!! So Kyle recommends that I just lip the gar and pose for a picture. Lip a gar… yeah, right!!! Well I get the gar in my hands and all I can think is, “Crikey!!! Look at that thing. Isn’t she a beauty?!!” So after posing for a few pictures, we get the crappie jig out of its upper jaw and release it back into the waters to shock another angler someday!!!

Well we were done with gar, crappie and sandies. It’s time to go bassin!!! So we head to one of Kyle’s favorite bassin spot and we start working those waters! We were getting some serious tap-tap-taps but I was waiting for that one tap from a 10+ pounder!!! He must not have gotten the word that we were coming because he did not show up!! All the same we caught some really nice bass that evening. There’s just something about fishing for bass on the lake while the sun is going down. It’s just surreal and relaxing … a place I wouldn’t mind being at every day!! Well many know that I’m not a bass fisherman but have lately started taking an interest in this species and out to catch more to learn more about it. So on this evening I caught my 4th-ever bass in my life (told ya I wasn’t a bass fisherman!!) and enjoyed the short battle! I had cast underneath a willow tree and felt the solid tap but I overreacted and jerk that Texas-rigged senko too far away. So I quickly reeled in and sent that senko right back under that tree. This time the bass hit and hit hard and soon he was in the boat!! Not a big one but a bass all the same! I just wonder…. which is bigger? The bass on my shirt or the bass in my hand?!!

Kyle had been telling me that this spot held some hefty fish. Said that it held 4-pounders like he’s never seen before. Well, I was beginning to have my doubts when all of a sudden I see his rod take to a serious bend and seeing the water swirl and the flash of a big white belly!!! Kyle starts yelling to get the net and we get that big boy into the boat!! Kyle was grinning like a kid on Christmas day!!! There’s a shot of the scale showing the 4.3 pound bass!

But sadly, all good things must come to an end. It was late in the evening and I needed to get home ’cause I had one more day of fishing to put in during my vacation. Oh, here’s a pic of some of the sandies that I brought home. I must be some good luck in the boat ’cause Kyle brought in that sweet looking magnum!!

Lake Ray Roberts – July 01, 2008

August 10, 2011 Comments off

Lake Ray Roberts – July 01, 2008

Fishing Partner: Gary Sims
Air Temps – mid 90’s
Water Temp – 83
Skies – Sunny (small clouds dotting the sky periodically)
Moon Phase – new moon
Winds – Light, S/SW 10
Surface conditions – Calm to Choppy
Precipitation – None
Water Clarity – Stained
Structure/Cover Fished – Humps, flooded timber, brush, points, bridge pilings
Other Contributing Factors – Baitfish (loads of baitfish!), Heavy mayfly (spinnners) hatch

Fishing equipment used – Daiwa D-Shock spinning reel w/10# P-Line/Shakespeare Durango 7’0″ rod; Professional Angler 9’0″ custom rod / Shimano spinning reel w/6# Strean mono; Pinnacle Solene low-profile baitcaster with 12# P-line / Shakespeare Excursion graphite 6’6″ rod

Catch count:
LMB = 0
Crappie = 2
WB = 10

My first day on a 3-day fishing spree during my vacation.

What a blast it was to fish with Gary!! We headed out of Buck Creek and went wide-open (well, nearly wide-open!) through the flooded timber and started off a great day of fishing!! I thought with the storm systems that had blown through a few days before, coupled with the New Moon phase, that we were in for a fabulous day of catching!! Little did we know that catching fish would go from a dream to a goal!! We fished some bridge pilings and started to realize that today would pose a special challenge in catching the fish!!

Rather than a fishing report, I should be posting a baitfish report!!! NEVER in all my years of fishing have I ever witnessed such massive amounts of baitfish!!! At each flood timber, it was just covered with a huge ball of baitfish. We’d work that section and maybe get a nibble or two and maybe even a fish in the boat but it was clear, the fish were full of bait and not
really wanting what we were offering.

I’ve only been on Ray Roberts once before so it was good to get back and to fish a new section of the lake! Moreoever, it was just grand spending the day with Gary and getting to know him and pick his knowledge of the lake and how to fish for the crappie there!! Here’s a pic of Gary with a really nice crappie!

The crappie action was very, very slow so we decided to break the doldrums by hitting the sandies. How refreshing it was to finally start getting some fish on the hooks and into the boat!! I always tell folks, if you can’t catch sunfish or sandies, you may want to try another sport!! It’s always a grand feeling when you get a double hook-up!! Here are a couple of pics of our doubles:

Later during the day we bumped into Ratmo’s brother-in-law. We did take a pic of him and are waiting for the bribe money to get deposited. If not deposited soon, I will update this post with his picture!! We buddy-boated while we worked those sandies. He and Gary pulled in some really nice magnums too! Just check out this pic of the sandies!!

While working those sandies we kept seeing a fish hitting the surface and rolling about and then going back down. We moved in closer only to see a catfish with a sandie in its mouth but the sandie seemed to have the upper-hand in the battle as it had either finned the catfish in the mouth with its spikey dorsal fins or had gotten itself into a position where the catfish couldn’t easily get it all into its mouth to swallow it. George then tossed a slab (an RJR Beast to be exact!!) at the catfish. When then slab hit, the catfish spit out the sandie and both it and the sandie soon disapperead!

We then all headed to some more timber grounds in hopes of pulling out more crappie. Let me tell you, we fished and fished but they were just plumb full of that bait that I had mentioned earlier. But, we did manage to bring in a really nice catch!!

Let me just state for the record that yes, I did catch the smallest crappie… thank you very much!!! And just who did bring in that barndoor of a crappie?? Well that was George, Ratmo’s BIL!!! That crappie measured 16 inches and weighed 2.14 pounds!!!! Doesn’t it just dwarf all the other crappie??!!

The day just kept getting hotter and hotter and we searched a few more spots but nothing was biting so we just decided to cut the day short and head back home. All in all it was still an awesome day!! We managed to catch some fish but I enjoyed the day more because it was spent with someone that loves fishing about as much as I do!!!

I know we’ll be getting together more on Ray Roberts and hopefully some other lakes too!!

Structure vs. Cover

April 22, 2011 Comments off

Wanna start a fight?  Mosey into the fishing shop and start discussing the difference between fishing structure and fishing cover!!

If anglers chose to use the same terminology across the board, there would be no need for these discussions nor (for that fact) no need for this blog entry!  But for the fact that this discussion does take place and for the fact that I will be discussion various fishing tactics and techniques, it is only fitting that I put up a clarification of what I mean when I’m discussing fishing structure and fishing cover.

Definitions

Structure – a change of any sort in the “natural” surface of the bottom of the water body regardless of the depth of the water column.  This change can be in various forms:  depth and geological formation.

Cover – these are naturally occurring and man-made which include: vegetation (grass, weedbeds, etc.), brush piles, stumps, rock piles, wood piles, foundations of buildings, rip-rap, concrete pilings, sunken cars or heavy equipment (hey, they are out there!), sunken roads, sunken railroad track, etc.

Fish, whether they are freshwater or saltwater species, generally will gravitate to structure of some sort.  For example:

  • Crappie – fish structure such as brush piles, concrete pilings as this species is generally not found out in ‘open’ water (no structure or cover).
  • Amber Jack – fish structure such as oil rigs or sunken boats; again, this species is not easily caught out in ‘open’ waters.
To further elaborate, let’s say you and I are discussing a recent fishing trip of mine and I say, “I caught that bass off the rip-rap on the east side of the dam near the emerging weedbed.”  Just from that statement, you will know what structure I was fishing (rip-rap) and the cover that was nearby (emerging weedbed).   If I stated that later in the day I caught a bass off the hump, then you’d know only the structure that I was fishing.
However, if I said that I caught that bass off a stump on the hump just off of Hangman’s Point, you’d have a lot more information.  Here’s what you’d have:
  1. Cover – stump
  2. Structure (given) – hump
  3. Structure (later quantified) – change of surface and depth.  You would get this information by looking at the water map to determine where Hangman’s Point is and then looking at the relief features to determine where the hump is.  Then you could determine the change of the surface and how deep that change was and much, much more.
Here’s a great video discussing this topic:

She Needed A Handle!

April 14, 2011 Comments off

I’ve had this blade for who knows how long! It was given to me by an elder family member long, long ago and she was in desperate need of having a good quality handle mounted up!!  So I hit several hunting/fishing forums that I’m a member of to get some inputs on what folks thought would make for a good handle.

Hopefully the tape measurer helps in giving you an idea of the blade’s length.  Because this is no Bowie knife blade!!  It’s a very small one that I plan on using for small game and for areas that call for an intricate skinning knife.  From the forums that I posted up on to gain inputs from blade choices, many options were given!!  Shown below is a cheesy chart breaking down all the options given.

 

Out of all the recommendations given, I chose to go with the one made by Jacob Bennett (of Shared Obsession TV ) who put on a beautiful osage wood handle! What I can’t wait for is the darkening effect osage has while it ages!!

 

The rounding on this handle fits into my hand very snugly and I can’t wait to put it to work on some skinning!!

Nighttime on the Lake

April 12, 2011 Comments off

At night the lake comes alive and darkness provides cover so that the predator fish does not have to use up some much energy when attacking their prey.  There is little doubt that on very clear lakes you’ll catch more fish at night and bigger fish than at any other time.

The jig-and-eel (or jig-n-pig) and the spinner bait are good night lures on most lakes during the spring and fall of the year. During the summer, a plastic worm or a spinner bait will take more fish.  Crawl these baits right along the bottom.  Surface plugs also often provide exciting action at night.  And it doesn’t really make a difference whether you fish on a bright night or on one when the moon isn’t shining.

Plus the one big benefit of fishing at night… the water isn’t as crowded as it is during the day!

Fly/Jig Tying Steps Made Simple

April 8, 2011 Comments off

Step 1: Get materials.

Step 2: Get more materials.

Step 3: Get more of what you already have.

Step 4: Think of more stuff to get.

Step 5: Return one item that you bought and buy more stuff.

Step 6: Organize your stuff and then forget where you put it all.

Step 7: Buy more stuff ’cause you can’t find it.

Step 8: Repeat steps 1 thru 7; twice.

Step 9: Inventory what you have and then buy more stuff.

Step 10: Dream of more stuff to get.

Step 11: Buy stuff you’ll never use but want to have “just in case”.

Step 12: Seek professional help; repeat steps 1 thru 11 until cured.