Monday, December 3, 2018

Fishing Report for Smith 12/1/18

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After the last few weeks of just smashing the fish on Wheeler, I thought it was time to take on a new challenge. After a 23 pound and 18 pound bag, you would think I was nutes. Here is a recap of those trips.


First, I felt like the fish on Wheeler were starting to dry up a good bit AND TVA had dropped the water several feet in just a few days. Second, even though it's time to get on Pickwick, Lou's Pickwick Fishing Reports didn't exactly paint a pretty picture.  Lastly, the first Alabama Bass Trail tournament is on Smith and while February is a long way away, it's never too late to start getting the lay of the land. 

Smith has been an up-and-coming lake the last few years, thanks to some dudes that "stocked" Blueback herring. The spots have gotten big and plentiful. We've had tournaments on Smith the last few years and while I've won two and gotten second in the third tournament, I never really thought I was "on them."

Quite the opposite, really. I never did catch a ton of top water fish. The suspending bass wouldn't bite an underspin. I have no faith in dropshotting. In fact, the only way I caught fish was doing a lot of the same stuff I do on every lake I fish. We found them with our electronics and we threw jigs and shakey heads. 

The weirdest part was that we would prefish four of five days in the weeks leading up to the tournament and simply could not get a steady bite. In fact, we would have a bite or two on three different spots and would just say "well, that's the best we got, let's go fish it." Those one or two bites in practice turned out to be 20-30 bites on tournament day. You can read about our last trip on Smith by clicking the link below.

Fishing Report for Smith Lake 2/24/18


So, Brad and I headed to Smith. We decided to put in at the park instead of the dam because we would save about an hour of drive time. We had been told that the fishing was better around the dam, but all of our better bites have been on the park side. 

We hit our spot that we've had the best luck upon and began doing some scanning. We didn't see a lot of bait, but using our side scan, we found a group of fish sitting on the side of a long main river point. Brad had a couple of bites on a shakey head before he swung one decent spot aboard. 

On my next cast, I missed a fish on the ned rig. Tossed back out, boated one. Then another. Then another. Three straight casts, three fish in the boat. 

Then nothing. 

For the next few hours, we did a lot of scanning, but man the fish were scattered. Worse was the rain was soaking both of us as we drove around. We would occasionally mark bait and we did find some suspending fish, but this is a part of our Smith Lake game we knew we needed to improve upon. 

Tossing out in 200 feet of water, hoping to bring the fish up. Truthfully, we weren't very patient, but luckily, we did find some schooling fish.

But, we learned a valuable lesson. You cannot put the trolling motor on high and go zipping up to the schoolers. They will give you one cast and MAYBE one blowup on a topwater before they move away. This happened to us time and time again. The fish would say just out of reach. So, turn off your electronics. Turn down the trolling motor. 

Eventually we did get on a school of big spots, but only could get a few to bite. 

Before you knew it, it was time to head home. We didn't catch but a half dozen fish, but they were all decent spots. They were feeding on shad about an inch long and it is really hard to mimic that size of bait. 

 


Monday, November 26, 2018

Fishing Report for Wheeler 11/22-23/2018

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Any other year, I would be on Pickwick. We have had such phenomenal days on Pickwick in the winter months that it has been hard to justify going anywhere else. Typically, we fish Pickwick until mid-January before picking up Guntersville for tournaments. Sometimes we mix in Wheeler, but it's pretty rare. Doesn't mean that we don't, because it's hard to turn down a quick trip to Ditto in the cold months. 

To say that Josh and I have grown as anglers on Wheeler is an understatement. I really don't know what happened, whether it be blind luck or being forced to get better because of the Alabama Bass Trail. We've been fishing Ditto for over 10 years at this point and we've occasionally been competitive in tournaments. Up until this year, our best bag was 13 pounds. I believe watching to the electronics and listening to what they had to say has provided some major dividends.

Starting in the spring, we won three straight Thursday night wildcats at one point and were in the money or danger close in most of them until the summer set in. During that time, we were fishing ABT and other clubs, so we weren't on fish. When the ABT ended, we got back on the fish and won three straight Friday nighters. 

All well and good. We had some good bags and some big fish but never together. 

Thanks to NASA going to Flex Fridays, I've been able to fish Wheeler at least once every other week, but frequently at least once a week. 

The patterns have shifted, but on Wednesday, Wyatt and I got out. We didn't find fish in the places Josh and I had found our 15-pound bag the previous Saturday, which you can read about below.


So I went back to a stretch I had caught a ton of good spots a few weeks ago. Nothing special, just rip-rap with some current breaks. Tons of those all over the river, but this one had very specific points where the fish were piling up.

Throw out a crank. BAM. Brown fish goes airborn. A smallie? Strange. But, wouldn't be the first time a smallie mixed in with spots. Netted a 4.3 pounder. 


About that time, Wyatt is yelping from the back. He's got a 4.75 smallie. Before I could pick my rod back up, he makes another cast and boats a 5.75! 
Ok, so at that point I tell him to put the rod down. I gotta tournament in two days! Quit catching the big ones! 

So, let's see if that pattern works elsewhere. We pull the trolling motor up and run to a similar spot. Wyatt has one pull off on the first cast. I have a couple of swats. On his next cast, he catches another giant smallie. This one goes over 5 as well. We've hit 20 pounds in four fish. While we had caught a few measuring dinks, I wasn't about to claim her had 20 pounds including a one pound dink. But, it was time to go. 

I told Wyatt I was gonna stop at the point of Ditto and make one cast. That cast netted a three pound spot and pushed us over the 23 pound mark. 

All well and good, but would the pattern hold on our Black Friday tournament? My experience has been, take your practice and knock down the weight 25%. 

Josh and I ran to our first spot and caught a limit that included one smallie over four and several decent spots. We had around 10 pounds. The area wouldn't put up any more big fish.

We ran to the second spot and that immediately paid off with our big fish of the day, a 5.75 pound smallie. 
  
From the back of the boat, all I could catch were small fish. By the end of the day, we had ZERO fish in the livewell that I caught. To be fair, I also threw back a 10 pound limit that I, myself caught. Josh was able to only get big bites, but he did a great job with that, landing all but one big fish. 

We ended the day with over 18 pounds having caught just around 15-20 fish, total. 

TVA was pulling around 78,000 CFS with water clarity having improved from zero to around a foot. Water temps on Friday were 52 degrees.

Water level fluctuations are drastically affecting the shallow bite. It's tough to throw any plastics, as well. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Deer Hunting 11/18/2018

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Apparently this is the look of boys who have been asking to go hunting for months (shrugs).

I stepped out a bit and didn't hunt opening day. I know, I know. That's sacrilege and all, especially in the state of Alabama. Bbbbbuuutttt....I was on fish, it was gonna be 60 degrees and someone was holding a tournament. I won't go into all of it, just go read about the fishing trip by clicking the link below.


But, I promised the boys I would take them out. Now, part of me believed that the reason they wanted to go was because they actually wanted to hunt. After all, we had a successful trip last year, which you can read about in the link below.


And, to be fair to me, they DID say how they wanted to shoot one and eat it. But deep down, I thought, maybe, it was just because they knew I would likely let them bring their tablets and play all afternoon in order to keep them still and quiet. So, just to be sure, I didn't let them bring any tablets. Just some snacks.

Yeah, so, it was about what I expected. 

I spent more time yelling. "Sit down, be quiet! Quit fighting! No, you can't have my phone!"

I tried to explain to them that we had to go at 2PM, even though the deer wouldn't come out until much later, because we needed to get quiet and let any trace of our arrival blend in. If we continued to be loud and move around, we would wreck any chances of seeing a deer, much less shoot one. It would waste all this HORRIBLE TIME WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY!

In the back of my mind, I secretly wondered if this was the reason that I never saw any deer when I hunted with my dad and granddad. I was probably 13 before I actually had any legitimate shot at killing a deer. 

By 4:30, we had seen a few coyotes but that was it and I was beginning to wonder if we were just too loud, too jittery, and too smelly for the deer, despite taking what precautions I could. The boys were absolutely miserable and I was pretty stressed out myself. 

Eventually a doe came out and I waited several minutes to let the boys know. She was behind a tree, anyway, and the only reason I had seen her was because I was scanning with the binoculars. When she came clear of the tree, I let the boys know. I had no intentions of shooting the doe because there had been a big buck in the area and I was going to be patient.

The boys stood up into the window, naturally sticking their heads completely through the window itself. They finally got excited, but excited meant a lot of movement and a louder voices.  She picked up that something was wrong and became spooked. 

I had a choice to make. Shoot her on the run or call it a day. Considering that the boys don't go with me very often and how few chances we would have to kill a deer (crucial to getting kids interested in the sport) I went for it. 

That meant throwing the rifle up, pushing kids down and telling them to get their ear muffs on, and rushing a shot at a running deer. 

When the smoke cleared, she was still running. That was a bad sign as I've never had a deer run for more than a few feet. When she disappeared into the thick, my heart sank. Not just because of the fear that I missed, but that I might have injured her, judging by how she was running.

Even worse.....I have no tracking skills. I've never had to use them. But Griffin was excited about the possibility of tracking. 

I had an entrance point into the thick stuff, but I couldn't see anything. That was probably because it was getting dark and my confidence was going down faster than the sun. 

"BLOODSIGN!" Griffin yelled. 

No way. Surely it was just a red leaf. But no, he was right! He found some blood! 

Using his sharp eyes, we tracked her down! 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Fishing Report for Wheeler 11/16-17/2018

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Thanks to Flex Fridays and being generally lazy, we've spent a lot of time on Wheeler the last few weeks/months. Yeah yeah, I know that the upper end of Wheeler isn't known for great fishing. I keep hearing that. And, I know all about how it can be stupid tough in the dog days of summer.

But it also shines on occasion. Winter and spring are usually really good for numbers, although it's tough to find big fish, which is why we primarily spend the majority of our winter days on Pickwick. 

However, the last month or so, we've been catching great numbers with some decent fish mixed in. You can read about some of those trips by clicking the links below. But, to sum up, the pattern has changed every day with the exception that they were biting better after lunch. Over the last three trips, we've caught around 20-30 each day with the best five typically only getting in the 10-12 pound range with no true big fish, just a lot of quality spots, mostly. Truth be told, I have the link to one of those days below, but the best of my days, I didn't even get to write a report for. 



The opportunity came up to fish a company wildcat out of Ingall's Harbor this past Saturday and I've been DYING to fish a tournament, but I almost shied away from this one because Ingall's is.....not so good, at least for me. Now, we were in Josh's boat and if he didn't want to run to the First Creek area or up river to the dam, I understood. I figured we could at least find something around Decatur, if we had to. 

We had Friday off, but Josh couldn't fish. So, I asked Brad to go with me. I wanted to check some of the patterns I had found. Brad has only been to Ditto around three times and we've done terrible every time. I was sure we could get on something. After all, it was only four days removed from me putting a solid 13 pound bag together and I had left them biting. 

Wouldn't you know it, we didn't get a single bite. Not one. There are a couple of things to consider. First, current was in the 130K CFS range and that's ROLLING. There was a ton of stain in the water and the obscene amount of rain fall had pushed the lake above full pool AND dropped water temps down about four degrees. So, Brad swore off Ditto forever and I was left scratching my head. 

Saturday morning I drove into Decatur. Got to Hardees to find out Josh was late, so I enjoyed coffee in the heat while the other boats enjoyed frigid temps. Josh and I got on the water about 7, but fog had descended and though we had decided to head up river, we weren't going ANYWHERE in that.

So, we graphed a little. We dropped the trolling motor. We had a limit including a four pound smallie within minutes. Now, Josh caught the big girl while I boated the squeakers, but it was a limit. It also gave us a lot of pause because, if we could drop the trolling motor and catch them, so could everyone else. And, what if we started catching them really good here? Should we stay?

Josh had a plan. That plan was that today we were going to see how long it took and how many gallons of gas we would need to make it to the dam and back. I didn't really realize that at the time, but it was a great day to do that. So, after the fog lifted, we began the trek upstream. We stopped at a few current breaks along the way, but didn't catch anything.

We stopped at one particular creek just up from Decatur, just to see what we could see. And it got real, real quick. 

Josh boats a three pounder. I boated a keeper that culled. Then he caught one. Then I caught one. And next thing you knew, we had culled all but the one big fish. The craziest part was, suddenly that big fish wasn't so big anymore. In all, we caught around 10 or so fish within just a few minutes. The trick? The fish were sitting on the drop, just waiting. We would bounce our baits off the rocks and stumps and as soon as the bait cleared the break line, the lines would load up.

After a few minutes, it became clear that there were a TON of quality fish, but we weren't catching BIG ones. Now, at this point, BIG was three pounds or better. I put down my Strike King 3 and picked up a single swimbait. I made the remark that I knew a good fish was in the area. It wasn't a question of timing or if the fish was there, but what she wanted. I caught one or two on the swimbait and then had the rod load up. 

This was the one. This was the five-plus. This was GAME OVER at 9AM. 

The line went slack. I had broke her off. But how? That was 17-pound Segaur. When I pulled in the inline, a straightened out D-ring clasp was all that was left. Wow. I'm not POSITIVE it was a bass because I never saw it. But, all we had caught were bass, so I have no reason to believe it was anything else. 

We continued up river, but we only culled one more time. The fishing did slow somewhat, but it was more a factor of having 15 pounds and we would need a five pounder to cull up any of the fish we had. 

After weigh in, I was asked about going to the dam. Mostly just why we would do that for the little bit of money.  People just assumed we caught them there, or any of the handful of spots above the 431 bridge. Truth be told, we didn't catch but about five fish and only one helped. We didn't fish ANY of the stuff we had planned to fish. It hadn't mattered. We accomplished the goal of finding how much time and gas it took to get there and back. Answer: 51 minutes at a nice cruise speed and 31 gallons of gas. 

We caught everything on a Strike King Series 3 and swimbaits. Water temp was 52 degrees. Less than three inches of visibility. 

We ended up with a win with over 15 pounds. We missed out on big fish by 0.01 pound. 

I will be hosting a Black Friday tournament out of Ditto from 6-2PM. Let me know if you would like any information. 


Monday, November 5, 2018

Fishing Report for Wheeler 11/2/18

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Ah, Flex Friday. For those of us livin' that guv lyfe, that means we were not working. So, Wyatt and I have been trying to tag up and go fishing. It just hadn't happened. It finally did. So, the question was, where do we go? Brad and I had a pretty solid day on Gunterville, which you can read about by clicking the link below.


But, it wasn't THAT good AND the FLW Costa Series was fishing Guntersville, so, yeah. Nah. Hard pass. 

Didn't have time to head to Pickwick and I wasn't even sure it was time to go. Wilson was off the last week. So, that left Wheeler. As you guys know, we fish Wheeler a ton. It's not the best. The upper end can be down right bad. But it also can be a lot of fun, if you can figure it out. This year has been all about growth for us on that lake and I firmly believe we can be scary good up there.

Anyways, I didn't want to run to the dam early in the morning, which saw 40 degrees and a lot of clouds. So we junk fished. First we fished inside Ditto. Nothing. Hit the points. Nothing. Fished some rip rap and pulled a good river fish off it on a spinner bait. Remember this. 

Hit a current break down river just below the bridge and Wyatt caught three or four solid river fish on a texas rig. I added a small spot and we had 5 fish for 10 pounds. Pretty sweet.

I showed him some off shore rock piles which only resulted in a few drum. Fished more current breaks. Nothing. I was getting really frustrated because we were running out of time. I had to leave by 1PM. 

I kept thinking to myself: I know the clouds are bad. I know the offshore stuff won't work with low sunlight. But the current breaks aren't working either.....what should I do?

With 30 minutes left to go, I had an epiphany. I motored us to the other side of the river, picked up the only bait I had confidence in with low light, cloud cover, and wind. A spinnerbait. I began tossing it over wood. 

Man, did it get right in a hurry. Hit after hit after hit. I didn't have to do anything but keep the nose of the boat pointed down river. Every other tree had a fish on it. Most of them were thumping the blades and a lot were small fish, but there were some really good one mixed in. We had a couple of 3s and 4s come up and hit. 

It took me 15 minutes to figure out that the reason I wasn't hooking up was because my drag was loose.....

We doubled or tripled the amount of hits in the last 30 minutes by finally listening to the conditions. Ended up being a good day. TVA was pushing 60K out of Guntersville. There was a lot of stain on the water. Water temp was 59. 

Confessions of a Travel Softball Coach Part 8: Changes

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There were a few tournaments left in the year for her team, but there were frays in the relationship between the coaches and our family. This is the reality of travel softball and one that is a norm. My experience is that many of these aren't legitimate. That is, parents and coaches just aren't on the same page, for whatever reason. Travel ball parents, by and large, demand a lot and aren't willing to compromise. Coaches, by and large, all start in the same place: rec ball. They are prone to make tactical mistakes as well as mistakes off the field. 

Players are in constant movement because of this, but also because of the ebb and flow to the game. Better players seek better teams or more playing time. That vacancy frees up spots for players who are looking for a new team. Rarely do teams form where all the players are on the same level and stick together. This movement doesn't just happen at the end of the season, but far from it. It happens constantly. 

So even when we were having a lot of tension with the coach, others had either had their own issues and left, or found another team. Now, it should be mentioned that grass isn't greener on the other side and if you are constantly not getting along with your team, or the team isn't giving you what you want, it may be YOU. By the mid-point of the season, several prominent players had moved on. Eventually, we had to do the same. 

Of course, our issue now was that nobody was recruiting Aubree and few teams needed a player at this stage of the year. We tried out a few times and eventually found a team. This led to a new experience for us. First, we now had to travel 30 minutes for practices, which at the time seemed a lot. Aubree was not on the level of the players on this team, to begin with, but the coach took a chance on her anyway. 

Practices were hitting heavy, but the in-fielding was very challenging and Aubree was being challenged in ways she hadn't been challenged before. Of course, it hurt me a little that I wasn't needed on this coaching staff, either. This team was very competitive and they won a lot of games playing very good competition. I began to see what concentrating on hitting first will do for a team. It covers up defense that may not be perfect, and this defense was far from it. They were certainly capable, but unlike our previous team, they didn't have to play perfect to win, which took a ton of stress off of the team. 

Being on this team came at a heavy cost. Aubree didn't play much. It was more of the same, really. She had a limited arm and couldn't really catch flys in the outfield. So, it was second base or right field. She was working really hard on her hitting, especially slapping, but it just wasn't there yet. Like the other team, there was an entrenched starter on second. 

This was when I decided to be more proactive with her, and it only took five years to break down and get over my laziness. First, we had to get her throwing hard. The physics said she didn't have a long arm nor a lot of mass, so she would always be limited there. But, I had done nothing to fix what I could fix: her form. Her mechanics were very bad and she would not use her lower body. Also, there was a disconnect between going through the motion and doing so with effort. In other words, she just didn't know how to throw hard and push herself.  I had been yelling at her for years about it, but other than showing her how I threw, I never MADE her throw right. 

At the end of every throw, she should be on her left foot with her nose over her left foot, right fingers on her left pocket, facing behind her. We also emphasized that a flat throw that bounces is better than a sailing throw. This eventually fixed her release point, which was above her head, initially, with her face looking up and it made her snap her wrist instead of pushing the ball.  We spent a few afternoons in the front yard working. Wouldn't you know it, a little bit of concentrated effort, as well as implementing actual discipline instead of yelling, and she began throwing with authority.

Aubree was very frustrated with sitting, and we were too. Still, we saw that this was travel ball and playing time isn't given, it's earned. And in cases like Aubree, you have to go above and beyond sometimes. You can't just be the ninth best player and expect to be on the field. Sometimes you have to make yourself so indispensable that the coach can't take you off the field. She didn't complain, at least to the coaches and she didn't have a bad attitude. We didn't either although we certainly complained to each other. 

The state tournament was a rough experience for us. The team just didn't show up to play and despite having the talent to compete, they simply fell flat. There were already some whispers that the team would be disbanding, which I think had something to do with the struggles. As I would learn a year later, recruiting for the next season starts at State and that sometimes trumps play on the field. Furthermore, I began to learn that girls are simply different than boys. Typically, you have to settle boys down for games, not get them up. Short of forbidding boys to swim the day of a tournament, there isn't much that will make them come out flat. Girls are just....different. But, I hadn't really discovered that yet because I wasn't coaching, so stay tuned. 

Sure enough, the team didn't make and we found ourselves looking for another team. It almost cost us a season because sometimes coaches will try and try to form a team by holding spots for elite players that they may nor may not get and next thing you know, its time to play and they don't have enough players. Converse, if you wait on a team to form and it doesn't you can find yourself without a team, especially if you are just a middle of the road player. Aubree was finally ready to start slapping and, believe it or not, there were teams wanting her to come play. 

I promised myself that this was it. If she was practicing 3 times a week, so was I. And I would push her harder than any kid out there. I would never elevate her higher than another player or treat her special. In fact, I would make her earn her spot far beyond what she had to by giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, except her. That's been my life and it worked. She's my kid, so if it was good enough for her, it was good enough for me.

The question was, who needed a sub-par player and an inexperienced coach? 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Fishing Report for Guntersville 10/31/18

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Happy belated Halloween, yall! For us .Gov saps, it was "Safety Stand Down Day." That is, "come to work but don't work." 

Pass.

So, let's go fishing. But where? I've beaten Wheeler up pretty good and it hasn't been great. Still, when we've dropped the hammer with the intentions of catching fish rather than going on a "learning trip", we've brought in between 10-13 pounds

Brad had been to Wilson and it had sucked. It's about time to start hammering on Pickwick, but reports have been abysmal. Same with Guntersville. 

Now, if you are up on current events on The Big G, you know what's been up. Spro held their annual frog only tournament last Saturday and the results were.....not so good. The winning sack was 18 pounds. Ok, that's not so bad. What WAS bad was the rest of the results. Let's put it this way: only 68 boats weighed in a single fish and it took a scant one fish for 2.21 to cash a $100 check.

Still, it wasn't a surprise the frog bite was bad. There's no grass. There's been a ton of instability in the weather. 

But we've had three straight days of very, very good weather. It was supposed to be sunny with a high of 80 and my belief was that fishing was going to be good anywhere we went, so it boiled down to Guntersville or Pickwick. We decided on the G because of the chances to catch some big fish. Also, we felt like we could nail down a pattern a lot faster than Pickwick. While I love Pickwick for its versatility, the drawback to that is that it can take DAYS to figure out the fish. 

So, we headed to Waterfront. There weren't a TON of trailers there, just the ones who don't believe in parking in the parking spots. I will never understand that ramp. People park on the sides of the parking lot, in the grass, and refuse to use the parking lot itself. We didn't realize the Costa event is on Guntersville this weekend, so when we were asked if we were fishing it, we were kinda surprised, but then it all made sense, considering the different states we saw represented. 

I guess we would have known about this tournament, if we had read the article on FLW's website that featured local guides Alex Davis and Ryan Salzman. You can read that article here

So, let me be upfront and say the following: these dudes are pros. They are local guides. They know a lot more than me. Then I read their quotes. I won't go into all of it, suffice to say that I've never been more convinced that these guys are steering people 180-degrees in the wrong direction. I don't think a the frog will be a factor, much less the winning bait, nor do I believe the claim that the A-rig will be the top bait for the Top-10 teams. I don't believe the miracle mile will be the magic stretch. I don't believe it will take 18 pounds a day, though what the winner brings in and what the rest of the field weighs is seldom in the same ball park in these conditions, but I digress. 

But let's get into what I DO know. 

Brad had been on the G several times in the past month and had found a few good patterns and spots. These spots had led to some check-cashing tournaments and days where he and his partners had caught between 30-60 fish a day. The last trip, they lost a six pounder early in the day on top water, so that's where we started.

It didn't take long to get on the board as we boated a couple of schoolers, but her noticed real quick that the fish weren't schooling good and there didn't seem to be a lot of bait surfacing. We believed a lot of this was because of the pervasive cloud cover, which we just KNEW would cook off and bring out the sun. Once the sun came out and the fish quit roaming and settled, we would start looking around.

But, the top water died and the sun didn't come out. So, we started scanning. We couldn't find anything that looked really promising and even the spots that looked OK didn't yield anything. Feeling kind of lost, we went to a spot where we caught two seven-pounders last year on back to back days. You can read about that here. This spot is really out of the way and non-descript. It's just another one of those shell bed encrusted ditches, of which there are thousands of on the lake. Except we know where it is and we rarely see anyone else there. 

So, we went to work using some soft plastics and really working the shell beds hard. Brad got on the board pretty quick with a five. 30 minutes later, I backed that up with a three. Another 30 minutes later, I up'd the total with a four. We already had a couple of fish on the board from our top water stop, so we estimated we had around 15 pounds. 

The sun never came out and the bite trickled to nothing. We only caught a few more fish the rest of the day, but they were small and there were a lot of bites we didn't hook up with. We recycled the top water spot and then the shell bed, but they never reloaded, not to mention that when we returned, there were four boats magically in the vicinity. The weather was turning even worse with a wind coming in at 20MPH and a serious chop on the water. We called it a day pretty quick.  

So, with that said, it's tough for me to put my foot down and refute what these pros said in the article. After all, I spend very little time on that lake, though Brad has had a solid year on the G and I've got a nine-pounder under my belt from earlier this year, which you can read about here. What we do know is that there isn't grass to speak of and what little there is, isn't "cheesy" and you can rest assured that it has been beat to death over the last seven days. We saw a fair amount of A-rigs flying and of course there was at least one boat on every causeway hurling it. 

What did work was getting out of the shallow water. If that spot of ours was on, we know of at least one or two more down river, but we didn't want to use to the gas to ride down there. So, stay out of the five-foot range. Slow down. Find hard bottom. With the weather moving in today and post-frontal this weekend, you are going to have to concentrate on the deeper bite, I believe.