Read about all of my Fishing Adventures!
Follow my Fish of 2018
Wow. Has it really been since June 11th that I've written a report? Yep. Sure is. The Alabama Bass Trail on Logan-Martin is the last time I updated you guys. You can read about our near Top-20 finish by clicking the link below.
Few things to clear up. First, I have been fishing, mostly Wheeler on Thursday nights. I did fish a club tournament on Guntersville, which was a total bust. We idled for 2/3rds of the day looking for a school of ledge fish and never found them. That was during day 2 of the TOC tournament and every fish had been caught twice by that point.
Wheeler hasn't been much better. We've had a couple of 3rd place finishes and one second place finish, but the fishing has been stupid tough to the point that it wasn't worth writing a report about. Like, if you have a limit and some of them AREN'T dinks, you probably got a check. Still, there have been some really good fish caught, but we ain't been the ones catching them.
Along the way, we had a couple of vacations, some softball tournaments, and I STILL don't have my boat back. Frederick's Marine finally got a powerhead and the lower unit promptly crapped itself the first trip out. We are still waiting on parts from Mercury, but there is no ETA on when the new lower will come in. I called Mercury to complain about being without my boat and eating into my warranty and they essentially laughed at me, told me to kick bricks on asking for an extended warranty, and said I'd get it when I got it.
Now, on to the subject of this post. Pickwick. Now, a lot of you are fellow ABT competitors, so I am going to keep this FAIRLY vague. If you want a good source of info, go check Lou's Pickwick Reports. It's a great source of information, even if he is better than you at catching fish and you can't put his info to work.
Anyways, Brad and I had a club tournament on Saturday out of McFarland, but we knew we wanted to ledge fish, so we put in at Brush Creek. The plan was to scan and scan until we found something and then verified it was bass that would bite. Now, Pickwick has been hit or miss for both of us this time of year. We've found ledge fish that would bite, as you can see in one of me and Josh's better days. I've had some great grass days with Alyse, which you can also see. Then, I've had days where Brad and I scanned for hours and never found a thing.
We noticed that we were essentially all alone, mostly due to the extreme heat. The water temps were in excess of 90 degrees. It didn't take long to find a really good pile of fish, which showed up nicely on downscan/structure scan. We would have a five yard stretch with around 15-20 golf balls hugging the break lines of the channel.
We made a few casts after lining up on the spot and quickly caught several fish on jigs and shakey heads. This happened within a period of five casts. So, we knew we had something. We graphed a few more places that showed similar promise, but we could only get one or two small fish to bite. Some places, none of the fish would bite.
We returned to the spot and easily caught several more fish. We graphed a little more and found the larger fish hanging by themselves just off the main school. Nothing big, but we figured 10 pounds in 3 fish would be about the magic number.
After meeting my friend Wyatt and showing him some of the spots we had found, but weren't likely to use so that he could use them Saturday, we headed to Stanfield's Riverbottom Grill for dinner. We took my daughter and her best friend. It was awesome, as usual.
Saturday featured a large tournament out of McFarland and we had a long way to go. We worried that we wouldn't be able fish our hot spot as we had seen two other boats fishing NEAR the spot we had the most luck in.
It's like everyone was thinking the same thing as the two tournaments blasted off. At one point, near Coger island, Brad and I looked over his shoulder to see a boat running 65 miles an hour less than 5 yards off our starboard side. As we proceeded to yell about how dangerous the situational was, the guy just looked at us and spray us as he passed.
Imagine our surprise when we were able to pull up to our spot all by ourselves. We noticed that about 3 other boats were flipping bushes in the area. The first thing we noticed as we scanned the area was the fish had become scattered and there was a lot more bait in the area. We settled on the area with the greatest concentration of fish and went to work.
It was game on as we caught some good 2 pounders mixed in with smaller fish throughout the day. We only left the spot once, and that was for about 30 minutes. Truth be told, we just wanted to get some air moving because it was HHHOOOTTTT. We used finesse baits most of the day, although when we saw the fish were moving, I was able to catch a few on a crankbait as well as two topwater fish.
The issue at around 1PM was that we had caught around 30 fish, but hadn't upgraded in hours. We remembered seeing the larger fish off by themselves the day before and after re-scanning the area, we located two larger fish by themselves. Brad was able to catch both of these fish, each culling two, two pounders with three pounders. With weather rolling in, we headed to the ramp only to find out that during our 20 mile run, a lightening storm had centered on Florence.
Since I had to drive to the beach, I watched our weigh in and left. We weighed in 9.90 in three fish, which was good enough for second, thanks to a five pounder that had been caught by another team, which pushed them over the 10 pound mark. We just couldn't get that big bite, despite putting virtually every bite in the boat.
Water temps were around 90, we fished between 10-18 feet all day, never seeing any grass. We never really had competition around us.
My recommendation? Same as it normally is this time of year. Don't pick up a rod until you see at least 10 fish grouped up. Don't fish a spot more than 10 minutes without a bite. And, don't be surprised if it takes you a whole day or more to find a good school.