Friday, May 27, 2011

Ditto Thursday Night Wildcat 5/26/11

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I hadn't been able to fish the Wildcat tournament in weeks, due mostly to Aubree's AND Alyse's softball schedules. But, I must say that it was A-OK to make a swap for a few weeks as Josh and I had just plain struck out. Sucks to give away 30 dollars a week!

As I am sure you are all aware, the weather was supposed to be nasty with a 50% chance of T-storms. But I have grown a large distrust of weathermen in this area, and trust my own meteorology. So, at 5pm...guess what. No storms! The engine fired on the first crank and with cold beer in hand, we got ready to blast off.

The water was back up, and a blog reader had informed me that one of my spots SHOULD be on....that being the "bush bite" inside of Butler Basin. When the water gets high, the fish love to get under those little trees on the bank of Butler. You cast a top water in there and get bit more often than not.

When Patrick, the director, waved us on, I floored it....and the motor just died. By that time, 2 boats were out front, headed up river, undoubtedly towards Butler. When we arrived, we were the 3rd boat in there, but the only boat down that upriver bank....which was ok.

15 minutes later, we didn't have a single bite. My other tactic was to get on an eddy bite at the mouth of Butler, as Bertus had shown me a week back. But, there was a boat on it. Strangely, there was bait fish swarming...but we couldn't coax a bite. We idled out.But the motor wouldn't fire. It would turn and turn and turn. I hit it with ether. I swapped batteries since it required 700 amps to trigger the kill switch. Nothing. Just like back in the NATA Open....Sigh. Of all places to get stranded....At least it would drift TOWARDS the launch!

I threw the new Xcaliber square bill up on the rip rap, just outside of the mouth.

As soon as it hit the water, a scrapper NAILED it. Because I was so disgusted, I threw him back. Before he even hit the water, Josh started yelling at me....since that fish would have measured. I guess I had my Guntersville calibrated eyeballs on after last week. Sigh. I guess I could have dove in after him!

We drifted about a quarter of a mile, catching a few short fish. Josh caught a few on a baby brushhog and I on a Ole monster, both made by Zoom.

Again, nothing big, although they all COULD have measured with a little stretching. However, since the winner had needed 15 pounds every week we fished, we threw them back.

As I continued to work on the motor, I FINALLY found that pesky leak in the boat. One of the straps on the port side fuel cell had pulled out, leaving a hole. Gotta fix that today before tomorrows tourny! Burble Burble Burble! Hope those pumps don't die!

The motor DID finally start, so we ran to the point of Hobbs Island. Again, someone was sitting on it. Same guy I have seen out practicing. He wasn't on the sweet spot of the point, as there is a sunken bridge piling, making it go from 14 feet to 7 feet.
last summer, we caught all of our good bags here, mostly on top water. Surprisingly, we saw some top water action, so I tossed the Zell-Pop out and was rewarded with a nice fish.
I should add that I had swapped the front hook for a red Owner #2 and the rear for feather Owner #4 in silver...not that it really matters.

That being the only taker, we went to our last spot, as we had wasted half the day trying to get the motor to fire.

Now, I promised that I would quit showing Josh's, all I will say is that it is a rip rap bank on the main river.

As we pulled up on it, we threw Zell Pops under trees..just like Butler Basin. We had so many hits...from small fish...that it was ridiculous. We had at least 3 doubles. Mostly, short...and I mean...REALLY short fish.

The humor for the day came when Josh tried to back the boat onto the bank so that I could retrieve my Zell Pop. Well, I took a step onto a submerged rock, and dang it if it was slippery. Into the water I went.....At least it was marginally warm!

We only kept 3 fish, though we did fill out a sack. We didn't even take them to the ramp, as we didn't think it would matter...and it didn't...but it was close.

Winner had 11 pounds, including a MONSTER 5.6 ounce large! Beautiful fish! Second had 7 pounds and I don't even know what 3rd was. Suffice to saw that we were in the mix....well, would have been...had I not thrown back all our fish! At least the motor DOES work!