When I woke up around 3am, the rain was pounding the roof and I wearily checked the Accuweather forecast. 70% chance of thunderstorms! But all of my best fishing has been done in the rain. As I got dressed, Alyse started yelling at me to make sure my life insurance policy was up to date. And she wasn't joking. But somehow, my 7th sense told me that it wouldn't rain on us. I did shoot John a quick message that it might storm..to which he "LOL'd" and said it was just a little rain.
So, I loaded the old Lumina up and headed towards Mink Creek. Here is where we fished.
I had made up my mind that I wanted to fish Mink Creek because I felt like there would still be SOME fish spawning, or at least holding to their nests. In the back of Mink Creek are 3 little Islands, as you can see. There are some MASSIVE stumps back there, all in less than 4 feet of water. Last year I discovered the area and caught some fish with swimbaits, although I never really went back. I decided that today would be all about Zach's Custom Swimbaits and Rods. It was a little dingy, so I selected my chartreuse swimbaits. John was throwing swimbaits as well, using a Reaction Innovations Skinny dipper in Hitch color.
Almost before I could get my first cast, he had 3 bites on the dipper and had one fish in the boat. Not to be out done, I quickly had a solid hit which shook off at the boat, and boated one decent fish. He absolutely destroyed the bait. I had to get the pliers after him to get the swim bait out! What a great feeling! To catch fish on a swimbait you made on a rod you built!
I found that you HAD to bump the baits off of stumps. With the 20-30mph sustained winds, that was a difficult task. Heck, even keeping the swimbait in the water was tough. I had to go from a 1/6th weight to a 1/4 ounce weighted hook. I was throwing a Gamakatsu spring-lok weighted hook.
We made a circuit around these three islands. I didn't get a GREAT count, but I know we had 10 fish in the first 30 minutes, including this beast:
At 730am, we could already call it a successful day and decided to try some new places. That proved to be an adventure. The waves were 5 foot swells paired with 25-30 mph winds! I am not making that up! Even "Big Easy", his 24 foot Sea Ark, had trouble with these waves and we couldn't go much faster than 30.
John had some luck in North Sauty, so we went to check that out. Although the fish were far and few in between, we did stumble across these beautiful creatures:
One of our last stops was a rock shelf in front of some nice houses. I haven't seen this type of rock ANYWHERE on Guntersville before. There was some decent grass growing and we could see beds in them. In fact, we could see males chasing other fish away. John was able to catch a few topwater frogs....alas I have yet to catch a frog fish this year. The interesting thing is that we saw a nice female on bed with a male. The male would swim away, but the female allowed us to get right up on her. I would entice her with the swimbait. Sometimes she would head butt it. Sometimes she would pick it up and move it. But she wouldn't take it! All for the better, since she was on bed anyway.
Great day, despite the wind and the waves. Not a DROP of rain! I counted 17 fish that measured with a few that didn't. All but 2 of mine where caught on my swimbait, which lasted ALL DAY. It wasn't like they were barely hitting it either. They were engulfing it! that sure beats going through two packs of Money Minnows at 10 dollars a box of 4! I'd like to thank John for taking me and for providing the great pics!