Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday Night Wildcat, Ditto Landing July 7th

Whew. Been a busy week and a half! Just got back from the beach and had a blast! I'm sure my wife documented the trip, or will, on her blog:

Anyways, before we went on the trip, I fished the Wildcat tournament. Since Josh  bought his Bullet (which I have yet to fish out of), I assumed he wanted to fish with his friend Anthony. So, I asked Bertus if he wanted to fish with me. Of course, Bertus is a much better fisherman than I, and Josh, for that matter....why hadn't I asked him to fish sooner! We made a 20 dollar side bet with Josh and Anthony.

First things first: my rectifier/regulator has been friend for months. Which means that the motor doesn't recharge the batteries while it's running. It hasn't been a big deal, really. But starting on July 3rd when my wife and I went to Guntersville (for about an hour, and it wasn't worth blogging about), I started having issues getting the boat to start without killing the batteries. I just assumed that I hadn't charged the batteries very well. The next day, the 4th, the boat ran great all day but suddenly the batteries (all 3) died about dark. Again, chalking it up to over use, I put the boat on the trailer. I charged the batteries all week leading up to the tournament. That afternoon, I knew we were in trouble. The first battery wouldn't start the motor, and the second had problems with it. Had Bertus not paid already, I would have said it wasn't worth wasting money.

The current wasn't very heavy and the water was fairly stained. However, we HAD paid and we felt obligated to fish. The boat ran well and we ran to the lower point of Hobb's Island.
It has a long point with some select chunk rock adjacent to the channel. Good smallie spot. The long point itself is about 100 yards long and is less than 5 feet deep in most spots.

I elected to throw crankbaits(go figure). I went with chartreuse/sexy colors in order to get some visibility. Because the area had been fished a lot fht e last few days, I went with a silent square bill made by Xcalibur. My rationale was that the wide wobble would sent a good strong wake, the color would give it visibility, and the lack of rattles wouldn't spook the smarter fish. I hoped to bounce the square bill off the chunk rock. With it being silent, I was hoping to trigger reaction strikes.
For the ledge fishing, I selected a Strike Kind Series 6XD in the same color scheme.

Bertus ran the trolling motor and I ran the back. About 2 casts in, I bounced the XCalibur off a rock and snagged a fish. I worked it to the boat, and it jumped and tossed the bait. AGG!!! This happened the last couple of times I had been to Ditto. I had assumed it was from weak strikes on the back hook and had swapped to a red front hook. Looks like it was still happening! It was a nice bronze back smallie. Not huge, but big enough! And it was fat!

2 casts later, landed a short large mouth on the same bait. Few casts later, a THICK large mouth, although he was about a 15 incher. Bertus stayed with his C-rig, casting to the point and dragging to the ledge. We noticed that his hits were coming on the ledge, even though we were sitting on it. We backed out a bit and I went to the 6XD. We found that the fish were suspended, making it almost impossible for me to catch on the crank bait. I went to the C-rig, had a few bumps, but nothing made it to the boat. The bite died quickly and we elected to fire it up and move to the upper point of Hobb's.....but the batteries wouldn't start the motor. !!@#!$%@$%@!#$!

All we could do was troll. That wasn't all bad, I told Bertus, as we were on the point, and on the other bank was a long rip rap run with a turbine inlet. So, we trolled. And trolled. And trolled. Until we got to the turbine.
As soon as we got there, we noticed bass busting shad on topwater. We went to throwing topwater. I threw a Zell Pop.

We caught a few short real quick, and one keeper. Even though we KNEW there were more fish, we couldn't get them to bite. And why not? There was a TON of hatching baitfish. Can't compete with that. So, with an hour left, we drifted down the rip-rap bank towards Ditto. It was like a Funeral March. Dead motor. 2 fish. And a somber drift.
About 100 yards from the inlet to Ditto, we suddenly started getting bites. One after the other. With 10 minutes left, Bertus single handily filled the livewell! It wasn't a big limit, but it was a limit!

I speed trolled the boat onto the trailer and we weighed in 6 pounds. We weren't going to weigh in at all. After all, if we caught a limit on luck, certainly others would catch monster sacks. But, we weighed in and watched others pack the boats and leave. Others weighed in 4 fish. I'm not going to brag, but We made 4th place. And that ain't too bad. We only lost by a pound, and didn't spend any gas to do it.
Josh and Anthony, however, ran all the way to the dam for 4 fish. But they welshed on their side bet! Double or nothing, they are now saying....

I guess you can't catch fish at 80mph! Until next time!