Monday, November 21, 2011

Fishing Report for Guntersville 11/19

So the opening day for gun season finally rolled around. I missed it last year since I attended the Iron Bowl. I sat on the stand until 8:30am without seeing a single deer. So, I texted Josh and told him that I was getting the boat and heading to the lake. He said he was ready when I was.

After rebuilding the carbs, replacing fuel lines and other assorted fixes, the boat finally would start without having to pray over it. I picked Josh up and we headed to BB Comer, since it has been (relatively) hot in the last month.

I have to admit that I had planned on fishing unless I killed a deer. The weather looked to be perfect. 8mph winds with slight gusts, overcast, and in the mid-60s.

After pulling the boat off the trailer, I found that I had, once again, been duped by the weathermen. It was certainly overcast, but it was in the low 50s and the wind was hurtling at a 15-20 sustained clip. The water was surprisingly cold at 53 degrees.  The boat DID fire up readily, so I was at least happy that we could fish somewhere out of the the spot down river that Jon and I had fished the previous week.

But, as I tried get the boat into gear, it would just grind the gears. This isn't a new thing. The throttle has a history of binding up on me. But never THIS much. I would have the throttle halfway down and it would still grind. If I floored it, it would jump into gear. But I am positive that isn't good for the lower unit. So, the question is: is there something wrong with the throttle and/or cables and linkage...or is there something in the lower unit? Say, a thrust washer has been eaten?

But I did get it in gear and it SEEMED to run ok. So, I ran us the half mile to the spot I had been fishing. Quickly we noticed that the grass mat I had found them packed under had been blown away. Completely. So, that was a bust. We pushed out into the channel and fished the drop off (4 feet to 8 feet). Josh ran a spinnerbait and I threw a square bill. But, the wind pushed us upriver at a good pace and we only had a single hit....a fish I caught on the strike king KVD square bill.

Surprisingly, we couldn't get a fish to look at the spinnerbait. It seemed to be the PERFECT spinnerbait day.

Not wanting to run very far, we ran under the bridge and down about half a mile where we found grass mats. We fished the left hand side and just let the wind blow us. We at least could hear a little popping from baitfish, so we had some hope. we both picked up the frog rods and started casting away. Within a couple of casts, I had a hit. But the fish missed the bait by 2-3 feet. We threw back in and couldn't coax a return hit. The wind pushed us a few more feet and the same thing.

In the next 5 minutes, we had about 10 top water hits. They were hitting the surface pretty hard, but were missing the frog by 2-3 feet. Finally Josh got one to make an accurate hit and we got him to the boat. But, we got past this spot quickly, even though I had the trolling motor on high. After a few more minutes, the batteries were dead.I am not sure if the batteries are going dead, didn't get charged, or maybe I had just used them up. But, that was the end of the day. We didn't plan on fishing long anyway, so at 130, we called it a day.

The only thing we could think of is that the sever chop on the water throws the fish's vision for a BIG loop. I can't see that it could be anything else. They seemed to be active in very specific areas, but just couldn't get to it.

That's a big disappointment, considering the weather was, once again, ALMOST perfect. The warm days are coming to an end. I am hoping to give it a try again early this week. At least we didn't get skunked, but we sure didn't catch anything to write home about.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Best Five Zach makes it into the Tuscaloosa news

Many of you may recall  that I fished the Eagle's Wings benefit tournament about a month ago. The people at Eagle's Wings learned that I had this blog and fished and done well in the last two years of the tournament. They contacted me and asked if they could use my blog in the Tuscaloosa News to promote their cause. I was happy to help. Here is the story in "Letters to the Editor":

Strike King KVD Sexy Frog

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Last week I lost 2...yes...2 Spro Dean Rojas Edition frogs. Being cheap..I borrowed one of these that my dad had bought (which is prob news to him).  I will compare it to the Spro, as the two are closely matched.

The eyes aren't as visually pleasing as the Spro, nor is the over-all painting.

however, upon using it, I found that the frog was superior in that it has a sealed air bladder. So, it doesn't take on water and you don't have to squeeze it every few casts. It has a built in rattle as well. That's.....ok. I would like the option of adding my own.

Its sits lower in the water, which makes bigger wakes as you hop it. It also allows the smallest twitches possible, even by simply turning the handle. That IS very usefull.

The biggest detractor of the KVD is that it has a very bad habit about flipping over upside down. I am really not sure why, but the Spro doesn't have this problem. 

After an afternoon worth of fishing, the paint was already coming off the bait.

Overall, there are some functional differences between the KVD frog and the Spro, both good and bad. It's not for everyone, esp those aficionados of the frog. But, the price is good and the functionality is decent.

Fishing report for Guntersville 11/15/11

Well, the year is coming to a close. I still plan on fishing the winter, as that's when the hogs are caught, but the days of comfortable fishing for numbers are ending. Sunday night, I looked at the weather. The forecast for Guntersville said that it would be 69 degrees, 20% chance of rain, 10-15mpg sustained winds. There was a cold front moving in behind too. So, I thought this would be a terrific day for another top water bite. I called John and talked him into going (I should have listened to the wind did prove a major hurtle). We worked most of the day and took off in the early afternoon for BB Comer.

We launched the Big Easy and made the short trip down river to the spot that I had been catching fish. I had two trips with 5+ pound fish. So, it had a perfect record for producing quality fish. The wind was every bit of 15mph sustained, so John drove the boat deep in the grass to anchor it. I was throwing the new Strike King KVD sexy frog.

I will have a write up on it later....

I was throwing it towards small sections of matted grass. I was deep in conversation with John when a fish rolled over top of the bait. I didn't think he ate those roll overs are pretty low on hook up ratio. But the bait didn't bob to the surface, so I stuck the fish. I didn't have a gauge on the size, so I started horsing him. But, he quickly bulldogged me into the Lilly pads. I saw the fish roll a few times and I knew I had a pig. So, John set the motor on high and we dove in deeper. I freed the fish from the pads and got him in the boat.

The fish went 5.45 on the hand held scale. One of the nicer are around fish I have caught. It was plump..where as a lot of my bigger fish have been skinny.

As soon as a dropped the fish back in the water, the rain started. We were caught entirely off guard as the chances of rain were so low. Luckily, John had a garbage bag. Being a short guy, I was almost completely covered...almost. The rain dripped off the bag and onto my jeans...which is oddly uncomfortable!

We retreated under the BB Comer bridge. I tossed my custom swimbait around the pile ons.

I had a good hit and on the next cast, had two short bass following the bait.

John picked up a small keeper on a spinnerbait. After the rain stopped, we fished around the bridge, but didn't have another hit. So, we went about 2 miles down river to a little creek which has rip rap banks. It's an interesting place because there is the main channel that is about 35 feet deep, then a ledge, then a smaller channel between the main channel and the bank. It's about 12 feet deep. We spotted good hard bottom and small humps, which I can't wait to fish. Between the two channels is a grass line. We attempted to fish it, despite the wind, which was now 30mph sustained. I had at LEAST 3 hits on the frog that didn't hook up, but the wind kept us from being able to do anything but rip down the grass line. Had we been able to sit on it, I have no doubt we could have caught a good mess.

We then fished the rip rap bank and into the creek. I quickly caught a 5 inch bass on a Lucky Craft Sammy. The wind was noexistant here. So, we fished into the back of the creek. The mats were popping (which is absolutely necc to find for a frog bite). And we could see fish chasing bait. However, we couldn't get a hit. They were there....and I will go back soon and give it a try.

On the way out, I had a big hit on the custom swimbait. But the fish ran right at me, which is typical for a bigger (smarter) fish. This came off of shell bottom points in the mid point of the creek.

BTW, this is the creek Josh and I won the first tournament of the year on. We had a limit in 15 minutes and won with 18.5 pounds. It's also where I caught a massive catfish...ironically on the same shell bottom points.

Anyway, not much success...but we once again learned how quickly the weather can change. At least the company was good and we caught fish.

More importantly, I found a small dinner table size hump that should produce fish. Can't wait to get back on it.

Thanks again to John for his hospitality. Really wish I would have listened to him about the wind. But, hey, I have a feeling that we were THIS CLOSE to having a break out day. Weather turned on us.

Get out there while you can!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fishing Report for Guntersville. November 2nd 2011

I kept reading the guides report that the frog bite on Guntersville was turning on. I think most of my readers know where Guntersville stands on my list of favorite lakes this year. If not, I will sum it up like this: I have had more luck and caught more fish on lakes I had never been on than this lake that I fish the most.

Additionally,  I believe my love for the frog bite has been expressed adequately. However, I could honestly say that I could count on one hand the number of frog fish I have caught this year. Bad luck? Maybe. Inexperience...probably.

But I digress....where were we? Oh yes. The guides said the bite was turning on. I was SUPPOSED to be in court over my mishap regarding boat registration but, a lucky phone call to confirm the date later and I discovered I was free.

Cold front moving in. Windy. And the word of all those honest fishermen. So, I thought we would give it a shot. Tuesday night I tried to get the boat ready ,as I hadn't run it in some time. It took forever to get it started. So, I began to question what I should do. If I went to BB Comer Bridge Ramp and the motor didn't start, it wouldn't be a big deal. So that's what we did. And, it didn't hurt that I had gotten on a decent bite 2 weeks previous during the MFC Classic tournament AND all my friends had been having luck.

I explained all this to dad, who didn't seemed convinced. But, the boat started and we ran  the scant distance to the spot . It's about a 25 yard radius. All you have to do is find where the lilly pads stop. I didn't get a chance to check it out on the depth finder with Mark, so I took the opportunity to do so. Indeed, it dropped from 4 feet to 6.5 feet. Shallow enough for the grass and deep enough that the lilly pads couldn't grow.

We started fishing at around 2pm. The first 30 minutes was pretty rough. The wind was howling and I couldn't keep us on the spot I wanted, so I drove it deep in the grass. Dad threw a Ribbet
He had three hits or so in the first 30 minutes but couldn't get them to hook up.

After the third, I stgarted making fun of him, saying how I hda learned some things over the last year and I didn't miss frogs. As a counterpoint, I had a hit about 5 yards from the boat. He laughed, of course. But I argued that it wasn't a good hit. So I flipped the Spro frog back on the spot. I shook it. Wiggled it. Just as I had learned with Mark 2 weeks previous. The fish hit again. I waited and waited and then let him have it. But the frog came right back at us at 100mph. Unfazed, I threw RIGHT back on him. He hit it again. Same result. 4th times a charm! Jiggle wiggle wiggle BOOM! I watched the braid move. I knew he ate it. So I gave him a herculian wallop...which broke the braid. IMPOSSIBLE! 65 pound braid. But, as I thought about it, I realized that the frog had been tied on for probably 60 months and that braid was surely knicked. so, that awesome Dean Rojas Spro frog that I LOVED so much was gone.

Luckily, I had a spare.

I guess that one fish fired them up, because the next 30 minutes were nuts! If I didn't hit them on the first strike, I could coax them on the second...even the 3rd! At one point, I caught 3 fish on 3 casts from the same patch of matted grass. The more we caught, the more fired up the rest became, and the grass around us in all directions were blowing up with fish.

I don't know the exact count, but I believe I caught around 10 (6 keeper size and several short) in less than 30 minutes. And that doesn't even touch how many hits we had. It was every cast. But as soon as it started, it ended. It could be one of several reasons, but the wind died down and we were blown into the main strike zone, which may have spooked the fish.

Best 5 would have been in the 16-17 pound range.

After getting stumped for the next 30 minutes, we decided to go home.

And here is what you all want to see.

Of course, the best news is....the boat wouldn't start. Again. It's flooding really bad. Ugg. But, hey, nothing better than catching a boat load of fish without having to start the big motor! The frog bite is on. Get out there and get them!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Now taking orders for swimbaits!! Get yoursbefore they are gone!

I had some money stashed away and I kept recieving requests to make more swimbaits. So, I put in an order this morning for the material. By the end of this weekend, I will have around 100 or so swimbaits. I plan on making baby carp and silver minnow colored 3.25 inch swimbaits with and with out rattles. These come standard with red 3D eyes, hand painting, and double dip for the shiney luster! Please drop me a line if you are looking to purchase! See pictures on my other page.