Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Product Review for BPS-Bass Pro Extreme Weigh Bag

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Everyone needs one. Most tournament fishermen have them. I am not too picky about how flashy they are. What I am picky about is price and performance. I have had my Bass Pro Extreme Weigh Bag for over 3 years. It has served me perfectly. It can be found here:


The price is about $15.99, which is $5 less than competition at other box stores. It has weighed in some big bags (by my standards). When I bought it, I read that there were durability concerns. I dry, fold, and store it after every use.

Other than some light fraying on the handles, I have ZERO complaints. I liked it so much, that my club purchased a large quantity of them for our use.

Don't forget to pick up your mess

Your mother probably told you never to eat with your hands, right? Did she ever have to tell you to keep your food on your plate? If you are like I was, she probably did.

So, judging by this cryptic title and these first few comments, what is something that you may have forgotten.

Check that. Reverse it. Most of yall are smarter than I.

What is something that Zach had forgotten for his bug-out-bag? Ammo? Nope. Got that covered. Medical supplies? Tent? How about something mundane and random like zip-ties, as I covered a month back? Nope. Covered. In. Spades.

A mess kit? Yep...wait...no????

Yeah, so I am perusing Amazon now that I have this Prime account. I am looking at my order history, then I look at Suggested Products, or whatever it is that they call it. There, staring back at me, is a portable mess kit. Well, I DO have this handy-dandy multi-utensil. But then I started thinking...how am I going to use that multi tool if I have no where to put the food? For that matter...how will I cook it? Then I started thinking even more in depth, and I realized once again that sometimes I am less smart than I had thought I was. What if I need to boil water? What if.....(insert food related question).

Now, I admit, that I have eaten off some questionable surfaces, up to and not including, cardboard beer boxes. Now, in my defense, I was 21 and we were tailgating. You don't plan much past "who has the Natty?" when it comes to tailgating. At least that was my experience as a college kid tailgating at Auburn University.

As it turns out, despite all of my planning and thinking, my spending and frugality, I had missed a very important bit of equipment. Like I said, it goes passed "something to cut my food on". It's something to cook your food on. Something to boil that water after you initial water supply runs out. I'm sure there are a dozen other applications that I won't go into.

So, what I WILL go into is what I bought. Now, I like this prepping game. I have spent a lot of money on it, but money is still a very real concern. I wanted something nice and economical, yet something affordable.

Turns out, you can spend a LOT of money on a camping mess kit. What's a lot? Well, that depends, I guess. But $80+++ is too much for me. I was looking more in the $15 range. But, I recognize that you get what you pay for. So, I read the reviews. I shopped, and I selected. I bought the GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Mess kit. It was right at my upper limit of $25.


  • Bugaboo® cookware's dependable non-stick coating gives you a surface that heats evenly and makes cooking a gourmet experience
  • Easy-packing nesting design thanks to a dual-use frypan/lid, a polypropylene Cascadian¿ cup and bowl and mesh stuff sack
  • Exclusive DiamondBack Gripper¿ attaches securely to exterior brackets while preserving both interior and exterior pot finishes
  • This set is lightweight so makes it easy to pack into your favorite campsite.
  • Enjoy the Bugaboo® mess kit is versatile enough you can take it anywhere
I plan on using it, as well as all the other unused stuff in my kit VERY soon and reporting back!


Prefishing for the Gambler Tournament 10/27

I won't complain too much about the weather down here in the South, as compared to the weather that the north east is seeing. I sure won't complain too much about how it effected my fishing when so many people are struggling.

But, I will sat that the weather on Saturday was just terrible.

Josh and I planned on doing a little pre-fishing for the Gambler Tournament that takes place this weekend 11/3. Let me tell ya. These bait manufactures are great ideas. Sure, its great for we fishermen, since it's free. But, it's great advertisement for the manufactures. By far the BEST thing for them is, those of us that don't normally buy their baits are forced to load up on them.

You can check my link here:

Or go to their website here:

Anyway. It was sprinkling rain and 43 degrees when I left the house to pick Josh and the Bullet up. We stopped at Keller's Outdoors and grabbed a biscuit and a few baits. Josh had told me about this bologna biscuit they had. I had envisioned normal bologna. Nope. This was thick cut, smoked, yummy bologna on a soft biscuit. It was excellent.

We decided to put in at Allreds. We hit the water and the wind hit us. It was 25-20mph. Cold. We started out on a grass topped hump where I had success in the past. About that time, a big tournament came blazing by. I recalled that NATA had their Classic today, though it turned out that it was the BFL. More about that later. Fishing the shallow humps was a chore. So, we moved and started fishing some creeks, as we had expected the baitfish and bass to start migrating. Plus, the added benefit to being out of the wind. We didn't have a hit, and strangely enough, we didn't see any baitfish.


We stopped into a few more creeks. Tried some different things. Nothing. No bass busting baits. No baits flipping around. Frustrated, I suggested we do the last thing we normally would think of. Let's go find a deep water hump, try and stay on it, and see what happens.

Just so happened that there was a nearby hump that showed up on the graph. It was pretty small, but sat just off the main channel and adjacent to a creek channel. Josh tossed a crank bait at it and stuck a NICE keeper. I'd say a high 3 or low 4 fish.

But that presented a problem. It took several minutes to reposition, and even then, we weren't in the right spot. He said he had hit a rock and bounced the crank off it to trigger the strike. Good fish like that have been hard to come by on Guntersville. And usually where there is one fish like that, there are more. We idled over it and the depth finder didn't seem to pick out anything. But, the readings looked funny. There seemed to be two lines of "hard bottom" on the graph in very specific places. In fact, the places where we expected to see fish were the only places that had this intermittent high density indication on top of a solid hard bottom line. Also, where we expected to see baitfish bunched up, we saw a lot of low density indications stretched up and down the water column. Almost like when there is some grass on your sensor. Then we figured it out. Measurable fish were holding tight to the bottom and the baitfish were suspended vertically, not bunched up.

Liking what we saw, we left it after deciding that it would be our first stop. Having new found success and faith in the jig, I decided that I would throw a jig behind Josh's bait selection. He could grab the quick eaters and I could pick off the more lethargic fish. That is provided that there ARE fish there. They WANT to eat. And, wind won't keep us off of the spot.

That presented a problem, since you must use Gambler jigs. No one in town carries them that I know of. Tacklewarehouse didn't have any. Luckily, Amazon did! And, I have this new Prime membership. So, free shipping!

I won't bore you with the rest of the day, suffice to say that we didn't make a great bag, but we quit around 11am. We did have a few bites and I believe we could have ground out a limit.

According to the BFL's website, you needed 15 pounds to take home a check. That's 15 pounds over 2 days. Folks, that should tell you all you need to know about the lake. Now, I admit that there were some decent bags brought in. The winner had 39 pounds 11 ounces to win it. Solid. 29 pounds took home a grand.

I hear the results for NATA were just as bad. I talked to a friend who goes to church with me and he said it was real tough for them.

Seems like the lake was tough for everyone. Again.

But, we are going into this tournament just like it's a regular fishing trip. Never mind the money we spent on the baits.

Will update next week!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Results from 4th Annual Eagle's Wings Benefit Tournament

Surely most of you have read my posts about Eagle's Wings and the benefit tournament they throw each year. I was a little more involved this year after being recognized last year via this blog. Basically, they read my report on the tournament and asked to use it in the local newspaper. I was happy to help. You can read about that here:


After that, we kept in touch. So, this year, Ms. Becky emailed me and asked me if I would help advertise it on the blog. Sure, I would be happy to! In exchange, I was able to register on the first day and secure our (Uncle Tony and I) as boat number 1. We would need every bit of the help we could get in getting to the spots first (that's a zinger...since we would be catching spots from his magic spots).

One of the highlights of the fishing year has been to fish the Eagle's Wings Benefit. http://eagleswingsoftuscaloosa.org/
Here is what they are all about:Eagles' Wings, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides day habilitation services for adults with mild, moderate and severe intellectual and physical disabilities, including those who are medically fragile.  We strive to provide a wide array of services to meet their spiritual, physical, emotional, social and vocational needs.  Our primary objective is centered on happiness for each individual in a respectful, secure, nurturing and structured environment which maximizes potential for independence, productivity and integration with the surrounding community.

As you can see, it's a great cause. It has been a lot of fun and I get to fish with my wife's uncle Tony. And, we get to spend the weekend down there with her family. That's a big deal for her grandparents and great grandmother, since we have 3 kids that they don't get to see very often.

This year's tournament would be a little different, specifically the location, which was moved from Lake Tuscaloosa to Holt Lake. At first, I was a little worried, since Tony and I had done so well on Tuscaloosa together. We had fished 3 tournaments together and taken home good checks in each.

So, a few weeks ago, Uncle Tony started calling me. As luck would have it, he has fished Holt almost as much as Tuscaloosa. He had 2 good prefishing trips and 2 bad ones. The good trips were REAL good, producing 20 pound bags. The bad were REAL bad...though his definition of bad and my definition is different. I guess that when you get 25 years of experience, you can always catch some fish. Being a learner, there is no limit to how bad a bad trip could be.

So, Thursday night before the tournament, he called me to tell me what to rig up. A deep diving crank, a lipless rattle bait, a jig, and a topwater bait. Not having any confidence in the jig, I asked if I would be ok with a shakey head. He said, sure....but to not be surprised if I only catch half as much as he did. HAHA!

I really wanted to try out some new things, especially the new Spot Remover Magnum shakey heads.

They feature a heavier gauge hook and a longer shank. Anyway, Aubree had a soccer game Friday night, so we arrived late on Friday night. I didn't get a chance to see Tony, but we spoke on the phone and set up times and strategy. He expected a tough day, since there wouldn't be any current and we would see high skys. We would start shallow and gauge the bite, then hit the ledges. He had hoped that the current would be on, and therefore, the bite would be active and we could use crank baits. But he was already preparing for a grinding day of throwing jigs on ledges. Something I know ZERO about. I have caught a grand total of 2 fish on a jig....and those were in 2 feet of water.

We woke up just in time, got our ice and snacks, and hit the road. 30 minutes later, we had to boat launched and beached at the tournament headquarters. Man was it foggy! Because of the fog, blast off was delayed. So, I enjoyed the great conversation with the locals and the free coffee and Krispie Kremes!

Soon enough, we blasted off....Boat Number 1 is on the case!

Because of the fog, we didn't go far....and neither did most people. I was worried that we would be at a big disadvantage, but Tony said that we weren't, especially considering how many boats were locking up...and down! Whew!

So, we got to work. He was throwing a Strike King red eye shad lipless crank while I thew the Xcalibur 12-Knocker in Sexy.

Now, it wouldn't be a tournament if I didn't lose or break something. In this case, my Boyd Duckett Rod had suffered a series blow and the tip had the Teflon insert knocked out of it. It was shaving the BRAND NEW Seguar line....UGH! Tony bagged two short fish. I bagged one shortly after. I picked up the Sammy and tossed it around some grass lines, picked up one short fish and one that measured. But, we tossed it back. Tony said that if we had to worry about keeping fish that small, we wouldn't be winning. He had a point.

The fog lifted around 9 and we finally got to get on his posts. As usual, I had in my mind how we would be fishing. When he had said "ledges" I had expected rock faced bluffs. When he cut the motor in the middle of the lake...I was a little confounded. Even more so when I saw the depth....28 feet. He picked up the jig and tossed it. I threw my Spro Lil John DD. On his first cast, he snagged a keeper. I worked the net for him and boated our first keeper. A solid 1.5 pounder. On his next cast, he hooked another. I netted it. I picked up the shakey head and tossed it as far as I could...and had a hit. Worked the fish towards the boat, and he simply spit the bait out. I realized why. I had thrown the shakey head as far as I could. The more line you have out, the more stretch it has. The finesse rod I was using simply didn't have the strength to snatch a hook through the lips of a fish 30 feet down and 30 yards out. At the same time, he boated keepers 3 and 4. So, I got smart...even earlier than I normally do...and tied on a jog, though I had no confidence. I tied it on to a St Croix 6'6'' medium heavy rod and a Shimano Citica reel. But, even though he was now catching small fish, he was still catching fish. And I wasn't getting hits. We were literally throwing the same Strike King Hack Attack finesse jig backed by a Netbait Paca.
So, I sat down and watched him. It didn't take long to figure out what I was doing wrong. I was throwing the jig out and keeping tension on it the entire time. Which, all that did, was to keep it from going to the bottom. Problem number two was that when it DID hit the bottom, I was averaging 3 casts to his 1. So, I slowed down. Furthermore, he told me to "feel for the trash". We weren't just fishing a ledge. We were fishing a ledge with log jams on it. When I found the trash, he said to dead stick it. Just let it sit there and jiggle it. So I did. And the spots started THUMPING it.
Suddenly we had a limit. Not only that, but we started consistently culling up our limit. I am proud to say that I kept up with Uncle Tony! I just needed him to show me where. And how. And with what. HAHA! Then it got slow and we had a decision to make. I wanted to move, but his experience shined through. He knew that if we moved, any of the hand full of baits that had been running up and down the river would notice that we hadn't moved all day. Or, they might even see us catching fish. In 2 instances, a boat pulled up, watched us, graphed us, then left.

 Then the fishing went to a crawl. So, we kept crawling our baits. We had 3 squealers in there we HAD to get rid of. That's when I made this discovery: As I crawled the bait through the trash, I hopped it. And a fish CRUSHED it, but then took it right into the log pile. About the time I said "he got off and I am stuck" I popped the bait free and another fish hammered it. Worked him to the surface. As the fish jumped and tried to throw the bait, another one jumped behind him! We netted the fish. A good cull. Tossed the littlest squealer back in the drink. It took me a few more casts to find the trash again, but when I did, I popped the bait off the brush pile and one would slam it. The day drug on, but we culled. And culled. And culled some more. An ounce here. 2 there. But we couldn't find the big one we needed. And we knew we didn't stand a chance without a 3 pound fish. None.

 So, we resigned ourselves to defeat, though we gave it our all. We decided to head in early and enjoy free hot dogs. We were the first boat in, though word had already traveled around the headquarters that half the boats had gone home already. One of the weigh masters asked us what we had and we told him we thought we had 10 pounds. He looked excited and said "That will take a check!" Surely not.

So, the boats rolled in. We weighed in. 9.2 pounds. That wasn't going to do it. But, the boats came in and the bags didn't. Boat after boat turned in their card and didn't weigh a fish. I walked up to the weigh board. We were in 2nd behind an 11 pound sack. That would be a $1000 check! Whoot!

Then, the weighmaster called for any more boats....and nobody was coming forward. It was over!
We were getting a fat check.


Turns out, people love to grandstand. 2 more boats weighed in late, both coming from the same place...up by the dam. Both weighed in 12 pounds. But I wasn't too upset. We took 4th! Our streak of checks continues!
As you can see, our biggest fish was 2.2, though we had 9.2 pounds total. The other 3 bags ahead of us had fish over 3 pounds. Had we had a fish that big, we would be right there. We had the best average out there. Just couldn't find that magic fish! Once again, the volunteers were the real highlight. They are super nice and courteous, not to mention the job they are doing both that day and every day. Props to them. And props to Eagle's Wings for another fantastic event! We ended up catching at least 25 that we could remember...and enough to do this to my fingers!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Victorious Sekrit Mid-Season Review Part 3

So, let's review...shall we? Lost our 1st game in a nail biter. Walked away easily on our 2nd. Got the freight train run on us in the 3rd. Of course, the 3rd game didn't count officially, but it was a marker for us.

We got together and practiced that Tuesday after the game. We had some things I wanted to work on, and luckily, the other guys had some things they thought we should work on as well.

What I wanted to work on was the out route. It is a staple of our offense. It is the bread and butter play. If it's guarded with a cushion, it is automatic. If they bite on it, it's 6 points. But, what I was seeing was undisciplined route running and the ball coming out too late. So, we worked. And worked. And worked. The guys really responded. I have to admit that they did something that I probably wouldn't have done, and Ethan especially impressed me with this....they took criticism from me. And it wasn't just a comment here and there, it was on every route and every pass. I stayed on Ethan especially hard on his footwork, timing, and throwing motion. That must be hard to do coming from a 5'2'', overweight, balding, know-it-all. But, to my defense, I had a lot...and I mean a lot...of training at QB on my footwork, timing, and throwing motion. It's something that I do know about, even if I can't do it anymore. But, Ethan took it in stride, even if it WAS for some intramural flag football. I don't know if I would have. But he did.

One of the things the team pointed out was that most of our success wasn't long drives, but throwing vertically. Ethan has a great arm and we have great receivers. So, we made a point in this weeks game to stretch the field.

We played a team that was 2-0 and had beaten one good team and one not so good team, but both by large margins. Any time you can score 50 points, you are doing something. I have played with most of these guys on the other team in softball this year and they do have some talent. You might could even say that they have some match up problems for us.

They won the toss and deferred. We went on defense. I had moved Andre to defense because I felt like he would solve a match up problem for us against their best athlete. Josh P and I are good corners, but we don't have this guys speed. Andre does.

The move paid off immediately as Andre picked off the first play from scrimmage.

While we had discussed in practice stretching the field, I wanted to score this first TD for sure without any real risk. We ran the option 1st and 2nd with success, but they did a real good job shutting it down. So, we changed back to what we had decided to do, and that was to go up top. Henry, our TE/weak side WR is a tall athlete with good hands and we hadn't really utilized him. So, we decided to right that wrong. So, I got in the huddle to change it up.
Went up top. TD.

Looked like the game was going to easily go our way...until their first offensive snap of the next possession. A short pass to a fast guy and we couldn't pull his flag. Don't know why. But he zigged and zagged all the way to the endzone. I was the last man to get a shot, I grabbeda handfull of jersey...but didn't come back with a flag.

We came out on the next series and went up top again.

But, on their next series, they took advantage of a defensive backfield error and scored on a long ball. It was going to be a barn burner, it looked like! I couldn't believe it!

I gathered the D and we had a little talk.
Next Offensive series, stuck another one in the endzone.

This is when things started getting good. You may recall that we have enough people that we play 7 guys on offense and offense only, and the same on defense. They started getting tired, mostly because we had fresh pass rushers in their face constantly. The QB started making errant throws and we started picking them off. At half time it was 24-12, but we were honestly disappointed, because 2 plays aside, we were dominating.

At halftime, we decided to put the foot on the gas. Long ball after long ball. After one long play, fresh receivers would come in. And it worked. Their corners got tired and within the first 10 minutes of the second half, we had easily put up 2 TDs and forced 1 INTs on their part. The harder we ground them, the more mistakes they made.

Their receivers abandoned the long game and started running short routes. The QB was running from the pressure.

 I kept shadowing them and jumping them when the ball came out, which led to 2 INTs for me, giving me 3 on the season. Nick had a breakout game too. I can'tremember if he caught a TD, but I know he had a pick 6 that broke the game wide open! We ended up with 4 INTs on the day. When we weren't getting picks, we were getting sacks.

By the time we looked up, it was 36-12 or so. WE decided to have some fun, so the offense played defense and the defense played offense. We ran out the clock, but not before Justin, our backup QB ran for a TD and threw for another.

While the offense scored a ton of points, defense was the star of the show with 4 INTs including a pick-6 by Nick.
Let's go D!

We ended up winning 42-12 and improved to 2-1 in the league. Our offense is currently ranked 2nd in the league, averaging 26 points. Defense isn't so great. We are 6th in the league, allowing 15 a game. But, collectively, we are +7 in T/O margain.

Victorious Sekit Mid-Season Review Part 2

So, one heart breaking loss and one good win. I know we are better than a .500 team, and I think the team agreed. More importantly, the UAH Intramural guys thought that too. So, they scheduled us to play Alabama A&M's best team. They did this for a few reasons, but the big one was to see if we, UAH that is, could compete on a higher level. Starting this year, UAH will be participating in the national tournament stage. A&M has done well at that level, so this was a marker for us.

We played two of A&M's team last year. We won the first game easily and lost the second on a last second play that was totally bogus. We were on the 1 yard line going in for a score to seal the game. QB reached the ball across the line, the other team knocked it out of his hands, caught it, and ran it 69 yards for a score. They won by 1 point. Anyway, that's beside the point.

The point is, that it seemed that all the teams would do was throw the long ball. Didn't matter if it was 1st and 10 or 4th and a half yard...they were throwing it as far as they could. So, if you played back, you couldn't get beat. that was the plan for defense. Play WAAAAYY back.

Conversely, the short passing game led to their demise.

So, all weekend, I thought of ways to make this happen again. They had the height and speed. How do you get around that? Misdirection and short passes. So, lots and lots of out routes, naked boot legs, and throw backs. Right?

Wrong. Apparently the same team we beat last year had learned some things. First series...1st down, called a bubble screen. Got a few yards, but their speed to the ball broke it up pretty easily. They weren't bringing any pressure on the QB, and with Ethan being a quick guy, I spread the field and called a QB draw. Again, a decent gainer for a run, but it was 3rd and 7. Now, I admit, I love the out route. When run and throw perfectly, it is unstoppable. And if you try and bird dog it, you hit the out and up for big yards. So, I called the out. It's a safe 3rd and 7 call. The ball came out a little late and the A&M player stepped it front of it, picked it, and ran down to about the 3 yard line.

So, the defense and I got on the field. In flag football, you NEVER want your first defensive series to be on your own doorstep. You need that long field to see how the other team plays. When you don't...they can just about get away with anything. And that's exactly what they did. Short pass for a TD. Extra point was throw towards me...way over my head...and the receiver ate a bowl of cereal off the top of my skull, as the big-leagues say. Just like that, down 8-0.

Came out on the 2nd series. Called up the out route play again. The wide side receiver runs a post, the slot receiver cuts underneath on the out. Should be a confidence play. And Ethan could use it. Same play. Same result. Except this time the A&M player scored. They easily scored on the extra point again. 16-0.

On the next series, we started getting some progress. Made it to midfield. They seemed to be stacking two rover linebackers in the middle to prevent any crossing routes or drags. They seemed to be leaving the outside open. On another 3rd and long, I proved the definition of insanity. I called up another out-route play. And again, the guy was just sitting on the route. I couldn't believe that they were jumping routes! Surely they were giving some thoughts to the long ball! But they weren't. Guy picked it off and went for 6.
24-0 at half time.

I have to take full credit for at least the 2 pick-sixes. Once bitten and all that. But I didn't I gave them 24 easy points. So, talking it over with the defense guys, who get to watch our offense, they saw what I had assumed the other team would never do. The long ball was there. All day. But, we couldnt' just line up and throw go routes at them. They were too fast. No, we still had to run short routes and get them to bite on them. It also meant that we had to complete a few passes. And, Ethan would have to sit in the pocket long enough for our receivers to get open.

But, our defense had to get on the field first. And it was the first time that we had been on the field all day that wasn't either 1st and goal OR an extra point attempt. But, we put the game plan into effect. No deep balls. Give them anything underneath. Yet, their first few plays were all underneath passes. We stopped them, but they were chewing up the yardage. They marched right down the field on us and we found ourselves with our feet on the goal line. We geared up for the short game and made stops on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd down. 4th down. This was it. We could stay in this if we could make a stop. But, they threw the ball up top on the other side of the field. A high ball none of us could get to. But, their guy could and he made a ridiculous jump to get it. They went for 3 with the same play. 33-0. The game was over.

But, we kept playing as hard as we could. First down, dialed up the out and up. Josh P was in at receiver for a play and he ran the out route, cut it up the sideline and the defender was dead in his tracks. Wide open. But, Ethan was running for his life and couldn't see Josh. The rest of the receivers were across the field from him and weren't working back to the ball. He threw it away and that was that.

I was seeing something that I didn't like. He had no mid range check down route. It seemed to be open. someone to shade with Ethan as he rolled out, about 10 yards up the field. I decided to play offense and do just that. That made all the difference. The deep routes were open and we started hitting them for big gains. If they weren't there, he started checking the ball down to me for solid chunks of 7 to 10 yards. We marched down the field and setup a 1st and goal. Ethan rolled out, I shaded him, and when all the defenders had taken off with the wideouts, he had me guarded by one of their middle LBs. He tossed it. It went right over the fingertips of the defender and I snagged it for a TD. Finally, on the board.

Right back on defense, and after finally having a full series under our belt, we figured out their offense. It wasn't a long ball offense at all. In fact, it was the complete opposite. All short passes. They were walking a single receiver my side, which meant that Jon (our safety) and I both were guarding one guy. They would run him long and dump it short underneath. So, Jon went man. I pulled in as a linebacker. On the wideside of the field, the other guys went man on man. And it worked. We forced a 4 and out.

With short time, we started marching right back down the field on offense, but ran out of time.

Sure, we got beaten pretty bad. But, I shoulder the blame. I assumed they would do what they had done last year and they didn't. I didn't learn from the same mistake the first time, the second time, and pretty much the 3rd time. Had the other guys not pointed out what we needed to do, we might have gotten beat worse. But they did. We made all the adjustments we needed to make, just took too long to do it. Luckily, there is already a rematch in the works at A&M. I can't wait to strap up again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Victorious Sekrit Flag Football-Midseason Review Weeks 1&2

My wife has reminded me, once again, that I do have other interests in life. One of those is football. While I love my Auburn Tigers, this year has been painful for we armchair QBs. The best way to relieve the tension is to get out there and play some football!

Now, before you ask....my wife selected the name Victorious Sekrit. I love it. And yes, we wear PINK shirts.

As an Alum from UAH, I am allowed to participate in the intramural. I have played flag football for 5-6 years. I have had some low to moderate success. First few years were rough, but you find people who play at your level and share your level of dedication. Starting 3 years ago, I started getting a core group of friends together whom I could depend on. These friends come from all different areas of my interests. Josh is my fishing buddy. Naaman is the brother of an old friend. Justin and Josh P, whom are brothers, are car guys like me. Nick played football with me in high school. He played corner and safety with me and we have a lot of history together of playing the sport. I met my friend Chris via the NASA softball league. The rest of the team is comprised of guys I met playing football in previous years or picked them up via free agency.

Last year I wasn't very serious on free agents. In fact, I didn't pick up more than 1 or 2. Come mid and late season, the 10 regulars I had had dwindled all the way to nothing because of injury. So, this year, I decided that I would get as many players as I could. I REALLY wanted to run full offenses and defenses with little go-betweeners.

After a few weeks of gathering agents, I had approx 20 names. After a few practices, the numbers dropped some, but I had a group of 14-16 guys that were showing up, off and on. We installed an offense and selected a QB. Now, I know everyone THINKS they want to be QB, but take it from someone who has been forced to play QB every year...it SUCKS! One of the guys I picked up, Ethan, had played QB for another team. He expressed interest in playing QB again. So, we had a try out. After a few practices, we had two QBs I could trust with Ethan really taking control of the offense.

Our offense is a pro-type set that relies heavily on running and disciplined route running. Our defense is a zone type defense built around bending and not breaking against the big play. We will give up short stuff and force them to march down the field. Of course, you never know how it's going to work until you get out there and play.We have enough players that most everyone plays either offense or defense. I, personally, play corner on the defense and call all the offensive plays.

There are 8 teams in our division. The first few weeks, you don't know anything about the level of competition you are up against. So, the first game is really a game whee you try not to beat yourself.
Unfortunately, we had a small case of beating ourselves that first game.

 The first possession, the defense held tough but our offense sputtered. On the next defensively possession, we forced the team into a 4th and very long, but a breakdown in the secondary gave them an easy touchdown. They went for the extra point and missed it. On the next possession, we marched the ball down the field and scored. 6-6.
With Ethan, our QBs, ability to run, we dialed up a QB draw. He scrambled and extended the ball over the plane of the goal line. The Ref right next to him called it "good". 7-6...right?

Think again. The other Ref, from across the field...behind the line...waved it off and said he didn't get in! The score stood at 6-6. With time running short, they decided to bomb us. More specifically, me. But, again that "no body behind you" mentality, when observed, will produce results. I stayed at home, the ball went in the air, and I snagged the deep ball clean, scampered up the sideline to about the 10 yard line.

From the 10 yard line with 5 seconds left, snapped the ball, Ethan rolled right. The receivers rolled right and Josh, who plays center, rolled left. Ethan delivered the ball and Josh made a spring to the goal line. But, he was 1 yard short when his flag was pulled. DANGGIT!

We got the ball for the first possession and scored quickly, but once again, couldn't convert. No matter. We were up on them and managed to coralle their offense....until another breakdown on a long ball scored them another easy TD. 12-12 going into the extra point. But here is where I made a classic mistake. I was playing corner all afternoon and doing a pretty good job of it on the guy they matched me up again. Suddenly, a different dude came out as the wideout. And he was a full foot taller than the other guy and about a foot and a half taller than me. I should have immediately checked off and let a taller guy guard him. I knew where the ball was going. But, here it came and there he went. They tossed the ball high and the guy snagged it.
Next thing we knew, it was 13-12. Game over. 0-1. What a way to start the season. But, one thing was for sure. This team was good. I have been on several decent flag teams and have played some really good ones and this team was a good team.

So, we took practice that next week and worked on some things. Namely, never letting a receiver behind the safety. I picked up a late free agent named Jon, whom is 6'4'' and can play. He makes a terrific safety. Now I had someone to swap with me if they line up a tall receiver. Offensively, we didn't change much.

Game two was a beautiful day and my mom and the kids came to watch
The game on week two started out....interesting. We scored easily on the first possession. So easy that I wondered about the level of competition that we were playing. On their first play of scrimmage on offense, they bombed us long. Again. Now, I admit that we were playing some guys on defense that didn't normally play because some of the guys were late. But, the concept isn't that tough, yet, it was tied. We sputtered on offense on our last possession of the half, but they hit ANOTHER long gainer on us when we decided that we didn't know how to pull flags. Then then scored on a nice throw in the back corner of the endzone. We went into halftime down a score. Not where an offense who is a nickle-and-dime, run first, offense wants to be.

So, with help from the other guys, I made some offensive changes. We had noticed that they were biting on all of our short routes....hard. So, first possession we had on offense, we set up a 1-2-3 punch of run-short pass-double move bomb. It worked flawlessly and our receiver, Clay, found himself in the endzone all alone.

Defensively, we shut down the long ball, but they made some changes and started throwing it underneath. they would run their outside receiver off then slip the running back or center underneath. So, we made a change and let the safety go "man-on" the wideout and I, the corner, stayed at home. We started eating them up again. Stopped flat.

We got the ball back and went right back to what we were doing. Except this time, instead of sending Clay on the deep route, we sent Nathan. Run. Short pass. Double move bomb. 6 points. I was loving calling the plays. Here is Nick and I calling plays. Here comes the run:
Then ya BOMB 'EM
We were up 19-13 and hadn't been stopped yet. We were eating up the yardage....almost too fast. But, we made another stop on defense and went right back to the well, except we threw it to the far side of the field to Henry, who plays a TE/wideout on the left side of the offense. They had written him off and next thing you know, he was in the endzone. 25-13 with only a few minutes to go. They did manage to punch it in, but it was mostly because we wanted the ball in order to control the clock. We kneeled on the ball and won 25-20. The other team were great sportsman and we kneeled in prayer after the game.

The score wasn't great, but as we got to thinking, we had 3 bad defensive plays. 2 long balls and 1 bad flag pull. Offensively, we had 2 incomplete passes ALL GAME. So, 1-1 at that point!

Pickwick Lake-Almost hit the Grand Slam!

Pickwick was calling again! Jon and I talked about it late in the week last week. It was payday and us Government Workers were about to get paid. So, we decided to give it another try. Recall that our last trip had been fairly decent, but slow by the standards that Jon had experienced thus far.

We decided we would stick to the Koger Island area. Our friend and co-worker Keith attended the trip with us. 3 people is normally a crowd, but Jon's Big Easy is 24 feet of awesomeness, so we had plenty of room.

The morning was fairly tough, although it initially looked promising. We started out fishing small islands on the channel Jon and Keith with top water and square bills and I was throwing a weightless Yum Dinger.
All 3 of us caught fish pretty quick, but as the sun rose above the waterline, the bite dropped off.We fished some smaller creeks, which turned out to be pretty treacherous as the water had been dropped a lot. But, Jon and Keith both picked up some fish on the square bill around some stumps and lay downs. I was tossing the weightless Dinger around and either small bass or bream were nipping it to death. I got so tired of whiffing on them that I would let it sit idle and laugh Jon and Keith and the line bounced up and down and zigged from side to side.

We had a little sprinkle and some serious wind, but as it died down, we moved down to Koger's island...and didn't measure a hit. We did, however, watch 5 bald eagles flying around. Wish we could have gotten a picture of them! It was something to see!

Not having any luck, we tried the entry to the creek channel as we had done the previous week. It's a large creek just down from the big steam plant. There were obviously fish in it, as they were busting everywhere and running big balls of shad. But, when you have the real thing, we don't want an artificial bait. While I did register some strikes on top water, nothing got hooked up. We started down the grassline away from the creek and Jon did manage to catch a nice looking 3.5lb largemouth on a Gambler swimbait.

We decided to fish the pumphouses and power stations that I had some luck on last trip. The water was so low that all the rocks were out of the water. I did get to flip my Dinger into some down brush and quickly caught a measuring spot and this guy:

A redeye! Pretty rare fish. Especially in a river. I have caught some small ones in creeks in central Tennessee but never in a large body of water. So, to recap, I had caught a measuring largemouth, spot, and red eye. All I needed was a smallie to hit the grand slam. Now, I know many of you have never heard of the grand slam, but it's when you catch all 4 of the native Black Bass species in one day. And, I was on a smallmouth lake....so...I should be able to do something that has typically been considered "magazine worthy". So, we kept chugging on! Fished some big surface breaking rock piles. I believe Jon caught another small largemouth and a catfish. Out of the blue, the water erupted with fish busting on the surface. I threw my Bama rig and something hit it so hard it straightened out a D-ring! I assume it was a striper. Alas, I was not able to make it happen. In fact, we didn't catch a smallie all day. Real surprising, really. But, again, great times with my friends. We didn't get skunked! And I ALMOST did something pretty special!

Monday, October 15, 2012

This Week in Recreational Companionship: Getting Smoked by your Significant Other!

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My wife and I have gotten lucky 2 weeks in a row. She was able to get free for an afternoon fishing trip. She met me at my building and we had to decide between the Civilian Rec area or Triana ramp on Wheeler. Being ever the cheap engineer, I considered the different places we could fish from each of the ramp on the remaining gas that I had bought the previous week. The Rec area gives me access to the typical Ditto Landing spots. But, that area gets heavily fished. The Triana ramp gives me access to just a few spots, but they don't get fished very often, neither by myself or anyone else. In fact, I had only been down to Triana 3 times, counting last week. But...we have always had luck.

I decided that I wanted to fish areas that were less pressured....and were close to the ramp. So, we put in at Triana. Now, last week, I noticed that the ramp has some problems. Seems like there was a huge pothole that I kept sticking the trailer tire in. Every time I tried to avoid it, I still fell in it. You can mess around and get stuck in one of those if you aren't paying attention. After easing the boat in, Alyse reported that a local fishermen who was hanging on the dock asked her why I was using a busted ramp. So, it made sense. The reason I couldn't avoid the pot hole is because it wasn't a pot hole at all. The whole bottom of the ramp is gone. Face palm.

Water was stained. 2-3mph current. Water was low 70s.
So, we ran down river to the pump house right off the bat. Nothing. Not a nibble. Ran to a creek opening. Nothing doing. But, as we came out of the creek, I noticed the current had turned on and I hoped the fish would do the same. I decided that I would use my old noggin and start looking for fish on my Hummingbird rather than shot in the dark. As I dialed it up, I found a pod of baitfish in the middle of the creek channel with several high density returns surrounding them. I assumed they were white bass, but catching white bass is better than nothing!

I couldn't get them to bite my deep diving Spro John DD
But, as those white bass are incredibly depth dependent, Alyse did find them on a Lil John original. Man, I love that little bait. It has such a great wobble. It comes through rocks easily. It deflects off cover extremely well. It really is a go to bait for me when times are tough!
We pulled up and headed up river to the NASA barge tie up. I had thought the water looked really low, but the fact that the little spring that runs into the channel just above the barge tie ups was completely out of water, I would say it was 2.5 feet low. Not usually a good sign. Fished the upriver point without anything. I didn't fish the cove last week because there were shore fishermen and I like to let them have their space. But there wasn't any this day, so we decided to fish it out. . Just in case I was missing something, I told Alyse I wanted to swap baits. The water was stained and I wanted to throw something with more color. Maybe a red crank. So, I pulled out the box and started rooting. She started laughing at me and I asked her what was so funny. She pointed to my box of crank baits and said: "You have only about 3 colors in there. 3 colors in every type and size of crank. And most of those are those chartreuse ones that you are so gay over." Yep, she said I was gay for chartreuse sexy shad. Well, she's right. Anyway, she said she wanted to pick out a crank, even though I wanted to throw a red one. She pointed to a Strike King Series 3 in Chartreuse Sexy.
About half way around the horseshoe, I had figured out that there was only one active fish...on the down river point. I would see him bust. Since I hadn't had a nibble and Alyse had only caught one fish, I told her we would go catch that little scrapper and call it a day So, we did just that. Picked up my Lucky Craft Sammy, tossed it in his general direction and he hit it. But not hard enough to get hooked up. I paused the bait, twitched it again and he got stuck on his second hit. But, as I was taking him off, she snagged into one. At first she said she felt something, but now she thought it was just a leaf. But it wasn't. It was a tiny ole spotted bass. She swung it aboard and refused to take the hook out. So, I came off the front of the deck and did it for her. Tossed him in the drink and got on the trolling motor and got us repositioned. Before I could pick my rod up, she caught another. She swung it aboard like the other and the cycles repeated. Again. And again. She caught fish on 6 consecutive casts! That included this nice spot!
After about 10 fish, they slowed down enough that she wasn't catching them on every cast. But, I couldn't buy a hit on my deep diver. As a side note, for my friend Josh's wedding, we bought his groomsmen Lucky Craft crankbaits. I love Lucky Craft, but they are FREAKING EXPENSIVE. And, I am a sentimental guy and didn't want to loose it, cause Lord knows I can loose anything, as you all know. But, now that I have this Jewel Bait hound, I don't feel bad about throwing it. So, I threw it. And finally caught a fish on it!
But, that wasn't catching me up to Alyse, who was up on me about 10-1. So, I finally got smart and tied on the only crank I had similar, the standard Series 3 in Sexy. But, they wouldn't touch it! I would cast ALMOST to the same spot she was, but they wouldn't hit it. Turns out, the trick was to throw it towards the rip-rap and hit it. Let it fall in the water, and turn it 3 times. This wad of fish was within a foot of the bank! I was throwing too short because I didn't want to destroy my crank. She didn't care about that, so she was bouncing it off left and right. But it worked! She ended up smoking me 20-3. From the back of the boat! But, it was worth it...even the trash talk!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gamber Baits FREE TOURNAMENT on Guntersville

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Yep. FREE TOURNAMENT! Sure, you have to use their baits. While I admit that I have never used their baits, buying a few packs to fish a free tournament is fine by me.

November 3rd at the Bucky Howe ramp on Guntersville. Now, Bama fans, I realize that's the BIG DAY and all...but it will be over in plenty of time!

Their website is here:

Here is the entry form:

I plan on getting onto a specific tackle site (which won't hook me up on deals, even though I plug them) and look to by some toads, swimbaits, and flipping baits.

My entry form is already in. So, hopefully I have an early blast off spot and you suckers won't catch Josh and I. Now if I can only get him to get that 3 blade prob so we can make sure we can't be caught...hint hint.

Pickwick 9/28/12

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I think all bass fishermen out there respect the TVA chain of lakes. Being from North Alabama, I am fortunate to live within 2 hours of 4 of those. Those 4 being Guntersville, Wheeler, Wilson, and Pickwick. If you read my blog posts, specifically from the last year, you would see that I have utter disgust for Guntersville these days. Wheeler isn't too far behind it. Yet the two that I have fished the least have provided some of the most success. It doesn't seem to matter WHAT metric I use to categorize success, Wilson and Pickwick are almost ALWAYS in the lead. the metrics are usually in a stair stepped approach.The metrics I frequently use are:

  1. Trips that I don't catch fish at all(I have NEVER struck out on Wilson or Pickwick, yet Guntersville and Wheeler have stoned me multiple times THIS YEAR)
  2. Trips where I catch a limit
  3. Trips where I loose count of fish I caught
  4. Trips where I catch a mixed bag (I admit that it is tough to catch smallies on Guntersville)
  5. Trips with a 5-plus large/3-plus smallie/spot
  6. Knock-out trips (use your own definition, because mine is fairly sad this year)
It should be noted that I don't much care for the difference between 2 and 3. It's kind of an either/or for me.

Anyway, so one of my fishing buddies Jon and I had talked over the last year about trying new spots and new lakes. Both of us had become fairly sick of taking time off, spending lots of money on gas, and not catching fish. His solution (and still is) has been to fish kayaks in untapped areas around Decatur. Not having a kayak, I have stuck to fishing lakes that are providing me success. Wilson has been my clear cut favorite. It has provided me with all 6 metrics of success in this last year. Multiple times, at that. But, I have wanted to expand my repertoire even more. Pickwick is a major lake on all big fishing circuits, but (at least in my opinion) doesn't see the traffic that you would expect. But, then again, I have only fished it 3-4 times. I fished it twice last year. Once with NASA where Josh and I put together a solid 10-12 pound limit. Once with NATA where I didn't do so hot on keeper size fish, but caught at least a few fish. Once this year with NASA where Buzz and I weighed in 11 pounds of fish with a 4.3 kicker (it should be mentioned that we caught 20 plus clones of the same 2.5-3 pound fish. And now this trip.

To this point, I had only fished from McFarland down to 7 Mile Island. That isn't much. The lake is VERY long. Jon had started fishing the mid and lower lake area. It's quite a haul, but he wasn't afraid to strike out into new waters. Of course, he asked me to go several times, but there was always a complication preventing me from going.

On a Thursday afternoon, he called me at the office and asked if I wanted to go. I made it work this time.

Whew, getting up at 2:45 was tough! But, I was excited. I met Jon at his house and we got Big Easy ready and headed out. He had fished this area around Koger's Island the last few trips and hat done well. Specifically a few rock piles coming from 25 feet to surface breaking.

We put in at Colbert Ferry park, which I must say is FANTASTICALLY taken care of. I highly recommend it. We started fishing grass lines right off the ramp and quickly bagged a few fish on  the H20 (Academy Sports house brand) Lucky Craft Sammy knock-off. Yes, I said it...I am fishing with knock-offs...but the top water baits from H20 are excellent. We then proceeded to a rock dike near Koger's Island. While the fishing wasn't great, we did spot this:
Yep. I am sure most of you won't believe me, but these two deer swam the entire channel. It's not the first time I have seen this either. In fact, I have on multiple occasions watched deer swim half a mile to a mile.

We didn't catch many fish on the rock dike, although the ole Bait Hound once again showed it's worth by retrieving lures for both of us. Again, if you don't have one....get one. you can read my review of it here:

I did manage to catch this guy..which I thought was hilarious!
If I didn't know any better, I'd say this guy was eating his own kind! That's a Lucky Craft, if you didn't know. And it's one of my FAVORITE small cranks. Notice how almost identical the coloring is!

Anyway, after giving up on Koger's, we proceeded up river to one of the creek entrances. The fish were fairly active in the grass, so we started throwing frogs. Apparently the fish on Pickwick don't share their Guntersville brethren affinity for the frog. I couldn't get one to look at it. I started throwing the Lucky Craft crank around the grass point leading into the creek and did catch two.

We got into the creek and we noticed that the current had picked up. we had expected it at 730 am, per the TVA mobile app. But, we didn't see it until 10am. Which makes sense. That's several miles up stream, approx. 8 miles. So, 2.5 hours at 3 miles an hour is about right. Anyway, the fish started schooling around the grass edges and I started throwing the H20 top water bait. I caught one real quick...prob the first cast. Then I proceeded to have 7 straight casts of hits...sometimes multiple hits per cast....without hooking up. Frustrated, we left.

Jon asked my what I thought about the day so far and what I would do. On the way our to the ramp area running towards Koger's, I had seen what I call is "hard placements". Now, just to school you on my vernacular, I have "soft placements", which are trees/brush/etc and "hard placements" which would be pumphouses/docks/culverts/etc. I don't normally  pay much attention to rip rap unless it's around a hard placement, nor do I pay any attention to standard rock banks. On a 1 mile stretch of lake, there were 4 hard placements with associated rip rap. I said that had I never been on this section of lake, which I hadn't, I would start there. So, we decided to give it a shot.

First spot we fished was a intake pipe. It was fairly small, but downed timber next to it yielded several bites on a shakey head, but no fish. I was fairly certain that it was bream. Next spot was a power house that sat on a power line. Again, the small bites were prevalent, but seemed to be a little different than the bream bites. They seemed to be picking up the bait instead of machine gun biting like a bream would do. So, I would wait a little longer, and one 3 consecutive casts I caught fish. First few were small large mouth. 3rd was a solid 2.5 pound largemouth. As we drifted down the rip rap bank, my last cast landed a keeper smallie! Yes, I know he isn't very big....but I LOVE catching them!

Nest spot we hit was further down river...some unmarked rock piles. I tell ya...gotta be careful on this lake. These were surface breaking rock piles that are completely unmarked!

On the first few casts, Jon caught the fish of the day...and sadly, we got him back in the water quick because of how it was hooked, before we could get a picture. But it was a solid 3.5+ smallie! Gorgeous fish!

A few stragglers aside, that was it. We didn't tear them up, but once again, Pickwick didn't leave me fishless. Which is more than I can say for those "other" famous TVA lakes. I'd say we caught 12 fish. Not a banner day, but I have a good time with my fishing partner who is always a gracious host, letting me come with him and giving me his string cheese sticks! I can't wait to fish that area again.

Here is my thought for the day regarding smallies. And I may be completely wrong. But, on this day, the smallies were not around big natural rocks. In fact, not around any rocks larger than 2.5 in diameter. They were all around man-made chunk rock piles or smooth river stones. So, I think I may be on to something in regards to them. If you can't put your arms around the typical rock in the pile, you may want to consider going somewhere else. Of course, I leave it to you guys to prove me wrong!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Humphrey Lake Repairs Part 3

No news is good news, right?

Well, there is a LITTLE news. The lake is slowly filling up. Word is that at least SOME fish made it through the drain. Now, I take that with a BIG grain of salt. Even if a healthy number of bait fish AND bass made it, it would take a long time to repopulate the lake. Worst case, the bass will continue to ravage the bait fish population. As I understand it, we will wait until this summer to make sure the lake level will maintain itself..I.E. No Leak. Then, we will explore restocking. Unlike Alabama, the Tennessee wildlife peeps don't stock for free. Sucks. But, we will do whatever it takes.

Next item of business...address the issue that I believed plagued this lake...no cover in the middle. As you can see, there is NO structure aside from around the edges. That makes for woeful water use efficiency. We want the lake to be productive at all points. Not just around the bank. Makes for better fishing, sure, but also for the well being of the fish in the lake.  I have some ideas....

Recreational Companionship! Fishing with my wife on Wheeler

Every once in awhile, the planets and stars align. Yesterday was one such day. My wife called and asked if I wanted to go fishing with her after work.


I couldn't leave the office fast enough!

Now, even though I know she is only fishing with me for recreational companionship...just as the marriage seminar we attended years ago said she should...sometimes I think that she even enjoys fishing.

We normally put in at the Army recreation area on Redstone Arsenal. But since I picked her up from her job right close to the Triana ramp, I decided that we would try a little change in scenery. Besides, I hadn't fished that area in a couple of years, despite always being able to catch fish there.

Put 6 gallons of gas in the boat (gasp...which was all I could afford), dumped the boat in the water, and ran upriver a piece to the barge tie-ups for NASA. Again, a spot that always has produced fish. The wind was blowing at a pretty good clip and I immediately figured out that, despite having charged the batteries after the last trip...the last trip was a month ago and the juice was running low. So, We didn't fish their long, although I did manage to snag a little bass off of the old submerged rocks on the up river point. I was throwing the Spro Lil John DD
Alyse was throwing the Spro Lil John Original
She bagged one on it as well.

But, the place didn't really produce like I wanted to, so swapped to the lower point. Again, not much action, but as we drifted down the bank, we drifted past an intake valve for the water treatment plant. First cast parallel with it and I caught a decent little largemouth on the DD. Had a hit on the very next cast that came onbuttoned.

But, the wind got the better of Alyse's cast and blew the Lil John into the chain link fence above the intake valve...about 12 feet above our heads. I wasn't going to loose that bait that easy. After all, I have managed to keep this guy for 3 years so far. So, 20 minutes of fighting 2 treble hooks determined to take up permanent residence, I got it loose. I felt like the spot was probably a bust, so we started to drift further down river.

Just out of spite, I picked up the shakey head and made a cast to the intake pipes. After soaking it for a second, I felt something pick it up. I tried to set the hook, but nothing was on the other end. I wasn't dead set on it being a bass, but what the heck. Catching a bream is better than catching nothing at all. I stepped on the gas and gave the dying batteries all it had. We scooted a little closer and I cast again. Again, the fish picked up the worm. Snagged him and worked him aboard. Another little 14 incher. Few casts later, another (though smaller) fish. Ironcially, as soon as I noticed that the intake valve was flowing, it quit. And the fish stopped biting. 

We drifted down the bank a little more and Alyse caught another one on the Lil John.  

We came across a good old party brewing at one of the recreational areas. Apparently, at least one little fish was in on the action as we watched him busting shad on one of the little kayak ramps. I tossed the Lucky Craft Sammy his way and he nailed it as soon as it hit the water, but he managed to miss all 6 of those hooks somehow! In fact, he accomplished the impossible by doing it 3 casts in a row!

After striking out on that one little fish, we picked up and ran down river a piece to another pump house. I had taken shelter under this pump house one time with Josh during a Thursday night wildcat tournament when the weather had gone south on us. That was one of only two times I had fished it, but both times it produced fish.

At first, it seemed to stump us. But, I kept throwing my Spot Remover Pro shakey head backed by a Zoom finesse worm and letting it soak. Pretty soon I was getting hits on every cast. Seemed like there was either a fish every 3 yards, or one fish that liked to eat shakey heads... a lot. Bagged 2 decent fish...but the real story was the one that got away (as usual). I made a cast to a transition between grating and concrete. As I lifted the tip of the rod, it got REAL heavy. Thinking it was a rock...I kept lifting...then it moved. I swung into it. Most of the time, the fish are small enough that I about jerk their lips off. This one jerked back! It was a beast! But...he got the better of me.

Caught another fish or two and moved across the river to Cotaco Creek. Found out real quick that inside the creek was a bust due to the super muddy water. Fished the point of it and didn't catch anything, though there were obviously a ton of little bass there. I would feel them pick up the shakey head. I would swing and miss, speed it back to the boat for another cast...but they would follow it and nail it even though I was burning it back!

We were running out of time, so we motored back to Triana. I stopped on the point to fish and bagged a white bass pretty quick. I figured that was a good a time to stop as any!

We both caught fish, and though I LOVE catching fish, I love seeing my wife catch them more!

We had a blast. Didn't burn much gas. Fished for 3 hours and caught around 12 fish. Not bad at all!