Monday, March 11, 2013

Family Fishing on Wheeler Lake 3/10/13

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Well, it's finally lunch time here at the office. It was hard to wait all morning to be able to share our weekend with you!

Saturday was a PACKED day for us. We had softball practice for Aubree at 9am and we had a great up-tempo practice. I am so glad that MPRA (our local league) brought in some experts to have a coaches clinic. Because of their assistance, we are able to break up the girls into several groups and provide high- rep drills. It's all due to my fantastic parents that volunteer whenever I ask.

After that, Alyse and I had softball practice for our Sunday night league for the spring. It wasn't nearly as exciting...haha.

And then...we went to our good friends, the Smiths, for a home made pizza dinner featuring a cauliflour crust Greek pizza. It was REALLY good, despite being a skeptic.(I stole this picture from my wife...)

I had been holding a surprise for the kids in my back pocket for a few days and had been watching the weather. They have been, go fishing. And the local Publix Land Trust Pond wasn't going to cut it. No. They wanted me to take them out on the "fast boat". A little's funny that they call it the "fast boat", because it's anything but. Its sllllooooowwwwwww.

Anyway, the weather looked good. Well, the temperature anyway. But, the Accuweather app said there would be a wind advisory. Yep, 15-17mph from the SSE. I decided  to wait it out until after Church and see what happened to the forecast. After all, this is Alabama weather.

But, after services, the predicted weather looked the same. High Winds, but gorgeous otherwise. All I needed was to make sure the big motor would start when I needed it to....and the trolling motor batteries would hold up. I figured I would also stick to fishing in tributaries, since that might protect us.

Went to get the boat and I decided to make sure the motor would fire up. I have been so fortuanate to have such good friends that fish, that I haven't had to take my boat out but twice this whole winter. And old carburated motors don't like to sit. After spending easily 20 minutes looking for the rabbit ears to put on the motor, I was able to fire the motor up easily. Good. Half the battle, right?

Dad had the batteries hooked up to the trolling batteries, but I had suspicions that one of the two AND our space deep cycle we dead or dying. So, I decided to stand on the trolling motor and see what happens. Yep. Dead. Not from lack of charging. Just simple. D-E-A-D.  Dead.

Sigh. I was JUST about to tell the kids that it wasn't a good day to fish and it certainly wasn't worth me spening another $100 on top of gas. Obviosuly, it also wasn't worth taking the risk of getting blown to Decatur. But, as I went to tell them, I could hear Aubree and Griffin talking in the car. All I could hear were exclimations and excitement.

So, I did what I had to.

I went into the parts store on the way and dropped a Benji on a new battery.

We headed towards Triana. Not my favorite place to fish on Wheeler Lake, butthe closest ramp to any creeks. Plus, I just KNEW the white bass were stacked up on the mouth of the creek.

As I prepped the boat to launch, I pulled the old batter out to install the new one. But the crossover cable broke. The wire pulled out of the terminal and couldn't be put back on. GGREEEAATTT.

I looked around the boat hoping  that I had some way of rigging it. I finally settled my eyes on the spare set of jumper cables. Boom. Solution found.

We dunked the boat and headed towards the white bass. But, the Hummingbird wasn't finding any fish. I could find 1 or 2 here or there, but no big wads. I decided to fish it anyway. But before I could cut the motor and drop the trolling motor, the ripping current had taken us 100 yards downstream.

Forget that. I thought. I decided to run us just up river to the NASA barge ties. I am sure you all have read about me fishing them.

Griffin just HAD to drive!

 We made the short run and I kept is in position to fish the points of the square cut in. Nothing. I was tossing a Strike Kind 6XD around and covering water, while fighting the wind which was blowing us back towards the channel. 
 Snagged a good fish while bumping it off the bottom. But it wasn't near any structure that I normally fish. it was out by a barge pylon in the middle of the cut in. I made another cast and caught another one. But, it was impossible to stay in the same spot. Alyse recommended that we pull up to the pylon and tie off. She's such a smart cookie. So, we did. Got ourselves out of the wind and stable. And, luckily enough...right on top of the fish!

We were able to catch and catch! We were extremely fortunate to get the kids involved as well!

But, after a while, I was bored of it. With the Thursday Night Wildcat tournaments starting this week, and Josh's renewal of competitive spirit to donate to them, I decided to check out some spots I had heard about. So, we ran around the lake a little bit. The kids didn't care. Heck, they LOVED it.

As it was getting time to call it quits, we headed back to the ramp. But, never having fishing the Triana branch, I decided to head to the back and see what was back there. We saw some really cool things like old pumphouses and even some blown up dams.

Since there was no current and the wind had laid down, I was finally able to slow down and throw some PowerTeam stuff. I rigged up a Texas Rig Jig in Blue Black on a Strike King Bitzy Bug
And since the water was cold and muddy, I hit it with some Hog Tonic. MAN that stuff stinks and it lasts forever!

This creek is like most creeks on wheeler. Lots of laydowns and stuff that looks great, but it doesn't hold fish. At least, not for me. But, as we passed this old pumphouse, I noticed that the clay banks transitioned to a rocky bank with busted concrete around it. I made the comment to Alyse about how the pros would say that THIS would be the magic spit of land among the hundreds of yards of similar but unproducing banks. Didn't take long to pay off as Aubree snagged herself a little largemouth that was just her size!

That was the perfect time to quit! Quit on a High Note!