Friday, September 6, 2013

Labor Day Weekend on Wilson Lake

Man, I am just on a TEAR when it comes to under-performing when I expect to do well and over-performing when I expect to do terrible. Case in point, our trip to Table Rock Lake. Expect to catch fish over 4 days. Nope. Then, I fish a night tournament on Wheeler where I expect to do doodly squat? And...Breakout performance for me and my partner Josh.

So, the last few years my family has spent the long weekend at DoubleHead Resort on Wilson Lake. Here is last year's post.  I like Wilson Lake. A lot. It's been good to me. Like this tournament last year.

So, I get my new Hummingbird 798 CI combo installed on Thursday and we hit the water Friday. We loaded the boat up and I was STOKED.

There was nothing to stop me from loading the boat, right? Friday night, I really didn't spend a lot of time on the water. I don't even think I cast a line. My sister and brother in law were coming, plus we know about 10 other families there who wanted to hang out. Mostly, all I did was dial in the unit.

Saturday morning, Dad and I hit the water early and we hit it hard. I started out on places that I learned about from Currey Holley of Always Gone Fishing, whom I met at the Alabama Mountain Lakes Media Days on Wilson . He caught a NICE sack and really showed me things I had no idea about. It was a pleasure to work with another GREAT GUIDE.

But, the lake didn't yield anything to us other than a big ole drum that my dad caught.

Frustrated, I ran into Bluewater creek and fished some new areas. The only thing I caught was one squeaker to show the kids and another tiny bass.

The kids wanted to go out for a ride, so, naturally, I was happy. Alyse's aunt and uncle own a place down on Shoals Creek. I love fishing Shoals creek, so we made the run. About the time we crossed under the Highway 72 bridge, down came a flood on us! I told them to get their heads down and I laid the pedal to the floor. We arrived and visited for about an hour with her aunt, uncle, and grandmother. Boy were they surprised!

Here we are under the 72 bridge.
We settled in to watch football that evening, feasting on some hamburgers. I was pretty disappointing in the Tigers, especially considering my expectations for the game. But, when you only won 3 games the previous year, you should be happy about ANY wins. Right?

I didn't fish Sunday morning because we have a great church service with our family friends. We had 50 people! It was awesome. I got back at it that afternoon, this time taking my mom and wife. We didn't fish long since my dad had all 3 kids. A good thing, because I didn't have a bite.I dropped them off and decided to look at the lake with all new perspective. Where would I fish if I had never been here before? SO, I used the GPS and sidescan and found a spot, right before dark.

I pulled up on it, throwing a Silent Strike King 6XD on a submerged island. It had rock, a nice down river break for largemouth and it had fish on it. First two casts, I hauled in massive drum. They must have fought me for 10 minutes, but I wanted that plug back! The silent ones are hard to come by! Again, frustrated, I headed back in.

That next morning, I fished alone. I ran up to the dam. I was determined to catch something. And, I might as well go all out and catch some smallies. I was the first boat at the dam. So, I picked a spot, though I made the critical mistake of not using my sidescan to find THE spot. They turned on the turbines and I threw everything I had at the fish without a bite. A small boat slipped in just downstream of me and within a few casts, I saw him lay back on a fish. He worked it to the boat and hefted a 5+ pound brown back. HE called someone on his phone and within moments, another boat showed up to take pics for him. So, I fish for 3 days and nothing. This guy shows up and catches a wall hanger on his first 3 casts.

I chalked it up to luck. The other boat moved into position about 2 boat lengths down from me. Then THEY snagged a trophy smallie. I was disgusted. Literally ready to throw a rod in the water. Then they caught another one, which made me even more mad. I pulled the boat out of the current and sat down. I could do 2 things. I could let it make me mad and give up, or I could learn. So, I watched.

These 2 boats knew what they were doing. They sat on one spot. They threw their bait at the same spot. They worked it the same, every cast. And I watched them pull in about 20 pounds of smallmouth in 20 minutes. I filed it all away. Instead of getting frustrated, I am telling myself that I can do the same thing.

I took Alyse and Gavin out. That kid is such a water bug! He would try and jump out of the boat. We would dangle him off the side and when we put him in the boat, he would scream! I was tempted to tie a line on him and let him drift behind us!

Desperate to catch something, I got Alyse to come with me to the dam with a spoon and some chicken livers. That was a quick and nerve wracking trip. A cross wind had blown up 4-5 foot white caps. While it didn't seem so bad while we were riding, when I let off the gas at the dam, the bow would go under, then the stern. Like, buried. It was sketchy. So....back the pier.

Inside of Town Creek, the waves were nonexistent. So, dad took the kids bream fishing and finally they had some luck!

It wasn't all about fishing, believe it or not! We had a great time! The kids got to spend some quality time with their Aunt and Uncle! They were able to play lots of soccer, swimming, and tubing! Thanks to my wife for the pics!