Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fishing Report for Wheeler 1/20/14

Make sure to check out the Fish of 2014 Page to see how many fish I have caught, where, and on what lure!

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Luckily for us, our kids daycare is open on most holidays. Many people aren't off for MLK Day, so they stay open. In my situation, it provides daycare for my wife and I to be able to do something fun. With the weather looking for be in the high 50s and sunny, I couldn't think of anything else I would rather do than go fishing. After all, how many times do you get to fish in such weather in January.

My wife was a bit skeptical, wavering from "maybe" to "no" back to "possibly" by that morning. I'm a man, so any answer that isn't an emphatic "no" means there is room for negotiating. In this case, I had to give up my cold gear.

We dropped the kids off at 8am and then had decide where we wanted to go. Because of the kids, we wanted to stay within an hour, in case of an emergency. I have taken a "no Guntersville" stance until after the Classic. Too many boats. Too much pressure. Every fish in that lake gets hooked once a day and twice on Saturday. I really wanted Alyse to have a good time and catch some fish. I thought about fishing Wheeler, right under the Guntersville Dam. But that ramp is touch to use for anyone other than an experienced tandem and impossible to use for a single person. We fish the Ditto and Triana area enough as it is, and we have had some great days. Here are a few of them. Recreational Companionship  , Alyse Smokes Me, Fishing in September.

So, I thought we would go to Ingall's Harbor and fish Decatur.

I have fished out of Ingall's about 5 times now and I have never done much good. The best time I had was with BassWhacker. You can find that video here. Other than that, it's been insanely tough. But that's why I wanted to fish it. I wanted to learn.

So, we loaded up and headed to Decatur, which is only about a 30 minute drive, and it's one of the nicest ramps out there, which made it easy on us. We pulled out of the harbor and ran to a spot that I had caught a few fish on. Alyse snapped this selfie of herself as we ran. I don't recall it being that cold, but I guess all my nerve endings are dead!

I had some good intelligence telling me how to catch some fish on the Bama rig. So, I opened up with that. (boy, am I feeling it now!) After fishing a rock dike without any luck, I pulled out a crank and went to town. I was retrieving it through rock and a fish slammed the Strike Kind series 3 right at the boat. The line snapped! I wasn't sure how big the fish was, other than it had popped the line. I was more upset that my lure was gone. That's what I get for starting a new year with old line. I couldn't help but think of what Jesus said about new wine and old wine skins. HAHA! Not sure if that applies, but my weird stream-of-consciousness went there!

Any way, as I sulked about it and started the daily tally of dollars lost, Alyse spotted a dying fish. She said "hey, look at that dying fish over there. It's got a lure in it's mouth!" Of course, I knew what had happened, so I trolled over and picked up my lost lure. It wasn't a bass. It was a massive shad!
The area didn't give up any more bites and it was too windy to throw a slow moving bait like a jig or shakey head. So, I headed up river to another spot that I had caught fish, and one that would lend itself to Alyse's style of cranking a ledge and hopping a shakey head.

Alas, it didn't produce any bites and she soon got bored and went to looking at the newly installed Hummingbird 798. As I trolled, she asked me what things were on the screen and why they looked like they did. At one point, she told me we went over a big hump. It was a new thing for me to find, if indeed it was a hump. She explained what she had seen and we discussed where it was in relation to the boat and why it appeared like it did. The hump was offshore and away from any natural features on land, meaning it *may* not get fished much. So, I pulled out a Spro Little Jon DD and starting throwing it. Since we had trolled over the hump and I hadn't seen it myself, I had to guess about where it was and locate it with the crank. It was in 20 feet or better of water, so I fan casted the crank around. About the time I thought to myself "oh, there it is", a fish hit the lure. I boat flipped in my first bass of 2014.

No, he wasn't big. But, it is the first of what I hope will be many fish of 2014. Which reminds me to start a Fish of 2014 Page. Anywho...made a few more casts and didn't have any luck. I was impatient, so I headed off to find a new spot. I managed to find a lot of "interesting" things with sidescan, but none that offered up fish. I could tell Alyse was bored and I was frustrated, so we decided to call it an early day.

However, my wife continues to prove to be the love of my life. As we pulled on to the home stretch to drop the boat off, she told me to pull in to Los Trojas for a margarita. Even though the fishing was tough and we spent a whole day on the water, cold and aggravated, it was all made better by spending 30 minutes watching NBA basketball, munching on chips, and drinking a margarita together. So, here's to you stubborn fish for making that happen. 'Preciate that.