Monday, April 21, 2014

Fishing Report for Wheeler/ Ditto Thursday Night Wildcat Tournament

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Man, have I been missing the Thursday night Wildcat Tournaments out of Ditto. I'm sure all the guys who fish it have missed me (and my money) as well. But, life is busy these days, with multiple kids playing ball and all. Since Aubree started playing ball 3 years ago, I have fished maybe 3 of these tournaments.

I started fishing this tournament in the summer of 2010 and Josh and I did extremely well. I fished a few times in 2011 and none in 2012 and 2013, as far as I can remember.

In February, while watching the BassMaster Classic live and in person, Josh and I made the decision that we would make every effort to fish more of these events. We missed the first few of them, but we both found ourselves free last Thursday. He had done some prefishing and had caught some decent fish up shallow, so we decided that we would fish the back of Flint River in an effort to catch some spawning fish.

So, at blastoff, up river we went. We had forgotten what it was like to NOT be the first boat out of the hole, but we soon remembered as we were bounced around from one wake to the next. My booty STILL hurts. We were the first boat in the back of the Flint. Pretty quickly we had both boated a whitebass, but we were unable to coax any greenfish to bite. Now, keep in mind that this tournament runs from 5-830. Discounting 30 minutes of run time, you have 3 hours to catch fish. We spent the first 2 getting skunked before we decided to move.

We decided to make a move to some bluffs, which was about as opposite as you could get from the shallow flat that we had been fishing.

On my first cast with an XCalibur square bill crank, I thought I had snagged a leaf. But the leaf splashed and fought. Turns out, it was a tiny little bass. Not sure if I would catch anything else, I decided to have a little fun.
But, even as I was taking this picture, Josh was able to scare up a keeper fish on a shakey head in 25 feet of water.

A few minutes later, we doubled up. Except that I caught another tiny fish and he one that was slightly larger...but not quite a keeper.

After catching my 3rd tiny bass, I decided to put the crank down and throw the shakey head since Josh was getting bit about every cast. Sure enough, on my first few casts, I would get bites, but the fish were finicky and I couldn't hook up with them. Eventually I let one eat the worm enough and I jerked about a mean mouth, which is a hybrid small mouth/spotted bass. I don't recall ever catching one before, but I knew the fish was not quite a spot and not quite a smallmouth when I boated him. But, he measured, so in the tank he went.

Over the next 30 minutes, we were able to catch several fish on shakey heads, but none that measured. Bites were plentiful, though they only came in a small area of the bluff which seemed to hold a lot of fish. We noticed that it was slightly deeper than the surrounding areas. Maybe it was a current break and the fish were holding down on the bottom.

The only good fish I hooked in to pulled back a little hard to be a bass, consequently snapping my line. But it got my blood pressure up!

Regardless, we made one last ditch move into the back of Butler Basin. I was able to flip up a little smallmouth that wasn't large enough to measure, though it was a good 14.75 inch fish.

We ran back to the marina to watch the weigh in. It took 11 pounds to win and slightly less to get a check. We had a great time, caught some fish, just not the right size fish! I did find it very cool that I caught 4 different species of bass!