Monday, July 14, 2014

Fishing Report for Wilson 7/11/14

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First off, I gotta say, it feels WEIRD to have a fishing report without any vids or pics. Just kidding, I have a selfie for you. If you are a Twitter person, I should say: #selfie
Now, go to Twitter and follow me @best5zach. Do it. Do it now.

Anyway, on to what you guys want to read about, right?  No pics. Just good info. Which isn't what I have been seeing in fishing reports lately...haha. I've been seeing a lot of guides posting pics of fish and they are wearing sweaters.......


So, I have all this vacation and sick time built up, and darn it if I didn't feel good Friday. In fact, despite having the boat hooked up and ready, I didn't roll out of bed until 7!

But, I did.

I dropped Gavin off, since my kids were still with my sister and brother in law and I hit highway 72. I had no idea which lake I wanted to fish, other than I wasn't going to Guntersville. And though Wheeler was a scant 30 minutes away and we (eerrrrr Josh) had success the last time we fished in Decatur, I decided that they SMART thing to do was to prefish for an upcoming tournament on Wilson.

And though the tournament is going to put in at Safety Harbor, I decided to put in down river at....that little bitty ramp on 72....whatever it's called.

I was in the water by 9 and the sun was already high. That was ok. I didn't plan on fishing as much as I did looking. After all, I hear that's how the pros do it. I'm certainly not trying to be a pro, but I do like to do well in tournaments, even if it means leaving the rods on the deck and staring at a screen.

The first spot I checked was a spot I found a few years ago, putting up 18+ pounds on my way to a win. While I have caught fish there since, it is usually easy to figure out if they are there or not. That is to say, you pull up and graph it. If you don't see any fish on these submerged rocks in 20 feet...don't bother.

And indeed I didn't see any fish on them. There was a TON of bait, however, which I attributed to the Super Moon we had. I mean, the bait was EVERYWHERE. As I drove in an S-pattern, looking with sidescan on my Humminbird 798, I happened to look up and see fish busting about 100 yards away on the next point. well, what fisherman can resist topwater action!

I fired up the big motor....just to get there in time for them to quit hitting. Ugh. Well, I decided that I would sit on the spot. If they started busting again, I would fish for them. In the mean time, I played with the Humminbird, dialing it in for Wilson, as each lake is different. You can read about how I did it here. It was interesting that it was THIS point that the fish were holding on. Initially, I first started fishing this area of the lake because of THIS point. The first time Josh and I ever fished Wilson, we had located this point inside of Shoals Creek (yes, I realize I just gave away a LITTLE info). After a few casts with a 6XD, I caught this really nice fish and we went on to cash a check. You can read that report for 2011 here.

Anyway, the fish weren't holding in the deep creek channel, they seemed to be really shallow, like 6 feet or less. They started busting again and I went after them with a Lucky Craft Sammy. I was getting a ton of hits, but none of them were really hooking up. At one point, a 5.5 pound small mouth came out of the water like a rocket, shooting so high I could see a foot of air between her back fin and the water, and knocked the bait in the air 10 feet. There might have been some expletives. Not confirming or denying that....

I admit that it took me too long to make a switch, but eventually I got tired of missing those fish and decided to throw something different. So, I threw a square billed crank and it paid off on the first two casts. I boated one nice fish, then had one throw it at the boat on the very next. The best hit I had all day came on the next cast, but the fish pulled off. I never saw it, but it fought like another smallie.

Then the fish quit hitting the crank OR the topwater. I broke out the sissy stick and managed to boat a 2 pounder, but the bite died down as the sun got high. The fish did get active several more times and I managed to catch several more fish, eventually enough to build a solid 15-17 pound sack. But, each time they started feeding, I caught fewer.

That was ok. I was prefishing, at least that's what I kept telling myself! I ran around to several other spots, eventually running from one dam to the other, and though I was graphing a LOT of fish, I never could get any to bite. So, I decided to just take pictures of the nice homes I could never have!

Anyway, I will report back on the tournament!