Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fishing Report for Guntersville 4/1/15

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After having a pretty awesome day last Saturday while fishing Wheeler, despite low expectations and weather, John and I were anxious to get out again. If you didn't read about it, check out the link below.

Fishing Report for Wheeler/Elk River 3/28/15

Long story short, we went into this tournament with incredibly low expectations. We had never fished Elk River before, so that's usually ground for low expectations, by itself. Add into that some weather that seemed counter-productive for the fish to move shallow AND fairly miserable to us fishermen, and you had a day that looked impossible. 

And yet, we had a great time. We didn't catch a ton of fish, but we caught fish...and some nice ones to boot. 

Unless you have been stuck in your office all week, the weather has been...awesome. Not only has it been simply stellar to be outside, but I was led to believe that this would be THE week that the fish started pushing shallow for the spawn. 

So, John and I looked at our schedules. Friday would really be the best day for the fish, considering the approaching new moon, consistently warm weather, and low pressure.  But schedules and wind didn't look favorable. Thursday was a toss up. Wednesday made the most sense for us to take off work, though we did identify that there would be high atmospheric pressure and potentially high skies. 

We decided that we would fish Guntersville. After all, we were SURE the fish would simply be chomping at any lake we went we might as well go to the place that where we could catch the biggest fish. 

We met up at Allreds. The fog was extremely heavy, so we were stuck fishing local areas with the trolling motor. The water temp started at 57 and we found it to be 59 by the end of the day in most places. The water clarity in the pockets was very good until late morning when wind and fishing traffic had muddied it up significantly. We did find some new emerging grass in many spots. 

The day seemed to start off perfectly as I snagged a fish on about my 3rd cast, but it turned out to be a magnum crappie. 

We fished all of the back pockets of Allreds. While John stayed with a swimbait, I threw a combination of a square bill, a lipless crank, and a swimbait. We found shad in the middle of pockets, specifically those flats that were spawning flats. No fish biting.

We moved out of Allreds around 10am and moved up to the midlake area. We fished from 10 foot and in, in many of the areas we have consistently caught fish over the years. The only consistant thing we saw was that every single area had at least 6 boats in it. Every hump, every cut, every pocket was covered up and we fished behind someone everywhere we went. 

So, we headed further up the lake. We began to target smaller pockets that we typically don't see anyone in. Those would be pockets right off the main channel that led to small spawning flats. Again, nothing. By this point, I had slowed down and began throwing a lizard almost exclusively, alternating between watermelon red flake and june bug. Additionally, I alternated swim bait colors between pearl and a more natural sexy shad color. Nothing. 

At 12, we gave up on the midlake entirely and moved to South Sauty. We bypassed the causeways and moved to the very back of South Sauty. I can't remember the name, but there is a tiny ramp to the right side and a small creek the bends to the left, leading to an area frequented by campers and kayakers. 

It was here that we had our only hit of the day, a 3 pound fish that barely tapped my square bill. I knew from the beginning that it wasn't hooked well because of the subtlety of the hit. Sure enough, the fish tossed it. 

We gave up around 1:30. 

The only productive thing I DID do yesterday was test out my new RAVPower portable solar charger, which I reviewed, and you can read about below.

Product Review for RAVPower 15W Solar Charger

We ran into John Henry, commonly known as Basswhacker. I have a lot of respect for him, as do most fishermen in the area. He confirmed that the day...and year....has been pretty bad.

I would LIKE to chalk this up to the Big Bass Splash being last week and Elites coming in a week or so. But, the truth is, if you look at the tags on the rigs in the parking lot, you are seeing as many out of state tags as in-state. That's great for tourism. It's bad for fishing. 

Ok. So, rant time:

Obviously, seeing a lot of boats on Guntersville is nothing new. But, the last two years have seen such an increase in boat traffic that even mid-week trips will find you fishing dirty water everywhere you go. The ramps are packed. 

I'm not making excuses for a lot of traffic, because I've gotten used to it over the last 7 years. But the fishing has consistently gotten harder, at least for me, to the point that I am ready to write the lake off entirely. The line of thinking was always that you could catch fish anywhere, but at Guntersville, you had the chance at both numbers and size. The later may still be true to an extent, but I haven't caught good numbers on this lake in 2 years. Regarding the size, the G may still be the only place you can catch 9s and larger, but when it comes to 6s and's getting to the point that you are better off going ANYWHERE else. 

Take this with a grain of salt. The results for winning bags for tournaments are going to remain in the 30s. The local sticks are going to keep catching bass. But, that isn't an accurate judge of the actual fishing that you or me is going to find. Face it, if you are reading this, you are probably an average fisherman like me. And, it's tough out there. Or maybe I just suck. You decide.