Read about all of my Fishing Adventures!
First off, sorry this is taking so long for me to write. I haven't had a spare second in the last week between kids playing ball, being in Utah for work, and playing catch-up at the house. But, I have a few minutes, which is all I really need to update you on the conditions for Guntersville and the state of fishing....for a week and a half ago, which will probably help no one. But, hey, it's a story to tell and maybe it will help a few. I know it would sure help me if I were to call myself two Friday night's ago. But that's neither here nor there.
With a club tournament coming up that Saturday, Brad and I were able to get out on Thursday and do some prefishing.
If you have kept up, we have been fortunate to prefish for all of our last 3 tournaments. And while we hadn't smoked them in prefishing, we have done really well for the tournament. Call it eliminating water.
On both Wilson and Wheeler, we fished all day and only found 1 or 2 places that held fish. We would start there during the tournament, and that paid off. Well, it paid once. On Wilson, we had a spectacular day and cashed a check. On Wheeler, catching fish was no issue, but I would pay good money to have the two 5+ pound fish I caught in prefishing back. You can read about those two trips and see the vids below.
Anyway, so we hit the water out of Waterfront Grocery on Thursday. A cold front had moved in and moderate winds were expected, despite expectations of warm weather. What really happened? Terrible, terrible wind and a temperature that never got in the 70s. That didn't stop anyone else from fishing, as we counted 12 different states represented at the ramp. What else is new, eh?
The water temperature was around 65. We spent the entire morning and early afternoon looking for spawning fish. We started on humps, but we had to get in line to fish them as every hump from Seibold to Goose Pond had at least 1 boat on it. After fighting wind and other boats, we only had 1 fish to show for it, so we kept moving.
We had to get out of the wind, so we concentrated on fishing pockets. At first we started shallow, targeting those spawning fish that we were sure were there. Nothing. We moved to the outside points. Nothing.
Around 1PM we moved into a pocket which featured a fairly steep 5 foot ledge sweeping back towards the shore and running into the pocket.
I was throwing a square bill, which I have done all year. It produces on every trip. So, why not keep throwing it!
Within the first few casts, I was ripping it through grass, as I do, when one smacked it. I decided not to fight it too hard, since I could tell it was a nice fish. I didn't want a repeat of what we did on Wheeler! It was a good thing too, because the big momma showed her face quickly. An 8 pound fish tried to make the leap out of the water, but instead did a half roll belly flip. I hit the release on my Citica and she threw the bait.
That's a good start.
The wind blew us another 10 yards into the cove before a made my next cast. Another one loaded up on the bait. I pulled on it, and it pulled back...hard...and made a run right to the boat. Again, I hit the release and the fish tossed the crank. After a few yards, the grass thickened up and I wanted to throw a bait as similar, but with slightly different profile. So, I picked up the Spro Little John Medium diver.
Another cast and I boated one that I didn't mind boating.
So, it seemed that they were still shallow and still biting the cranks. Good for me, for sure. I got a lot of them and I am pretty good throwing them. And, the Little John baits are some of my favs!
So, after 3 quick hits, we loaded up and headed home. Our game plan? Fish that spot! (Or, many more like it).
Come Saturday, that all changed. Naturally.
With hot weather on Friday, the water temps warmed up to 70 (or higher, in places).
We started out in the spot, but nothing came off of the creek channel swing. We moved further into the pocket and I tagged one on a PowerTeam Lures Swinging Hammer
Then nothing. We moved to some pockets with similar structure. Nothing. Tried some humps. Nothing.
But as we moved back and forth between the pockets, we noticed just how many boats were on the ledges. The LEDGES? Surely it is too early! I mean, that's fine if that's what they are doing, as I have had some good instruction AND managed to win a tournament or two doing it myself, as you can see in the writeup below:
But, our experience said they would be where they had been a few days ago. Even if some WERE moving out, MOST should still be there. Right? Well, like I said, experience worked against us.
Hours later after covering a TON of water of many different types, we had one keeper and a lot of small fish in the boat. (I will say, I did catch some flipping...HURRAY).
With 30 minutes left to go, I started making phone calls. Of everyone I knew that was fishing, no one had a limit, though they all knew of 1 boat who did. And, I knew where that boat was and what they were doing...because they were one of those boats out on the ledges that we kept zooming past.
Content to lose, I at least wanted to know if it would have panned out IF I had done it.
I looked on GPS at where that boat was and located a specific feature on the miles of ledges around us which they were fishing. I scanned around and found a similar feature that didn't have a boat on it, so we hit it.
I quickly tied on a Spro Little John DD and went to work. In 30 minutes I made a handful of casts that managed to produce 3 species of fish including 2 bass. Again, not enough to matter, so we dumped them. But....I knew.
Out of the 20 or so boats, only around 5 boats had a limit. As it is at every tournament on the G, 20+ pounds won it. But, the weights ramped down REAL quick.
Ironically, as I wrote this article this morning, a cursory look at the stats showed that the most viewed post this month was....how to ledge fish on Guntersville.
Oh well. Guntersville continues to be the big fish lake that I can't catch big fish on! Now, I do recognize that I DID hook into two good fish and let them go....but that doesn't count.
Until next time!