Monday, November 30, 2015

Fishing Report for Pickwick 11/25/15

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Only in Alabama can you have such beautiful weather following a freezing spell, eh? This past week was as nice a week as you can expect for a Thanksgiving week. Brad and I decided to get out while the getting was good and head to Pickwick. While the water was still low, the current was whipping and we had heard that the smallmouth bite was on. 

While everything was stacking up to be perfect, the big ole orange/red full moon that lit the way to Florence had me worried. 

We started out drifting below the dam. Brad was throwing mostly the A-rig while I alternated between top water, crankbaits, single swimbaits, and jigs. 

Other than some magnum skip jack, we didn't catch anything by the dam, though we did run in to a few NASA colleagues who were also fishing, including one accomplished small mouth fisherman. 

We ran down to 7 Mile Island hoping to run in to some largemouth. No takers. Nothing. Not even a bite! 

After fishing a variety of different patterns, I suggested that we fish some pea gravel beds adjacent to bluff walls. 

With the current flowing at over 60,000 CFS, we had to stop the big motor about a hundred yards upriver from where we wanted to fish and drift down.

As we drifted towards the pea gravel beds, we picked up a few stripe, which was a good sign, as we hadn't really caught anything other than skip jack since early morning. 

While fishing the last of the bluff, a fish annihilated Brad's A-rig. After a short fight, Brad boated a very nice three and a half pound smallmouth. 

We fished the pea gravel pretty hard before moving to the next pea gravel bed. The only thing I caught was trees, stumps, and rocks. I was throwing a magnum shakey head a lot, backed by a PowerTeam 7" tickler. I bet I lost 15. It was almost comical. I would tie one on, make a cast, and get hung. 

Eventually I gave up. Though, it wasn't why you might suspect! 

Going down the bluff just before the next pea gravel bed, Brad hooked another smallie on the rig. 

We fished the gravel without a bite and moved to the next, where Brad caught yet another smallie.

At that point I began throwing the rig and we honed in on just bluff walls. I finally got on the board using my custom swimbaits!

We found that each stretch of bluff only had one active fish, meaning that we would cover 300 yards for one bite. It was time consuming, but eventually we caught a limit which included a few short smallies as well. 

The funniest part of the trip was when Brad was measuring his latest catch, he had set the rod down and let the A-rig free spool, though he didn't know it. The rig caught rock and jerked the rod over board! I picked up a crank and tried to catch it, but was unable.

We motored up and were lucky to find that his rod was floating! Thank goodness for floating handles! He did lose that rig, along with another one or two that day, making it a pretty expensive day! But, it was better than losing a $300 rod and reel combo! 

We ended the day with around 12 or 13 pounds, which was a site better than anyone else that we talked to, but still disappointing. But, at least we put together a solid limit. 

The water was 67 degrees. 

All fish were lively when we let them back in to the lake!