Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fishing Report for Wheeler 2/23/16

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After getting snuffed out for the entire weekend, including losing a transducer leading up to my tournament Saturday (a $160 mistake), I wanted to get out for some low pressure fishing. In case you missed it, you can read about my three day fishing weekend, which resulted in a grand total of 4 fish by clicking the link below.

Fishing Report for Guntersville: Weekend of 2/20/16

So, after work yesterday, I decided to make sure that the new transducer was working. ADditionally, with the storm system moving through and the temps in the 60s, I figured the fish HAD to be biting. 

I put in at the Redstone rec area and quickly found that the 'ducer was indeed working. I managed not to have any screw ups like I did putting the boat in just days before.

I also saw that the water color was horrible. Less than six inches of clarity. The water temp was between 50 and 51. In comparison, most of Guntersville was still in the high 40s, though we did find water as high as 55 in South Sauty. 

So, I decided to dial in my graphs but idling over rockpiles that I am familiar with. Enter my disgust with Humminbird electronics. Most people hardly touch their electronics and quickly give up on using them as a valuable tool. That may surprise you, but ask around. Other than running them for GPS and basic depth/water temp, many people get frustrated with them and quit using them to their potential. Lowerance has done a fantastic job with their units by giving the processor a lot of power in auto tuning. Within a few clicks, a unit can be dialed in.

Humminbird possesses no such feature. I have found that major changes have to be made, not only from lake to lake, but from day to day. Even from spot to spot! I'm not talking about simple changes in sensitivity, but total frequency changes! 

Such was life yesterday as the muddy water caused some serious scatter with my under boat cone. Add in a ripping current that made signal acquisition difficult (moving against current caused a lot of noise, as the sound was reflecting off the same structure multiple times, making the signal noisy OR going with the current, which caused the boat to move too fast for the sound beam reflection, causing a loss in signal). 

Even when I thought I had the settings right, I would pull up to a different spot that was slightly cleaner or muddier than the spot before and POOF, I had to reset again. 

The water was so nasty in some places that I had to swap to my lower frequency so that I could get less scatter and more penetration. As a result, my sensitivity was lower and I wasn't seeing bait or small fish. 

But, I did graph some fish off of the bluffs across from Hobb's Island that made me stop and fish. Tossing a PowerTeam Lures Bull Nose Jig with a Craw d, both in natural colors, I had a fish pop the jig hard as I was dragging it in 18 feet. I knew immediately that it was either a massive bass or, more likely, a drum. It ended up being the latter. 

I guess that the only fish I was going to find with fast moving and muddy water would be the bigger ones. 

From then on, I moved through some community holes, just trying to catch a fish or two for fun, as I didn't have but an hour or two to fish.

In Butler Basin I graphed some fish sitting on the very bottom and center of the mouth. Tossed out the jig. This time, white bass. 

To end the day, I fished just up river from Ditto against some rip ramp bank featuring large current breaks. In each eddy, I found a bass with a Luhr-Jensen speed trap. Of course, the issue was that there weren't enough of them. But, I caught four species of fish and a few bass, so I will consider that a victory. Oh, and no major boat malfunctions or lost lures. That too.