Monday, March 21, 2016

Fishing Report for Wilson 3/19/16

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To start off, go back and read our prefishing report leading up to this weekend's tournament. 

Fishing Report for Wilson 3/9/16

Ok, now that you are caught up, let me also clarify something. That report was the truth. Just not the whole truth. While prefishing, Brad also caught a new personal best smallmouth that went right at six pounds. 
The story on that? We pulled up on a spot that I really like to fish on Wilson. There is a secondary point that seems to always hold fish. It features a fairly aggressive slope the ends in a rockpile. On this rockpile I have won several tournaments including one of the very best bags I have ever weighed.

But, the wind was whipping and the fish weren't active. However, on the primary point, I noticed that there were a lot of gulls sitting on what is an extended flat. Flats are rare on Wilson as it is. I could see bait flipping, so I moved us off the secondary point and positioned the boat on the 18 foot contour. On my first cast, I caught a drum. On the second I caught a drum. On the third, I had a hit from what I knew was a bass.

I told Brad to cast his swimbait across the flat on what I thought was the four foot break. This fish annihilated his bait. We had no idea how big it was until we had it in the net. 

Seeing how well we've done on Wilson and how people kind of know how we fish it, we didn't really want word getting out that we had found both quantity and quality. So, we played mum. You can read about last year's club tournament where we finished in second.

In the days leading up to the club tournament, Brad was able to prefish. He fished this spot again and found nothing. 

As we pulled into Lock 6 ramp, we saw something we had never seen on Wilson: a line at the ramp. The parking lot was filled over capacity and by the time we were in the water, our number had already been called and we were among the last boats to head out. What I did see was that a great number, if not the majority of boats, were headed into Shoals creek, which is where I wanted to start. \

Why? That's a good question. First off, there was no current. From the hours of 1AM to around 3AM, TVA reported no current leaving Wheeler. The reported max was around 19,000 CFS. Wilson needs in excess of 60,000 to really be on. Secondly, the wind was going to be a major factor. Wilson is a fairly wide lake from North to South, meaning any wind will make it hard to fish and navigate.

So, we headed down river to a spot we had fished last year and had netted us our best fish, including a 5.75 pound smallie kicker. Additionally, Brad had been able to catch some good fish on Friday on this spot, which was a shallow cove on the main river, right on some bluffs. 

As we pulled up, I marked fish on the upriver point. I moved the boat from 25 feet to around 18 and made my first case with a Luhr-Jenson speed trap in Red Texas Diamond. 

Before Brad even had his bait in the water, I had him searching for a net after a fish slammed the bait. The brown fish fought and jumped, but ultimately found its way into the livewell after a very long and stressful fight.

At the time, I was almost certain that this would be our big fish of the day, as it was a solid four pound smallie.

Brad put that notion to rest just minutes later when he landed a NICE largemouth on the downriver point. Then, he backed that with a keeper smallmouth that would go around three pounds.

As the sky began to drizzle, we motored back to the up river point. A short smallie off a swimbait and then another NICE smallmouth had us with four fish for around 14 pounds. 

The skies listed and the wind began to howl. The bite all but died. 

We fished the area more, pushing back out deeper where I combed the point with a Spro Little John DD. That is, until I set the hook in a rock and popped the line. 

We gave up on the spot and headed into Shoals Creek to escape the wind. 

It was more of the same in there. The wind wasn't as bad, but it was still hard to deal with. I had to pull into a secondary finger inside of Shoals creek to be able to manage the boat and fish. 

With the water as low as it had been, I was able to notice just how many fish attractors and brush piles had been placed at the end of one specific dock. Parking the boat against the opposite bank, I pointed to where the brush piles and we went to work. 

First, I was able to finish our limit with a decent largemouth on the speed trap. Minutes later, Brad deftly maneuvered his swimbait into the boat slip of the dock and between the brush piles.

 Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the rod bend, but neither of us thought it was a serious fish until she showed us her mouth in a fit of head shaking. We netted the magnum largemouth and dumped my dink back in the water. 

Brad now had four of the five measuring fish in the box.

It was fairly obvious that she was the active fish in the area as we didn't have another bite. 

We headed back to the bluffs, picking up the A-Rig, hoping to push us well over the 20 pound mark. 

Indeed we caught more fish, but nothing compared to the ones we already had in the livewell. 

On the flipside, the wind had built some solid rollers which were now rushing over the front of the boat. 

I guess the highlight of my day was sinking the hooks into what I was sure was THE fish...until it started rolling! 

Though we ran a lot of bluffs, we never found any more fish after about 1PM. We decided to put the boat on the trailer early. 

At weigh in, we were not surprised to see that everyone else struggled. The story seemed to be the same. Once the sun came out, the bite died. Unlike many of our club, we knew where to start due to prefishing and that made all the difference. 

We were surprised to find that my smallmouth pushed over 5.3 and was dead even with Brad's largemouth. We were even more surprised that the other three fish went over 10 pounds themselves! 

Our bag went 20.32 with a 5.36 kicker, which was good for a win and big fish. 

Second was 14.03 and third was 11.40. The next biggest fish came in at 3.91.

Of the other two tournaments out of Lock 6, the winning bags were also in the 14 pound range. 

We didn't catch a lot, but we caught the ones that mattered!