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Wife had the day off, as she will be working all weekend and them some. I was planning on fishing the Ditto Landing wildcat.
BBBBBUUUTTT my partner bailed on me. I already had the boat at work so I asked Alyse if she wanted to get out for a few hours. Of course she did! So, we put in at the Army Rec area. I had planned on fishing the NASA barge canal, as I had found a bunch of fish a few days ago on my lunch break, just bank fishing.
Naturally, the skies are high today, being post frontal. The wind was whipping and despite having rain several times over the last few weeks, the water was lower than it had been just days ago.
That stretch of the river had solid 3 foot rollers that were whitecapping and the wind was blowing right at the barge canal.
So, after only a few minutes, I headed back up river and around one bend where the wind lied down, ever so slightly.
Having a lot of luck fishing laydowns on Wilson this past Saturday, I decided to give that a try.
I was throwing a wacky rigger PTL Sick Stick while she was throwing a PTL Sick Stick on a shakey head. But, she didn't like the action of the rod, as it didn't have enough back bone to set the hook. While she did bring one bass in, she lost many more. So, I traded off with her.
We spotted a new laydown that looked only a few weeks old. It had fallen on an old laydown, creating quite the logjam.
I was essentially flipping the shakey head into crooks in the log jam.This resulted in one smaller fish.
As I kept flipping, a fish thumped the shakey head instead of pecking at it. I set the hook but knew immediately I was in for a ride.
The fish surged to the surface and Alyse screamed with delight like a little girl. She asked if I needed the net, but for some stupid reason I was like "Nah, I got it. No big deal."
She exclaimed that I was nuts and dug it out of the locker. The toad swam around branches, getting tangled up. But, I was patient and let her swim free before edging her closer to the boat.
The hardest thing to do was to turn away from the fish in order to control the nose of the boat, which I was using to keep us out of more branches.
Several minutes later, we netted this monster.
Believe it or not, that one laydown held more than just that fish. In fact, it held several more magnum sized fish. While we did catch some small spots on the outside, the mommas were in the laydown on hard cover, specifically on log jams. We managed to get hung up after setting the hook on several. That has to be one of the most painful things....feeling that thump and the fight for about two seconds as one wraps you up. After all, the big ones don't get big cause they are dumb.
Anyway, if you get out on Wheeler, just know that the water is still really low, though the color is good. The wind is whipping and makes life tough. I would concentrate on laydowns that reach the first break, specifically those extending to 20 foot or more.
We ended up catching only around 5 in the short time we were out, but we had many more to the boat, but just didn't have the hooks in them, as it was tough to get a good hookset while they were in the brush.