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After the previous weekend's debacle on Pickwick, Brad and I were really excited to get to fish Logan-Martin Lake in Pell City. In case you missed last week's report, click the link below.
It's a Coosa River lake that is loaded with magnum spots. Though I have only fished it a couple of times, it has been very good to me each time. You can read about my last trip to Logan-Martin, which was back in 2015.
Brad and I took Friday off in order to prefish. I had some very good information from Bo, the gentleman from whom I bought my boat. Bo won the ABT event last year on Logan-Martin, as well as many other tournaments. His advice: top water early and skipping docks the rest of the day in Rabbit Branch.
Even though I wasn't familiar with Rabbit Branch, it turns out that Josh and I have fished it every time we have been to Logan-Martin. Speaking of, Josh and Anthony were down on Friday and we decided to have a little friendly competition. Starting at noon, we would keep our best five and the loser had to buy a Margarita at dinner for the winners. We would call it the First Annual Margarita Cup.
We began in Rabbit Branch, but the wind was howling west to east, which was at our backs. It made it impossible to fish worms. Instead, we stuck to topwater and crankbaits, specifically a Strike King Series 3.
After a few hours, we had a very small limit. Josh and Anthony had four fish for around 10 pounds, which they had found way up river on an offshore creek channel. Pretty solid. Doing what we were doing, it would be impossible to catch them. We noticed that some weather was moving in and that overcast skies would dominate the pattern for the rest of the afternoon.
I had asked Bo about this, specifically, and he had said to target sea walls with buzzbaits. Ironically, I didn't bring a single buzzbait, but Brad did. While he threw it and I threw a sammy, I figured out pretty quickly that I would need to go to Wal-Mart that night and buy one. Brad culled and culled. Each fish had a bloody tail. Before we knew it, the small five we had caught were all gone and were replaced by better fish. Two of those were really nice spots. These fish were all sitting in creek channels with structure.
Confident that we had enough to at least compete with Josh and Anthony, we resumed our scouting. I was able to find some terrific looking offshore areas that featured plenty of structure, bait, and what looked like bass. In most all of them, I was able to catch a fish, but none of the fish were the size we were looking for. I also gained a new appreciation for my front boaters who can hold boat position, because, well...I suck at it.
So, at 7PM, we weighed in fish. Josh and Anthony were unable to make their 5th fish count and weighed in a limit just over 10 pounds. Brad's two culls boosted us to just over 12 pounds. Both of the two spots he caught were personal bests. We didn't weigh them individually, but the largest was around 4 pounds. So, we took home the win in the first annual Margarita Cup.
We shared a meal at the local Mexican joint and hit up Wal-Mart for boat food and a black buzzbait. Then, we called it a night. On the way to the hotel, we remarked on the full moon and the fact that many of the fish we had caught that day were spawning. We worried that the full moon may finish the spawn and those big fish would move out.
Around 4AM I got a phone call informing me that Lakeside was covered up with boats and that we should use the little ramp beside Lakeside. Turns out, that was not only covered up as well, but a complete circus. Because it was a much smaller ramp and people generally have no consideration of others, it was simply out of control. As such, we missed out 5:15 blast off time and didn't hit the water until nearly 6AM.
When we did get out of the harbor, we motored over to our first spot, which we had caught several quality fish on by paralleling a sea wall with top water. Before I could even get the GoPro going, Brad had hauled in a very nice spot. It wasn't as big as his biggest from the previous day, but it was a heck of a start.
We worked a 20 yard sea wall for less than five minutes before we had a limit. It was a small limit, but a limit none the less. Josh and Anthony hadn't even made it to their spot way up river before we were culling.
We hit the spot hard for about 30 minutes, but the bites died as the sun came up. It wouldn't be nearly as overcast as the day before.
I moved us to our second spot, where we had also caught quality fish the day before. This spot didn't have the numbers of hits, but we had caught two decent fish the day before and had missed at least one other. We pulled up directly on the large rock on which the fish had been camping. Brad fired the bait over and BAM! She hit. It was a decent cull, but not nearly as big as the fish we had caught the day before.
We began to wonder if our speculation about the end of the spawn had happened. We ran around, checking shallow spots from the previous day. Other than some short fish, we couldn't get a shallow bite. We assumed that the offshore bite would be the ticket and we moved out to check those spots we had marked. Nothing.
Though the wind didn't help, we couldn't buy a worm or jig bite. That was really strange, considering the lake.
I called Josh and Anthony. They experienced much of the same thing. But, they had been catching fish REALLY shallow around grass on a combination of chatterbait and a swimjig.
I took this as a fantastic omen, as most of our club would stick to worming. It just so happened that the offshore spot we were fishing had a good stand of grass. I picked up a swim jig backed with a PTL swinging hammer and Brad threw a chatterbait. Boom and Boom. Two largemouth culls that gave us an instant shot in the arm. That put us around 10 pounds, but we had two squeakers that needed to go, desperately.
For the next two hours we focused on this pattern. The swimjig didn't produce anymore and a phone call to Josh confirmed that the chatterbait was the real key. I began throwing a Z-man chatterbait with a PTL swinging hammer. Though I didn't catch any culling fish, Brad did...and in some of the strangest ways.
The first came as we rounded a point and noticed one of our club members also fishing. I decided to let him have the spot and fired up the big motor as Brad reeled in his bait. A largemouth crushed the bait! It provided another good cull.
The last fish came as we were fishing the area between docks. As I maneuvered the boat around a dock, Brad skipped the chatterbait under it where a decent spot crushed it. Sitting around 12 pounds, we tried to find the big bite, but never did.
Luckily, it didn't matter and we were fortunate to take home a win with a solid 12 pound bag. Josh and Anthony came in second with just over 10 pounds. Though we beat them, it was their pattern that won us the day.
On the day, we only caught around 15 fish. The water temp was in the high 70s. That being said, the offshore bite hadn't begun quite yet.