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It is with no small amount of exasperation that I am going to say this: If you want to just get a fishing report on Guntersville: You can read any of the last three from Guntersville. I will save you time and list the link:
Two days after this last Saturday's tournament, this morning I sat in the shower and became irrationally mad. Seriously! I mean, to the point of saying "what am I doing out there and why do I keep subjecting myself to punishment? Maybe I should quit."
Cliff's Notes: I fished Guntersville for no less than the sixth time in the last three weeks and I have yet to find any fish. In fact, if I added up every fish I have caught that measures, I would have a single limit for under 14 pounds.
Unlike my past posts where I have railed against Guntersville, I will try and take my bias out of the equation. I get it. I suck. A lot of people suck on that lake right now. But, fish are still getting caught. I just don't know how.
Ok. So if you came here for the story, which is interesting, entertaining, and perhaps enlightening, then the fishing report is about to begin.
Friday afternoon I took off a little bit early. See, my 2005 Yukon now has over 220,000 miles on it. While I have never abused it, I have done the very basics of maintenance. Maybe not even that much. I took it for an oil change earlier in the week and asked them to do my transmission, transfer case, and rear end. I got back a truck that had only the transmission fluid changed. So, I had to do it myself. No big deal. While I was at it, I did a few more things.
First, the rear brakes. Because of the bias, the rear brakes wear a lot faster than the front. I've had to change them 2:1. But, an easy and cheap thing to do myself. The rotors weren't even warped or grooved.
Second, I replaced the original air filter. Again, seconds to complete.
All new belts. A small feat for a man with T-Rex arms.
Now, on to the transfer case. Draining it was easy. Filling back up....a massive headache. I didn't have any tubing, save for one small diameter section. So small, that I couldn't squeeze the ATF out, instead I was going to have to gravity feed it. That meant finding a spot above the fill port to stick the bottle, poking a hole in the bottle, and hoping it didn't leak out.
Alas, I had leaks. And bottles that fell. And tubing that slipped out. And a massive puddle later, covered in ATF, I had it changed...along with a lot of curses and bumps on the head.
Didn't get to the read differential.
So, I pull the Bullet out of the shop while listening to weird sounds from the Yukon. Sure enough, I hear some grinding. Oh boy. What could it be? Turns out, it wasn't the Yukon at all....but a trailer bearing. This was at 5PM.
I jacked the trailer up, yanked the wheel off, had to chisel the old bearing off, polish the spindle as best I could, and head to the parts store. Dude looked at me like I was crazy when I threw the old hub on the counter and asked for new bearings for it. Instead, he retrieved a whole new hub assembly. $43 and 20 minutes later, everything is ready to go.
I picked Josh up and we headed to City Park in Roseberry.
We had planned to fish the warmest water we knew of and to fish dirt shallow, as the only info from people catching fish had been.
We made the haul to north Sauty. The bridges were covered up, as we expected. So, we made our way to the back towards the lilly pad stickups.
Josh picked up a keeper early on a chatterbait. I caught a short fish on a Luhr-Jensen speed trap.
Both fish came off of rocks, dirt shallow. The water temp had dropped significantly, from the 55 of last Saturday to just over 50. Water color....chocolate milk.
We fished hard all day, moving from north Sauty to humps on the main channel. We threw squarebills, chatterbaits, and swimjigs with PTL Swinging Hammers. I alternated a little Bama Rig in as well. Nothing. Moved into Roseberry around lunch. Nothing.
At weigh in, we discovered most everyone had the same luck we had....which keeps an impressive string of tournaments going where everyone has struggled. We had one limit for 14 pounds. one boat with four. One with three, which rounded out the paycheck pack. Everyone else had little to nothing. Big fish was 4.74. In talking with the winners, they hadn't done anything we hadn't done. But, they found fish which began feeding about an hour before weigh in .
The good news is, I don't have to be on that lake for several months. I have devoted way too much time on that lake in the last few years and it hasn't made a single bit of difference. I'm not just blaming the lake, honestly! I just don't know what else to do. Prefishing any other lake is typically a five-pound difference for me. I haven't been on fish on the G in three years.
It is interesting that while the weights on Guntersville have been pretty....off...the weights elsewhere have exceeded expectations. Take the ABT, for example, who kicked off the year on Smith lake. It took over 20 pounds to win!
We have Wilson up next, which I intend to cash a check, if not win. Additionally, there are some interesting tournaments on Wheeler coming up which I would like to look in to.
Speaking of Wheeler, I was able to get my wife and the boys out yesterday on the boat for the first time. The wind was awful and the water muddy, but we had fun!