Friday, May 12, 2017

Week of May 7, 2017

I finally managed to get out to Lake Fork this week and had a grand time as always.  We never caught any big fish, but we did catch a good number of bass and had beautiful weather to do it in.  Temperatures were in the low 80s all week and winds were mostly light.  Rhandy was booked all week so Dale volunteered to fish me 14 hours a day on Monday through Wednesday, plus a half day on Sunday.

I got out to the lake about 3:30 on Sunday afternoon and found Monty had forgotten to leave me a note telling me which room I was in.  I was able to get into room 2, it was clean, and moved my stuff in there.  When I came out Dale was sitting in the parking lot.  He said there were 3 tournaments happening down at the Minnow Bucket and it was a zoo with no parking.  He decided we would use the ramp at Hook Line and Sinker.  I asked him to call Monty to tell him which room I was in and he said Monty had said I would be in room 2.  I guessed right!

We put in at the ramp and headed out for 4 hours on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  The 3 tournys had shied the fish so we only caught 4.  We headed in about 8 pm around sunset.  It was a slow start, but it sure felt good to have a rod in my hand again.  We fished mostly split shot rigs with senkos and baby brush hogs working pockets and banks.

Monday we headed out about 20 minutes before sunrise and started out on a main lake point.  We had about 20 by 8 am fishing Carolina rigs with flukes and baby brush hogs.  I tell you the fish know when it is not the weekend anymore.  After the morning bite ended, we moved around fishing banks and pockets throwing a combo of split shot rigs and Carolina rigs.  We did find one group of trees that produced 6 fish, but mostly it was ones and twos around different spots.  We ended up with a total of 39 for the day, which is a pretty good bunch of bass.  Nothing over about 3 pounds.

Tuesday we headed out around the same time and again had good results on a main lake point using the same techniques.  I think we had 18 by about 8 am.  After that we spent a lot of the day back in Little Caney throwing split shots and wacky worms.  We did try one deep water spot with Carolina rigs but the fish either were not there or not interested.  We ground out another 15 fish over the rest of the day, with the best bite coming exactly at 8 pm on my last cast.  We were back in a pocket pitching wacky worms and I had pitched out to one side of a tree with no bite.  I decided to try the other side of the tree and was rewarded with a nice fight with a 6 pound bass.  The fish had a huge gut and looked like she hadn't spawned yet.
Wednesday one of my wife's work buddies, Keith, came out and joined us for the day.  He's a much more experienced fisherman than I am and he and Dale got along great.  We headed out about the same time but found another boat sitting on our usual point.  We headed over to another point and caught a few, but not as many as we had been finding on the other point.  After awhile, Dale realized that was a buddy of his sitting on "our" point.  When he checked his phone he found 5 messages from his buddy inviting us to come over and join them.  We did, but after the main bite had slowed down.  We did see an 8.1 caught in the other boat, but we found only solid little 2 and 3 pound fish and dinks.  We moved down the bank for awhile and added a few more with Carolina rigs before switching to split shots and heading back to pockets and banks.  Around 2:30 a small thunderstorm blew up west of us and we ran off the lake and sat it out in the parking lot of the Minnow Bucket.  I am the Lake Fork rain God!  We headed back out after about an hour but found the wind had picked up a bit.  We tied up and threw at a windy pond dam and bank for awhile and caught a few.  Then we motored inside the pond dam and worked the banks til the wind started to lay down a bit.  We ended up the evening hitting some pockets and finished with 33 bass for the day.  Keith hooked about a 7 pound drum in the belly, but we won't count that one.  It was a good fight, though!  I think Keith had a pretty good time for his first trip to Lake Fork.

As usual we saw lots of wildlife along the banks. 
109 bass over 3 and a half days makes for a pretty good trip.  Thanks to Dale for fishing me sunrise to sunset, 14 hours a day, for 3 days straight.  That's an extra effort and I sure do appreciate it.
Yes, I have started using a sun mask and I know it looks goofy as hell.  However it is a lot nicer than slathering my face in greasy sun cream.  Plus, if I'm only catching small bass I will be able to maintain my secret identity!

While sitting out the storm on Wednesday we heard that Tony, who runs the Minnow Bucket in the mornings, had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Week of November 13, 2016

Only my second trip of the year and a short one, too.  Rhandy was booked so Dale fished me Sunday evening and all day Monday and Tuesday.  Pippin joined us on Monday. 

Sunday evening we decided to go for a big fish and spent the evening pitching jigs at stumps.  I caught a couple of small ones and jumped off a few more.  No big bites.  Monday we left out at sunrise and stayed out til sunset.  We pretty much threw the tackle box at them and boated 28 small bass and a few bar fish.  We tried Carolina rigs, shakey heads, split shot flukes, tail kickers, jiggin spoons, and a few other techniques but never caught a fish over 3 pounds.  We had some fun though.  I think Pippin caught the most this trip.  I did hook what I thought was a very nice fish.  It wrapped me up so it felt even bigger than the 7 pounds or so it weighed.  Unfortunately, it was a drum.  Darn.  Got me excited for a minute there.
As usual we saw a lot of wildlife.  We found a herd of deer on the bank and saw several bald eagles flying around.  The weather was beautiful if a bit warm for November.  The wind slicked off a few times but other than that it was very nice.
The so called "super moon" was out but it didn't seem to help the fishing!
Pippin went home Monday night so Dale and I played Captain Ahab and hunted Moby Bass again all day Tuesday.  I fished a jig for 6 and a half hours with only 2 bites.  One broke me off and the second was just a small fish.  After that we switched to shakey heads and caught a few small fish before the sun set.  Dale did catch one that went about 5 lbs but that was the biggest fish this trip.  Hopefully I can get back out again before the end of the year for some bigger bass and maybe some crappie.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Week of June 5, 2016

I went out this week not really expecting to do well.  Every bad juju the guides seem to complain about was in full effect.  The week before had seen heavy rains and the water was stained.  The lake was over pool and the gates were open.  There was a light north wind.  There was a new moon.  You name it, every sign pointed to a poor week of fishing.  However we actually did pretty well.  We never saw any big fish, but we caught lots of little ones in the morning and late afternoon.  In between it was mostly hot, especially when the wind laid down, which it did too often.  I jumped off one about 6 lbs and Rhandy caught one about that.  Those were the two biggest fish we saw.
I fished 3 full days with Dale, 4 half day evenings with Rhandy, plus a half day morning crappie trip with Rhandy.  Dale counted 66 bass combined for our 3 days and I think we were close to that with Rhandy.  My buddy David came along on Monday and he caught a few, too.  David also caught the biggest drum and the biggest catfish when he forgot we were fishing for bass.  My biggest bass this trip was about 5.5 lbs.  We could usually catch some fish between sunrise and 9 am and again after 5 pm.  In between it was very slow going and often very hot.
This was Rhandy's last trip for his Bee Line boat and he'll have a new center console boat on my next trip.  I'm not sure if he'll still have "sponsor" stickers from the Banjo Minnow, Popeil Pocket Fisherman, Helicopter Lure, Flying Lure or Snoopy Catch 'Em kit.  Not so serious, indeed.
Thursday morning I went out with Rhandy and we hit 5 or 6 of his brush piles before we had to go in at 11.  We ended up with 21 crappie keepers which I can testify are very tasty.
If I head back out anytime soon I will definitely be doing split days.  The summertime switch has definitely been flipped.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

That ain't no bass!

Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks many small ponds and a few streams with rainbow trout every winter.  They are fun to catch and even more fun to eat.  I found these at a small pond in Irving today (1/28).  Caught both casting some crappie jigs.  I would rather been after some big bass, but this was just 10 minutes from my house on a beautiful 70 degree day in January.  Made a nice addition to dinner, too!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

week of November 2, 2015

A short trip this week with Rhandy Monday afternoon and Tuesday and Dale on Wednesday.  I got out there about 2 pm Monday and Rhandy and I ran around catching lots of small bass on Carolina rigs.  I don't think we ever saw one over 2 pounds.  We planned to spend half a day crappie and half a day bass on Tuesday but it took us a little longer to limit out than we thought.  Rhandy has put out a bunch of new crappie piles and we moved around a lot as the action slowed.  For every keeper we weeded out a lot of little ones.  I ended up with a full limit by the end of the day and Rhandy fileted them up for me.  The four crappie in the photo above were around 2 pounds each.  We have some nice eatin' ahead!

I went out at 6:30 am with Dale on Wednesday and we hit a number of spots with jigging spoons, crank baits, and Carolina rigs.  We finally found one point where they were stacked up and biting almost every cast, but they were all dinks.  Still fun to catch though.  We had hopes maybe a good 'un would show up in the mix but it never happened.  Dale somehow arranged to have an awesome bald eagle do some fishing about 100 yards from his boat.  That was quite a sight.  We went in a little early so I could miss the traffic back in Dallas.

My camera battery was mysteriously dead this trip so thanks to Rhandy for the snap above.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week of September 13, 2015

Back again this week for 3 days and 4 evenings with Dale and Rhandy.  I spent 12 hours a day on the water on Monday-Wednesday and 4 hours on Sunday.  The word this week was DINKS.  We caught a few fish but the big fish must have left for vacation.  The biggest we saw all week was a 6 pounder Rhandy caught, a 5 something Dale caught, and a big drum I caught.  The biggest bass I hooked was about 3 pounds but I even caught a sand bass that big.  Both guides worked very hard to find us some bigger fish but it was just not happening.    We did have beautiful weather every day and even my usual rain attraction lasted just a few minutes on Tuesday.
On Wednesday Dale finally found a spot where we caught some fish that were bigger than bait.  I had the last fluke of a color that was working and something took a chomp out of it.  Sort of like the amazing Mighty Bite lure!  I decided to heck with it and kept throwing the chomped on fluke and caught 2 fish with it.  The fluke inspector would not have approved, but the fish did!
Even though we didn't get a big fish all week, we did have fun and caught fish every outing.  Next time out those big fish better watch out.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Week of September 6, 2015

A quick 2 day trip this week with Dale during the day and Rhandy in the evening.  Tuesday was toasty and we had a tough time finding fish that would bite during the day. There was enough of a breeze that the temps in the upper 90's were bearable most of the day.  We went through the tackle box throwing carolina rigs, wacky worms, and crank baits with little success.  We had just a handful of bites and I think we boated 3 fish, not counting sandbass and a 7 pound drum.  I only hooked one small one but he jumped off.  Rhandy found a few more fish but nothing of any size until just before sunset when he found an 8 pounder on a small crank bait.  I caught a few small bass and a bar fish.
Wednesday dawned with some heavy rain (I AM the Lake Fork Rain God!) and postponed our start to about 8 pm.  I still got in 6 and a half hours with Dale and we had better luck.  My biggest was about a 5 pounder but it was still raining so I left my camera in the bag.  The rain quit around noon and we were finally able to get our rain gear off, but eventually some more thunder approached and we went in about 2:30 pm, just to stay on the safe side.

After a short siesta I met up with Rhandy at 4 pm and we hightailed it to a spot that was occupied the previous day.  We found a bunch of small bass on a shelf edge and I found a bunch of hang ups which let Rhandy show how good he was at re-tying carolina rigs.  Thanks Rhandy!  Eventually we wore them all out and we went off to another favorite spot where we continued to find small bass and those stinking sandies.  Right before we quit I hooked a big fish on a crank bait but he twisted off while I tried to hang on.  We never saw the fish but it left a big swirl.  Rhandy is convinced it was a big bass.  I prefer to think it was a big drum or carp.  Next time we will find out!