Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week of 9/26/11

Another fun trip to Lake Fork with full 2 days and a half day with Dale Stokes and 2 half evenings with Rhandy Simmons.  The lake is down almost 7 feet now, and there is timber everywhere.  Many ramps are closed but the Minnow Bucket's ramp is still functioning just fine.  Fishing was SLOW.  During the day with Dale we caught 8 on Tuesday, 10 on Wednesday, and 6 on the half day Thursday.  Tuesday we scurried from spot to spot trying to make something happen.  It didn't.  Wednesday we hung around a good point half the day and grinded on them.  That didn't do much either.  Thursday we kind of split the difference, again without much success.  Big fish of the week went to Dale who bagged a 7 pound 8 ounce bass on Tuesday.  My biggest was a 5 pounder on Monday.  I almost got skunked on Wednesday, but a last minute crank bait fish (a little one), got the white stripe off my back before I headed back home. 
Evening fishing with Rhandy was "interesting".  We hit a lot of the usual spots with only 3 fish to show on Tuesday evening.  I think we had only about 6 bites.  The amazing thing were the BUGS!  Swarms, clouds, biblical end times numbers of bugs were swarming all around the boat as soon as the sun set.  It was truly astounding.  I snapped one little shot of Rhandy with a tiny swarm above his head, and this was while we were idling!  When we stopped, we were engulfed in clouds of them.  Click on the picture.

Below is a video of Rhandy fishing as the swarm descends on us.  Listen to the buzzing around 2:10 in the video.  It is amazing!

Wednesday night, things started out the same.  Very slow.  I think we had 2 fish in the boat by sunset.  We put slabs on and pulled in a few schooling sandbass, just to end the boredom!  After that we idled around to a roadbed to try some buzz baits.  On the way, we ran into some schooling bass and proceeded to murder them til they went under.  In about 20 minutes I think we boated 15 bass, mostly in the 2-3 pound range.  It sure was fun watching them blow up on those buzz baits.  I kept hoping a gorilla would pop up from underneath, but he never did.  It was still a blast!

Oh, and if you've ever wondered why Lake Fork is such a great lake and why you lose so many lures and carolina rigs, take a look at the photo below.  This is one bank that usually has 3 feet of water over it.  It's a wonder we ever land ANY fish, much less get a bait back!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

week of Sept 5th, 2011

After a streak of almost 60 days of temperatures over 100 degrees F., I finally got to get back to Lake Fork for some fishin.  This week I booked two full days and a half day with Dale Stokes, plus 2 half evenings with Rhandy Simmons.  The fishing was a bit spotty, but still a lot of fun.  With lows in the upper 50's and highs in the upper 80's to low 90's the weather was very nice indeed.  It felt good to need a jacket again and feel cool air that was not blowing out of an AC vent!  Winds were light and just about the perfect ripple on the water for the whole trip.  The only time it got a bit steamy was Wednesday afternoon when the winds died off completely.

Tuesday started off pretty well with Dale and we quickly had 12 or 14 fish in the boat after only a few hours fishing.  We stayed with Carolina rigs and flukes for most of the morning at a medium depth.  Around 10:30 or so, the fish shut off, so we moved up shallow and switched to shakey heads and wacky worms thrown at the bank.  After a couple of quick fish, Dale had one about 6 pounds, they slowed down again and we spent the rest of the day shuffling around and getting 1 or 2 here and there with a variety of techniques.  We ended up with 26 fish between 6:30 am and 2:30 pm. 

After a quick shower and a short siesta, Rhandy banged on the door and got us out on the water before the working man's tourny started at the Minnow Bucket.   We started out with Carolina rigs but soon switched to crank baits after we saw a few fish blowing up on shad.  Once again we kind of 1 and 2'd them through the evening, moving often, but never quite finding a sweet spot.  After dark, we switched to a big purple Texas rigged foam worm resulting in a few more bites and one more fish for me.  I think we ended up with about 12 fish, nothing big, including 3 sandbass and a catfish caught on the crank baits.  By the time we headed in, we needed a jacket.
Off again  with Dale the following morning we were killing them early.  Fishing Carolina rigs at a medium depth point, we boated 10 fish by 8:30 am, moved to another spot, and boated another 10 fish by 10 am.  We had 4 break us off, including one I had on that felt like a real nice fish.  That's the joy of fishing in heavy timber!  Then they shut off like someone had flipped a switch.  Over the next 3 hours we tried several prime spots and numerous techniques which resulted in just one more fish and very few bites.  About 1 pm, we decided to bag it as the wind had laid down, it was getting steamy, and nothing we did was working.  We won before 10 am, the fish won after.  It was a draw!  I think our biggest out of the 21 was about 4 lbs.

Later that evening, Rhandy and I hit the water again and I thought we were going to do better.  Rhandy hit a 4 pounder on his first cast, I hooked a 3 pounder about 5 casts later.  After that, they got real stubborn again.  We spent the next 4 hours changing spots and techniques with just 4 more fish to show for it.  It was a beautiful night, only the fish did not cooperate!  Drat!  
Back out with Dale the next morning at 6:30, we hit our same starting point.  The jackpot we had enjoyed on Wednesday morning was gone and we boated just 2 fish on our Wednesday point.  We then moved to our number 2 spot and quickly added 5 more decent fish, including one about 5 pounds.  After that dried up we moseyed around to several other spots with no success.  They shut off again about 10 am when the wind laid down.
We had no problem launching at the Minnow Bucket ramp but there is a lot more timber showing than usual.  It's dangerous out there.  There was even a big floater in Little Caney.  The lake is about 6 feet low.

Rhandy has a new go-fast bullet boat with a huge deck.  Just the thing for parties of 3 or more.