Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week of May 14, 2012

One of my guides, Rhandy Simmons, called me up and invited me out for 2 and a half days of "fun fishing" this week.  That means no guide charge so how could I say no to that?  Not only that, but he had a nice cabin with a spare bedroom so I had a free room, too.  He said the only things I needed to bring was a lot of beer and BBQ and that was no problem for me to do.   Since our "fun fishing" was to start on Tuesday morning, I called Dale Stokes for a regular guide day on Monday so I could get in that extra day. He was happy to oblige.

Monday started out a bit weird with Dale.  There were very few boats on the water.  We hit it early, 6 AM, and headed straight to Dale's favorite main lake point.  We boated 9 fish before 8:30 am, nothing big, so we went on to the next main point, which still had seen no boats.  Now that is unusual.  After fishing there awhile with no luck, we went along to a third main point, again with zero previous boat traffic on the side we fished.  I can't remember ever seeing those 3 points unoccupied the first 3 hours after daylight.  Ever.  There was very little boat traffic all day long.  That is about as deserted as I have seen Lake Fork. 

After we finished up on the main lake, still with 9 fish, we hit a bunch of great spots with little action until about 1 pm.  The wind slicked off about 11 am and it got pretty toasty in the sunshine, even though it was only in the middle 80's.  Dale finally found us another sweet spot around 1 pm on a deeper hump and we boated 5 more fish, nothing of size.  We ended up with 17 for the day and a fun day out on the water in nice weather.

I met up with Rhandy early Tuesday morning and we were off to check out some spots he hadn't fished in awhile.  He considered this "vacation" so we hit a few "good spots" and spent time running and checking other holes for future reference.  We pretty much one and two'd them all over the lake with the most fish, 4, coming off one small secondary point.  It is a place near a main ramp we have driven past a hundred times but I had never fished it.  Nice to know it holds a few.   We were not keeping good count (beer may have contributed to that) but I think we ended up with 12 or 15 fish for the day.  Big fish were around 4 or 5 pounds.  There was just enough action to make it a fun day, even though it got a bit warm when the wind died off at mid-day again.

We stayed at Leafy Branch cabin and put in and out of Wes's private ramp.  He has a very nice comfy 2 bedroom cabin with full kitchen, all utensils, 2 TVs, and all the amenities.  One of the best parts is the front porch with rockers which looks out over Leafy Branch and out towards Dale Hump where you can watch the lake.  They were having some dead trees cut out the yard but it was still full of song birds chasing around.  We even had a hummingbird stop by.  Wes said it was the first of the season.  Much beer was swilled, much BBQ was consumed, and at least a few lies were heard.  Plans to re-emerge for evening fishing were overruled by too much beer and BBQ.

Wednesday we trucked around and put in at the Minnow Bucket to check out some spots up in the northeast branch near Running Creek.  Rhandy caught one about 6 lbs and one smaller one.  I did not have a single bite til 10:30 am but that bite was worth the wait.  I was sitting still with a carolina rig with a fluke on it.  All of a sudden, WHAM, a fish grabbed that fluke and drag started peeling off line.  I set the hook and had a nice fight with an almost 8 pound fish.  It weighed out at 7 pounds 15 ounces.  Awhile later I caught another that went around 6 pounds.



We had a few more at that same spot before the wind slicked off yet again and it started to get hot.  This time, Rhandy had a plan to try some crappie fishing under the 154 bridge to cool off.  We tried it, I caught ONE small 9 inch crappie, and that was it.  Plans to head up to the 515 bridge got nixed when a buddy of Rhandy's came by and said that was dead, too.  Oh well, time to get a siesta and this time really go out in the evening!

We emerged from air conditioned hibernation about 7 pm and Rhandy's girlfriend Brenda joined us on the expedition.  We found a nice deep water hole unattended so we set up shop and went to fishing.  We caught 3 small bass, one each, so everyone was happy.  Rhandy had hopes maybe the sandbass would go to schooling but they never did.  I guess it may be just a bit early for that wild action.  Brenda did catch another green fish, about 4 pounds, right at sunset.  We dropped her off at the bank and fished the underwater lights in Leafy Branch for awhile til the bugs got too annoying.  Rhandy caught a couple more small bass and I caught one sandbass.  That was enough to send us in for more BBQ and beer and a a night ending meat coma.

Thursday we headed out from Leafy Branch with plans to hit several old holes Rhandy had not fished in years.  It was not to be.  The lake was VERY busy with boats everywhere, probably folks pre-fishing for the Legends tourny at Fork this coming weekend.  Everywhere we planned to fish we found 3 or 4 boats.  We even went looking for deep schools of sandbass, figuring nobody would be bothering them.  We struck out on those, too.  They are always there when you do NOT want them, but can't be found when you DO want them.  That's fishing.  We ended up the half day with 2 small bass, even after fishing some great water.  However, it was definitely FUN FISHING!

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