Wednesday, October 30, 2013

week of October 27, 2013

Well my wife's ever changing travel schedule opened up a fishing window this week and the weather looked decent enough to give it a shot.  I knew Dale was already booked for a couple of days but found he had Monday open.  I booked Rhandy for Tuesday and Wednesday figuring we could get part of the day in Wednesday before the front came through.

Monday was tough.  I think we ended up with 6 bass, 3 on crankbaits and 3 on spinner baits.  Most were way in the back of a pocket where we found a few fish chasing shad.  As the cloud cover broke around noon the action stopped.  We ran all over the lake and tried everything in the book but things never got any better.   We even tried some deep water stuff, to no avail. 

Tuesday was not much better.  My friend David joined us and we went out with high hopes despite the sad results of the previous day.  By the time he had to go, we had 5 bass and 2 catfish.   Texas rigs and crank baits seemed to be the few successes of the many things we tried.  However Rhandy did snag an ugly old Alabama rig someone had left on a main lake point.  It was a slot Alabama rig so Rhandy sent it back for the next "lucky" fisherman.  His opinion is clearly indicated on the photo!  Taken just after I pointed out he just caught more lures than we had caught fish all day. 

After we dropped David at the dock around 5:30, we headed back out to another main lake point.  No good.  So back we went to our usual spot, which we had just fished 30 minutes earlier with no luck (except for the Alabama rig).  After just a few minutes we started seeing a few fish moving chasing shad.  No real schooling action, just a stray fish here and there chasing bait.  I managed to catch 7 of the suckers, up to 4 pounds, more than doubling our entire day's output in about 45 minutes.  The 4 pounder had some cool spots, otherwise I would not have had a picture fish this trip.  Just goes to prove good spots are good spots, you just have to be there at the right time!
Wednesday morning I was awakened by driving rain on the roof of Hook, Line, and Sinker.  A quick check of the weather showed massive rain on the way and a flash flood watch in effect.  I am the Lake Fork Rain God!!   For the second time in the last few outings I drove 130 miles home in pouring rain.  When Lake Fork is refilled to full pool I want credit!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week of October 13, 2013

I had a chance to go this week but the weather forecast was very iffy.  40% chance of rain Sunday, 80% Monday, 60% Tuesday with a good cold front coming through Tuesday with the possibility of heavy thunderstorms.  I decided to take the chance and I'm glad I did.  I fished Sunday and Monday evening with Rhandy and Monday and Tuesday with Dale. 

Sunday evening fishing was pretty good.  Rhandy and I went back in a pocket we had done well in last week and he found a 7 pounder and a 7 pound 4 oz fish with a grub on a Texas rig. The 7 pounder may have been heavier but we did not weigh it.  I found a 6 pound 7 oz fish, almost half a lunker, with a wacky worm fishing along some good grass.  We never even needed our rain gear.  Yay!  i think we also had 2 small fish for a total of 5 for the evening.

I met Dale Monday morning at 6:45 am and we trucked up to the 515 east ramp.  We both thought we were going to have a killer day.  The fish told us otherwise.  We fished wacky worms along grass, crankbaits and rattletraps along grass and trees, spinner baits, topwaters, Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, checked deepwater humps, we even went back to the nursery from last week.  The only thing we found in quantity were great big sand bass that were hitting a spinner bait.  I think I ended up with 2 small bass and Dale had 4 for the day.  It was a tough slog.  There was some light rain off and on but nothing steady.

I joined Rhandy for Monday evening and things were no better.  We went back to our honey hole and Rhandy only caught 1 small bass.  The honey hole was dry.  Some clouds started darkening up so we headed back south to get closer to the ramp and ended up on a main lake point.  Right after we pulled up, I caught a tiny bass on a rattletrap and Rhandy caught 2 on a small crankbait.  Then they quit.  We hung around quite awhile after but never got another bite.  Except for one small catfish I caught on a crankbait.  As darkness approached, we headed across the lake to another secondary point and Rhandy and I had a double on crankbaits as we worked our way across.  They were small fish and those were our only bites there. 

After last Monday and this Monday, I think I  may stop fishing on Mondays all together!

Tuesday was the day the big cold front and possible thunderstorms were due to arrive.  Dale heard 2 forecasts, noon or 3 pm, for the arrival at the lake.  We had already gotten in more fishing than I expected so everything from here on was gravy.  We started out on a main lake point and threw crankbaits, rattle traps, and Carolina rigs from there down the bank.  We worked out both directions from the point and ended up with 3 small bass and a catfish.  After that we went up into Little Caney and tried a number of very good spots with no success.  There were a few showers that came through but nothing major.  As 11 am approached, we decided to get out of Little Caney, due to the slow idle necessary with the current lake level.  We wanted to be closer to the ramp so we'd be ready to flee should heavy weather approach.  We worked our way down the bank, tying up some, drifting some, but not much luck either way.  Around 12:15 the rain came on slowly then steadily harder and we decided it was time to go in.  As I drove back to DFW I was in heavy rain all the way from the Minnow Bucket to I-35E, almost 100 miles, so that was a good call. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

week of October 6, 2013

The weather finally cooled down enough to fish and I finally got the time to go so off I went!  This time I fished 3 afternoons til dark with Rhandy and 3 full days with Dale.  I spent 12 hours on the water, sun up to sun down, on Monday and Tuesday.  Plus Sunday evening and Wednesday morning.

On arrival Sunday evening I heard sad tales from Rhandy about how poor the fishing had been lately.  He had been skunked himself 3 trips in a row before finally finding a few fish to break the jinx.  We headed out anyway, determined to make them bite one way or another.  Yeah, right.  I think I finished the evening with 2 bites and a white stripe down my own back.  Rhandy caught one fish, which undoubtedly was a suicide.  We tucked our tales between our legs and rolled in at dark to drink much beer.  We did see some schooling fish on a main lake point but another boat was on them and we couldn't get them to come our way.  Never could tell if they were sand bass or green fish.  We made a mental note to be there earlier on Monday evening.
Monday dawned crisp and chilly with some fog on the water and Dale also regaled me with tales of fishing woe from the guide community at Lake Fork.  Seems the little darlings were just not biting for anyone.  We sallied forth anyways and the tales of woe were definitely confirmed.   In 8 hours of fishing, in many great spots, with many proven techniques, I had all of 2 bites and NO fish.  Dale caught 2 and jumped off 2 more with a few more bites.  Yikes.  Dale worried more about it than I did.  It just be's that way sometimes.  It's all about keeping at it.

Rhandy and I headed out shortly after landing with Dale and we headed North to try our luck along the grass which has been growing like crazy past the 515 east bridge.  It sure is some pretty grass.  One fish finally screwed up and ended my dry spell.  I think Rhandy wore the white stripe Monday evening, though he did catch a few sand bass and a little bar fish.   We even showed up early at the main lake point hoping for some schooling action.  Of course, they never showed up at all.  Typical.  We did some trolling with DD-22s and all Rhandy caught were some sand bass.  Rhandy finally decided they were Sunday schoolers.  He also opined that they all must be government fish deemed non-essential by Obama.  Yes, we decided the poor fishing was Obama's fault.  Once again, we headed in to drink much beer.  It was essential beer.

Tuesday came early and not without some delay.  After a long day Monday, I was ready to jump back on the horse again on Tuesday.  Only the deadbolt lock on my room would not unlock from the inside!  Hah!  Trapped in my room and Dale waiting on me.  After scratching my head a minute I finally exited through the window and tried the room key in the deadbolt from the outside.  Fortunately it worked, after a few extra turns, and it appeared a spring or something had gone out in the deadbolt.  I put some tape over the deadbolt so it would not stick out, left a note on the office door, and finally left to go fish.

Dale and I headed North again and the decision was to stick with crank baits in front of the grass.  It worked.  We did that most of the day and I ended up with 8 small fish for the day.  7 of those came on crankbaits with one on a wacky worm.  A definite improvement over Monday.  I think Dale slept a little better on Tuesday night. 

After leaving Dale's boat, I was off again on Rhandy's sled and we zoomed off to the grass up north of the 515 east bridge.  Our first stop was a bust, no bites, but our second turned out to be a honey hole.  After catching a couple of fish on crank baits, we moved to the back of a cove and locked down with wacky worms.  There were fish moving all around and we moved back and forth where we saw them,  chunking wacky worms and catching a few here and there.  Some of them were flying fish.  So small, when you set the hook the fish flew over the boat.  We didn't care.  It was a nice change.  Rhandy caught one nice one that went about 6 pounds.  We ended up with 12 back in that pocket before heading back to the main lake point down south.  At the point we chunked crank baits and DD22's.  Rhandy caught 3 bass and I hooked one real nice fish.  I never had control of that fish as he hit it coming at the boat and I never could catch up with him.  He wallowed and spit the crank bait before I could even get a good hook set.  I did see it and it looked like a good 8 pounder.  Dang it. When Rhandy hooked a catfish with his DD-22 we decided that was a sign to go in and drink beer.  So we did.

Wednesday was a little warmer and we had high hopes of getting some better numbers.  We started out in some good grassy spots up north with wacky worms and crank baits but we never could seem to find the fish.  I think Dale and I had a couple of small fish each all morning, but we did seem to be finding a few more bites.  We even went back to Rhandy's honey hole from the night before but I don't think we ever caught a fish there.  We had some bites, but could not hook one.  Finally we moved down the bank to a spot where timber and grass were in close proximity and started catching baby bass.  More flying fish.  We were laughing about the small size and decided to call the spot "the nursery".  Dale said he was sure there were some bigger fish hanging around and just after that I hooked a nice 6 pounder.  Not a mom or a dad, but maybe the teenaged baby sitter.  Still a fun fish to catch.  That thing had some darned good teeth and left both my thumbs bloody.  We ended up with about 13 from the nursery and a total of 17 for the day.

The Monarch butterflies are doing their migration and every few minutes you can see one fluttering past.  We also saw 2 pairs of bald eagles on Wednesday and a doe and a fawn running around on shore.  I'm just happy we managed to get rid of all the skunks and catch some fish!  Another fun trip in the books.  Back for more soon.