Thursday, October 9, 2014
I met Rhandy Monday evening and we headed out to find some bass. I got one decent bite on a Carolina rig but all our fish came on Rattletraps. We started out on a grassy bank and caught 2 or 3 there and ended up on a main lake point where we caught another 7 or 8 bass and a ton of small sandbass. A good start but nothing of any size. I think the biggest bass we landed was less than 2 pounds.
Tuesday we started out at 7 am with Dale. My buddy Christian joined us for the day's festivities and the morning and afternoon were pretty slow. We moved around to a bunch of good spots but the fish were not in a cooperative mood, especially after the clouds burned off about 11 am. Christian caught about a 2 pound sandbass on a Carolina rig but all the bass came on Excalibers. They just didn't want a Carolina rig, which is strange for Fork. Again, every fish was a dink. I think we ended up with 5 bass and 2 jumped off.
We met up with Rhandy at 3 pm and headed back out after about a 10 minute break. Rhandy had told me the previous day he was on some pretty good crappie on some brush piles. We left it up to Christian whether he wanted to stay after bass or go for some crappie. He chose crappie and he chose well. We motored over to Rhandy's brush pile and in less than 2 hours we had 2 limits of crappie. I think we had about 40 crappie at the first pile and finished up at a couple of others. After that we headed back over to the main lake point to see if the bass and sandbass would move back in again. Sure enough about 6:30 we had schooling action that started off with some great big sandbass. As I started to chunk back a big one Rhandy suggested we just throw them in the live well since he was going to clean a bunch of crappie anyway. I think we added 8-10 great big sandbass to the mess of crappie. More good eating! I don't think we really counted how many bass we caught as we caught many more little sandbass. I'm guessing it was 10 or so, once again nothing of any size. It was a lot of fun action, though, that continued to dark.
Christian had to head back to town but I met up with Dale on Wednesday morning. We started off on a main lake point but this day started with tail kickers in deeper water. Again we found a bunch of small sandbass and an occasional green fish. I think Dale had one that went about 3 pounds but that was the big one for the day. We motored around checking more good spots but I think our total was 6 bass for the day. I recalled things worked a lot like this around this time last year and I think most of the feeding is going on in the evening. Dale worked his butt off to put us on fish but they just were not playing.
We got back in about 3 pm and I stepped off of Dale's boat and onto Rhandy's for the evening fishing. We headed right back to his main crappie hole and I caught crappie on 38 straight casts. 25 were keepers. It took us less than 30 minutes to get a limit and Rhandy didn't even fish! He just pulled them off my hook and measured while I threw back out for another fish. That was fun. After closing up the cooler we headed off for some bass. The first spot we stopped was a bust so we motored around a little ways to another spot. Rhandy caught 3 small bass on his first 3 casts. I caught a few, too, and we ended up with 13 bass in that spot in about 40 minutes. We also jumped off 3 and 2 better fish broke Rhandy off. It was a hopping spot. Then as suddenly as it started they were gone. When they quit, they quit hard. No worries, it was now time for some schooling action on the main lake point. Or so we thought. We caught one more bass and a few small sandies but the action was nothing like the previous 2 nights. As we motored out we found them stacked up further out on the point in about 20 feet of water. They just never made it in to shore. It was too dark by then to wiggle treble hooks out of little sandbass so we just headed on in. There was a really nice "sailor's delight" sunset.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
I was starting to think my streak as the Lake Fork Rain God was finally over. We only had few drops on us Wednesday night. However I was awakened about 4:30 Thursday morning with lots of thunder and a heavy downpour which continued until I checked out of the motel around 11 am. I just need to figure out a way to get the locals to pay me to come fishing due to my "powers".
Sunday, June 22, 2014
I started out at sunrise with Dale on Monday and our 8 hours totaled 1 fish. I think I had exactly 1 bite all day and it was not much of a bite. We hit a bunch of great holes and tried a variety of techniques but we were just snake bit. We variously blamed Obama and the Garmin survey boat but I think the blame lies squarely on those darned fish.
Thursday started a little different as we left the ramp about 8:30 am. I had Dale start us a little later due to my buddy Scott's train arrival in Mineola for our east Texas BBQ trip. We caught a few small fish but it was another tough day on the water. We'll get 'em next time!
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Rhandy stopped by my room about 1 pm after it had finally cleared off. He had just bought a new (used) boat and said we could head out about 2 pm. Off we went and everything seemed to work fine with his new ride. I think I only caught 1 fish, but we had a good time testing out his new equipment and checking out some good spots. Unfortunately the rain returned and after a couple of starts and stops we decided to give it up for Monday. It was just too wet and the fish were not cooperating.
After a truly epic siesta, I met up with Rhandy at 4:30 pm and he had boat troubles right from the start. Things went from bad to worse but we still ended up getting some fishing in and I even caught one! Rhandy was very frustrated, but I'm sure he will get all the kinks out of that boat soon enough. As frustrated as he was, he hooked a great big fish just before dark and it ran under the boat and got off. He said it was the biggest fish he had hooked all year and maybe of his lifetime. He never had control of the fish and it just went where it wanted. Always good to get a reminder of what Fork is all about. Especially when your boat is giving you fits.
Wednesday I met up with Dale at 5:45 and we headed out with a cloudless sky and much warmer temperatures. We hit a number of deep and shallow holes and found a total of 4 fish who agreed to play our game. My biggest was about 5.5 lbs out of a deep water hole, early. Note I still have my jacket on in June! The last fish had swallowed a hook from an earlier breakoff and Dr. Dale performed the surgery to remove most of the leader line protruding through the poor fish's gills. I ended up catching 2 on a shakey head in shallow water and 2 on a carolina rig in deeper water.
Friday, April 25, 2014
I went out for 3 and a half days this week with Dale and Rhandy. As usual, I did full days with Dale, 6:30 am to 2:30 pm then half a day with Rhandy 3 pm to 7 or 7:30 pm. Dale was booked Thursday so Rhandy and I saved that for a half day crappie trip.
On the way out Sunday night I drove through heavy rain and storms, proving once again that I am the Lake Fork Rain God! I will fill that lake yet!
Dale and I headed out of Oak Ridge on Monday at 6:30 am and we were the first boat off the ramp there. We had a slow day pitching wacky worms, dead sticking flukes, and other techniques around a number of quality spots at the south end of the lake. We ended up with 5 fish for the day with Dale catching the one good one at about 7 pounds. We didn't have many more bites than that 5 that we caught. It was just slow. I think I caught 2 of the 5 and both those were in the morning.
Tuesday dawned with hope of better results and Dale and I headed off to new spots and switched to fishing lizards with a split shot in shallow water. We had a few more bites and missed more fish than we did on Monday, but still only ended up with 6 fish for the day. I had another whomper bite that broke me off when the fish tried to pull the rod out of my hand. I sure wish I had gotten a look at that fish. We saw lots of wildlife including a coon, banded water snakes, and a cotton mouth.
Wednesday Dale told me we were going to switch up tactics and try to find a big fish. We switched to big senkos and started out pitching at timber and the edge of some nice grass back in a pocket. We caught a few small ones and missed a few. One of them had some cool black spots, even on its tongue. We kept at it through the day, switching to Carolina rigs for a bit, but only ended up with 7 for the day. We did see a nice bald eagle along one bank.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Monday started out windy so Dale headed us across the lake to a pocket on the south end of the east arm. We started on the outside edge of that pocket and stayed in there all day long. Didn't do too bad, either. We ended up with 9 fish between us, nothing big, but enough bites to make for a fun day. I thought I had a good one when I snagged a turtle on the leg. Not much of a fight but it sure felt heavy. For a couple of years I had suggested we spend one day just tying up in a good spot and staying there all day long. This was pretty close to that and I enjoyed it. Certainly more fun than getting beat up fighting the waves while running all over the lake. I actually caught a bass on my very first cast of the year. Experience tells me that is almost as bad a sign as winning the first hand in a poker game.
We went in about 3 pm and I headed right back out again with Rhandy. The winds had dropped a bit so we spent the rest of the day hitting main lake points and secondary points on the outside of pockets. Again we ended up with 9 fish, nothing of size, but enough bites to make it fun. I called beer-thirty a little before sunset at 7:30 pm when I caught my last fish. Not bad to catch a bass on my first and last cast of the day.
Our big adventure of the afternoon was the weather. Skies were darkening a bit as we went out so we decided to stick close to the ramp and see what happened. The darkest clouds passed on by so we headed across the lake to fish points. We had been there 45 minutes or an hour when we heard a boom of thunder directly overhead. A small thunderhead had built up right on top of us. We immediately started reeling up and when I laid the rod down I got a good static electric shock. I had one more rod to move and when I sat that one down I got a second shock. Not good! Static electricity is a warning of a possible lightning strike, and SOON. We got locked down and Rhandy floored it across the lake to the ramp where we sat til the small shower passed by. He took a risk gunning it through the stumps, but it was the better risk to take versus a lightning strike. That's something I hope I don't experience again.
Tuesday the weather was much better with much lighter winds. Dale took us around to a number of great spots but the fish just were not cooperating. We ended up with 6 for the day, nothing of size. Dale hooked one pretty good fish but it got off and we never saw it. It had him doubled up pretty good.
Once again we went in about 3 and I headed back out again with Rhandy shortly thereafter. Since the weather was no longer an issue, Rhandy turned north and we headed all the way up to Running Creek. We found water temperatures up to 73 degrees up there and that usually makes for good fishing. Rhandy started us out in the creek channels but we only got one bite. That bite was a 2 pound crappie that ate Rhandy's worm. Eventually we moved shallow and we could see and hear lots of bass spawning right on the bank. Nothing big, but there were lots of fins, tails, and splashing going on all along the bank. I caught one on a Texas rigged fluke, even thought it wrapped me up on 4 different stumps on the way to the boat. We hooked several more but they either got off or wrapped us up before we could land them. We might have been better off fishing from the bank there. There are just too many stumps up there. We headed back at dusk.
Rhandy took us out a bit later on Wednesday, about 8 am, and we spent the whole day hitting different spots and trying different techniques trying to make the fish happy. They were having none of it. I caught one all day. After 9 hours on the water I called beer-thirty and we went in to drink away our troubles. They just were not playing our game.
Thursday we decided to head to Lake Cypress Springs for some crappie fishing. Rhandy had been doing well in previous weeks, but our bad luck continued. I caught 1 small Kentucky bass and a little crappie that jumped off at the boat. Rhandy caught 2 big crappie on a brush pile, but those were the only bites we had. We blamed Obama. Rhandy made me 4 nice filets with the help of his supervisor, Bud.
Perhaps the best explanation I have heard for the tough fishing was that we were fishing February water in April. The cold and late winter we have had has water temperatures running well behind where they should be this time of year. With the exception of the very shallow water up in Running Creek, most of the water temps we were seeing on the main lake were still in the 50's. Hopefully by the time I get back later this month things will have warmed up a bit.