Monthly Archives: November 2013

Now’s the time…

.Now’s the time to do the following

1 – Learn: I like to get on the lake now when the boat traffic and lake levels are at it’s lowest and learn my Side and Down Image along with my GPS unit. I can play with the menus and make adjustments to the unit. I work on marking waypoints and going back to them. I work on marking new spots and how to line up on them to fish them with the fishing season rolls around again. Learn to adjust your units for peak preformance. Make sure you carry a notebook with you to jot down settings etc.

2. – Search: Ride the lake and look at the banks, creek channels, etc. the lake levels are usually at their lowest this time of the year and alot of structure will be exposed. Treetops will be out of the water, long points exposed, rock piles and stumps can now be seen etc. Mark these with your GPS or draw them in your notebook and make sure to triangulat them if you don’t have a GPS unit. (I’ve found a lot of good fishing spots doing this).

3. Repair – Now is a good time to repair your boat, water pump, fuel lines, grease your steering cables and wheel bearings, etc. Also rework your reels or have them repaired at a repair shop. Check the guides on your rods for nicks or broken rings. Clean your cork handles and replace the old line on your reels.

4. Organize – I sort through all my tackle boxes now and reorganize them so I can find what I’m looking for. Replace damaged hooks on lures and replace blades on spinnerbaits. Tune all my suspending jerkbaits in a bucket of water replace skirts on jigs and buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and anything else that needs repaired.

So with the weather too cold to fish now’s the time to get ready for next years fishing season.

Trevor Reed’s Huge Bass

Trevor Reed caught this huge bass in August in a private pond outside of Troy, AL. She took a Ribbit frog on a 3/0 Gamakatsu weighted hook in some lily pads. She was 27.5 inches long and 17.75 inches around. I believe this same fish hit 4 times in the same 2 ft opening in the pads in 4 consecutive casts before I got a hook in her. All 4 times the hit was very soft, just a simple quiet pop and I couldn’t see my frog. When I finally got a hook in her I thought a small bass or bluegill had buried me in the pads until I felt that massive head shake.

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Thanks Trevor for sharing the story and photo…..

Pickwick – Nov 7, 2013 – Fish Log

I along with my fishing buddy Ronnie Ellis had a chance to fish Pickwick this past Thursday. There was a cold front that passed through the day and night before which changed things for us. We had intended to make a trip to Wilson Lake to fish the tail-race but with the predicted NW wind gusting to 15 mph we decided to head to McFarland Park and fish close if the wind did indeed get up. As we launched the boat the lake was pretty slick so we headed down river to try a couple of spots.

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The water temperature when we launched was 60* but when we left late in the afternoon it was back up to 65*. TVA was pulling a lot of water through the turbines at both Wilson Dam and Pickwick Dam so the current flow was around 50,000 CFS. We pulled into the back waters at Coffee Slough and fished the grass-beds there. The TVA Lake level had dropped to winter pool around 410 feet above sea level.

I started out throwing a Heddon Zara Spook Jr. painted in one of my custom patterns called DFA or Death From Above. Ronnie started out throwing a Zoom Fluke. Ronnie caught the first fish that was around two pounds and on the same cast I took one that pulled the scales down to around 2.5 pounds. Ronnie missed another one on the next couple of casts and I took another one on the Spook that was around three pounds. I caught three more fish that were all twins to the first two fish. I think i caught about eight fish here and Ronnie had three or four fish. All except two were caught on a topwater lure. Ronnie caught one fish on a jig with a Sweet Beaver as a trailer.

All the fish were caught early in the morning when there was heavy cloud cover but once the clouds cleared out and the blue bird skies replaced them the bite really slowed down. We moved up river to below Wilson Dam and fished in the Horsehoe area. We only caught four fish in this area and these were caught on bottom bouncing lures in either a jig or a Zoom Baby Brush Hog.

Over all we had a good day of fishing with our best five going about 14 to 15 pounds. Best lure was the Zara Spook Jr. The best pattern was the topwater fished over and along the edges of the grass-beds.

Tight lines………

Humminbird the Next Step Up oops Down – Onix

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL. (October 31, 2013) – Besides creating leading-edge products like 360 Imaging™, Humminbird® engineers have also been hard at work over the past two years developing a radical new platform that changes everything you know about fishing electronics.Humminbird ONIX and ION offer a rich user interface that is completely customizable to the individual needs of anglers and boaters, while remaining extremely easy-to-use via a full complement of multi-touch capabilities,” says Dale Logue, Director of Marketing, Humminbird. “The included feature list and available add-ons is unparalleled in the industry and make the units the most versatile, powerful and user friendly on the water.”
At the core of the new units, users will discover all the advantages of powerful Humminbird sonar, advanced navigation and Humminbird imaging technologies right at their fingertips, courtesy of a radical new take on Touch Screen operation called Cross Touch™.While some touch units limit operation to finger pointing, Humminbird’s Cross Touch offers Multi-Gesture Control, which lets users navigate menus and activate features with a tap, swipe or pinch. Cross Touch also minimizes false touches from splashing water.From marking waypoints with your finger, naming those waypoints via a virtual keyboard, to zooming in on fish-holding structure or chart locations for a better look, or swiping and dragging screens to create custom views, fishfinder use has never been more intuitive than this.

But ONIX And ION are more than touch screen units. They also feature redundant, traditional touchpad controls for complete control in bad weather.

Humminbird ONIX

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The ONIX family currently comprises four models, offering anglers the benefits of powerful Cross Touch with the sonar, imaging and navigation features they need most. All units feature 1024H x 768V best-in-class screen resolution on 10.4- or 8.4-inch high-definition XGA LCD Touch Displays with multi-gesture support and bright graphics readable in harsh sunlight.

Features

· HD Side Imaging/HD Down Imaging (ONIX 8 SI & ONIX 10 SI)
· DualBeam PLUS Sonar w/SwitchFire
· Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
· Internal Precision GPS
· Built-In Tri-Fuel Cartography, including Navionics®, C-MAP® by Jeppesen® and Humminbird Charts
· Dual SD Card Slots

Add-Ons

· Humminbird AutoChart™
· C-MAP® 4D High Resolution Bathymetry by Jeppesen®
· Navionics® Gold/HotMaps
· Navionics® Platinum+
· Humminbird LakeMaster Digital GPS Charts
· Minn Kota® i-Pilot® Link™
· Low, Medium or High-Frequency CHIRP, exclusive to Humminbird
· 360 Imaging™
· RADAR
· AIS
· IP Marine Camera

 

Pickwick – Nov 4, 2013 – Lake Report

I had a chance to make a fishing trip to Pickwick yesterday. The water temperature had dropped about five degrees since my last trip last week dropping to 63*. I headed up river from Waterloo to fish a few grass beds I like to fish but the strong wind made it almost impossible to fish properly. I wanted to fish a mid lake hump for smallmouth but the wind already had the lake white capping when i got there. I headed back down river to fish another huge grass-bed on the main lake but hidden a little from the wind.

I was fishing a buzz-bait on the outside edge of the grass and did manage to catch a couple of bass on the lure. I also had one fish on a Quad-Spin spinnerbait and another one on one of my custom painted 201 crankbaits in my HD Creek Chub pattern. After the wind got up here and made the fishing almost impossible to fish it slowly enough  I moved into Second Creek. I took three bass here on a Drop-Shot rig and another one on the buzz-bait that went about 3 pounds.

I finally gave up on the bass and tried fishing for stripe bass after seeing the gulls diving on schools of shad.I threw The Alabama Rig and did manage to catch three stripe. I spent the rest of the day riding around looking for man-made structure with my Hummingbird Side Image unit. I did find a good looking spot to try when the fish were biting and the wind not howling.

Over all the fishing was slow as a couple of buddies of mine were on the lake as well and they said they only had a few fish themselves. I’ll be going back to the lake on Pickwick this coming Thursday and will try top post a report after that trip.

 

Deer Cam

I had a buddy of mine Brian Hannah sent me this trail cam photo of a nice velvet buck he captured recently. Thanks Brian for sharing.

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Old School – Larry James

Fellow worker Larry James decided to go back to Old School this deer season by going to his old recurve bow instead of the new lighting fast compound or crossbow. Here is the result of a lot of backyard practice with his bow and wooden arrows

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Bass Basics 101 – Can’t Get a Bite on Tough Fishing Days?

Ever have a day on the water where even getting a bite is tough? Next time you face a situation like this here are a few lures that might help you turn catch a fish or two on those tough slow days. Sometimes even these will not work but that’s why we call it Fishing instead of Catching.

When the fishing is tough, try changing your lure size. Try, switch to smaller plastic lures like Charlie Brewer Slider worms, and your smallest crankbaits. You might also try finesse plastics like small 2“ to 3” curly-tail grubs, small hair jigs and even tiny surface lures.

If that doesn’t work, try a drop-shot rig with a lighter weight such as a 1/8 ounce or 3/16 ounce. Down size your plastic to a tiny 2” tube or a 4 inch wacky worm fished slowly in place.

On days after a cold front you must fish your worms and jigs as close and deep into structure as possible. Fishing a jig or plastic worm in fallen trees along deep creek banks or main lake bluffs might get you a bite or two. A precise presentation is critical, because the strike will be lighter and the strike zone smaller. The closer the lure is to the structure, the more likely it will draw a strike.

Another structure to try is a rip-rap along a dam or along a roadway. Rip-rap will almost always hold fish because it gives a lot of cover for bass. Lures like a shaky-head, a tube, small spinner-baits and small shallow running crankbaits like the 1.5 squarebill can draw you a strike here.

Small lures like a Beetle Spin or a Blakemore Road Runner could draw you an extra bite or two and might even catch you a crappie or pan fish on these slow days. You might also try Bobby Garland Baby Shad or a small Sassy Shad on a 1/8 ounce jig-head.

If none of these work and you just can’t get a bite, then this would be a great time to explore new areas on your favorite lake. Ride the lake and scan points with your Down Image or Side Image units looking for new structure to try when the fish are biting. I’ve found some great places on slow days just looking for bass with my Humminbird 1198 SI combo.

So don’t waste the day on the slow tough days make the most out of it by learning to use and read your electronics for example. Explore new areas that you have never fished or look at piers for tree-tops or other man made structure.

Tight lines…..