Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Duck Season is ten days old...

Actually, counting today, we have completed eleven of the sixty days of duck season. How did the first eleven days go you ask? I'll give it a D+. I've hunted just about every day, only missed a couple, three to be exact, and only a couple of days were very good. We got a small migration on last Tuesday, a few more on Wednesday, and then here came the 70 degree, calm, sunny weather. Not real "ducky" weather, more like crappie fishing weather, and the birds did not fly, at all. I had some friends come in from North Carolina on Friday and Saturday, which after last Tuesday's migration, I thought we'd be in good shape. Definitely not the case, when you have a greater risk of sunburn than you do of getting a duck, you know it's going to be a long day in the duck blind when that happens.
Well, that's all for now, it seems we must have picked up some new birds last night/yesterday, cause we whacked them pretty good today, they must have been new to the area. The ducks that are already here are pretty smart!
I'll keeo you posted on how things are going in the field.
God Bless,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fishing is done for a come the ducks

Fishing season ended for me at the Stren Series Championship. Duck season started 7 days later. I was hoping for a little more of a break than that, but, not this year. Normally our duck season opens on Thanksgiving day, but this year, for some unknown reason (at least to me anyway) our season started two weeks earlier than normal. It also happens to be one of the warmest falls we've had in a while. Most of our weather was 10-15 degrees above normal highs and lows, not really "good" duck hunting weather. But, as I write this, the weather has changed the last couple of days and the ducks are starting to show up, not in mass quantities, but a few anyway. Enough to make it worth your while at least. So I'm off to the blind in the morning, I've got some friends coming in from North Carolina to hunt for a few days, hopefully we'll whack 'em!

See ya in the field,
God Bless,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Patterns and Baits used in the Stren Series Championship

Well, I finally got the pictures taken of the baits I used during the Stren Series Championship. I don't know if you ever get the "what if's" out of your head, but leaving that tournament one fish short of a limit on day 2 and only one good bite out of the cut, left me with a serious case of the what if's, and they have haunted me a little this week.

I had a great practice, as far as numbers go, big fish were few and far between, so few, that I was concerned about even doing well, most predictions were saying that 13lbs a day would make the top ten cut, After practice was over, I felt that everything would have to go right for me to get 11 lbs a day, well short of the thirteen pounds predicted to be needed to make the cut.
One of my primary bait in practice was a Heddon Super Spook jr, if you've read my past posts, it's the same bait that I have thrown for four straight tournaments, you just can't put a spook up when you're fishing in the fall. I fished this bait on a G Loomis rod model number CBR 847, this rod was designed for crankbaiting, but has the perfect action for fishing a spook. I paired this bait and rod with a Shimano Chronarch spooled with 10lb Maxima Ultragreen monofilament line.

The second bait that played a major role in locating fish was a Hawg Caller 3/8ths oz spinnerbait in Sexy Shad color. The fish were relating to submerged Hydrilla, they would push huge schools of shad up on top of the submerged hydrilla and then corner them against the edge of the hydrilla that had grown all the way to the surface. I could run the spinner bait above the submergent grass, and they would blast it. I was able to duplicate this scenario in many areas of the lake. I fished this bait on a G Loomis Rod model# MBR853, on 12lb Maxima Ultragreen monofilament spooled on a Shimano Citica Reel.

The next two baits really came into play after two things happened. On the third day of practice, a major cold front pushed through the are, resulting in a high blue sky and some seriously high barometric pressure. That is a recipe for shutting down almost any bite, but usually in the fall when the fish are really feeding hard, they will continue to feed aggresively or at least stay in the areas where you found them. Most often they will stay in the general area where you found them, but they will seek out the heaviest cover available and bury themselves in it.

In this case, the most abundant cover was hydrilla, and thats exactly where they went. I used a 7'5" Gloomis rod model # BCFR894, 65lb Power Pro braided line and a 1 ounce Penetrater tungsten weight paired with a 3" Dunn's Premium Lures Big Bite Honey Bug in Hematoma color to punch the areas of matted vegetation.

The last bait that I used was a little sneaky, in areas where the bass had not buried up, or had relocated to the outside or the deep edge of the grassline, I used a texas rigged Zoom Trick worm in Watermelon Candy, I spiked the tail chartreuse on this bait. I threw the Trick worm on a G Loomis Rod model #MBR 843 with 12lb Maxima fluorocarbon line, a 2/0 off set round bend Gamakatsu worm hook and 1/8th ounce tungsten weight.
The tournament started last Thursday morning, with high blue skies and only a slilght breeze. I was able to start in the areas I had wanted to, but could not keep the fish hooked up. I managed to lose 4 of the five keepers I had hooked in the first hour. That was frustrating. Around 10:30 a.m., I was able to get into an area where I had caught some better quality fish, only to see a boat going down the very grassline I wanted to fish, as I fished my way down the other side of the cove, the boat left the area allowing me to fish exactly where I had wanted to. Here is where having found a way to catch fish under high pressure situations cam in handy. You see, quite often fish respond to heavy fishing pressure just as they do to high barometric pressure. They just bury up in or around the heaviest cover available and "ride out" the storm. After watching one boat pass down the very grass line I wanted to fish, I was able to get out my flippping stick with the 1 ounce weight and proceed to catch 5 keepers in about 50 yards. The fish had repositioned themselves under the matted vegetation to avoid heavy fishing pressure. I was able to access those fish with my heavy weight and braided line. I was able to cull out one fish with the trick worm around noon, and then culled out two more times flipping mats around 1:30 p.m.
On Day two, I went immediately to where I had culled out my last two fish and couldn't get bit, I tried several other areas, including the grassline where I had caught a limit worth of keepers on day 1, and I had not got a bite. At 12:30 p.m. I retunred to where I had started on day two and was fortunate enough to put together a four fish bag that weighed just shy of 11 and a half pounds. All on the flipping stick and big weight.
In hindsight, I should have stayed and just ground it out in that one area on day two, but hindsight is always 20/20. I'm very blessed to have caught what I did. I finished in 28th place and cashed a decent check, a great way to end the year.
Until next year, May the Lord bless you in all that you do,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stren Series Championship

I'm back from Pickwick Lake, the site of the 2009 Stren Series Championship. I had a good tournament, finished 28th and cashed a good check. This was my first trip to Pickwick, it's a great lake. This place is full of fish, not necessarily big ones, but definitely a bunch of them. I believe that you can attribute this to the hydrilla that is growing quite abundantly on the lower half of the lake. Regardless, I had a blast in practice, the tournament was a considerable bit touger than practice was, but it still went well. I was blessed for sure.
On day 2, I had big bass until the last ten guys went through the weigh-in line. Man, I was close to an extra $500 dollars on that one.
I'll post the baits and pattern info in a day or two, I gotta catch up on a few things, like ugh, laundry.
God Bless,

I think I'm an addict...

Well, I'm home from Alabama, and I have to admit I may be hooked on technology. I just spent a week in Waterloo, AL (Pickwick Lake) in a house we had rented for the Stren Series Championship. I had no internet acess for 9 days. I think I had jitters. Seriously, I couldn't get my daily fix of Wired2fish, Bassfan, and the largest disconnect, was no e-mail. I know, I could've drove 45 minutes back to Florence, grabbed a giant sweet tea at the McDonalds and used the free Wi-Fi, but I was there to find fish for a tournament, not drive to town. It might have cured the Dt's though. Regardless, I might have to rethink getting an air card for my laptop, ahh, surely a week without the internet won't kill a guy will it?