Monday, May 12, 2014

Lake Athens 10 May 2014

This weekend Mike Tate and I decided to give Lake Athens, home of The Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Center, a shot. What a beautiful lake! 

The water was slightly stained, but fairly clear and around 75-76 degrees. We began the morning on the northwest of the 2495 Bridge.

We began hitting the Lilly pads and flooded grass lines around boat docks with weightless Senkos in 1'-5' of water. 

We moved to the other side of the lake around 11 am and landed a few more, again on a grass line next to an isolated boat dock and landed ~ 8-10 fish. A few 18" fish, which were slot fish (16"-24" for Athens), and the rest being 16" and under. 

All said it was an awesome day on one of my -now favorite lakes!



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lake Fork 26 April 2014

Lake Fork is turning on!

Fish appear to be on beds and are a bit tough to catch, but once you find the lure they want... it's hay-day!

My friend Mike Tate and I hit Birch Creek and did fairly well... although the bigger fish were slot fish, we were catching them... up until about noon, at least.

Mike and I landed a few smaller fish and a few slot fish (16", 18" and 20").

The water temperature in Birch was around 72 degrees and slightly less in Wolf Creek. Weightless Senkos, White/Chartreuse Spinners/Chatters were the winners this weekend, although I did talk to one guy who had a couple of 8+ lber's and one over 10lbs off worm and jigs in 5-8 ft of water, right on the stumps.

We were seeing lots of moss...that green slimey crap that jacks up every cast, in most creeks on the southern end of the lake. We did not see much if any on the northern side.

Chris and I will be out this weekend and will have an updated report next week. Good luck to all!

Friday, March 14, 2014

GBC March 2014 Lake O' The Pines Tournament

March 1-2 was GBC's 3rd tournament of 2014, at Lake O' The Pines.

Another tournament, another problem with the boat! This time we broke our trolling motor shaft on day 1! Here we go again!

The lake was ~1 ft high, yes, high. Those of you who know Lake o'the Pines are familiar with the fun all the stumps in the lake can be at normal pool, well, multiply that by 12" and you get the idea of how many stumps we 'tested'!

This tournament required the use of Spinner and Chatter baits, white and white/char-trues.

On day 1, we worked banks all morning until figuring out the fish were on the flats. We spent lots of time fighting the wind and had 2 real good hits, but in the end, Chris Thomas landed a nice 5.75 lb-er and I contributed with a big bag of nothing!

On day 2, the weather was great in the early am... as was the fishing! Without trolling motor, Chris and I decided to push through the stumps and join the spawning bass in the shallow flats (~3 ft). We drifted from the mouth of the creek back to as shallow as 2 ft... by the time we reached the back of the creek, the wind changed out of the north and began to howl and rain/sleet.. however, during the initial drifting, we landed 4 fish. I ended up with ~14.6 lbs on 3 fish (6.99 lb big bass) and Chris contributed with a 2.25 lb-er and a total tournament of ~8 lbs. By 10 am we decided to call it and headed back to the ramp.

We had a great time, but no big bass (I missed it by .23 lbs) and no team win, but we had a blast and cannot wait for March 2014 tourney #2, Bob Sandlin/Cypress Springs!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GBC 2014 Sam Rayburn Tournament

Chris Thomas' 8.25 lb-er won Big Bass
& the team competition!
Over the winter, Chris Thomas and I joined the Garland Bass Club and the first tournament we could make was GBC's 2nd tournament of 2014, at Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

The weather was insane driving out to the lake the evening before the 2-day tournament, as we drove for 5.5 hours through snow, sleet and rain. Needless to say, the fishing was tough for that reason (among others). 

We started out with an omen... water temp of 46 degrees and boat engine troubles... not 3 weeks since having a tune-up! This handicapped us, as we were relegated to our trolling motor on a HUGE lake we had never set eyes on before. 

We made the best we could and low and behold, found a few brush piles in 20' of water. As we rolled over the first big one, Chris landed his game-changer off the top of that pile with a spinner 15' of depth in COLD water! 

The rest of the trip was spent throwing everything we could think of, to no avail, but as fate would have it, we already had the tournament wrapped up...thanks to Chris Thomas!

I would like to thank the members of the GBC as they took us in like we had been members for years and made our trip one of the most memorable I have had. 

Thanks to Reggie and Rex for their hospitality and friendship, as well as the rest of the club who made the trip. I think Chris and I have found a permanent home for our weekend passion and urge anyone else who is searching for fishing comradery in the Dallas area to come out to one of our meetings and get to know some of the best and most loyal fishing buddies you will encounter!

Next tournament -> Lake o The Pines March 1, 2014!

Friday, October 4, 2013

29 Sep 2013 - Chaney Point

The last weekend in September brought some windy conditions on the main lake humps and points... which for some is an eye-rolling frustration...however, for those who know bass... this weather can produce some nice fishing, without the crowds!

We launched from Chaney point and spent the morning between Chaney and Dale Creeks. We noticed quite a bit of top-water activity around the banks and timber on either side of the creek, leading out to the main lake. A Gold 3" spoon and a 1/2 oz White/Chartruese, Booyah Tux & Tails Spinner bait seemed to work best for us in these conditions.

As the morning wore on, we moved out to the main lake and hit a few points. We ran into a bevy of boats on these points, all struggling (to some extent) to maintain their positions in the face of the northern winds (Chaney Point is on the south-side, therefore, lots of open water for the wind to traverse). A few of these boats seemed to be locked onto a school of bass.. I watched two boats pull in 5-8 fish in 30 minutes... however, every fish I saw seemed to be small... probably even under the 14" minimum.. so, we moved on...which, we probably shouldn't hindsight...small fish are better than donating lures to the timber army.

So, although we had yet another blast and witnessed troves of fish be landed, we didn't have as productive of a weekend as we would have liked..but, that's why we obsess and spend tons of $ on this hobby...I just can't get it off my mind...

This weekend, back to the lake... not quite sure where I will fish (depends upon the amount of participants in this weeks' tournament, The Lake Fork Rat-L-Trap Shootout.. need to fix our live well, so I can start joining these tourneys! (it will not fill up! - ARGH)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15 September 2013 - Birch Creek

Well, well, well... after this past weekend, it seems my plan I laid out at the conclusion of my last post, was indeed clairvoyant!
"Next weekend, we hit the northern part of the lake and the hydrilla beds! Weightless Watermelon/Pearl Lake Fork Frog Hydrilla, Birch Creek, 0700" - Ricky Rick's Lake Fork Fishing Report
8 lbs, 1030, mid-lake hump at Birch Creek opening
< 5 ft, silver/black 3/4 oz Rattle-Trap
 So, Chris Thomas and I hit the lake with that plan in mind.. we pulled up to the hydrilla beds around 0630-0645 and started throwing Lake Fork Frogs & one of their new, soon to be released, Lake Fork Magic Poppers (thanks Anne & Ronnie Parker!), which was outstanding! Unfortunately, I tied the popper onto bad line and lost it when a bass exploded on it... now I have to wait for the public release to try it again! I encourage you to give one of the beautifully hand-painted, perfectly balanced, superb action, top water popper's a shot!
5 lb, 0700, Birch Creek hydrilla, 3 ft,
Watermelon/Pearl Lake Fork Frog

0700 - While throwing my LFT Frog onto the hydrilla, in 3 ft of water, in the northeastern side of Birch Creek, a 5 lb bass came out from beneath the hydrilla and attacked my sinking frog...

3-4 lbs, 0715, Birch Creek
 hydrilla, 3 ft, Watermelon/Pearl 
Lake Fork Frog
We continued to assault the hydrilla beds and landed another couple slot-fishing the 2-4 lb range using the same tactics.

By 0830, the top-water action was dead and we decided to pull out the crank no real avail. Then around 1000, we made the move on out to a hump on the main-lake. We chose the hump just outside the boat lane, at the mouth of Birch Creek. The depth ranged from 30' to < 3' on the hump. As we approached, I threw my Rattle-Trap across the hump 1 or 2 times before I got hung up on the small tree remnants on the hump... or so I thought. When he hit my lure, it felt like a hard stop, with no give..then, I saw a fish break the water a bit deeper than I thought I was...that's when it donned on me that I was not hung, I had a big, healthy fish (swore it was double digit the whole retrieve back). After nearly destroying my boat and tackle to get to the fish net, we pulled in what turned out to be a 8 lb fish (I really need to start measuring the length too!).
8 lbs, 1030, mid-lake hump at Birch Creek opening
< 5 ft, silver/black 3/4 oz Rattle-Trap

As it turned out, this would be the last fish of our day and trip, and it was a good day for me! Happy to be back in the action, catching 5 lb and 8 lb bass after just a couple of trips back to refresh Lake Fork fishing skills!

The McDonald's Big Bass Splash was held on the 20th, 21st and the 22nd. More than 2500 constants fished for more than $500,000 in cash and prizes. Don Atchley from Grandfield, OK, won the grand prize with a 10.61 pound Bass and took home a new Legend boat and a new Dodge Ram truck.

I ventured out Saturday in the middle of this huge tournament and 15 minutes after I launched, I discovered my trolling motor batteries were dead. Needlessly to say, it was not a productive day on the water.

This up coming weekend (28 September 2013), my Dad will be joining me, as we welcome in Fall fishing! My Plan: Top-waters early in shallow creeks, followed by shallow running square bill crank baits (sexy shad) and Texas-rigged, 10-12 inch worms in the blue fleck color.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

07 September 2013

This past weekend my best friend, Chris Thomas and I decided to check out the Mad Dog Moore Memorial Bass Tournament (130+ teams), so we grabbed a room at Oak Ridge Marina, which hosted the tournament.

We decided to  fish Little Mustang during the morning and the south eastern main lake points in the evening.

The morning bite was produced with a blue-fleck Hyper Freak from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and what I heard later, the XPS XXX Shad Crank bait, fished just on the outside edge of the Hydrilla, on the northern part of the lake, produced many slot-fish.

My buddy, Chris, had some luck with a medium running bass colored crank-bait.

We took a break during the afternoon and watched some of the weigh-in at Oak Ridge, where there were just 3 fish over the slot...the top two were 8.38 lbs and 8.5 lbs. This made me feel a bit better, as it appears the big 10+ lber's were no where to be found. But, October's coming, that means big bass....and the tournaments. I can't wait!

We then re-launched around 6 pm and hit the points between highway 34 bridge and the damn, with no luck, but we did get some awesome pictures. We finished out the night with Chris catching a catfish and a snapping turtle... (BTW, they are not so slow!)

Bottom line, it was hot and the fishing was slow, however, the lake was beautiful and seeing the weigh-in was fun.

Next weekend, we hit the northern part of the lake and the hydrilla beds!