Monday, March 29, 2010

Lake Anna Crappie Fishing

Cooler full of tasty Specs
Eric Fling and I went out on Saturday afternoon to fill the cooler with specs. We took a bucket of minnows and our slip bobbers out and started jumping brushpiles. The very first one we pulled up to was packed with 2 pound BASS! We caught bluegill, ring perch, 2 dozen bass but no CRAPPIE! They just weren't there... Very weird because I caught some there the day before. Anyways... we hopped around to a few other piles until we hit the mother load. We limited out and caught a few nice ones... Here's the best (or worst) part... Towards the end I decided to put a large minnow out just for giggles... small aberdeen hook, 6 lb test, etc. You can probably tell where this is going. Something big, I'm assuming a large bass, took the minnow and headed for deep water ripping drag and eventually breaking off. DARN! I would have liked to see that one.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This is what it is all about!!

This weekend was some of the best "fishing" that I have done in a long time... I didn't win any tournaments, no seminars, not even a client trip... I didn't catch fish on the latest greatest gear or lure... I didn't even get my boat up on plane!

Here's the deal... As a competitive fisherman and guide, one tends to get all wrapped up in pre-fishing, and "points" and the next best wack-a-ma-doolie-dropper that your product sponsor has coming out. Although those things are very necessary to compete and progress, it is even more necessary to just stop and remember what it was that got you so hooked on fishing in the first place... What helped you develop that insatiable passion for the sport?

For me it was a trip with my dad and his buddy, Nick, when I was 4 years old... We were in a 12 foot jon-boat with a 10 horsepower tiller and a cooler full of ham sandwiches. I still remember the sandwiches perfectly... They were ham, cheese, lettuce, and mustard on white bread... Just barely soggy from being in the cooler all morning. And I remember Dad's "Lunker Lure" copper-bladed buzz bait with a yellow skirt. I really don't remember much else, except for a few cloudy images of lilly pads and the rusty gas can in the back of the boat... But I do remember that It was the most awesome day (and ham sandwich) that I ever had in my 4 year old life... So much so that I am still talking about it.

The reason I bring this up is that I watched my sons Evan and Colin (still 2) have one of those days this Saturday. We used spincast rods, bobbers, and a bucket of minnows. We caught plenty of fish, but better yet Colin has now caught the "fishing fever" along with Evan... It was by far my favorite trip of the year so far and a truly keeps things in perspective...

Monday, March 15, 2010

1st place & Big fish In LAPR Tournament

We fished the second LAPR Tournament yesterday... Our pattern changed slightly due to all of the rain over the weekend, but we were able to stick with it and get a 1st place finish, with Taylor boating the tourney big fish as well... We are on about 4 different schools of fish that are keyed on bait and very picky about when and how they will let you catch them. The next 2 to 3 weeks would be a great time to book an evening trip during the week and get an opportunity to catch some nice toads... The water was about 52 degrees everywhere we fished and the jerkbait was the most productive tool we used.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Night Fish Fry

We got out for about 2 hours this evening and managed to put together a pretty nice limit. Taylor and I are trying to stay prepared for the tourney this Sunday so we're trying to figure out where they will be in two days... They are pretty oriented to bait and open water in the 52 degree range so they are hard to pinpoint... There is a tom of rain in the forecast for tomorrow so hopefully they don't move too far. The front passing may push them close to cover or shut them down all together, who knows.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March Madness!

Taylor and I managed to hit one of those perfect situations this evening where the fish were literally crushing our baits... We fished for about three hours this evening and caught some really nice chunks... Largest was probably about 5 lbs... We were down lake with water temps of about 52 degrees... There was bait everywhere... This was the fourth day of a major warming trend and it really showed. The fish woke up in a major way. It looks like we are going to get rain for the next few days so it's likely to all change again... That's March for you!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Uggghhh!!! Come on Spring!!

Was that really two days of warm sunlight? My truck seats were actually hot today from the sun!! Sweet!
What a miserable winter!

Anyway, I talked to a few people yesterday at the tournament and ran across a couple others in Ashland at the Bass Pro Shops Spring Classic... I've been fortunate enough to get a ProStaff position with them and have spent the last couple of weeks doing seminars and tank demos... It's a lot of fun but I think it's time to start catching "lake bass" and stop catching "tank bass"

This weekend was tough! These bass have seen more boats, shaky heads, and jerkbaits in the last week than they have all winter... We watched 7 boats fish the same point in less than an hour on Sunday. There were still some nice catches despite the cold water and fishing pressure. But it's only going to get better!

Lake Anna is going to "blow up" in the next few weeks (I hope Homeland Security doesn't flag that)... These Bass want to get shallow and active in a bad way. Once they get there, expect them to be FAT!!! The cold winter has caused a lot of shad to die and sink to the bottom, allowing fish to gorge themselves on piles of dead shad with very little effort. (Hmmmm, I wonder why they were so hard to catch? And why do the ones that got caught all look like they swallowed a volleyball?) As the water warms the remaining shad will float to the surface and be disposed of by Sea Gulls. This shad kill also helps reduce the population of bait fish in the lake (it's about time)... Spring '10 is going to bring some awesome sacks and trophy catches, and I'm pumped!!

Look for fish to move into staging areas, secondary points and sun-drenched clay and rocks on their way to the "bass brothel". They want nothing more than to come out of their deep haunts and do some sunbathing, meet some ladies, and find some lizards to crunch on.

Patterns will change from day to day. I'll have my Trap, C-rig, Shaky head, Jig, Swim-bait, and Drop-shot ready to go for the next 4 weeks for sure. I'll also be paying close attention to my graph, the depth of the bait, and the position of the fish. There will be fish from 25 feet to 1 foot over the next month, with the trend getting shallower as each day passes.




My partner and I were only able to get a 10th place finish this weekend but we're poised for the next few weeks... Good luck to everyone!

Tight Lines!