Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothing to Show

Here is a little short story for ya':

I could barely sleep at all. So unlike me, generally I sleep so soundly I'm always scared that I won't wake up if the house happens to catch fire. I woke up at 1:30am, 2:00am, 2:45am and finally got out bed at 3:30. I dressed and ran out of the house, hurriedly making my way to our meeting spot. Once there I loaded my tackle into the boat and we made the short drive the the launch ramp. We launched the boat and had about an hour and a half to eat breakfast and listen to the BS of the other guys.
Finally the time came to blast off. We were outfitted in our helmets, coats, insulated bibs and gloves. We had a decent ride, probably about 15 minutes to our first spot. Although we were the 44th boat out we quickly went past most of the other boats that went the direction we did. Before long we were running in the smoothest, flattest water I can remember. I happened to look down and see the reflection of the blue and pink clouds on the water which made me realize just how beautiful of a morning it was.
We made it to our first stop and that was the end of the beautiful day. From that point on it was a long epeisode of no... No bites, no fish, and really, honestly no fun.
Finally we were able to catch 2 short fish and that was really the exciting part of the day. What a horrible tournament. One things for sure we have absolutely nowhere to go but up from here. I can't remember the last time we did not catch a single keeper in a tournament. I think it has been at least 2 years.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Checklist Time...

Owning a boat is an investment, probably a poor one, but still. Over the last couple of years I have tried to keep up with most everything that is going on in my boat. With it having a few years on it it is inevitable that some things need some attention. Being the procrastinator that I am i generally put things off unless they fail to function entirely. Some things I do stay on top of and I regularly check and maintain them. I always check fluids and things concerning my motor. I also yearly grease the bearings on my trailer and lubricate moving parts. About once a month I check all the lights and check the air pressure in the tires although I visually check the tires every time I take the boat out. Being that is kind of a slow time for fishing and the weather has not really been cooperating, I took a little time to work on some things that I needed to.
I usually start out every year by making a checklist of things that I know needed attention and I just check them off as I go. I knew my livewell was leaking down slowly and I assumed that my valve was clogged. I removed it and inspected, cleaned, and reinstalled. Where I discovered that I thing I need to replace the cable. Had I just left this issue I would have had to deal with this leaky valve all year and I would have to keep a close eye on any fish I put in the livewell and risk having one die and possibly costing me a check.
I also had one small section under the passenger and driver's seats that I failed to replace the carpet on while I was tackling that job this past summer. I was finally able to finish that and mark that off of my list.
I lubed and checked the spring tension of my Hot Foot and I checked the proper operation of my "kill switch." Don't want a malfunction with these parts.
My gearcase apparently got some braided fishing line around the propshaft that cut into the seal and allowed some water in, that froze in the recent cold weather and I had to have a little work done on it. Not exactly what I wanted to spend my money on, but it happens and when it's repaired I know that it will be water tight with new seals. It also allowed the inspection of the internal parts (gears and bearings, etc.) which is not bad. Luckily everything was in very excellent condition. That in itself will give me some peace of mind.
All fittings and screws need to be checked every so often to make sure they are tight. I will get that done too. I'm going to add some additional lights from Bluewater LED and I need to check a loose bilge pump one day.
All in all to be it's age, my boat is in good shape because I do these things every year. I still have a couple of small things on my list to do and I'll mark them off as I get to them. My main concern is being 100% ready to fish, without any things that need repairing when it warms up a little. So if you have a few minutes, write down every single thing that you would like to check, repair, or change and get on them as you get a little free time.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's the beginning of a new year and a new decade and it's going to be a great year for fishing and for everything in my life. I am so excited. I'm planning on fishing some different tournament trails this year, I'm hopefully going to be purchasing a newer boat, and many other exciting things.

Spent the day trying to recover from whatever this funk I have is, plus tending my smoker. What better way to kill some time while you don't really feel like doing much?... I got 2 pork butts sitting at about 185 now. Just waiting for them to get a little warmer before I pull 'em out. That's gonna be my pork for good luck in '10. Gonna put a little slaw on them sandwiches, it'll have to work in place of turnip greens for wealth. Had some black-eyed peas earlier. So I guess I'm all set... Tough life being superstitious.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I caught a cold or something and I was home most of the day... I thought a lot about fishing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The last days of 2009

As 2009 winds down and we make way for a new year I probably got my last day of fishing in. At least I got out for a couple of hours anyway. I spent the morning duck hunting with not too much success and I wish I would have just fished all day.
I decided to go over to Percy Priest Lake because it is one of my favorite places to fish in the winter and very early spring.

I put in at Fate Sanders Marina at noon and ran down about two miles and got out a #5 Shad Rap in crawfish color (a long-time Priest stand-by) and worked down a deeper rock bank just off the channel. The water temp was 46 degrees and I was sitting in about 15 feet of water throwing in close to the bank and sloooowly working it back. This tactic is a decent way to start in these conditions. Man the wind was whipping in on this bank. It ain't easy chunking a Shad Rap in 20 mph winds, I promise. Even if it is somewhat blowing toward where your casting every other cast lands about twenty feet from where you throw. No luck on this bank not even a hit.
Because I haven't been out in a while I wanted to try a couple different things and a couple of places I usually don't fish this time of year.

Normally I fish down closer to the damn in the winter because I prefer to fish the clearer water. Plus when it gets into like February if we get a couple of warm days the lake can get very crowded in the upper end. Some days it's like bumper boats, lol. I had it all to myself this day except for the guys that were fishing Mike's Sunday Morning tournament.

My next stop was a shallower pocket of the main lake. Sometimes with some sunshine you can hit these shallow rocky pockets and rack up with a lipless crankbait. I worked all around the pocket working a new Xcalibur XR-25 Rattlebait. Most people think the only way to fish a lipless crank is to burn it and cover water, but in the winter I think they really get overlooked. For shallow banks you can crawl it along the bottom and induce a reaction strike from lethargic fish.
But apparently not in this spot!

I worked on out to the point where the pocket drops off into deeper water and decided to turn the corner and parallel the bluff bank with a suspending Spro McStick suspending jerk bait in Table Rock Shad color. As soon as I turned the corner I threw the jerk up against the broken rock at the end of the bluff and twitched it a couple of times and paused and there was a heavy feel on my line. I set the hook and reeled in my first fish of the day. A largemouth about 13". I continued along throwing the jerkbait and caught 2 Kentucky Spots when I got to where the bluff ended and the broken rock began. Every one was about the same size. I found that the most effective cadence seemed to be a jerk-pause-pause-jerk-pause-pause-jerk and every fish grabbed it when it was on the pause. most times the key to a jerk bait is finding the cadence. I generally start with a jerk-jerk-pause-jerk-jerk-pause and vary it till I find what works best that day.

By now I felt like I was onto a little something and it looked like the fish were more around the ends of the bluffs so I ran a short distance to another 45 degree bank that led up to another small rock bluff. This bank was out of the wind so I wasn't sure if that would make a difference or not but I went down it and was able to jerk up 5 more fish. I started at the bluff and fish the length of the bank going form right to left and the idled back and to where I started and fished the other way. They were biting ok but unfortunately mostly small ones. I won't complain though I caught some and they pulled on my line. It was fun even though it was pretty cool and windy out. By the time I finished fishing this bank it was beginning to get dark and I figured I would head on back in.

You just can't really fish a whole bunch of spots in the winter when you have to fish slow. So I put her on the trailer and headed home.
I'm hoping that by the next time I go I will have a new Citrus Stick rod to throw my jerkbait on. Waiting till the new year starts and I'm going to upgrade some rods. I'm excited to join the BCS Customs pro-staff and help get the word out on a line of rods and baits that I'm sure are going to be a hit, but more on the Citrus Stick to come in another post...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I decided to run over to Percy Priest Lake for a couple hours this afternoon. I put the boat in, hit a couple of good points, and made several casts. That was about the whole story... Missed one fish on a drop shot in an area I was sure I could at least catch a Kentucky, and that was it.

Good news is the boat started right up and ran good after sitting about a month since we were on vacation and everything. Just wasn't happening today, I guess. Maybe I'll have something better to write about next weekend.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What can I say, it's been a long time since I have posted... Not exactly what I wanted to do but it happened.

Gonna try to kinda do a yearly recap.

I had a great year of fishing. From Spring to Fall I fished a whole bunch of times and had some great days. In team tournaments we placed in the money several times and we had one really great day on Old Hickory and winning a decent sized tournament. Had a little streak where we were just on 'em that lasted a while. We fished some benefit tournaments and made a showing. We didn't take home any money in them but we were going to donate half of what we won back anyway so it was good. Didn't get to fish as many night tournaments this year because of work constraints but did well in the ones we did and they were fun. The weather was pretty mild the whole summer so fishing stayed pretty good during the day anyway.
I (with the help of my partners, of course) made a decent end of the year surge in Music City Bass Anglers club to wind up 6th in the points and finished 7th at the Fish-Off tournament at Neely Henry in Alabama. I am not disappointed in that at all. There are some very good fishermen in that club and I think somewhere around 90 members and it averaged about 40 boats per tournament. Not too bad I guess. Still I wanted to better my 5th place in the points from last year. I was also disappointed that I didn't win at least one tournament this year.
I also had a lot of fun this year. I made an adjustment and reminded myself to have fun in every tournament. If the results were to examined I believe it would be obvious at which point that was. That was probably the biggest lesson I learned this year.
I also learned how to fish some new to me baits better. The soft swimbait is going to play a big part in my future success. It's a badass bait and it's gonna pay off. Not sure why I didn't utilize it more before now. Need to try to stay more on the cutting edge, I guess.
The hard jerkbait is going to get even more action this spring. I fished it quite a bit this past Spring and it produces. I really got to liking the Spro McStick.
I used a drop shot a little this year and think it's going to be a nice tool in the toolbox at some point.
I got to fish a lot of Fridays because I was able to work longer days Mon-Thur and that translated into better fishing. It really shows when you get to spend more time on the water.

I also made a couple of new friends this year and we had some good times fishing. Daniel Hallum is a riot and I had a blast fishing with him.

So all in all a great year.