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.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

BTS and KVD Prostaff

Last post of the night but I really want to get caught up to date. That way tomorrow I can post on my tournament!

I recently became part of the Bow to Stern Protectant and KVD's Line and Lure Conditioner If you don't know about them and fish or have a boat that you want looking its best, you have to check them out. BTS is an awesome product, it is a non toxic polymer based protectant that can be used on any boat surface to protect and shine them and keep them in great condition. It is antimicrobial and also offers the highest sunscreen protection factor available. It will put a wicked shine on a boat . It also works great on vinyl seats, plastic, rubber, and well, any surface on a boat.
KVD's line and lure is another great product. Lines treated with KVD will show reduced line twist, longer casts, reduced memory and better manageability. It honestly makes a huge difference in the less expensive flourocarbon lines that I fish with. And other than some of the memory these are good line as far as strength and abrasion resistance. The only thing is the memory. KVD virtually eliminates that, so I can save money and catch fish with less frustration. It too has UV sunscreen protection and I have used it on some hi-viz yellow crappie line that I had experienced noticeable fading with in the past. It will keep it looking bright and new indefinitely.
I am not just pimpin' these two products. I really use them and faithfully used them before joining their pro staff. They work and I don't mind promoting them because I know they are good. Anyone interested feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to set you up with a free sample of either or both and you can see the results for yourself!

Weekend of Febuary 22nd

Had planned on fishing the Renegade Series tournament at Percy Priest yesterday but Bubba got sick and backed out on Friday afternoon. What a sissy. I'm not mad though. He said he had a Stomach virus and I don't want any part of that. Only bad thing is we will have to pay for a tournament we didn't fish in order to qualify for the classic in October and we won't be in the running for a points title unless we really really bust ass in the other 5 tournaments. I had hoped to do well in this tournament and figured we would. We always do well in the early spring at Percy Priest.
Tomorrow I will fish the first tournament of the Music City Bass Anglers tournament series at Percy Priest. I am fishing with a new partner this year and it will take some adjustment. I have fished with real close friends for so long that I know what to expect with all of them. I think it will be good to fish with a different partner though. It will be a good opportunity to expand my knowledge of different tactics and such. He's a good guy too and talks like he really wants to win, like I do. He'll see tomorrow morning that I don't F around fishing for money. I want to win all of these Music City tournaments this year. We finished 5th in the points last year and came really close to winning the points championship until we flopped on our strongest tournaments, the night tournaments. We still had a chance at the final T at Guntersville and flopped there too and fell from second to 5th. Bubba can't fish this year because 8 out of 10 tournaments he has to work. So me and Daniel are going to give it a go.
I'm excited tonight but I'm about to hit the sack so I wake up ready to roll in the am. I know we can catch some good fish doing what we have been doing recently even though a nasty cold front came in tonight. But it's all about adjustments and we have the knowledge to make them if we have to and we will come in with a fat sack. The weather change alone will throw other people off their game. But I know even though its colder, the fish will be shallow at least later in the day because the suns gonna warm them rocks up shallow.

First Tournament of 2009

I guess I'll try to catch up all at one time.
Last weekend Bubba and I decided that we'd fish a Sunday morning tournament on Percy Priest. We had been catching a few fish and we were just ready to fish a tournament I guess. We Put in at Fate Sander and made a short run to a close-by pocket that he had caught some in earlier in the week. There were already 2 boats in the pocket, the weekly Sunday morning tournament starts at 8am in the winter. But we pulled up and started throwing lipless crankbaits. We made it maybe 50 yards down the bank and I hung into a good fish. I fight him to the boat and we net a fat chunk 3.5 pound Percy Priest largemouth. And man it was right up on the bank. We catch some good fish super-shallow this time of year. It was in the 30's that morning and was only forcasted to get up to about 47 or so. Water temp was 50 degrees. In the next couple of hours we caught a couple of short fish and lost another good one. I snagged a 5 or 6lb carp. Then we made it back to the same place where we caught the first keeper and I caught another one on the same bait. I also lost about 5 of the $7 lipless crankbaits, plus an $11 Spro Little John. And he lost a couple too. Expensive trip! We also got the boat hung on a rock trying to get unhung up on a shallow point. I mean we tried everything that you can do from inside the boat to get unstuck. Rocking, turning, sticking the outboard in the water and gunning it in reverse and forward, pushing with the net, everything. After screwing with it for 30 minutes or so I said "man I'm getting in." So I stripped my dry clothes, long johns, and boots and threw on some rain pants and got in. It was VERY cold. I didn't think I was still going to get the boat off that rock. My legs were tingling bad. Finally I pushed from the side and he hit the trolling motor and it came loose. I got back in and dried off and put my dry clothes back on and finished the day.
We ended up with the 2 keepers for around 2 pounds or so. We didn't weigh in because we weren't in any kind of point race. It took 11.30 to win so we weren't too far off, we just needed 2 or 3 good bites. Get 'em next time I guess.

Mid January through Mid Febuary fishing

I have to say I have not been on top of writing on my blog.
I have been fishing a couple times since the last time I wrote. Mainly crappie fishing and I have had some good trips. One when I took my dad and I think for the first time in the 25 years or so I have been fishing with him I decided that I wouldn't keep score against him. In all the trips, in my entire life, we have always made a good game of who catches more. That day I just decided not to. It was kind of fun but and we both caught fish. I may have caught more than him if we were keeping score but we didn't, so we both won. I think we took home 12 or 13 keepers.
Another trip I took a real good friend of mine and his 6 year old son. We had a big 'ol time. We caught 18 keepers that day. But it was fun chewing a whole pack of grape Big League Chew and watching Wyatt net fish for me. Him and I teamed up on a few good slabs. He even got in on the action. I rigged up a jig under a float and would cast it out to the other side of a stump and hand him the rod and let him slowly reel it back over the top of the stump. He caught a nice stripe that he had a nice fight with to get in. His dad said that was the most productive crappie trip he'd ever had.
I also planned a trip with a guy I used to work for's 70 year old dad. Well I gotta say Ed is just my friend. I used to work with him and we have talked about making a trip for a couple years. Well this one fell through also because my wife came down with a very bad stomach virus the night before. I decided to cancel because I had been around her and I was afraid I would get him sick. That sucked and I am going to make it up in the next couple of weeks.
I also went bass fishing a couple times and I didn't do real great, but I did catch a real nice smallmouth (probably about 4 pounds) and another trip I caught a largemouth that was pushing 7 lbs. The batteries in my scale were dead so I have been saying 6 and a half, just to be safe. Gotta get some batteries. I did get a pic though.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crappie Fishing 01-11-2009

The Titans lost so no more stupid "lucky" mustache and no football to watch on Sunday anymore this season!!!

So last Sunday I decided to head out to Percy Priest lake and do a little crappie fishing or Speck fishin' as my wife and her grandpa call it. It was a little chilly in the upper 20's that morning (well I thought it was until today, high of 25, brrrr) so I made a late start at about noon again. I put the Stratos in a strapped on my kick-ass Simpson race helmet that my wife's cousin sent me (man that things nice in the cold. Not sure how I fished all this time without a helmet.)

Well I ran out to the channel to try a stump covered dropoff at the outside edge of a big bend in the river. This is a great place. there is almost always fish on it this time of year and typically they aren't very deep. There's always a bunch of baitfish on it too. I have several stumps marked in my gps from fishing it over the years. During winter this is almost always my first spot to go to and sometimes I end up fishing it all day. This day was no different. I ended up staying there the whole afternoon. Right after I pulled up I trolled over to my first spot and caught a 12" keeper as soon as I got over the stump. The fish weren't biting real great but by going from gps point to gps point I would catch a fish or 2 at almost every one. And I never really thought that I should leave and check out another area.

I have to say that the new 2 blade Motorguide trolling motor propeller I just bought to replace my old beat up 3 blade, is much better. It's a ton more powerful. Not sure that I went above 2 power all day but the wind was only about 5-10 mph. I think the 2 blade prop may be the bee's knees in open water though. I also hear they have a new "weed prop" that's coming out this year. It should be another good addition.

It was a little cool when it was cloudy but the sun poked through a couple times and it fell good. I was catching most of my fish on a black and hot pink YUM Wooly Beavertail vertical jigged in about 12' of water. I did catch a few by casting a double jig rig up on the shallow side of the drop and slowly reeling it back. Caught one or two on a red/chart. Bearvertail and also a black/chart. Charlie Brewer Crappie Slider Grub too.

Ended up with an even dozen good keepers. Not too bad for a couple hours considering I haven't been crappie fishing at Percy Priest since spring. But I always considered this to be the best time of year to crappie fish and I can usually scratch up a few. Good to get out too! I took 'em home and cleaned them and we cooked half of them for supper. They were awesome! You just can't beat fried crappie that is freshly caught!

I'll probably doing quite a bit of crappie fishing in the near future because it's such a good time to do so. So look for more posts... hopefully it will warm up just a hair though so my wife can go with me. I just ordered her a custom crappie rod that is being built by Bunch Custom Rods as I type. It's a 7', one piece, solid purple blank with hot pink wraps, Fuji Alconite guides and a split cork handle. It should be bad ass. (too bad its purple I think I may like it.) Jeff does great work, I had him do some repairs for me a while back.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Old Hickory Lake, TN
Air temp: 60
Water Temp: 49
Conditions: Cloudy with scattered light rain

I was sitting around and watching the weather and trying to decide if it was done raining or what and decided screw it, I needed to go fishing. It was about 60 degrees and cloudy with little wind. So I headed 15 minutes down the road to Old Hickory and put the boat in. Started right up after not being out for a while! Made a real short run and decided to try throwing a crankbait along a decent bank with several docks on it. I went about 100 yards and BAM!!! My first fish of 2009. I was a little disappointed because #1 was a "yellow belly" stripe about 6 inches long. Oh well it was a fish. I continued down the bank alternating between a small unnamed crankbait, a #5 shad Rap and a suspending jerkbait. Didn't really throw the jerk much, the water was a little stained and I tend to do better on a jerk in clearer water. I didn't have another bite that rest of the way down the bank.
I noticed a large group of seagulls diving on shad across the creek from me so I idled over there and threw a Strike King Red Eye shad around all the baitfish that were up on a flat 6'-7' deep. I'd just chunk it out and reel it slowly back. That's when I caught #2. A real nice bluegill. Where are all the bass??? I fished that flat for a while without another taker, trying the jerkbait and the Redeye.
It was starting to rain a little and was getting noticeably colder so I cranked up and went to a rocky point I can usually catch one on any time of year. I worked it over dragging a 3/4 oz. football jig to no avail. (I'm still experimenting with that football jig, just can't decide if it's better than a c-rig or not. I can usually catch 'em on a C-rig but I think I catch bigger fish on a jig so it stands to reason if I fish a jig like a c-rig, then I ought to be able to catch good 'uns on the jig. But it just hasn't happened yet.) I'll get it though.
By this time it was about the foggiest in the day time I've seen in a long while. So I crank up and slowly run down river a ways and stop on another point to drag the jig across. It was very foggy but all the sudden a gust of wind blew through and all the fog just got pushed out. it was pretty cool to watch. Except it started raining pretty good about then and it was close to dark. i just decided to call it a day.

My outlook on the day: It was good to get out of the house and the boat needed to be ran so i guess it wasn't that bad. The fish didn't really cooperate but it happens.

Another thing I just have to get off my chest ond out of my head:
I just can't shake a bad performance I had in the last tournament I fished last year. I went to KY Lake to fish a 2-day fish-off by myself. Bubba (my T partner) had to work. I fished Friday and it was windy and rough so my practice wasn't too good but I found a few. Day one I weighed in 10 lbs and no one else really did all that well except for one other team that had 16lbs. So, even though I didn't have a real good sack it put me in second. My thinking with a 2 day tournament is you need to at least put yourself in position for day 2 and you have to have figured something out so you can move in for the kill on day 2. I had figured something out and felt good about it. I thought I could go right back and catch 'em on Sunday out of some grass on a frog. I left them biting on day one and caught 3 keepers in the last 30 minutes. I drew out #3 day 2, so I ran right back to the grass I caught my fish in on Sat. and bang, right away catch one about 3lbs on a frog. Then they go to missing the frog. They just wouldn't hit it to eat it. I worked that grass several times and maybe too long, but I had at least one hit on every pass. They were good fish too. I had to leave because I wasn't boating them... This is where I think I screwed up. I ran to a spot to throw a c-rig to try to catch a fish deeper. I fished it quickly in practice but I didn't catch any although I did miss one. That was dumb and I basically wasted an hour. I then ran back to my grass and missed one about 6lbs and another one or two... Looking back i should have:
A.) ran right past the deeper bank and into the next bay and throw a Red Eye shad or spinnerbait on the shallow flat in the back of the pocket. I caught some fish in there Friday but they were small and the wind wasn't blowing like it was then
B.) (and I think this is the biggest f up I made all weekend) I should've left the first grass earlier and ran down to the mouth of a creek I went in on Friday that was a very similar grass bed to what I had caught fish out of on Saturday. I couldn't fish this grass in practice because it was right in a 30mph wind and there was no way to fish it. I could've day 2 though. And i thought about it I just didn't do it. Not sure why. That's how it goes when you're on water that you don't fish often enough to know enough spots that you can adjust when things change. I ended up in 6th place weighing only one fish and one spot out of the money. Ok I suppose because I was fishing alone against teams but not what I should have had. With a limit I would have easily finished second but there really was no way to win. The leaders from day 1 had a 18lb sack the second day
I learned a lesson though about really paying attention to things even when you don't fish them. I knew that grass was there, I just didn't make the proper adjustment and it killed my finish.

2009 Fishing Blog...

...Coming Soon!!!