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.