Today I welcomed Mike M. and his son-in-law, Keith D., aboard for some plain old fun fishing. Mike was given a gift certificate for a trip with me by his wife last Christmas and has been itching to use it, so today was the day!
Keith lips two of our 3 largest hybrid today. We caught a mess of fish, but all of the hybrid in the mix were short.
Mike holds another “cookie cutter” hybrid. Although we boated white bass from 10-13 inches from this same area, all the hybrid were sized within 3/4″ of this youngster.
Mike told me as we talked things over before the trip that he didn’t care anything about trophy fish, he just wanted to “put something wet and slimy over the side and have fun doing it”.
Weather is everything in this transitional fall fishing season. Watching the fronts and timing fishing trips according to their arrival whenever possible is key from now until the weather stabilizes and warms again in the spring. Today we missed the timing by a bit because the wind shift from SW to NW happened overnight, but, as the winds increased to their maximum of ~13mph in the late morning, the fish did put on the feedbag for about 75 minutes from around 10:30 to about 11:45am.
Prior to this feed, we had boated a total of 10 fish (1 drum, 2 largemouth, 7 white bass) all of which came from small scattered pods of fish. We never graphed a single large concentration of fish, suspended or bottom-hugging, up to this point.
When we arrived in the vicinity of Area 930, I saw, over a 20 yard stretch of bottom white “blobs” for lack of a better term showing on my StructureScan screen in downlooking mode. Traditional sonar gave no indication these fish were here. We got in a hover over these fish, Keith drew first blood, and after that first fish was hooked and began struggling, the entire bottom came alive with what had been resting, low-lying fish. We fished in a 15 foot radius for approximately 75 minutes and boated exactly 66 fish with multiple doubles and triples coming over the side during the peak of the bite.
It’s funny how 3 guys can have the exact same rod, reel, line, lure and be striving to effect the same technique spaced just 2-3 feet apart and have “slightly different results”. As the tactful guide I try to be, I usually blame this discrepancy on the wiles of nature, unpredictable fish behavior, or anomaly, but certainly not on my guests. Mike, however, chose to pin the blame squarely on Keith. Once Keith edged 2 or 3 fish ahead (which implies one or both were secretly keeping score!!) then Mike began to refer to his son-in-law as his “former best fishing buddy”, consoling himself with the knowledge that whomever caught the most was supposed to buy lunch!!
When all was said and done we saw 76 “wet and slimy” somethings come over the side. Keith indicated that may have exceeded the number of fish caught in ALL of he and Mike’s previous fishing adventures COMBINED!!
Great trip, fellows! Thanks for coming out with me.
TALLY = 76 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 12:15p
Air Temp: 64F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~74.4F
Wind: Winds were NNW11-13.
Skies: Clear blue-bird skies.