Some nice winter fish caught recently on Underbite Custom tackle A-Rigs and Jennybug Swimmers, a killer combination. A cold winter day of fishing can lead into a great day of fishing when you run onto that group of fish. Winter seems to be more about "Spot" fishing than "Pattern" fishing. Let me say it like this! You have to have the right pattern, lure, & presentation to even get bit. You also need to be on the right spot at the right time. Winter bass still do have to eat to survive. With the colder water temperatures and the fishes slower metabolism you can be on the right area at the wrong time and miss the feeding time. Revisit those locations that you think or know hold fish and you will be successful. Get off the couch and away from the fire to find YOUR winter bass fishing bonanza!!
OK with days like this then nights with lows in the upper 50's. Not only can you not pattern the fish, it is hard to pattern even what to wear. From long john and Gore Tex days to short and flip flops the next. It is hard to predict where to start the journey to connect with Bass, Crappie, Walleye or what ever you species of addiction that day is. Good trips with good quality fish were you can do no wrong then followed up by several trips of "There isn't a fish in this Lake" days. We have all had them and as long as we are still fishing we always will. This game we play is stacked in the odds of the fish and not us. We live life in the fast lane and reasoning out all our decisions. But the fish live by instinct and we have to SLOW down to that "Lifestyle" to adjust. Most of the time we get close, but those days when we really "Whackem" it is not a Rocket science type of pattern. When we get to making those on the water instinct type of decisions and they work. Those are when we place and take a spot in the Check line. Get out there and fish we have much to be thankful for. Thanks to all my sponsors who stay with me. The Winter Bass O Thon tournaments are staring up again Nov-Feb. . Several other series are continuing though the winter and The Bassmaster Central Opens hit the water in March.
Had to take the Basscat over to Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock Thursday for a fall checkup and she passed with flying colors. As a matter of fact she continues to pass those other boats just like a good "Hot Rod" does. You know your living right when the owner does the work and talks with you. A heart felt thanks to STEVE!! We had a great morning with Steve and then when the guys got there it was even better. Thats got to be a fun place to work!!! They definitely are the best around of for two words "CUSTOMER SERVICE". I feel blessed to have Bull Shoals Boat Dock as a sponsor, A1 operation.
After the Mercury 200 Pro XS got checked out. Me and Bobby from Jennybugs bait company in Thayer Missouri hit Bull Shoals for a little product testing. The plan was to try out some deep water with a couple of awesome twin tail colors he made for use with some Underbite custom tackle 3/4oz football jigs. We had a day planned of deep water Smallmouth and Spotted bass. After a couple hours of sub-legal fish the wind picked up and shallow we went, (me shallow imaging that). Game On as they say after that!! We boated 10 keepers and that many shorts. Could we have done it without wind, who knows, but you always got to play with what mother nature blesses you with. Square bills, Small Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits, Swimbaits, there were a lot of baits that worked, but it was the WIND that you had to have. At the end of the day we headed back south to a deep channel swing that always has some "Biguns" on it and it didn't lets us down. We caught Smallmouth in 25-30 FOW to finish out the day.
A big shout out to BJ Davis he is at Lake of the Ozarks this weekend for the BFL Super 2 day tournament. Go getem!!!
I finished the year in 17th and l'm boat #17 out from the dock. This is the last Central Pro Am as next year it goes to a solo format. l got a game plan the cat is fueled up with the Mercury ready to go. Underbite custom tackle tied on with Jennybugs trailers. Fin to Fur has me set up and we got a new baby calf at French & Hardin Farms. So I guess good luck is looking down on me. Fish on
Red, White, & Blue BBQ A SUCCESS!! And talk about great weather WOW we had it for some good kids fishing and lots of fishing stories!! With some tips tossed in there. Fin to Fur put's on a great event and I'm glad to be part of it. We had 100's of kids come though the Fin to Fur fishing Booth. One Local "Little Guy" Cannon Pitts was ready for his time in the sun and was ready to catch a Bigun. He is on his way to the outdoors, fishing, hunting, or playing somewhere.
I Had a blast with Nathan from Fin to Fur, Joella Bates, and Alex Rutledge. Good concerts by all Local stars and the Headlining Acts. What great times had by all. I will add more pictures later.
Well this has been a couple of good months for my fishing bank account (Thank the Lord) for the help because I sure need it. The warm spring days turned into couple of cold late wintry type days at this weekends Central Pro Am Stockton Lake Tournament in Stockton Missouri. Although it was cold on us anglers the fish were biting and it was fun to catch around 50 fish per day and that's no LIE. Size was lacking in most of these fish, but the "feed bag" was definitely on. My first thought about this tournament was it was going to be a sight fishing tournament (which I don't like). During my look around Friday I didn't see any fish in the Spawning mode, No shallow cruisers, & no beds. So plan B and possibly C & D would be needed. Saturday morning I meet my partner at the boat launch and we end up with a fog delay. What else was my thinking now. After the TD lets us go I head to a river arm the find dirty water and flip some Jennybugs and Underbite Custom Tackle Jigs, these are fast becoming my one-two punch for flipping. At the end of the day I had a good start with 14.91 which was better than I thought and had me in 5th at the end of Weigh-in on Saturday. Like I have said before, you can never win a multi-day event on the first day, but you can certainly lose it. So I did feel that relief off accomplishment. Sunday like most multiple tournament days was opposite the day before. No fog, and wind and then we had high winds. The river fish were still biting, but the size was not there. I ended up with 3 keepers, but not the size we were looking for. So we packed up the Basscat fired up that Mercury and headed to clear water to toss a jerkbait around to fill out our limit. What a fun couple of hours of catching bass we had. l caught 35 more bass within that last 3 hrs with only 1 more that would measure the 15" length limit. So I ended up with only 4 keepers for 8.67lbs and they put me in 6th place at the end. My saving grace was it was a tougher day for everybody also. Lesson learned Don't go in with preconceived ideas.
Thanks to Basscat boats, Mercury and Steve at Bull Shoals boat dock for a fine fishing machine. Underbite custom tackle for my jigs and Jennybugs for my plastics. Fin to Fur for tackle and clothing and Denali rods for my Rosewood rods that put the the smack down then mean river bass.
We had a great time catching fish Saturday on Dardanelle. We ended up tied for 2nd place out of 136 boats. We had 19.04lbs what a sack for a couple of north Arkansas boys in the Dirty water. We caught fish on a white Jennybug River bug, but the majority of the fish came on a White Underbite tackle swimming jig paired with a white trailer. The fish were not biting our swimbaits as they did last weekend so we had to adjust and we made a good decision to switch to the swim jig. Then it was game on as they say. The shad seem to be spawning as well and that probably helped with the swim jigs erratic action also. We stayed at the Lake Dardanelle St park and they were amazing a well run state park and really clean. Keep in touch and take a kid fishing they will thank you later.
We are finally starting to catch a few decent fish. Mostly on the rig but the jerkbait and crankbait are working for the numbers. If you get a chance to stop by Underbite custom tackle check out the A Rig "Machine" it is awesome. Pair it up with some Jennybug grubs and your are ready to go.
What a cold winter we have had so far. As of tonight I have had Rain, Sleet, Thunder, Wind, and Snow along with a temperature in the mid-teens all in one day. I fished Table Rock a day last week for or 1st Central Pro-Am and the the two day event. Without much success in finding any "sack" of magical fish. Table Rock is like many other Highland Lakes in this time of the year the annual "Shad Die Off" is occurring. Which hasn't happened much in the last few winters do to those being milder. The fish get in a none chasing mode during this time and are hard to catch. They basically just sit on the bottom resting and eating the shad as they sink down to them as they (shad) die. Weather your lure choice is A-Rig, Jig, Crankbait, Gizit, or Finesse it all has to be bottom related to catch anything. I will write more coming up about the changing conditions of the bass and the lakes and my new Pantera II that I just picked up (IT LOOKS SWEET!!!!!)
Thanks for all of the help and support over the year and now its time to look ahead for 2014. My 2009 Basscat has ending up in north Texas and a new Pantera II is in production as we type. Sorry to disappoint but this one isn't purple. I will post pictures as soon as I get them. Of course my big sponsor news is the Mercury Pro Team deal that I picked up at the end of last year. Being on the road and fishing in all weather conditions you have to trust your equipment to get you back and I trust Mercury. I'm working on the site as you can tell but feel free to drop me line if you have suggestions. See ya on the water!!
I'm a professional angler, keep up with me and my partners as we catch fish all over the southern US.