I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

• Morning on the water 8/8/07

I packed up the boat and headed off to the lake at around 6:30am. My younger brother isn't a morning person and it took him a while to get around. The launch is only a few minutes away, so it was no big deal. No other boats were at the launch yet either. The temps were already in the mid 70's and would reach the mid 80's by 10:30 or so. By the afternoon, 90's should be setting in. I was planning on heading in early anyway. No sense in getting cooked.

I knew exactly where we were going. I have a good spot close by in between some islands in about 5-6' of water that has been active over the last few weeks. I've been catching small white bass and largemouth bass around 12 inches or less. No, they're not big, but it's always fun, especially on a heavily pressured lake where they have frequent tournaments. Some folks come in with big fat 0's at the weigh in, so catching anything on this lake is considered a good day. We dropped anchor in the spot and I tied on my crankbait of choice. It's a Rapala DT6 in Parrot with the front hook replaced with a sure set hook. There were a few dinks hitting the top chasing shad and the occasional alligator gar passed by. Water temps were already at 80. My brother was going to use his Zebco 33 with a banjo minnow tied on. A lot of folks talk smack about that lure, but my brother makes them work for him.

My goal this morning, however, was to get him accustomed to a baitcaster and start to get him throwing a crankbait like mine so we could have a chance catching a few possible keeper sized white bass to fry up. I had mentioned to him that the first bite of the day out here sometimes comes on a buzzbait. It's a good weight to start getting used to a baitcaster, so I let him throw it. After he got used to the brakes a little, I loosened them up and convinced him to tie on the crank. I caught one dink on the crank already, so it was easy to talk him into the idea. I tied on a 1/4 oz rattle trap in a color I've forgotten the name of. It also has a sure set hook instead of a regular treble. I had a few strikes and eventually caught a small white bass and a few bass, one of which was a little over 12 inches. My brother still hadn't even had a bite. I switched to a shakey head rigged swimbait to see if I could coax out a few bigger bass. I had a couple of nibbles and finally hooked into one that came off as it splashed out of the water. I caught another one about the same size on the next cast.

My brother was still stuck at 0 and switched to a spinnerbait. I decided to start throwing one too just to see if that made him feel any better. He was fooling around more or less because the skirt was old and didn't have a band on it. He tied a few skirt strands around it to hold it in place. Ah he wasn't taking things seriously anymore. Oh well. I picked out a good backlash on his reel that looked like he had reeled back over only to make another shortly thereafter.

We pulled anchor and dropped the trolling motor. For some reason, the motor just wasn't cutting it in the wind that had just picked up. We kept tossing spinnerbaits until it was time to head in. Water temps had gone up to around 88. I had one more thing to check out before running wide open and turning back around to go in. There was a spot around the one island I had hung up the anchor once before and later lost a shakey head on recently. I wish I had one of those side finder sonars, but I went over the spot anyway with our basic sonar. It looked like there were two or three stumps next to each other, but I couldn't really tell. It looked like two large humps and one small hump. It seems like a spot something might sit to ambush prey, but I don't know what it is, so I'm likely to get hung up on it again if I get too interested in it.

We pulled the trolling motor up and put the big 'un down. I wanted to check out a spot we could go to if we went out again later this week. I knew there were some pads in an area where the hydrilla wasn't so bad, so I went on over there. The water had been clear-stained where we had fished this morning, but when I got to the cove where the pads were at, the water was more muddy. I didn't like it all that much. We headed in and before loading up, we scanned the trees near the launch for lures. I spotted a small red rattle trap and we picked up a bunch of split shots and sinkers. We pulled a fair amount of tangled up line out of trees. I have a pet peeve about line left in trees, so I yank it whenever possible. As I was backing up to turn us around and head back to the ramp, my brother yelled for me to stop and back up some more. I thought he had spotted a lure hung up on some stick ups down in the shallow water. He reached down as I was in the midst of offering him my longer pair of hemostats and pulled up a rod and reel. Go figure. It wasn't anything too expensive. It was a red zebco 202 on a small fairly flimsy rod with a glow in the dark thing on the tip for night fishing.

We loaded up, trashed all the bad line we found, and headed home. I cleaned the rod and reel up, oiled it, and spooled on some line. I think the crank is a little messed up because it catches when you start reeling, but otherwise it's in perfect working order again. As for the trolling motor, I thought the battery was going, but later realized I hadn't pushed the plug in as far as it was supposed to go. Perhaps that prevented sufficient power from going to the motor and didn't give us enough oomph. I'll have to take it down to the ramp again and test things out.

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