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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Thursday, January 28, 2010

• Cross Report 1-28-2010

Went fishing for a couple of hours late this afternoon. This time, I came a little more prepared. I set up one rig for pitching a finesse jig, another for cranking, and the third for plastics. Seeing as how I was getting short hits on Tiki Sticks last time, I opted to tie on a shad colored Zoom Super Fluke instead. A Super Fluke offers a smaller profile, slower fall, and different action than a stick worm.

Weather was a little different this time around. Instead of a clear blue cloudless picture with the wind coming from the west, skies were clouded over and the wind was steady out of the east. Water clarity had not improved tremendously, but the stain was not as bad. Water temps hadn't risen much either. If you recall, my measurement the other day read 55 degrees. After a quick check, I discovered the shallow water was still 54 to 55 degrees. With the wind blowing off the main lake, I wondered if maybe the cooler water from out there was mixing and keeping the temps steady.

Worked the same area where I got bit the other day. I had something nip at the fluke twice, but never hooked up. Didn't have any reaction strikes on the Red Eye Shad or any bumps on the Eakins Jig.

After working all the usual spots and battling against the wind, things started to calm down out there. I wondered what else I had in my box that a bass might swallow whole and not simply nip at. That's when I dug out a pumpkin colored Zoom Finesse Worm. I wasn't excited about the color seeing as how the water was still stained, but I could see it a couple of feet down, so it was worth a shot. Rigged it weightless on a 3/0 VMC Needle Point Wide Gap Riggin' Worm Hook with a small barrel swivel holding the nose in place, a trick of my own making, and started casting again.

I made a number of casts back through where I had the nibble and only came up with weeds and written cypress leaves. Then on one cast, something felt a little sluggish on the other end, so I set the hook. There it was. First bass went 1lb 9oz. Hooked it right through the bottom lip. Didn't give me the same kind of obvious tap as before. That made me wonder if the mood had changed to something more subdued. With the front heading our way and the full moon almost upon us, I expected the fish to be a little more gung ho about things.

My next cast snagged in a tree limb, so I gave up pier fishing and went out in the small boat. Fished some nearby cypress trees and worked my way out to one of two isolated trees in the middle. Same thing. Dragged the worm along without even a tap, but felt that same mushy sensation on the other end and set the hook on bass number two. That fish went 1lb 10oz.

I continued to drift around with the wind for a while, casting to the occasional cypress tree, but also out into some open areas where lily pads once grew. Nothing. Headed back into the wind and covered some other lone cypress trees until I got to the next thick line of trees. After hooking into a few sticks, I moved ahead. I had my eye set on one of my "reliable" trees, but worked my way towards it slowly. I made three or four casts to this tree before the wind pushed me away again. I made one last cast which landed short of the tree. This time I felt something heavier on the other end, so I set the hook.

My drag slipped a little bit at first, but I took up the slack and realized I had a fighter. Cranking madly to keep the fish from swimming around a cypress tree, thoughts of losing the fish entered my mind. I started cranking with more diligence, but something just did not feel right as I saw the first flash of yellow cross my field of view. Then it started rolling. I knew that routine. Catfish. Then I saw the whiskers.

Lifted it into the boat, extremely thankful that I had packed my sturdy pair of pliers and long handled hemostats. I spent the next couple of minutes digging the hook out of the corner of its mouth. Catfish never do want to open wide for me. At least I hooked that thing exactly where you want it. Unfortunately, my attempts at prying the hook loose resulted in a warped and mangled EWG hook. Weighed the catfish slowly so as to avoid sending the darn thing into a side to side episode of hysteria. My scale read 3lbs 15oz. Tossed it back as I wasn't in the mood to fillet anything tonight.

Having caught something just shy of 4lbs that late in the day, I figured it was time to call it quits and head in. Besides, I needed some daylight to be able to see to wash the stink of catfish blood off the floor of the boat.

You just never know what to expect.

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