Lily did thing at school called wax museum. This is where the children have to pick someone who was an inventor and talk about their contributions to society. She had to stand there like a statue and every time someone hit the start button on her desk, she would give her presentation on Beulah Louise Henry.
After her presentation, I was tired, but it was Thursday, and as much as I hate to do it I decided to go fishing. I lost yet another big girl in the pads, but managed a few fish anyway. The Biospawn Exosticks have proven to be very good baits. I lost some whoppers on them, but the fish seemed to stay interested and word didn't get out too fast about the new bait in town, so I kept getting hits, and one thing I noticed is that they will hold on to these for a long time. It's a really great action, but the pro model doesn't last very long. The bass tore them up and also threw some off the hook during fights, but I like what ever they like, and they love these.
I rigged them on an EWG after I lost a few hits, and then turned the point out 3degrees, as someone recently recommended to me. The hook eye is exposed and there is a bead between the weight and the hook. This isn't just for clack, I find it helps protect my not too, especially when I'm throwing tungsten.
Fortunately there were a lot of big girls out here tonight, so even though I lost a couple, I still managed to get a few in on Exosticks and Bitter's slings in Green pumpkin red and Okee candy.
I also brought a crank bait rod and a frog rod. My frog rod is an old bass pro 7' 6" that I bought about 8 years ago for snook fishing. It has one of the original Abu Garcia Revo Inshores on it. This is an almost bullet proof reel and has handled big reds, snook and crazy hook sets while frog fishing. The rod seat, on the inshore extreme rod, however is not the most secure. The plastic thread wears out easily and it doesn't match well to to certain reel bases, even though it came as a combo. Well, I got the reel to stay put with a couple of zip ties, and I caught a few small bass on frogs behind the house, but I couldn't get a rise at the Roost.
I think every lake has a top water and a crank bait bite, but some lakes are definitely more conducive to this. I wanted to throw a crank in here, and at this time of year I prefer something that imitates the main forage fish, red craws, red and dark green craws, green and orange craws and blue gill. The water level is way down so I went with a 2 to 4 feet, Strike King in chili. Now that I know there are gizzard shad in here, I think I will be looking for some stuff in that pattern. Whenever they are present I think they become the predominant forage. This is not a lake that I normally throw a crank on, and I have watched guys go around the whole lake with a crank bait, or a frog and catch nothing while I took my limit. When the bass are tight to the Lily pads, a crank bait isn't the best option, and while I love frogs, I would never show up here with a only frogs. I have caught bass on top here, but I think the Boze Sumo is not a good choice in this lake right now. I got the chili craw to work by casting it in an area that has 45 degree sides, and is a place that I don't think bass ever visit except for the purpose of crushing bait. With crank baits I try to fish points, bars and ditches. I like to rip them through weeds or dig them into hard bottom. In some lakes I use the ends of Lily pads, weed humps and steady wind with good success. This is a great time of year for throwing a crank so don't give up, but look for irregularities and bring another rod that allows you to get in to the thicker stuff.
I took Lily the next night and I lost one that I couldn't control in the pads. It was charged up and pulling my rod way down. We lost 2 more, but then our luck started to change. Lily was throwing my last Exo Stick and I was into a bag Okee candy, when we started getting hits on the edge of open water, where it is was much easier to play these fish out.
She couldn't lip this girl with one hand and so I had to stop and pull her out of the water. Incredibly healthy fish. Very proud of Lily for putting in the time with me tonight even through all the missed hits. We both got a little discouraged, but then started finding them again around 10pm. She is exhausted now.
I love the Spring and I will lament yet another monster, but I will be back.
The water has come way down at the Roost, and if you look at the pipes at the end of the pic, they were covered just weeks ago. You can also see part of an otter by the post, and later he would disappear into the culvert next to the pipe.
Its great to see scenes like this in the heart of the city. He is about two thirds of the way through this Tilapia.
Later, when I was fishing that bank, a woman told me to be careful because there was a big Raccoon not far from me. I asked her to show me so I could take a picture of it, and I assumed she meant up in the trees, but she pointed in the water where the otter was swimming. "I hate raccoons,' she stated, 'they're scary." You gotta wonder sometimes. "So, I take it you don't watch much Discovery channel, Nat Geo or Animal Planet?" She told me sometimes, "Well that's not a raccoon, it's an otter,' I said. To which she replied, "Oh, I love otters, they're cute."
"Yea, but only when they're not raccoons, right?"
I think I was close to my ten pound ceiling with my first hook up, but she was one of 2 that got away. My Biospawn lures had come in so I was anxious to try them out, and I have to say, there is no stick bait yet that moves quite like the Exo pro. I bought it in red bug and this was a winner out here. The company offers the Exo sticks in two styles, which is smart depending on the action and fall rate you want. I wasn't sure what I would think of them so I only ordered one pack, but that was a mistake. These are awesome baits and I will be trying out some of their Plasma tails soon. For now, I highly recommend the sticks.
The bass forecast called for a slow day, but when one of my girls wants to go fishing with me, well, I don't pass up on the opportunity. There was supposed to be a small feeding time around 1pm, but it was 10:30 am and we found ourself casting to a wall at Secret Lake. Drew did manage to hook up here and fought a fish for a few seconds before he threw her off. This was on VMC Rugby head with a Big Bite Baits creature.
They do rent kayaks here and I think this would be the way to approach it. In one of the three lakes, that the park borders on, you did have access to deeper water from the shore, on the west side, but there was a bit of a feeding frenzy occurring much further out, to the north side of the lake. She did manage to hook up off the dock though, but cover was a ways away. The other lake, North Triplet lake was shallow on the available side, but there were a lot of people launching kayaks on that side.
Secret Lake Park is very well kept though and there were a lot of nice birds and I believe the canal system connects all the way to Lake Jessup. I think I will rent a kayak next time and explore the other lakes. The south lake looked like great top water and bedding opportunities.
So we left Secret Lake, grabbed her a strawberry banana smoothie from WAWA and headed to the Roost. She still had yet to whine about going home, and it was an hour before 1 0clock rolled around and I missed my first hit. I tell you what, I told her, if you catch a fish before I do, we can call it quits and go home. She jumped down from the wall she was playing on and got really serious. Fortunately I caught a bass first on the same craw, but I told her if she catches one, she can call it. She rummaged through my bag and found a stick bait, and then she started really working the pads.
Oh no, I see a bent rod, and so my day is probably over, but after she caught that one she wanted to stay a little longer.
And glad she did, I'm so proud. They are so much easier to teach when they are separate, but as soon as we got home big sister had to rub it in that she watched the last Hunger Games without her. Oh the horror, that sweet little face of a bass fishing angel, fell from the heavens and in to a fiery tantrum. I did say I was proud of her earlier, well, I guess we will always have that afternoon at the Roost.
I went back out with Drew's rod as the sun was starting to dip by the condo, and picked up a couple more bass on her stick bait. As I was doing this I started noticing the bait fish boiling on the top, and so I went back for my crank bait rod and a slash bait.
I love having a crank bait rod again, what a blast, and I've always preferred using the slash baits on them too, as long as they aren't too light. I'm not sure how this poor guy got double hooked in the side, but I caught him and another bass coming over a point that the wind was blowing against.
Drew came out to tell me to come inside, but then decided to take a few cast.
Six more bass and my first crappie in this lake, what a day!
My wife has never cared for roses, but she does like Betsey K's chocolate, and it has to be dark. Lily and I stopped by there on the way home from Michael's. I have come to enjoy Michael's much more through the eyes of a young fisher. She saw me looking at glass and brass beads one day at Bass Pro, and she is the crafty sort, so she mentioned that they have a better selection at Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Joann's. Now, when we go to get the materials she needs for her projects, I see the place in a new kind of light. She's right, they do have a better selection and the ones I bought today come in a handy, portable vile.
These will go along nicely with my some of my craws and creature baits. I also haven't had any luck finding a Jackson Big Tuna at the prices I had seen them for on Craigslist. I guess everyone has there tax return now and what had been watching, for the two months prior to having the money, is now all gone. Oh well, I am a parent too and I am sure there are other things my girls need, and my not having a kayak right now will only protect a portion of the bass in the lake. So instead she sent me to a Valentine's day Mecca, yes, that's right, Bass Pro Shop, and they had a deal running on pro qualifier reels. They are marked down till tomorrow from 99.99 to 49.99. I bought one in 7.1 to 1 ratio to go on a Medium power, fast tapered, Abu Veritas 2.0 and one in a 6.4 to one ratio to go on a medium power, more moderately tapered Abut Veritas 2.0 Winch.
I haven't had a crank bait rod in forever, and once I sold the kayaks it wasn't a priority, because I couldn't get to the water I would typically fish a crank bait in most lakes. There are so many man made lakes, drainage ditches, and lakes like Sand Lake where these work well though. Most of these lakes, like golf course lakes, offer great crank bait opportunities from the shore. My lake is full of snot, but I still had to take it out to see how it cast. Considering most of the bait casters I usually eye are in the 349 dollar range, this sale allowed me to outfit two rods, that will cover multiple situations for me, with two reels and some terminal gear for 350. They even have a deal running where they spool it with their line for free, but make sure you ask for this, since the guy behind the counter didn't volunteer that information. I cast it and it was very user friendly. They only had lefties left in these ratios, but I actually prefer that on frog rods, since they typically double as pitch'n rods for me. I was going to get the 7.1 in left hand anyway, because I intend to use it for some finesse jigging and worm fishing. They had some of the slower crank bait speeds, but I opted for the 6.4 to 1 because I live in Florida, it gets me to depth quickly, I tend to pause often anyway, and I have good luck at this speed. It's not the traditional crank bait ratio, but its rare that I am in any water over 8 to 10 feet, and the lakes around here are clear. Well, after my first few cast I have to say, you can't beat it for 49 dollars, and I am very happy. Thank you, Meegan.
Chocolate worked for me.
I remember raising Discus fish as a young man, and since we made our own food, usually from a beef heart base, we were also able to experiment with other ingredients in the blend. One of those ingredients was garlic and it was sufficiently demonstrated to me, by other hobbyist, far more experienced and advance than myself, to aid in the reduction of internal parasites. Garlic has a very strong odor though, so I was curious to see how the fish would respond, and they attacked the food with vigor. So, as I open a bag of StankX Baits, and the garlic hits my nose, it is not at all a cause for concern, but a rather great way to cover human and or plastic and metal scent. "Oh, stank, I get it now.
I went with a 1/8 of an ounce bullet weight, a 3/0 worm hook and a .40 cal stick bait in Rebel Gill. The Rebel Gill looked like a perfect match for these waters, and the lake seems even clearer than usual. In my mind there are no magic lures, but if I was left with only one type of lure to fish, then I would probably choose a stick bait. It has a rather humble appearance, but it is hard to match its versatility. I often like to fish them in the same ways you would fish a craw, and at times it will out produce the craw. There are no appendages, the .40 cal is a sleek finish, and I was able to catch my city limit on a single bait. I rigged this way because I thought the bass would be in the pads, and because I also feel that presentation, i.e. the fall rate, and bait freedom are factors, especially on hard days, and in cleaner water. For example, I was following behind my brother, who was using the same bait but on a Florida rig, and I caught 3 of my bass in a place he had just worked and 2 in a spot he had been working prior to me. He didn't catch a fish until after he moved the weight. The Florida rig is like any good tool, and has its place depending on the job that needs to be done, but last night I preferred, or more importantly, the fish seemed to prefer the fall of the Texas rig. I linked the Florida rig to a video that shows one way of tying it, but the most important thing to note is how deep he starts the hook. This allows the hook freedom to travel during the hook set, and this is very important, as you can lose a lot of fish when the weight and worm are acting as one unit. The bass may clamp down on the weight or the weight may press up against the hard lip of the fish. Starting deeper allows the hook to travel, exit the worm and penetrate the fish's mouth. This is the opposite of how I rig it Texas style. I only start the hook deep enough to allow the eye to remain exposed at the top of the bait. I often fish it with a small plastic bead between the weight and hook, and the main purpose of the exposed eye is to keep the weight from directly contacting the worm. It helps the worm last longer and fall off the bend much less.
The lunar calendars called for a very slow night, and I always go regardless, but it does bare some consideration in your approach. It looked dead out there, and the wind was rather unforgiving as the cold air moved in, but we managed 6 fish none the less. I am very happy with these hand made lures, and since I fish some difficult waters I am going to place an order for some more Rebel Gill, Bluegilla, Yankee gill (to see how you guys do it up north), and Molting craw, for my clear water. The Aurora and June Gem look great for the chocolate milk, stained and night fishing in low lit areas of clear water lakes. Some lakes I know that have really good horizontal visibility, are also amiable to darker colors during the day. This may be in part to the bass's position in the water column and looking down at a dark, muddy bottom, where your worm is being worked. It may also be a color that isn't often thrown in these lakes.
Once my stick bait took too much of a beating from the fish, and the pads and rocks, I pulled it off the hook and bit off about a quarter inch. I then reinserted the hook and kept on fishing. The garlic flavor lingered in my mouth for quite some time, but I love garlic, so no complaints here.
I can't stress this enough though, I caught my first two fish back to back, and the second was duplicating the cast I got the first fish on. Always cast back to where you caught or missed a fish. Fishes 3, 4 and 5 were also on the same cast in another area of the lake, fishing the pads. Not all of the pads held bites, and I left the area to hit another side of the lake but returned to check back about an hour later and took my last 3 fish, in an area that I had fished earlier with no success. Oh, and some times you get two upsize on your follow up cast.
The first pic is from last week. I really liked the way this H2O Tilapia looked in the water, and I tried it out off a point where I caught this guy. The bait is really balanced in the water and unlike some other wake baits I've tried, it still looks rather convincing on the pause. This would be a great canal and drainage ditch lure. Mine is hanging from a cypress tree at the moment though. Move forward to just after the full moon and a night at the Roost where I continue testing out some Big Bite Baits.
This stick bait was awesome, and I had the most success with it Texas rigged accompanied by a 4/0 worm hook and 1/8 ounce weight, unpainted. It is a laminate with this being the other side.
It's a little different than some of the other bluegill pattern stick baits I like to throw, but it did give me 4 of my limit that night. The colors in the top photo are what drew me to it, and the pattern on the bottom is not something that has worked well for me on its own, but in this combination it was an excellent bait. I focused on the Lily's pads because I thought that was where the spawners would be, and though I didn't catch any big girls, it was fun dragging the scrappy males off their beds.
It has become a Thursday ritual for me to go out here and clear my mind of work. The peak fishing bite was not till late in the evening so I just tried to get the limit of 5 and then went home to get out of the 46 degree weather. I know my friends up north would kill for some of this right now, but anything below 55 is cold to me.
Not a lot of size but definitely a lot of fun. I did brake off a few times on rocks and lost my last shaky jig to what I think was a gar, but other than that not a bad night.
After my last brake off I went to a Big Bite Creature. I have really liked using their baits.
The next day saw me on the road, running an errand in Bushnell for my wife. When I was a young man I use to always carry a fishing rod in the car, and the last time I had to go out here I told my daughter that it would be the last time without a rod. So I packed a rod and grabbed a bag of tackle. I looked at two other bodies of water after my errand, but I had always wanted to try this park. It is right down and across from the hospital where my Drew was born. There is lots of shore line, grass and Lily pads.
The two lakes I fish most often are quite clear, but the water Lake Harris looks like chocolate milk compared to the lake behind the house. There are about 10 other people fishing, and it looks like everyone is using very similar, dark worms. I opt for a creature to be different, and throw a Kriet, very nice, I'm getting hits right away.
This is nice, even with the pressure from other anglers the dark water gives up fish easily. One of the gentleman there got a little upset with just how easy they were coming to me. Come on now, fishing is suppose to be fun.
Big Bite Baits definitely have a lot of winners, and this creature is awesome looking in the water at a variety of speeds. I will have to get another bag since these were only sample size and there is only 2 left. It was fun to hit some dark water and I have couple other places where I think this lure will shine.
My phone doesn't do justice to this purple Gallinule , beautiful birds out here.