There have been lots of things going on out here since my last article. Along with conditions most people don’t like, winter makes bank fishing a lot easier for those big kitty chasers. Colder temps move the big blues into channels and creeks looking for a meal.

There have been lots of things going on out here since my last article. Along with conditions most people don’t like, winter makes bank fishing a lot easier for those big kitty chasers. Colder temps move the big blues into channels and creeks looking for a meal.


This was proven last week when Chris Doty, fishing from a bank in a shallow creek, hauled out a 61-pound catfish. After a trip to the Tackle Box to weigh the big fish he brought it by the house to show me. It was in the bed of his pickup just breathing away while being driven around.


Catfish that big aren’t really that good for eating unless you bleed them out and then get rid of the fat. It’s a lot easier to just skin and eat the smaller ones. He had also caught some of those.


A couple of days later I talked to Chris and he said when they tossed the big fish back in the lake it swam away despite being out of the water for a while.


Monday morning I got up a little late but went fishing anyway. I have a spot that’s good early but after 7:30 a.m. it dies. It’s been that way for years when it gets cold.


Blakemore Road Runners fished on an eight-pound line on a Temple Fork Tactical Medium light Gary Loomis rod caught three quality fish and let one take my Road Runner home with him. Once again my fault: when fishing line in the six-eight-pound class it’s always wise to re-tie after a couple of fish.


In winter when they bite they generally take it inside their mouth. The rough teeth on the bass frays the line then when you get that good fish on it’s more likely to break.


Tuesday morning I got up early and it was foggy to say the least. I was going fishing, fog or not. After all I know the lake like the back of my hand. Yes, I have a fish finder with GPS and it automatically makes a track of where I go. Then all I have to do is follow the track back to where I started.


There is one little catch to that. If you delete the tracks and don’t save them they are gone. No problem. I couldn’t see the front of the boat but I left our cove anyway going to the other side. After almost running over our no wake buoy that jumped out of the fog, I took out across the lake.


Lucky me — when I finally saw some bank I didn’t know at first just where I was. The low lake level threw me. Turned out when I hit the cove I was going to dead center. Nothing to letting the fog slow me down. After fishing the area I left and got to the mouth of the cove. I knew where I was going next but I didn’t remember it taking that long to get there before.


I wasn’t lost, just confused. No problem. I just went to my compass page and started on again. After a short time my lake knowledge overran my confidence in the compass.


I knew it was lost and going in the wrong direction. I took over directions and before long I found the breakwater at the Lighthouse Marina. Knowing where I was and where I wanted to go I took off again after a while I was back at the lighthouse — mental error. I left again and when I saw something in front of me later, yep you guessed it, I was back at the lighthouse. Three strikes and you are out.


I set out with the compass guiding me again. I still didn’t think it knew where it was so I stopped and looked at the sun. You could see it and gulls above the fog but couldn’t see much if you were in it. Well you need more than the sun, at least I do, to get your bearings.


Not wanting to, I let the compass take over and we finally got where I started out for. I caught fish probably because I stayed and fished, waiting for the fog to lift. Eventually I made it back to our ramp, somewhat humbled but still thinking I’m smarter than the unit on my boat.


Wednesday it wasn’t foggy. I got on the water early and as I left our cove I saw smoke on the water and fire in the distance. I headed over and got there just about when a work barge from the lighthouse showed up. Being an ex-fireman I was a little concerned because we couldn’t find anyone in the water or on the shore not far away. I spent some time there looking as the work boat pushed the burning boat to shore. Not being needed I went fishing.


I caught more nice fish but in a different place on a different Blakemore Road Runner lure. About 11 I headed back to the ramp and the boat was still burning and smoking. I called the Herald Democrat and they sent out a photographer. I picked him up at the gas dock and took him to the boat.


He took some shots, then a bunch of loons showed up and they got their picture taken too. I suggested we go look for eagles. We got lucky and found one in a short time. I almost had to get out of the boat to make him fly.


As we headed back to the photographer’s car those ducks Lynn has been saying are scarce were everywhere. I’m just not sure you can hunt them in Little Mineral.


Forget the cold, decoys and other equipment. A big bag of tater chips will have the civilized ones trying to get in your boat. Be careful if you venture out the next few days it is going to be cold. Make sure your boat’s live well pumps and other things are protected.