This headline is sung to the tune of “Back in the saddle again.” First things first.
I’ve eaten a large plate of crow after last week’s article. Some way I got the wrong winners of the June Future Bass Tournament results. It should have read Don McFarlin and Jim Fennell with five fish going 20.65 pounds. It was a close win as they only beat the team of Jeremy Whitson and Eddie Ramsey by one hunnert of an ounce. They had five going 20.64 pounds. That’s close.
After three fishing trips with Charlie in his boat, it had been over a month since I had put mine in the water. I had planned on getting up early but I blew that idea as when I looked at my clock it was 6:30 a.m.
By the time I had coffee, read the paper, eaten a bite and took Ginger for her early morning ride, it was a little before 9 a.m. when I rolled out of the garage. I had a two-fold plan — I was going to go fishing and when I came back, I planned on putting sliders on my bunk boards to make loading and unloading my boat easier.
Before I left the garage, I put my drill, sliders and screws in the boat. When I came in, I tied up at our dock you can now walk to, gathered up my tools and went up to my trailer. I was ready to put the sliders on when I discovered I didn’t put the screw bit in.
Well off to the house, got it and back to the ramp, installed them and loaded up. It was so easy I almost ran over my truck. Glad the bow support was there. Note to myself — make sure the winch strap is hooked up and tight, otherwise you might launch your boat on the first incline you come to.
With the water falling quicker now, the patterns Charlie and I had been using were gone. Our best places are now out of the water. The falling water is pushing the fish out of the cover into deeper water. There were a few small bass and little stripers left in the shallows. There was still a lot of baby bait fish around the brush.
I finally caught a solid bass on a Shakeyhead with a 3 inch YUM Green Pumpkin Wooly Hawgtail. The fish came from an outside bush just coming out of the deeper water. I kept going down the bank and got to play with another bass.
This one came off the end of a dead tree in deeper water. I fished a long stretch of bank after that one and only caught one more little bass. With not much going on fish-wise, I left and made a run to some boathouses over deeper water. Small clouds of little bait fish were around the ends of the fingers.
Pitching a YUM Pulse on a 3/8 oz. ball head Jig up in the stalls as far as I could and swimming it out, before I left the boathouses I had two more decent fish and missed a couple. From what I caught Wednesday my advice, for what it’s worth, would be that if you go fishing this weekend, fish deeper outside brush and boathouses.
The shallows look good and possibly will hold some good fish but I would look to fish those areas on the main lake points and brush. You are still closer to the bank but the water is deeper. I would fish a YUM Pulse 3.5-inch plastic Swim bait in and around boathouses, a Shakeyhead Jig with a plastic of your choice or a YUM Blue fleck Ribbon Tail worm on a Texas rig.
I caught a bass on one but didn’t get it in the boat. There might have been an early morning topwater bite but I never got a smell on any of the Topwater’s I fished. Starting late I fished for a little over three hours and took about 30 minutes to fix my boat trailer and it was getting hot around noon so I wussed out and quit.
This weekend is going to be a busy one so look out for other boats and make sure you have everything you need to be in a boat on the water. There will likely be several game wardens on the lake. One item often overlooked that can get you a ticket is a faulty fire extinguisher. When was the last time you checked yours to make sure it was charged?
Another overlooked item that will catch a warden’s eye is a life jacket that has a rip or tear in it. While it is ok for swimming, it can be considered faulty in your boat. You also want to keep your throwable cushion ready to hand if they ask for it. It’s a bad time if they see you having to dig to get to it.
This weekend be safe and make sure your boat meets all safety standards while you have fun out on the lake.