With the bass fishing almost non-existent in Little Mineral, no bait and few gulls and a bass club tournament coming up this weekend, bad as I hated to I went to Lake Cleveland, a.k.a. Highport.

With the bass fishing almost non-existent in Little Mineral, no bait and few gulls and a bass club tournament coming up this weekend, bad as I hated to I went to Lake Cleveland, a.k.a. Highport.

I got there and gulls were working but not real heavy. As I haven’t seen the few gulls doing anything but sitting on the Little Mineral side this was encouraging. Lake Cleveland’s name sake, Paul, and his saddle partner Rick Toth, said fishing was slow.

Now we know how fishermen are. I figured they were catching fish and didn’t want no company, so they were giving me the "Poor woe is me" song. I fished under the birds — not a bite. I fished where I usually catch fish — nothing.

As I was tying on the kitchen sink, having thrown everything else, I just up and left. Running toward Mill Creek the lake looks different. I made sure I stayed way off the bank. I fished in Mill for a while and caught a couple of fish.

Not wanting to beat them up if I do fish there Saturday, I left. The lake was perfect for running so I made sure I got out to the river channel before taking off west. Not much going on out there either.

Back to the coves north of Highport, I went into one I had caught winter fish in before. While the point was shallower, it dropped off into 20 feet of water. Picking up my rod with a Blakemore Road Runner on it I shot the YUM grub with YUM F2 Shad scent. I made a cast, let the lure get to the bottom and started a slow steady retrieve.

My medium action TFO Gary Loomis Tactical rod let me read the bottom easily. I almost set the hook several times on hitting some rocks or brush, and it felt good. I lost contact with the bottom as the Road Runner came off the point and started falling. I began to freeline it, pulling off line so it fell straight down instead of swinging away. As it fell a light tic and I caught a fish, released it, and caught another. After the third one I quit. I just might need them to be there Saturday.

My partner for this tournament is David Kenney. He and I are the two oldest club members. Together we’ve got over 140 years of fishing experience. I’ll let you know how the Geritol Twins do next week.

I went to the Six Ole Geezers website and found us bass fishermen aren’t the only ones having a hard time. Evidently bait is scarce up north also. Striper fishing is slow.

One guide said the quality fish had moved; another said small fish were plentiful up around the bridges just at daylight. Highport parking lot only had four trucks in it when I got there. The posts also said slabs along the river channel were working.

Live bait if you can find it is always good. There was no mention of Dead Sticking and last week it was really popular.

With the winds forecast to blow this weekend — if you plan on getting out in the open water to fish be careful. There are a lot of boogers just under the water so if you are unfamiliar with the lake, take it easy and use good judgment on distance to stay off the bank and even that can change in the blink of an eye.

I made it through this week without anything bad happening to me if you don’t count sitting down and scooting along on my rear end picking up pecans. I found that fire ants, while slow, aren’t hibernating as I stopped on a nest.

Reacting quickly and giving my pecans to the ants I managed to only get bit a few times. I poisoned the bed. More observant after that I found two more. Only the weather being cold and slowing them down kept the neighbors from seeing a Preston Shores strip show.

With age comes wisdom, sometimes, so I figure if the wind blows like they are forecasting I’m not going to be doing much running.

Take a drive around the lake in your car with a pair of binoculars and look for eagles — the dam area is good as are the trees along the shoreline of Little Mineral. With the lake down walking the banks is easy also.