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Thursday, September 29, 2011

I took off early today and went to the lake by myself.  There is a BFL tournament on the lake this weekend so I figured I'd get my fishing in today before it turned into a mad house. 

As soon as I put in I could see baitfish jumping everywhere...looks like the fall pattern has started...fish are hunting in the coves and creeks...this should be great. 

A fish hit topwater right next to my boat while i was at the fuel dock...a great sign...this was gonna be the best day ever.

I started throwing a spinner bait and running it through schools of baitfish that seemed to be everywhere.  I got no action.  Then I threw a buzzbait, then a crankbait, all for naught.  I got no action.  I fished the coves near the marina first, then I fished a wind swept point, then I fished a rock bluff, fish were busting everywhere but I couldn't get anything, anywhere, anyhow to bite. 

Finally I made it out the main part of the creek.  The wind was blowing way harder than forecast and I could see that as soon as I got around this point that I'd have my hands full trying to control the boat.  I enjoyed life in the calm water as long as I could.

This area is a big gravel point and I was throwing a jig with a craw trailer...nothing.  i rounded the point and got into the wind and I started throwing a crankbait...my all time lucky "everything in the lake eats this type of fish" crankbait.  After 5 minutes of getting the stuffing knocked out of me I started to decide that I was going to leave early...this was an exercise in boat control...not fishing. 

About that time I felt something try to take my crankbait...it missed...but it gave me some hope that I wouldn't get skunked.  I was seriously thinking of selling my boat at this point.

After getting struck I thought to my self "what would the guys at Ultimate Bass Forum do?"

And I thought...they'd slow down and work the area.  So I broke out the jig with a craw trailer and I tried to maintain a feel for the bottom while wind blew me every-which-way-but-loose.

After a few casts I felt something "different" so I set the hook.  Twenty seconds later I had a 2.5 lb spotted bass in the boat.  Cool...at least I won't be skunked.  I started working the area methodically and I really started plotting to get one of those trolling motors with "spot lock".  I can't stand fishing like this...I spend more time trying not to fall out of the boat and trying to keep the boat positioned than I do fishing...I'd be better off hiring a dedicated boat driver.

i'm reallly thinking about going home at this point...I have to be up early and it's crappy on the lake and i have every reason in the world to bail.  Moments later the wind died down and I regained control of the boat.  I decided to work over the gravelly point one more time before going home. 

I broke out my lucky crankbait and I threw to the spot where the gravel peninsula disappeared with water on both sides.  The crankbait landed in shallow water and I could immediately feel the grating of it working into the gravel when THUMP.  Within two turns of the reel something hit me.  It felt heavy...about the time I was deciding if it was a catfish or a drum a fat largemouth breached the surface in a violent fit trying to shake the lure. 

I transitioned immediately from a frustrated dude that wanted to sell his boat to a pacing, praying, cursing, talking-to-himself maniac muttering things like "OMG it's a hog" and "$&#(# I wish I had the net." and "OMG he's gonna break my line...he's a pig...he's a hog" and on and on it went.

The fish breached one more time on the way back and I was shocked at how much water this thing threw when it busted up top...if you air dropped a cinder block into the lake it couldn't have made more of a splash.  I'm guessing a tsunami alert was issued for the other side of the lake but at that point I had my hands full and couldn't worry about it.

At one point I thought he got off...but he had merely been swimming toward me...despite all the rucus he wasn't fighting much.  Then I got a look at him...and he got a look at the boat...the klaxon went off and it was DIVE!  DIVE!  DIVE!!

This was a nice fish...I was really worried about losing him.  I could see i had the treble in the corner of his mouth good, and he had tried to shake it twice so I was sure he wouldn't come unhooked...but the line was the weak link.  When had I last retied?  Were there any knicks in the line last time I checked it?  OMG I should have retied!  How stupid am I for not retying?  ARGH!

He was stripping drag from my reel like crackheads taking copper from an abandoned house.  It was unreal.  Now I'm praying...PRAYING that my line doesn't break.  He might have had 10 feet of line to play with and when I'd get him near the boat....WHOOOSH!  He'd dive under it and take another 8 feet.  I must have brought him out from under the boat four times before he'd tired himself out enough that I could get a hand on him.

Ultimately the line held, the hooks kept their grip, and I landed my personal best largemouth.  And to think I was seriously considering going home early and selling my boat just 10 minutes earlier.

I took a pic, let him go, retied, recast, and BAM!  Another very nice largemouth from the same area.  I was laughing out loud now...all by myself in the middle of the lake just having a ball.  This one got all the way back to the boat and shook the hook....I didn't care...I was having too good a time. 

I'm done fishing for the weekend...but man what a trip.

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