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  1. 30 likes
    So, first day off the boat toter. Only things that broke were one braid-fc leader and my sunglasses strap. Good start. Fishing was, well, scary. Decent limit by 930ish. Full keeper slam by 10 am. Hard one was the spot. Go figure. Three keeper meanies total. Tried to stop counting keepers at 15, then hit 2 more back to back and gave up. That was around 230, fished till 445 or so with no drop off. Water 65-68 or so, colored up. Pretty shallow bite. Best one was a 19 & 1/2" black. If it didn't rhyme with bread, or something... Got a little touchy with the sun, but they didn't move. Just hunkered down and bite got softer. Keying on little features, and not avoiding rock snot at all. The jaws are just an immovable force when you pop them.
  2. 27 likes
    Sometimes we just have to tap the brakes and give thanks for the true blessings and the mercies that we have been given as a result of the greatest sacrifice. I am more blessed than I deserve and thankful for the grace that is bestowed upon me - if it were not for those two things I am not sure where I would be in this crazy world. Happy Easter everyone C4F
  3. 22 likes
    Hit it pretty hard today with the looming forecast. Fortunately the fish played along. Caught a tremendous number of solid keepers. Not monsters, but 16"-18" fish. Pushing hard on 20+, not including squeakers. Caught them all day, more or less regardless of water temp or color. Most of the fish were sitting on the bottom in 15' or so. But we also caught a few on the banks (blacks) and as deep as 30' (K's). Spots are relating to docks pretty consistently. Best deal was the 1/8 OFH with a cut Zinkerz on 6#. Mix of colors, everything from gp red flake to shad colors. Fish don't really seem to be eating anything. No sign of shad, craws, etc. Other than a few blacks on the bank of spawn coves, most of these fish have clearly not been near a bed yet. Hard to reconcile that with temps, but there it is. John managed his first keeper slam today. Cool deal. Something we should all enjoy, as it's just not available most places.
  4. 22 likes
    A 19" and a 20" in two casts.
  5. 21 likes
    Got out for 6 hours Friday, starting at 11 a.m. Lower part of the White. Ned and spinnerbait did the bulk of the damage. Ended the day with 24 and 8 keepers. Best five 16 pounds. Had an eagle fly water level 50 yards from the boat, finally heard a gobbler sound off about 1 p.m. and made another feathered friend (below) with whom I shared a granola bar. He actually took some of it from my hand. Gorgeous day to be out.
  6. 21 likes
    Fished from above Big M down to about point 23. Above Big M the water is fairly dingy, visibility maybe a foot or two, below it starts to clear up a bit, maybe 3-5 feet of viz. In the dirty water I caught fish on a Wiggle Wart and the Menace grub on a 3/8 oz wobble head. In the clearer water the Ned was working better. Stained water fish were better quality overall, caught 6 largemouth keepers on the Wart and Menace, mainly back in pockets and coves. Caught one smallie keeper on the Ned. 25 bass total. Worked the Wart and Menace fairly close to the bank on rocky shores. Ned was catching deeper fish, 10-20 FOW. Water temps 55-57
  7. 19 likes
    For any lack of a better description....I caught the s*** out of them today, 4-26-2017. As I've mentioned before, I've gotten to know the vertical fishing game after fishing the docks at Indian Point for a few years, and today, my training paid off. I've been out on the boat 4 trips over the last 10 days and we've cleaned house with a watermelon red gitzit on pea gravel main lake points. Sitting in 30', casting to the point, and the smallmouth and kentuckies would hit it before it hit the bottom. An 1/8 oz tube insert did better than a 1/4 oz, since it fell more slowly. But today was at the dock was different. Bass of all types had the threadfin shad cornered underneath the dock. I suspected this to be the case due to all the rain - a rainy, cloudy, windy day. And was I right... I caught no less than 40 fish in the span of about 3 hours. One after the other. I was pitching a 1/4oz Kastmaster flutter spoon, silver with a white feather, and letting it fall either 25 seconds or until they hit it...the later was typically the case. Many fish spit up shad when I got them to the dock. See my picture to see why I was catching fish.... This was also the first time I caught smallmouth on the spoon. This was also the first time I've caught any fish on the spoon under the dock this late in the spring, 3 years running. This is typically a winter or late winter pattern I've found - so it was definitely a ton of fun! Closer to dark, I put on the watermelon red gitzit and went closer to shore, and what do you know, caught smallmouth there, too. All I can say is get out there, use your instincts, and you'll find them. Every female smallmouth I caught had eggs. About half of the kentuckies I caught, still had eggs. I caught zero largemouth. This is interesting to me because 10 days ago I caught a big Kentucky that was spawned out - so it goes to show you that the spawn happens over a period of time - every fish doesn't rush to the bank to spawn all at once. Water temps on the gauges show 63 at 10' and 62 at surface - I caught all these fish not much further than a cast distance from my gauge. The gar are thick, but the bass didn't seem to mind.
  8. 19 likes
    Had a wonderful afternoon on the water yesterday with my youngest son. We fished from 12:00 - 6:00. Caught 52 from 12"-18". 13 keepers. 45 were smallies. Water temps 62-65. Vast majority came on the Ned. A few came on a tx-rigged baby brush hog and a few on a swimbait late in the day swimming it past submerged cedars. All came from 16' or less and procreation is in full swing. Didn't have any wind to fight and I didn't break anything on the boat. Every once in awhile, it all comes together.
  9. 19 likes
    Sorry for the late report but my already sick self during the trip ended up coming down with pneumonia when we got back, so I haven't done much of anything the last few days. We had a small group of friends down for a buddy "tournament" that we ran MLF style but still only tracking our biggest 5. My buddy I fished with had never fished Table Rock before, and after this trip, he's completely spoiled. We never caught fewer than 30 fish in a day, both managed 5 fish limits each day, including several solid fish in the 3-4 pound range. I was concentrating on channel swings at first when we got to the lake Thursday around noon and managed to find one little cut that they'd corralled shad into. I did alright for myself there, but Coty would have had a high teens bag by himself, all on a 3/8oz underspin and 3.8 Keitech. He caught the 3.68lb smallmouth, and 4.20lb largemouth on back to back cast. It was pretty unreal. Friday we fished around Aunt's Creek. Caught fish about everywhere we stopped and were able to duplicate the small pockets where the channel swung in, again with the underspin. Didn't catch quite the quality, but Coty had another high 3 range fish along with several solid 2.5-2 3/4 pound fish. Towards the end of the day we ran back near the ramp and found fish busting. Fish everywhere on the graph and they were pounding the underspin. All barely short of just barely keepers, but still a lot of fun. Saturday, we started around KC, but the torrential downpours seemed to shutoff or underspin bite. We managed to get a small limit before running to Aunt's. I started throwing a jerkbait and about the time the wind started blowing, they started really eating it. I ended up catching our 2 biggest fish of the day, a 3.68 largemouth and 2.90 spot that looked like it was about to explode. The fish had stuck to the channel swings or close to steep drops, but seemed to have moved to gravel or sand banks or points. We ended the day with 13 3/4 pounds, less than half a pound from second. Sunday, We decided to stick it out in KC because it seemed the better quality bite was there. Started out the morning hot and heavy, but mostly smaller smallmouth. They really wanted the jerkbait, so I kept feeding it to them. It was dead calm, and the bigger ones didn't seem to want to move for it. Finally got a little ripple on the water, and I quickly boated 3 keepers before we made a short move to a point I'd wanted to fish if the wind started moving towards it. It was a good call as our biggest of the weekend literally tried to swallow my jerkbait. It had been a tougher day, so we were feeling pretty good, but really wanted another quality bite to feel like we had a shot. Then the sun came out, wind died, and so did the bite. We went a couple hours only culling up a little with a 2.5lb smallmouth on the jerkbait, but still had a 2 pounder to get rid of. Decided to try to the little pockets again to see if there was any magic left. Very first one, Coty got slack lined on his underspin and put the one we needed in the net. We ended up with 14 3/4 on the day, which gave us the win by almost 2 pounds and big bass for the weekend with my 4.14lb fish. It was an absolute blast. Always love fishing the lake, but I've never seen her show out like that.
  10. 17 likes
    Not sure any of this matters, given the impending condition, if not climate, change occurring. Fish were tougher yesterday, but still catchable. Found the wind useless, blowing down banks, not on them. Ended up with 8 keepers, two on a big shakey head. Those were deeper K's that did not look like they had been near a bank yet. Rest were all Ned fish. Had to be super slow, light bite. Best 5 wouldn't have had any shorter than 16" and change. Saw a lot of beds, many with males in them. Behaving pretty aggressively. If you put Ned in the bed, it was almost automatic. Today was damp. Managed a mixed 4 & 1/2 hrs, in between dock sessions. Lightning tracker was lit up, but never really saw any. Safe vs sorry, though. Had 10 keepers in that broken up span. Best two were a 19" and an 18" smallmouth. Would have needed to be over 17" to ride the ride today. All were on the little guy. The 1/8 ounce is just killing the lighter head now, even on the fall around docks. Don't get in a hurry to avoid the rock snot. Fish are right in it. A nice random crappie.
  11. 17 likes
    Fished the BBT with my brother over the weekend. Like Alex and others have stated we caught a bunch of fish but just not the right ones. Lots of cookie cutter 2-3lb butterballs. Stayed around the dam area for the most part but did run up towards Cow Creek and Spring Branch to poke around and get a little further away from the crowds (hardly). Fished my strength which is the jerkbait and caught plenty of 15-16" fish. Fished bluff ends, docks, timbered pockets and some timbered transition banks leading towards the back of creeks. Most fish came in the 10-15 FOW range. Also caught them on a jig, flutter spoon and big 10" shakeyhead worm. TRIED to crank but around the dam is just too loaded with rock snot that you are picking it off the hooks and bill every single cast. So gave that up pretty much immediately. Water clarity in the dam area is about 10 feet or more. Long creek is around 1 foot or less and pure chocolate milk. Found water temps ranging from 56 and all the way up to 60 in some areas later in the day with the warm wind howling down creeks and the main lake. Day one of the BBT didn't have anything to weigh in above 3lbs. Day 2 I weighed in a 3.17 smallmouth around 11am hour that fell short of cashing. Last hour of the tourny ran a familiar set of docks in an unnamed branch and ran into a 4.44 largie on a NuTech jig from a dock. Turned out to be a $1,000 cast as it held for the #1 spot the final hour of day 2. Was a lot of fun to fish in the BBT per usual. Can't wait for another 363 days to fish it again. Thanks to the BBT staff for their hard work and running a fun tournament where even a chump like me can win a little money or perhaps new rig. Also met SplitG2 unknowingly during day 1. Was fishing around his dock when he had the boat on his lift and told me about his boat issues. Caught many a good fish off his dock. Hope you get that taken care of pal and back on the water soon. Best fishing of the year is now thru May so hopefully you aren't out of commission long. I would say the next week or two the lake should be on fire. Fish are either already in the backs of creeks or getting ready to pull up. The dam area is a little behind the river arms I imagine. My brother and I didn't find a whole lot in the very backs of creeks but by the amount of boats fishing in them there had to be some action. Did find a shad spawn going on at one location with a good amount of surface gizzard activity. Fish can be caught on a WIDE variety of baits right now. Topwater bite is also around the corner I think. Fun times ahead. Tight lines and please practice CPR on the big girls this time of year. -Brett My 15 seconds of fame via BBT snapchat Jig Used
  12. 16 likes
    Tournament was held and other than a little chill and a misty rain everyone seemed to have a good time. Carl W took home the bragging rights this year with a 3.89 fish. Lots of fish were caught. Congratulations to Carl W. it is only fitting that he caught it on a Ned. And for those who are asking "What's a Ned?" Well you just have to hang out with OAF folks and you'll know a huge thank you to Quillback and Muddy Water for all the work they did to make the day and picnic enjoyable. Also a huge thank you to everyone who donated time, food and/or supplies. For those that couldn't make it this year hopefully you can make it next year. Mike
  13. 16 likes
    Thank you for following this quest. Without out the help that I received here on OAF I would not have been able to complete this adventure. Thank you all !
  14. 15 likes
    We finally got enough water to move the boys club into the creeks. This should be enough for a good mess. Now, if they'll just not suck the lake back down AGAIN !
  15. 15 likes
    Ok. Mrs Billethead went hunting on her won yesterday morning (Mr out of town). I went back to the spot where we had gone last week. Sat a few minutes and heard three birds gobbling back in the woods. Just sit there and soon a hen flew out, then a couple other ones, and soon tommy! I shot one time and boom he hit the ground. I walked over to take a picture with my phone so that I could send it to Mr and then sat a cried. I had done it! I proceeded to carry that heavy bird back to the house, called it in, strung it up, and proceeded to clean (butcher) it. I admire you guys that clean turkeys...it is not easy! Had 10 inch beard, just over 1 inch spurs, and weighed 18 pounds. I re-weighed him because I did no have my glasses on the first time!. Have a great day!!
  16. 15 likes
    Also went out with the wife today. Left the state park and fished toward cedar ridge. We ended up with a total of 20 walleye, only 8 were keepers. Caught a lot of 12 to 13 in fish. Largest was 21, all on bottom bouncers anywhere from 16 to 23 ft.
  17. 15 likes
    My buddy Gary and I put in at Big Bay on Wednesday 4/19 at about 6:30am. We fished Big Creek for a few hours and caught several fish, but they were mostly dinks. I'm a slow learner so after lunch we finally decided to head somewhere else to try to find some decent sized bites. We wound up hitting three more areas of the lake that were about 12-15 miles apart. We found the bass to be biting well every where else we went. Not sure why Big Creek was so tough.
  18. 15 likes
    Fished today starting about 8:00. Came off the water at 1:30. Warer temp at HI around 64, and 66 downstream of Eagle Rock. Fished a top water for an hour, just to see. Caught two dinks and one larger flash took a swing and a miss at it. Moved down lake and fished the Ned. 19 bass total. Several dinks, 4 keepers, and the majority between 10 and 14 inches. In the photos, the second fish was the largest, nearly 3 pounds. The third fish did not measure and I included it to give a reference on size.
  19. 15 likes
    For any of you guys who regularly fish from Indian Point Marina, be on the lookout for a silver/grey Scion. It's a little coup. There will be 4-5 or more teenagers and they've been fishing the docks around the marina. I frequent this area due to the many friends I have on D Dock. At first, they were just a little annoying, but I figured I was a teenager once, so let them be. They were down last night and again tonight. Beyond being a bit loud and teenager-ish, I saw them tonight with a stringer they could hardly lift just full of short smallmouth. Very few things get me going - there are a slew of illegal or frowned upon things I could witness and will almost always look the other way if it isn't affecting me or someones safety, but raping our resource of small-fish, especially smallmouth, is enough to make me call the law. I've fished the marina area for 3 years and haven't kept a single smallmouth and to see that just made me boil, especially knowing they probably had eggs. I'm not a whiner and every citizen, if licensed, has the right to catch and keep their share, when beyond the trophy limit. This was simply not the case! Indian Point Police got there late, but I am sure they'll be back tomorrow. They boasted that they had caught 25 the last two nights, and they didn't have less than 15 shorts on a stringer. Drives me insane. I'm going to sting operation the punks tomorrow evening. If you're taking out and see the vehicle and a gang of teenagers, do us all a favor and call the law on them. I'll be down there waiting after 5. Rant over. Other than this ruining my night, fishing has been good.
  20. 15 likes
    Duane and I launched at 39 bridge yesterday at 6:30 am. We had no idea what we were doing really. Last time we'd been there at Sons Creek was 5-6 years ago. Water was probably 4 feet lower and it looked different, of course. Water temp was 63 and it was dirty. We were the first ones at the ramp which was a little concerning. Excepted a mad rush to the crappiethon, from the reports we've seen and heard. We started there... but had no confidence after 30 minutes of no action. I think we did catch one keeper on down the bank. We kept moving pretty fast, fishing both sides since it was so narrow through there. Finally had some company but they all boated past us so we got the hint. The water did turn from brown to green about 3/4 mile from the ramp. We moved around some. Picked up one crappie here and there. No pattern. We were throwing small swim baits and jigs along the bank and around wood. If you've never been there, it's WOOD OVERLOAD! At one point, we made a move mid morning, out clear of the wood field and fished a rock bank, then the flat side along a tree row. We found out later that some guys caught them good in the pole timber there. We went back in Sons and fished the opposite bank of the ramp. Finally found a pattern we stayed with and caught our limit. We fished out from the bank no more than 10-12 feet, but started real close to it using our fly rods and a Bobby Garland tiny jig heads (I'd say 1/32nd ounce) and a black/pearl blue tiny body (Duane will have to fill in the blank cause I don't know what they're called). And under a float 12 to 18 inches. We caught them around wood best but caught them ramdomly too. Didn't catch many shorts and most keepers we didnot have to measure. All males but 2 sows with eggs. They did like the steeper bank vs the more shallow, gravel bank but most of that bank is steeper. I think we were sitting in 8-10 feet of water most of the time. Water temperature was 70 when we left at 3:30 pm. We saw a few guys catching but most seemed like they were moving down the bank and swimming something. We didn't catch anything swimming... all were on the float and (this is important) we had to leave it 20-30 seconds before they bit it, most of the time. They didn't want it moving. They guys we saw catching were either fishing with a float or vertical jigging.
  21. 15 likes
    My wife and I launched at 6:45 at Long Creek ramp. Chilly ride this morning!!!! We both started out throwing green pumpkin chartreuse pepper tube jig on a 1/16th oz. head. We threw to the bank and fished out to about 15 feet of water. Most crappie was caught right close to bank out to 10 feet depth. The bite was very light and sometimes you would just feel extra weight on your line. You would catch one or two in a spot and then you would have to move to a different spot. We did find one spot that we caught 7 or 8 on it. We also threw a chartreuse body with a white tail marabou jig and caught a few on it, but most came on the tube jig. The bite was mostly over by 10:30. We ended the day with 21 keepers, we did not catch any short fish today. We also lost several crappie right at the boat. Water temp was 57.5 when we started and 58.8 when we ended.
  22. 15 likes
    Thursday I launched out of Eagle Rock and fished upriver. Water is still pretty stained up there, kind of a brownish green color. Started off pretty slow, and it didn't get much better as the morning went on. Wind started howling after a couple of hours so I went into coves thinking some fish would be back there on the sunny banks, but if they were, I could not show them anything they liked. Only place I could catch fish was on main lake chunky rock banks, got 2 on a Wart and another dozen on the Ned. Every fish was close to the bank. Wind was getting on my nerves so I left at 1230. 2 keepers. Today it was almost dead calm when I launched, cold and frosty, but it warmed up fairly quickly. Fishing was much better. Caught fish on a couple of deep spots near cove mouths, deep being 15-20 FOW. Deep fish were spotted bass and smallies for the most part. Fished the Ned deep and a little bit of shaky head with a lizard. Ned fished best deep, but did get a few on the Liz. Fished in a couple of coves and found some largemouth on the shaky head/lizard combo. 5-10 FOW around trees, slowly dragging the Liz. Caught several keepers, but none that were over a couple of pounds. Also caught an 18" spawned out smallie in one of the coves. Caught 29 today, didn't keep a good count of the keepers, but had something like 6-8. Water temps today were 57-59. A lot of boats out. I went a little crazy with the camera.
  23. 15 likes
    Gary and I fished up Sac river the last couple of trips and caught a ton of short fish. So... Tuesday we decided to fish the clear water on the other side of the lake to see if we could find some better fish. We put in at State Park around 11am. When we started it was completely overcast and dead calm. I was bound and determined to learn that Ned Rig bite and Gary was throwing a grub and a worm. We both caught several fish, even had doubles on a couple of times. About 2pm or so the clouds broke up and it got sunny and bright. The clear water bite slowed down considerably after that so we decided to head back up river. We were afraid it was going to be muddy but instead it was beautiful stained water, the wind picked up and we found 54.6* water. I immediately started getting bit on my crank bait and caught some real nice chunky large mouth bass. After about 20 minutes I caught a great big white bass on my crank bait so I decided to throw my little A-rig to see if there was anymore of them hanging around. I caught 5 more on the A-rig in about 7 or 8 casts.....then it got crazy. I would up catching 35 or 40 of those big, fat, sow whites in the next couple of hours. As the sun got low in the sky the large mouth started creaming the A-rig too.......My best day for numbers and quality of fish for quite some time....What a day.
  24. 14 likes
    A few nice fish from last week in the Lower Peninsula. Bragging? Of course. This is a fishing forum, right?
  25. 14 likes
    The ongoing discussions will now be how much better the "pre-fire" Keitechs are vs the "new" versions.
  26. 14 likes
    Woke up early with the intent of going out, and saw the rain was about an hour out, so I went back to bed. Woke up at 11, on the water by noon with low expectations. Pulled back in the back of a creek and saw fish busting everywhere. Caught 25-30 fish in 30 minutes on the 2.8" Keitech, few on a Jointed Thunderstick on top. Mostly SM with a few K's mixed in, from 10-17", with most being in that 14-16" range. Another boat and I were on opposite sides of the shad, and pulling fish in as fast as we could get back in the water. Love it when it get's like that. Things slowed and went back out to the channel to see if the fish would hit the Thunderstick a bit more. Got over some deep trees and caught another 8 fish. Went to another few sections of good gravel on the main lake with some trees mixed in, and put another 20 or so in the boat, all on the 2.8" Keitech. Seemed like most fish were in 10-25 FOW, but the topwater fish were in over 100' of water. Ending with 50-60 fish total when I pulled off the water at 3:30. Probably the best 3.5 hours I've had on this lake. Nothing huge(best was 17" and probably just shy of 3lbs), but constant catching, and lots of hard pulling smallies. The last picture I put up is of the Thunderstick I've been using last year and today. I noticed in Pete's Youtube video this week he mentioned buying custom weighted Redfins. If you look closely, near the back of the main body, I super glue three stacked Storm Suspenstrips. I glue on on top of the other, because the factory adhesive on there never sticks, then I seal the edges with glue to lock them on. This is basically the Po'Boy version of what Pete mentioned, and it works for me. I experimented with 1 to 4 of them, and found 3 to be my sweet spot. The bait will wake easily, and has a nice roll to it in my opinion. It's not pretty, but the fish can't see those strips on it's back until it's too late.
  27. 14 likes
    Sunday April 2 2017 , my last day of work after 40 years of railroading on the Illinois Central . I decided the best way to celebrate was by going fishing for river smallmouth bass . It felt right to go old school , something I would have used 40 years ago . I dug out some old pinkie jigs , thinned them out a bit and put on an Uncle Josh pork frog . As the river was high and muddy , I fished shore line related slack water spots . The fish cooperated, I got three smallmouth bass , nice fat chunks . A fitting celebration for such a milestone in my life.
  28. 14 likes
    Just about time to start thinking about being a Ned Head. Varmint fishing is just around the corner and here are a couple of things that will help you keep the little guy working to the best of his ability. Ned storage for some is a problem, a major problem. I'm going to show you how to pre-rig the Ned and keep them for as long as a year with no rust and no baits melting or sticking together. First off lets talk about what ya need to fish him the best. I like 1/16th. oz and 1/8th. oz. mushroom heads. Dave makes the best with the small weed guard. To tell you the truth, the weed guard will separate after it fishes a while and I just snip it off at the head. I really cannot tell any difference in the hang ups where I fish it. I most always use 5# Maxima Moss Green to fish it with. I'm fishing it on a Jeff Kriet Squirrel tail Falcon rod and using a Shimano Sustain or a Stella. Pretty much top of the line junk. It will propel the Varmint just about as far as I can see. My three favorite colors are Dirt, Brown/Purple and Green Pumpkin/Orange. Don't know that you need any others. Dave has talked and shown you how to fish it on a slack line. I'm gong to show you how to be ready when you hit the water. You need baits, heads, gel super glue, a box and Inhibitor strips. I pre-glue and set up my box well in advance without worry of rust or a melt down. I use the Flambeau rust proof boxes and the inhibitor strips and they work to perfection. This is a small box for small baits with 6 compartments to keep colors and sizes apart. As I said I use only the 3 colors so I use a compartment for each of the three with the 1/8th. and a compartment each for the 1/16. Get these pre-rigged and you will only need a quick retie in the event you lose one. More fishing time on the water and less rigging. It's almost time to Varmintize them.
  29. 14 likes
    Annual weekend trip with my dad to find some slabs... Friday March 31st - cold as hell! Went to 2 of our normal honey holes without a bite. Didn't catch our first fist until about 10:30, which was a nice 13 inch black crappie that came off of pole timber. (We had been fishing too shallow). Proceeded to hit a brush pile after that where we pulled in 5 fish, lost another 2. One of which was a 14.5 inch fat female. We fished hard hitting deep trees as we couldn't find fish shallow that day. Ended up with only 14 but we only had one fish that was under 12 inches. All of the rest were in the 12-14 inch range with two fish measuring in at 14.5 inches. Water temps 57-58. It was one of the nicest stringers of crappie we've had off the lake in a long time. The picture just doesn't do it justice! Females on trees 6-8 ft down in 20+ foot of water. Saturday April 1st - went back to the same tactics hitting deep trees and finding the big fat females. Ran clear up the river and found one spot where the males were almost on the banks and we proceeded to catch about 15 nice ones out of there. Didn't catch our limit but we were ok with that. On the way back in we decided to hit one of our favorite trees for the 2nd time that day. Earlier we did not catch a fish off of it but my dad had a good feeling so we pulled in. I put on the biggest minnow in the bucket and dropped him down. 2 seconds later my line was tight with a huge 16 inch crappie. It had me wrapped around the tree and I had to stretch my rod out to try to unwrap the fish. Finally we got her up and in the net. What a beast! Personal best for me! Great way to end the day. Females still on trees, males off the bank 7-10 ft down. Ended with 27 I believe.. Water temps as high as 61.7 Sunday - Went back to where we found them close to the banks. Started off slow with only 3 fish out of the spot. Moved a bit and found some more. Had a good day fishing and we were close to our limit but said good enough and came in. On the way back in we stopped back at our favorite tree where I had caught the 16 inch crappie on Saturday. No bites on that tree but we hit the tree next to it and wham.. another 16 inch crappie! Dad was jealous as I caught both of the big ones. Ended with 26 fish. Water temps little cooler at 60.2 On the way back to the dock my dad got another one of his feelings so we pulled over to a couple deep trees near the island by the white/kings mouth. Dropped on the first two.. nothing. The third one I got a hit.. set the hook and drag just started screaming off my crappie rig. I fought the fish for a good 30 seconds not being able to turn him at all. Finally got me wrapped in the tree and got off. Figured it was a nice bass but never got to see it. So that was the end to our trip. Was great and we ended with a nice mess of fish for the frying pan. -Mark
  30. 14 likes
    Nice day to fish, but had trouble finding any quality. Tossed cranks around to start, fished an area that had worked for me last week, but yesterday could not get a bite early on the cranks. Went to a jig and struck out on it also. Started fishing the Ned and a Carolina rigged lizard and picked up random, but small fish on those baits. Mostly 12-14" largemouth males that were on the bank. Wind picked up a bit early in the afternoon, so I decided to crank a chunk rock bank with a Wart, caught my only keeper sized bass on the Wart and a couple more small males. I'm pretty sure those males are on the bank ready to build beds, I did a little checking and saw what appeared to be a few beds in shallow water. Water is so murky it is hard to be sure, but I believe they are starting to build beds. Water temps were 58 main channel and 60 back in one cove I was in, and those are the temps that get those males busy. When I put the boat on the trailer, I saw something sitting in the grass a few feet from the edge of the ramp, looked like a crank bait, I thought no way, but it was a 6 XD. How it ended up where it was is a mystery to me, but there it was. Caught 22 bass, all short, except one.
  31. 14 likes
    Fished with my dad today from 2pm-7pm. Put in at Bridgeport and parking lot was packed. Went to some of our spots and only had to hit 3 of them to get two limits! 18 of them came from one spot. Most fish were 11.5-13 inches. Fish were caught from 6-12 feet on structure. Mainly threw a blue with chartreuse tail crappie slider today. Also caught some on a Go Go minnow. Haven't ever fished one of those before it did well. And caught a few on the crappie thunder as well!
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    It doesn't bother me as much as it used to when I lose a big fish. Sometimes just hooking a big one makes my day. Getting a good look at it is special. But darn it, sometimes I'd really like to actually hold the thing in my hands. I started fishing in Montana in 1996. Mary and I had visited the state previously, to go to Yellowstone Park to photograph wildlife, but back then I could have counted on the fingers of one hand the number of times I'd been fly fishing, and I'd never fished for trout in Montana. I'd met a guy a few months before who was big into fly fishing, and for whatever reason, he invited me to go with him and another guy to fish the Yellowstone River. Our guide for the trip turned out to be a great guy as well. Fast forward all these years since then, and Tom my fly fishing buddy on that trip, and Tom the guide on that trip, are two of my best friends in the world. So it was extra special for us to get together today for a trip on the Yellowstone. The river has been much higher than normal for this time of year. It usually flows about 1600 cfs until the snow melt starts sometime around the first of May. But lots of melting low snow in the watershed have raised it this year, and it has been steadily flowing 3500 to 4000 cfs ever since we got out here last week. It's murky, visibility about 18 inches, but fishable. Yesterday was a warm day and the Mother's Day caddis flies are beginning to appear, along with sporadic and sparse hatches of baetis and March brown mayflies. The hatches on the Yellowstone always begin far downstream and work their way upstream. So when we were deciding where to float today, the consensus was to float downstream of Livingston. So we met at the Montana Cup coffee house, and toddled across the street to the Beanery for breakfast, and called in a shuttle from the Pig Farm to Springdale. It was a cool, cloudy, somewhat windy morning, and we were in no hurry to get on the river. We put in, and Montana Tom, the former guide, offered to row the raft. Missouri Tom took the front of the boat to nymph fish, knowing that I'd want to throw big streamers and I prefer doing so from the rear of the boat. Three old friends, all completely understanding each others' fishing preferences and tendencies. It wouldn't matter what the fishing would be like...20 plus years of fishing together and the chance to do so again was the important thing. But Montana Tom said as we slid the raft out into the current, "You guys need to be on your A game right off, because the next few hundred yards are going to be good water." So Missouri Tom and I immediately came to full alert, ready to fish to the best of our ability. Missouri Tom scored first with a nice cut-bow, about 15 inches, on the nymph. He'd just released it when a 17 inch cutthroat took my streamer. A few casts later, the twin of that fish was added to my tally. Missouri Tom caught a rainbow. And then we were out of the good water and the fishing slowed. Oh, we kept catching fish now and then. We stopped at a "riffle corner", a spot where there was a nice eddy alongside a fast riffle that would hold fish, and after the three of us fished it thoroughly, I offered to take a turn at the oars. Montana Tom caught a couple nice rainbows on nymphs, but the fishing was pretty slow. The day progressed, full of the kind of banter and conversation that goes on between good friends. The sun came out for a while and it got warm. Then the clouds thickened and the wind picked up a bit and it got cool. Montana Tom took over the rowing duties again. I had switched to fishing nymphs, but caught nothing. So I switched back to a streamer. The river was really moving at that flow, and streamer fishing consisted of Tom keeping the raft within about 20 feet of the banks, while I cast right up against the bank, concentrating especially on tiny eddies between rocks or below little shoals. I got a couple of good strikes but missed. Then I made a cast between two beach ball size rocks in just a foot of water, and a big, brassy side flashed as a brown trout rolled over the streamer. I had the fish on for a while, long enough to know it was a very good fish, but never got a good enough look at it to know whether it was a 20 incher or considerably bigger. And then it came loose. Streamer fishing, even at its best, is not a numbers game on the Yellowstone, but I love it because when the conditions are right it's your best chance at big fish. So while Missouri Tom continued fishing nymphs, I kept throwing the big, rabbit hair streamer, what our friend and guide Sam Potter calls "meat and potatoes". I got several strikes that failed to hook up, and finally boated an 18 inch brown. Then we stopped at another riffle corner, and suddenly fish began to rise. The March browns had been showing up occasionally throughout the day, but now they had become a bit more consistent...maybe a couple floating by every few minutes, and it was enough to get some fish interested in them. The Yellowstone March brown is a rather large mayfly, maybe a size 12, dark in color. These were just now emerging, popping to the surface, and the wind was drying their wings quickly, so they'd only float a few feet before taking to the air. The trout were trying to snatch them before they took off. There were at least a dozen fish rising in that eddy, and Missouri Tom got every one of them to take his imitation, though he failed to hook half of them. They were rainbows and cutbows, 12-15 inches. Montana Tom and I spotted rises for him instead of fishing ourselves. Then it was back into the raft, but now there were fish rising in those little eddies along the rocky banks. Missouri Tom drifted his imitation through the eddies and got regular takes. But I stuck to the streamer, hoping for a big one. There are runs along eroding banks along the Yellowstone that always look as if they could hold big brown trout; deep, fast-moving water, lined with downed trees. We were drifting along one of those banks, and Montana Tom said that they always look good, but are tough to fish because of the abundant wood and heavy current, and he'd almost never actually caught a fish along them. He then said that he thought the bank we were fishing was just a bit too fast for this time of year. And the words were barely out of his mouth before my streamer stopped dead on the second strip, with the somehow live feeling of a fish instead of a snag. "Or not,", I said as I strip-set the hook. The raft was moving quickly downstream. My bit of slack line immediately disappeared. I felt the fish shake its head, then it drove hard for the middle of the river, and there it held, the drag on my reel screaming. Montana Tom slowed the raft as best he could. I pumped the rod, the fish surged the other way, upstream. Then it turned and came toward me. I gathered the line, but it was still a good 30 yards out. It stopped, held once again. There was simply nothing I could do. I couldn't move the fish, even to bring it with the current. It just didn't want to leave that spot. Tom got the boat into an eddy. I couldn't get the fish coming my way. It was like a swimming log. Then the hook pulled out. I never saw the fish, but on the Yellowstone, a fish that strong is invariably a big brown trout. How big? Who knows? Maybe it's best I didn't see it. The mystery remains. The fish lives on in my imagination, and grows in my mind. And...that's fine with me. But I sure would have liked to see it. Right afterwards, dark clouds rolled in, the wind shifted to the north, and the rain began, The rises stopped, and luckilly we only had a half mile to go anyway. We loaded the raft in a steady rain, and headed for Livingston. It had been a good day, but not one that would have lived in our memories forever like some...except for that mystery fish. I sure would have liked to touch it. T
  33. 13 likes
    It comes up here frequently, but I want to add to it. Ulrich takes care of people as much as possible. Broke that cable and pulled into Ulrich at about noon. Had to wait for Kelly and some others to get back from lunch, but as soon as that happened I was in line to get fixed up. They had the parts, got it done. Can't beat that. And they don't know me from Adam.
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    Hit the water about 8:30 This morning with my favorite fishing partner. Between the two of us had 20 keepers and 2 shorts. Caught both our limits on Bb and harnesses them switched to jig and crawler and caught more than another limit apiece. She said she wanted a few for the smoker so we brought 4 home the rest were released to be caught another day. Fished about 6 Hr's.
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    I wanted to thank Jeff and Phil for arranging and supporting today event! I had a marvelous time despite the wet and chill weather.
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    One down, 8:30 0n day one. Ten inch beard, 7/8 inch spurs. My largest weight bird I have taken, BilletHead
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    Had eleven keepers 1 short. Here is a pic of the best 8. Biggest 22 inches shortest 16 1/2. Bb and crawler and jig and crawler 18ft temp 58
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    Decided to try CF today. Glad I did!! Weather was perfect with a light wind and overcast sky's. WT ranged from 58 to 60.5. Not a lot of rock snot this far up which was nice. Ended up with 6 on a wart, and 4 on a homemade jig. On the way back to the marina saw a few fish busting water in a cut back. Decided to stop and investigate. Place was packed full of shad and chasing "K"'s. Caught 4more on a Plopper before I ran out of time. 1st time throwing the WP. Pretty cool bait!!
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    It has been a while since my last report. Fishing was good, I caught 30 or 35 fish with 9 keepers. Largest was 3lbs 14oz. Rock Crawler was the ticket. I did catch a 2lbs 6oz on mouse war eagle. Water temp was 57 up to 59 when I pulled out. The first half of the coves was better fishing than main lake banks.
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    i would like to debate him on his viewpoint of the how well the mdc is managing the fishery on table rock. does not doing anything qualify as managing the fish population of a lake? bo
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    Got out for a couple hrs before golf. We hit pea/snall gravel banks and found them pretty well. My son caught 18-20, lost count, four keeper smallies and several close kentuckies. I caught 5 with one large mouth keeper. The lg mouth came at the back of a small cur, in the center of it. The cut was 17 ft deep and we could make a long cast to each pea gravel bank while staying in the middle of the cut. We threw swinbaits, rock crawler, shakey head w/craw. Caught every one on the Ned. They were in 10-12 foot and around beds i believe. Although we didn't fish beds, when the wind would lay down in could see beds in that depth. I didnt see fish locked on just cruising close to the beds. I also spoke to the young men memtioned by Ben fishing around the Indian Point Marina. They were respectful but kinda in a "Eddie Haskel" way. An Indian Point Police Officer and marina employee responded as well. The young men were told where they could fish and to make sure they measured their fish. They admitted to being the ones there a few weeks ago. Again, they were respectful so lets hope all will be ok with that.
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    Thanks guys for giving to Christian Action Ministries, a local food pantry here in Branson/Forsyth. We will buy $1800 worth of food (can goods, non parishables) with your donation.
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    First off, congrats to Carl W with big bass at 3.79. Ned fish I believe. Sorry for no pics, I just got too busy at the end and completely forgot to get the camera out. Quite a few decent bass in the 2.75-3.25 range were weighed in. Many of the folks I talked to reported good numbers of fish caught, I thought it would be tough with the cold front and lake rising several feet in the last day, but the folks did well. Ned, Shaky head, Keitech and fluke were what I heard they were catching them on. Food was fantastic, chili and dogs, burgers, Peruvian potato salad, several tasty salads, rice crispy bars, cookies, and some other stuff, too much for me to remember. Amazing how much food a couple of dozen hungry fisher people can consume, LOL. Thanks to all of you who brought stuff. Thanks for the contributions to the Christian Action Ministries, a good program that feeds people in the Springfield area. Let's do it again next year!
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    The Ned was the ticket for me today. Caught lots of fish including 5 keepers. Probably my best day ever on the Ned. All of that is thanks to those who submit reports on this forum. I learn from everyone. Big big thanks to Quill and Muddy water for making it all happen.
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    Been out for a couple hours each the last couple days. WT 60 - 62 F, water clarity 10 - 12 ft., lots of slime still around and lots of floating pollen. Caught lots of SM and KY in the back end of the spawning coves all on the Ned and lots of SM and KY on the main lake points using 5 in. smoke black flk grub or a Keitech on an under spin - several keepers. Beds are everywhere now. Beautiful time to be on the water - perfect weather.
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    Who could forget Marlon Perkins lounging in the studio while poor old "Jim" got his butt kicked by everything from spider monkeys to great white sharks?
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    Just wanted to thank Eric Nance for taking me out last Thursday- if you all remember, he posted last week with the offer to take someone out pre-fishing before the BFL. We met at West Branson and fished from about 9-4. Tough day and I got blanked, but I witnessed Eric pull 25-30 fish w/ 3 or 4 keeps on the A-rig...of course, I didn't bring the rig with me! Boat over 20-25' throwing at the bank. He showed me several good holes, and I learned a lot. Great guy, and very patient with a novice fishermen. Big thanks to Eric Nance!
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    Two things ... it would be a sad gathering if young uns weren't welcome. They are the future of our sport and we need to expose them to all of the positive aspects of it as we can. Free food and fellowship are positive aspects, by the way. Second, I see no need for wives or children to have to sign up for the forum unless Phil wants to pad the roster ... otherwise, I say we should include immediate family members as eligible participants in the tourney. Beyond that, sure is gonna be nice to have Mr. Reeves and all others present. Looking forward to it.
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    If you have a half hour to burn, watch me put a limit of big sow whites in the boat in 30 minutes real time... Spoiler alert! I'll show you the bait, the graph & the spot so you can replicate the success. Sorry about the sketchy audio and yes, my dog has a cute butt...