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Sam

Fishing Buddy
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    Spotted Bass

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  1. Because of what I read here we put in at the North ramp on Thursday, we've just never gone around there and we always used the South ramp before. I like it better than the South ramp, it's away from the campground and all that civilization. There were only two other rigs in the parking lot when we got there, so no problem parking. When we left at noon, though, the lot was pretty full. All the years we've used the South ramp I always wondered who the heck thought it was a good idea to put concrete curbs on the ramp between the launch lanes. Much of last year and this year up until a couple of weeks ago those were underwater and couldn't be seen - you had to hit one with a trailer tire to find out where they are! This time, on the way to the North ramp, I told my partner at least now we'll get away from those dang curbs. Nope, the North ramp has 'em too! Well, I guess like snakes they're not a problem when I can see them. LOL
  2. I don't know what BPS is doing. My partner and I needed some crappie stuff last week - jig head hooks, sinkers, tubes, line, so he made a trip to Bass Pro in Springfield. He came back without half the items because some shelves were bare and the staff said they were out of those things. I went to the Bass Pro website that night and ordered the items he couldn't get for in-store pickup at the same store - Springfield. The next day I received an email that my order was ready for pickup, and the day after that I went to Customer Service at BPS and picked up my complete order. Sounds like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing - keeping store shelves stocked vs. online sales, that is.
  3. Since crappie are off the nests and brushpiles are still too deep to hold fish until the water level drops, we're having slow fishing also. Slow, but not impossible. Partner and I went out of State Park yesterday, Friday. The water is real clear and 77 degrees as you said. We were slow-trolling minnows on lead jigheads in 16 f.o.w. It was a 92 degree sunny day and just miserable out there after 11 a.m. so we quit at noon. We brought home 8 crappie, 1 19-inch walleye, and 1 big white bass. We caught and released a whole bunch of short bass and a couple of keeper size bass, so the bass kept us entertained. 6 of the crappie were males and 2 were females re-absorbing old eggs, all were white crappie and we didn't catch any short crappie at all - they were all around 11-12 inches. So it wasn't a real productive trip, but we've had worse. Hoping the water level will drop soon and make those brushpiles fishable. We didn't really do any good until September last year when the level finally got back to near-normal.
  4. Sam

    Water level

    Yep, 693' according to KY3 News tonight. That's 40 FEET above what I used to consider the old "normal" of 653'. They're hurting that area by letting Bull Shoals' water get so high year after year. I live in Ozark and I recently had a chance to buy a weekend cabin with dock privileges near Pro Tem. That's an area of the lake I used to love and our family has always wanted a place there. Not anymore - I didn't even go look at it. I can't catch anything if the fish are out in the woods somewhere. These last few high-water years we've been going to Stockton and Tablerock instead of Bull Shoals.
  5. Just got back. We went today out of Cedar Ridge and fished Maze Creek mostly, trying to stay out of the wind and waves. Cloudy, chilly, and windy. Water temps 63-64 and the water was very clear - we could see every detail of stumps down to 5 or 6 feet even on this cloudy day. We caught 24 white crappie, no black crappie, and all but two were males. Of the two females, one had eggs ready to lay and the other's eggs were not good and were being re-absorbed. Both of the females were small fish, just over 10". Unlike last week when we caught 50+ total crappie to get 30 keepers, we caught NO short crappie today. Some of the white crappie males were real nice, and the largest was 14". We also caught one short walleye, one 19-inch walleye, and caught/released some good-size bass. Pretty sure one of the bass was a "meanmouth" - spotted bass / smallmouth bass hybrid. None of the male crappie we caught today had worn-down tails, so we can't figure if we're catching them off nests or not. The fish are real scattered, not grouped up at all just singles here and there. Also, we still can't find the female crappie - we tried some brushpiles in 20-25 feet of water thinking they must be there, but nada. Every fishing trip is different, and this one was a lot different from last week.
  6. Mid-lake. Yes, the water was pretty clear but that was before 5 or 6 days of rain. I don't know how it will be tomorrow.
  7. My partner and I caught limits of good-size crappie last Monday, the 11th. It rained the rest of the week so we haven't been since. We haven't found crappie up by the banks at all this year, we're just slow-trolling in 13-14 f.o.w. and catching mostly males. Some of the tails are worn, and we're wondering if we're taking some of them off the nests - even that deep. Out of 30 keepers we only had 5 females and their eggs were nowhere near ready. It didn't appear that any had spawned out or were re-absorbing eggs, the eggs were just very immature like it was still early April. We sure don't have it all figured out. I think Stockton crappie fishing is going to be OK for the next few years. On this trip we caught and released a whole bunch of short crappie - I think we must have caught 50+ fish to keep 30, and we even had a couple of crappie as short as 5". The ones we kept were real nice, averaging 11" with a couple over 13". Again, we caught almost all white crappie with only 2 or 3 black crappie that were long enough to keep. We didn't catch any keeper walleyes that trip, but we caught and released 5 little-bitty ones, only 8"-10" long - so that's got to be good for the future. We're going again this Monday.
  8. I think I agree with you all - I'm mildly curious about eating drum but I suspect that if they were really good we would have known about it long ago. I've got a pellet grill/smoker and I really like smoked fish (yeah, I know - it's hard to keep 'em lit. lol), so I think that's what I'll try next time we catch a drum. It's often the fish that aren't so good cooked in normal ways (big white bass, saltwater mackerel, etc.) that make the best smoked fish. And if I don't like that, back in the lake they go!
  9. On our recent trips to Stockton Lake my partner and I often catch and throw back a drum or two. It's always a disappointment because they put up a good fight so you think maybe you've got a big walleye, and then ..... it's a drum! I got curious and just found that there's a lot of stuff online, especially on YouTube, about cooking and eating them. I always thought freshwater drum had forked bones and that the meat was full of little bones like carp, but apparently not - they're filleted normally. I see they're called "gasper goo" and "poor man's lobster", where they're popular around Louisiana and South Texas, and a fella in Minnesota says they make real good smoked fish because the meat has a good flavor and it's firm and holds together. Recipes I found include cutting the filets into 1" chunks and boiling them until they float in a stock pot with water, crab boil, and lots of lemon juice. Another one broiled drum filets wrapped in aluminum foil, coated with butter, olive oil, and seafood rub in an oven at 350 deg. for about 15-20 minutes. I'm thinking about trying it next time we catch a drum. Does anybody here eat 'em?
  10. We're catching more short crappie this year than we did last year, about 1 out of 10 with most fish measuring 11" to 13". Catching far more white crappie than black crappie, about a 5 to 1 ratio there, and the black crappie are generally shorter than the white crappie. Last year, 2019, should have produced a great hatch of crappie as the high water level kept many from being caught in late spring and most of the summer, and the young'uns had the heavy cover of land bushes to hide in.
  11. I've got it all squared away now. Turns out, it was a different issue - the "memory" that was maxed out had nothing to do with the SIM card or waypoints. That error message was for the memory of the unit itself because I had the settings messed up somehow. I restored the unit to default settings and it was fine, it got the GPS lock back and everything. Next, I deleted the files on the SIM card and attempted to update the unit's software. No update was necessary, it already had the latest update available. Finally, I went to the MDC website and put the GPX files for Stockton and Tablerock on the card and put the card in the unit. Should work next time I'm on those lakes. I'm not gonna mess with Bull Shoals until they quit letting the water get so high every spring and summer. Thanks for the help! p.s. - It's time for a new fish finder. I found out I bought this one in 2010 and I know they have improved a lot since then.
  12. I'm not very computer-literate (obviously) but about a year ago I did some reading, bought a SIM card, and successfully downloaded the MDC fish attractor waypoints for Stockton Lake onto my Humminbird 597ci fish finder. At least I think I was successful - everything seemed to work, but the boat was in the garage. Encouraged by this success, I added the MDC waypoints for Upper Bull Shoals. That seemed to work also, and there's where I got greedy and went wrong - I attempted to add the waypoints on Tablerock, apparently ALL of Tablerock, and that maxed out my fish finder memory, or SIM card, or both. Now all I get is an error message "not enough memory" when I try to use any GPS or map function with my Humminbird, though the fish finder sonar still works. Frustrated, I went fishing and did without the maps for a year - but now I'd like to fix that. Didn't I read on here once that there's a fishing, or marine shop in, I think, north Springfield that will install MDC waypoint locations for a reasonable fee if I pull my fish finder off the boat and bring it in? Wow, that would be great! All I really need are the fish attractor locations on Stockton Lake and the James River arm of Tablerock, and I wouldn't think those would max out the memory. Thanks for any help.
  13. I was in a situation like that once on Stockton - hard-to-find winter crappie in tight schools, moving around in open water. The fellow I was with had been fishing this deal for several trips and he came prepared - he brought some toy balloons with him. When we finally caught the first keeper crappie, he made sure it was hooked good, then he cut off about 25' of line and tied on a blown-up balloon. He put the fish back and we were able to follow that balloon around until we eventually got limits, because the crappie went right back to the bunch and stayed with them. The last fish that made up our limit was the "judas" crappie when we retrieved the balloon. I guess that practice is legal - I don't know why it wouldn't be. That was the only time I ever saw it used, but it worked real well in the conditions you describe.
  14. Sam

    114 today

    I thought this was a crappie report at first as that would kinda match what we're doing these days. We're getting limits of good-size keeper crappie in about a half day with a few shorts thrown back, white crappie outnumbering black crappie, and a few walleyes coming in - including a 25-incher caught on a crappie pole with 4-lb. line last trip. But on re-reading your post and with the responses, I guess you caught black bass / white bass and C/R'd a whole bunch? Well, good - that's lots of fun too. The report can be read both ways. We're going again on Monday, taking advantage of these good times while we can. I'll keep an extra pole rigged with a Roostertail in case we see white bass bustin' on top!
  15. OK, I didn't think about the new system making it impossible to drive with the parking brake on - so that explains it. I still suspect that someone, somewhere, is eventually going to experience a failure where the electronic parking brake switch won't release and then they'll be stuck. I guess old style parking brakes could get stuck too, rarely, so never mind.
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