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Fishing Buddy
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About Sam

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    Spotted Bass

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  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. At five bucks a dozen, and if that snake ate up most all the minnows in that tank like I suspect, then feeding the snake was a real pricey deal for someone. You or I couldn't spend that much on a meal at a fancy restaurant if we tried. Snake was eatin' good and obviously has expensive taste - 'cause those surely weren't ordinary minnows at that price! LOL
  5. Gotta love modern "improved" technology, and some of it really is good. I remember when vehicles were pretty much worn out at 100k miles. But with that said, I think some of the "improvements" aren't really. My fishing partner bought a new Ford F-150 a couple of months ago and I've been driving it sometimes coming back from our trips. It's a nice ride! BUT, in lots of ways I think they've found complicated, expensive solutions to problems that didn't exist. Some of you folks have newer F-150's, I'm sure - so what's the deal with the ignition key? That weird-shaped electronic thing is impossible to duplicate all right - but were unauthorized copies of keys a big problem? That key just looks complex and expensive - real, real expensive. Then there's the emergency brake, which I always use on a boat ramp - I sure don't want to put a truck in the lake. The new emergency brake is electronic, operated with a pull-switch on the dash. There's no brake release, it releases automatically when the truck is in gear and the gas pedal is depressed. Now, that thing just has to mess up sometime, and the repair is going to be difficult and expensive. Didn't they have manual emergency/parking brakes figured out many years ago, and they're simple and work just fine? Why the heck did they mess with that? Just my $.02 worth.
  6. My partner and I went crappie/walleye fishing out of Cape Fair on Tuesday. We caught a few of what we were looking for, but found many more Kentucky bass. Those kept us entertained and are extra fun on a crappie rig and 4 lb. test line. Our regular bait store was out of minnows so we had to get them at Cape Fair Marina - they have a serve your self honor system, but minnows are $5 a dozen, wow! Partner stayed with the boat and I got out to dip minnows, and the first thing I saw was a dang snake in the minnow tank! The snake was real active - he'd stick his head out of the water, then duck down, swim around, and stick his head up again. It looked about 2 1/2 feet long and non-poisonous with a small head - one of the common brown water snakes we have here that some people call "moccasins", but of course they aren't. So, working around the snake I started dipping minnows and there seemed to be very few in the tank. I think that snake was real well-fed. Partner finally asked what the hold up was, and I told him there weren't many minnows and I was having to work around a snake to get what there were. He tied up the boat and came over to supervise. "There - ya got three. There's one!" etc, etc. I noticed he was "helping" from quite a distance, though. We got our bait and left, and I asked him why he didn't come dip minnows. He said he really wanted to get in there, but it seemed like I was doing real good on my own! So - who put the snake in the bait trough? That's kind of ornery. 😵
  7. To troll for white bass, I keep one spinning rig spooled with 10 lb. PowerPro braid (same diameter as 3 lb. monofilament) and troll a 1/4 oz. Roostertail at 1.9 mph on it with a lot of line out. A trolled Roostertail won't twist braided line up like it will mono or other lines, and this rig runs only about 8 ft. deep - just right for w.b. I actually prefer Bass Pro's "Uncle Buck" knock-offs to original Roostertails, as they spin better. That's a real good rig for "chasing the boils" and casting into surfacing schools of white bass too, as it casts a long ways.
  8. Sam

    Crappie spawn

    We're catching mostly males with black fins, and I think the rising, clear water has caused crappie nests to be real deep this year. We've found no crappie up by the banks all season, and I think the spawn is about over now. Where it's the clearest we're finding fish in about 18' of water, and where the water has the most color they're around 12' to 14'. On Thursday my partner and I caught limits that averaged about 11 1/2" including a couple of 14" fish, and we only caught one short crappie. We had an 18" walleye and four white bass also, so a real good trip.
  9. My partner and I went out of K-Dock today, and we took a beating from the weather. It was cloudy, cold, and drizzled rain all day. Also, we couldn't get a single walleye to bite. But I've got a fish story to share. Near the end of the trip we visited a brushpile where we've caught crappie before. We got our crappie poles out with small jigs tied on, and thought we'd try a few casts before quitting for the day. We caught several undersize crappie, then my partner caught a good keeper. He was running the trolling motor and I was on the back of the boat, and the wind got us turned around so the brushpile was behind the boat. Easy for me, but he had to cast behind the boat from the front until he could get us turned back around. Then he hollered "I've got a good one!" and I grabbed the net because keeper fish were real hard to come by. Unfortunately, his line got around the prop of the main motor and it broke off. As I started to put the net away I saw a big crappie splash on top right above the motor prop - then it started to drift away, laying on it's side with a jig and a foot of line hanging out of its mouth and just fins and the tail moving a little. "BACK THIS THING UP!", I yelled - and he did. He backed the boat up with the trolling motor for 8-10 feet and I was able to lean out with the net and scoop the still-comatose crappie up. It was a 14 3/4" white crappie, and after breaking off it had somehow knocked itself out against the boat while thrashing around and getting the broke-off line free from the main motor prop. LOL Never saw that happen before!
  10. Ha - well, different strokes for different folks! I've heard that a lot and it seems many people dislike, despise, etc. white bass fishing - especially, maybe, the big-tourney bass guys. That's fine with me, everyone should just do what they enjoy. I really like crappie and walleye fishing best. All this year my partner and I have fished Stockton once or twice a week. Sometimes we both get our limits, often not - but we do pretty good and we've both got lots of filets in our freezers. Thing is, I'll fish for most anything that's biting at the time and have fun doing it. White bass in particular are a LOT of fun, in my opinion. They fight like crazy on light to medium tackle, they run in big bunches, and they sometimes go on top-water "feeding frenzies". I think it's a blast to "chase the boils" when they're doing that and throw a Roostertail or Rattletrap into all that surface action before they quit and submerge, then they come up in another spot. Unhooking and throwing fish in the bottom of the boat so fast it's hard to keep count and you don't have time to put them in the live well is my idea of a real good time. Then there's the eating. We like smoked fish, and I like to smoke white bass filets with green apple wood in our outdoor BBQ. Untreated white bass filets are oily and fishy like many ocean fish, and that's what's best for smoking - mild-tasting fish like crappie don't smoke nearly as well. Or, for breading and frying like crappie all you've got to do is soak white bass filets in Club Soda (carbonated water) in a bowl in the 'fridge for about two hours before frying, then rinse them off. I generally freeze fish filets in quart freezer bags containing five fish each - ten filets. Last night we had two of our grown grandkids over for supper, and we thawed, breaded, and fried three bags of filets - ten crappie and five white bass. I soaked the white bass filets in Club Soda for two hours before frying, and you honestly can't tell them from crappie side-by-side on the same plate. Real good eating! When it's large white bass, over 14" or so, I also trim the red meat off. But do what you want - leave those nasty white bass in the lake if you want, I'll take care of them. LOL
  11. They're still around and not so rare. My partner and I have been fishing Stockton Lake brush piles all summer and we catch a black nose crappie or two on most of our outings. We limited out last Tuesday and caught one real nice black-nose that day, a 12.5" male. Those are about my favorite fish - as you say, they're aggressive and they put up a good fight. Also, they're built heavy for their length and make some real nice thick filets.
  12. Last summer? Since the water level was 30 or 40 feet above normal all last summer, I wonder what depth they were putting those brush piles in. If they went according to the water level at the time, that brush must all be high and dry up on the bank now. If they tried to set them to work at a normal lake level, then they must have put them 50 or 60 feet deep at the time, which seems kind of unlikely.
  13. Sam

    Launch ramp

    Has anyone here ever launched from the next ramp "upstream" from K Dock that's on the west side of the lake almost up to, and within sight of, Snapp Holler? I haven't, but from the lake I saw it being built about 5 years ago and out of curiosity I have driven there and found it by land. It's made of rocks and not paved, so a 4WD launch point - but for what it is it looks like a good one. Thing is, at a normal water level of 653' or so, there's only about 3 feet of water in the area of that ramp - at the time I assumed it was being built on such a shallow flat because plans were to bring the 'normal' lake level up to 660' or so, putting the K Dock parking lot under water. This new ramp should be usable at ANY level of high water, though - as it goes straight up a high point, higher even than the water is now. There are some houses in that area, so maybe it's a community ramp - I don't know. Shouldn't matter, it's my understanding that on Corps lakes all launch ramps have to be open to the public and I've never seen more than one rig parked there. To get to it, turn east on Hwy. MM off of Hwy. 76 a mile or more north of Hwy. K. There's a big convenience store at the corner of Hwy. 76 and Hwy. MM. Go east on MM and follow it as it turns to the south, then turn left on "Mission Ave." and follow Mission to the south until it ends at the launch ramp.
  14. Are even Tracker owners welcome? We're an abused lot. LOL
  15. Others here can correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that there are no private ramps on Tablerock. That is, it's a C.O.E. lake and every ramp is on public offset land, going into public water. As a practical matter though, I don't want to get into a situation where there'd be a conflict and an argument with someone. I go fishing to have fun, not to fight. Also, the ramp you're looking at seems awfully tight with that house. If the road leading down to the ramp is a public (maybe named?) road, well, OK then. It looks like maybe it's a private driveway though, going right between a guy's house and workshop or maybe boat garage. If that's the case, even though you might technically have a right to use the ramp, you wouldn't have the right to use the private drive to cross private property and get to it. Just my opinion. If I really wanted to use that ramp, I'd just knock on the door of that house and ask - then go by what the homeowner says. Whatever the answer is, I think doing that could avoid some problems.
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