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Bill Babler

OA Contributing Reporter
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Bill Babler last won the day on January 16

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About Bill Babler

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    Fishing Guide
  • Birthday 01/27/1956

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    Branson, Missouri

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  1. Really good friend of mine is an ornithologist in Kansas. I emailed him about the robins and he said at this time of the year huge concentrations are in the Oklahoma, Arkansas, Southern, Mo/Kan region. I thought they were strictly bug eaters but he said they also will eat certain cedar and bush berries this time of the year that grow in our region. He also said unlike water fowl that will move North and South as weather permits, most song bird species do not, they just go one way. They will however flock on these particular food sources this time of the year.
  2. Lots of gulls on the Rock and last time out there were quite a few dead shad in the Kimberling City area floating. I can see gulls flying here at the Lodge so I am assuming there are some shad dying on the surface in this area also.
  3. White River Lodge/Table Rock Lake Well they were running this morning, had not seen a boat since Sunday, but I guess enough is enough. Started at 7 this morning with two boats coming from the North pulling into Big Cedar Hollow. I'm guessing guide trips. It was really raining and 34 degree at the time. They came right out and one pulled onto the point in front of the Lodge and the other went up Persmmion Hollow. Boat in front of the Lodge had 4 peep's so it pretty much had to be a tour. About 8, two more boats came from the North and one went into Clevenger and the other into Persimmion. It has stopped raining but is still misting and if you don't have good rain gear you are going to get really miserable pretty quick. It's up to 36 degree. On another note are you all seeing flocks of Robins? The last two days there have been hundreds here. I presume they think Winter is over and are in route back North, but I really have no idea. I'd think getting a bug in this weather would be quite a bit or work. Good Luck
  4. As far as breaking on the cast I have no idea how reel adjustment plays a part on a spinning reel as it is completely open spool. As far as the bait caster it is as close to free spool as I can get it, so there is no drag on either the line or bait going out. Reel adjustment is not the problem as i for sure break more off on a spinning reel with braid. Very seldom if ever break it on a hook set, but really I don't set a hook hard at all and just about never have one come off once he or she is hooked. Perhaps on the digging I'm putting to much braid on the reel in front of the backing. To tell you the truth I have not considered the backing at all. I use it to keep the braid from continuing to move around the spool. That, I do not believe would give any reason to fray or snap at the bait.or just above. Perhaps its my knot as far as breaking but I have had it break and fray regardless of the knot I'm tying and to tell the truth, most of the time it is a few inches above the knot Glad it works for you, continued success
  5. As far as jerk bait fishing there are lots of different belief's. Mike does not like the carbon because it sinks and particularly sinks the nose of the bait, pulling it nose down. Most ardent stick bait fishermen want the bait to fall either slightly tail down or slowly sink or suspend in a horizontal attitude. Buster Loving one of the best in the business that is not on the Pro tour, likes carbon and likes it to sink the bait. He counter balances it to take away some of the nose down attitude. I cannot really tell a ton of difference in either as I weight my baits pretty heavy. I have also fished all the popular braids along with nanofil and have not liked any of them. They catch around rod eyes both micro and regular, they suck down in the reel and just like Quill that durn stuff breaks and frays on me something terrible. The breaking is on the cast, not so much playing a fish as the reels I use have really quality drag systems. I currently use it for a couple of things, a frog or any topwater. I'm about to give that up also as at times the topwater rear hook on the cast will penetrate the braid causing another mess to deal with. If your throwing a propped top water and it gets around the prop, lordy your in trouble. I have and so have others totally quit using it on A-rigs as it sucks down so bad in the reel. Catching a fish or hanging up is a total nightmare with the stuff as it will pull down thru a 1/2 dozen line wraps on the bait caster. Seems to fish a bit better on a spinning rod, but I just don't like it. Ford/Chevy
  6. The bites are extremely lite here also, but not catching fish is not the problem. The problem is them swallowing it. If you don't pull on them when it gets heavy or you feel that slight tick or even lose that bait for a split second, they have got it. They are simply wolfing the small swim bait. These fish are not spitters, they are eating it If he was missing bites because he didn't feel them, that would not be a problem on this end as they are eating it to their Poo-Toots. If your dragging a FB jig you simply cannot take it away from them. I swung and missed 3 times the other day and when I got the slack picked up each time he had it back. Of course I was dragging that jig in 45'
  7. Phil Stone with a nice 5 lb. Table Rock LM caught on an A-rig Had a great day at Kimberling City this morning. Launched at Mill at 7 am and started catching them. Most were suspended for me in that 30' to 40' range over shad and trees. Dock is finding them shallower, and maybe I need to look a little shallower, but there are plenty where I am looking. Phil and Eric caught about 20 yesterday with a combination of the A-rig, Ice Jig and drop shot with a shad shape worm. I had 2 bites on the Ice Jig and lost them both this morning. I had the best results,swimming something or fish a drop shot. Phil Stone and Eric Prey were on them yesterday and Phil clued me in. The fish pictured above was chasing shad on the surface as were quite a few others. They were also chasing this morning and I caught them about as good as possible for me on the 2.8 Keitech with a 1/4 oz head. I also caught about 1/2 a dozen on the Gulp Alive minnow pictured below There were quite a few shad floating and really the best deal if you wanted to do it was just scoop one up, put it on a drop shot and lower it down. Immediate fish.
  8. Boy those are nice. Thanks and a great report as usual. About 10 days ago those deep ones in this area got really gun shy on any type of a vertical presentation. They would either nip at it, bump it or just flat run from it kind of like Summer time drop shot fish. They got a dose of being hammered from above everyday. Swimming that grub or small swim bait deep is working way better down here. The trick is long mega cast, throw that thing as far as you can, pick up the slack on it and let it drop on a simi-tight string. I'm counting at least 40 so that is putting it down. Also at times when it gets like this you can try a drop shot with a Glup Alive Gobe. It is a complete mess to jack with that stuff but it will catch fish. Mike Webb caught the snot out of very spooky fish with it a few years ago and both Beck and I did too. I am pretty sure Mike told Bill about it and that's what got me on it. If you use it put a towel down so you don't get that juice on your carpet. It is green and somewhat slimy and will stain. In the Summer when you can take it by the car wash its not a problem, but now it is a total mess. It does catch fish however. Must be something going on at Big Cedar this morning cause there are boats running pretty hard down here. I have seen at least a dozen folks out fighting the cool and fog. Lake has stabilized at 919.9 as it has been there for a couple of days now. I know this is not what the Corp. wanted as they had gotten everything in pretty good shape. I guess they are calling for more this weekend, so get out there and catch some this week. Prior to the last rain a couple of shout outs to the guys keeping the launch ramp docks in great shape. They will be really busy now. Good Luck
  9. I think those baits fall a little faster than a foot a second. Mike was throwing a 3/8th. Big Bite Swimbait head and I was throwing a 1/4 Keitech Tungston head. Also depends on the line weight. He was throwing his on a bait caster with I think 8lb. carbon and I was throwing mine on 5lb. Maxi. I'm thinking probably 1.5 to 2 ft. per second. He was using a 3" Cabelas swimbait and I was using the 2.8 Keitech Fat. Either the Big Bite or the WarEagle 3/8th. is a great option for this type of deep swimming. The WarEagle might have just a little bit to large of hook for that 2.8 inch bait, might should move up to the 3.2 if you throw the WarEagle. The shad were pretty big that these fish were eating so a 3 to 3.5 inch bait should not be a problem. Good Luck
  10. Nope, ties it on and flings it on the RK. On the McStick he adds dots or wire to the hooks just like all of us depending on surface temps. The McS. wanted to float up a bit the other day and he modified it just a bit. He likes it level or just a slight sink tail down, again just like the rest of us. It is 8:30 here this morning Sunday and there are boats running. I've seen 3 and it is a totally nasty day out there. I bet there was Ice on the ramps.
  11. That is the old troller, the new one is not available yet. That screen shot is not the one where Mike caught the fish under it. It is a random shot with a bait ball. He has it turned up and the other green you see are just anomalies.
  12. Dam-Long Creek area with Mike Hit the water out of Old 86 yesterday morning at 7:30 in the Geico Ranger with a really stiff South wind and some pretty good swells. Water was clear and 48 degree. Plan for this morning was to crank and throw the stick bait on windy banks and then take a breather and do a little vertical stuff if we could find them. Always good to see and fish with Mike. The guy is always in a great mood and really reminds me of Beck which was also one of his best friends. He loves to fish and simply loves what he does. He is pretty good at it.😎 Started on a transition bank with a lot of wind and some big surf pounding it. I was on the sticker and Mike started with the RK. I hardly had my butt in the seat when he said, " There she is." Really nice 2.5 lb. LM. Wind was really blowing down the bank, kind of had the boat sideways with me on the back and Mike on the front. He was fishing a bit deeper with the bow in 18 to 20 feet and me in about 1/2 that and still almost full cast from the bank. About 3 cast later and he was winding it pretty good and also pulling it he caught a nice Jaw. Again probably 2.5 or so. Here is a tip, don't be afraid to throw that Spro Rock Crawler deeper than you think. Mike was throwing it on 10 lb. Carbon and he was ticking the bottom at 12' . We fished a 300 yard stretch of the transition until it flattened out and he caught 4 all keeps with the good one pictured above. I wasn't really warmed up good yet so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Wind was blowing a gale and he had a phone call to take so we pulled into a creek to check for some deep ones. They were there but fussy as all get out. While he was on the phone I caught a good keeper K swimming the Keitech Deep-Deep at 50 feet plus. As soon as he was done he put 2 more keepers in the boat also on a swim bait deep. I think I'm down 6 to 1 but who's counting. Saw some Loon's working in another creek and went in. Here is where I was totally blown away. Mike is a Garmin guy and we watched the Garmin Panoptix Livescope all day. He kept saying Bill, Bill get up here and look at this. At a spot in the creek he said," Bill get up here and look at this, there is a school of shad 50' in front of the boat at 30' with a school of bass under them at 35', I'm going to catch one right under that school from here." And, Durn he did it, Threw past the bait ball counted it down and swam it through the bassyou could see the fish fighting back toward the boat after he hooked it. Simply amazing. 99% of us would have never caught the great Brown Fish that Mike pulled from the middle of the creek suspended under shad away from everything. With a pretty nice wind on a transition bank going into one of the major creeks in the dam area, we started fishing the McStick pretty serious for about a hour and I even threw a Megabass a bit but no bites at all on the stick bait. If the Table Rock Hammer cannot catch one on a stick bait its probably time to put it down. I asked if he wanted to catch some deep jig fish and he was all on board so we motored up Long Creek to the ridge I had been doing well on. We both fished a Pig Sticker 5/8 and 3/4 GP Orange. Now durn it, I'm pretty good at this and these are my fish. As you can tell this is probably not going to be good for me. Stinkweed put 3 keeps in the boat before I got one. PS Mine was bigger. He then put 1 more keep and 1 short in so at this point I'm pretty much toast but it is sure fun watching him catch them. Dudes we caught some jig fish out over 40'. He is "EXTREMELY PATIENT" He calls it Hard Headed but if he thinks he can catch them he does not move. Same thing with the Rock Crawler he will throw it and throw it. It works if you can make yourself do it. The day he caught the 5 pounder he said he threw it and caught 5 in the first hour, nothing for the next 2 hours still throwing it and then 4 more in about 45 minutes with one over 5 and 1 around 4. We stopped at another transition on the way in and he caught another really nice LM on the RK. again he was fishing it probably a bit deeper than most of us, I'm saying that crank bait fish came out of probably 15' plus. Mike fishes a Motorguide Tour Pro and it lifts and deploys with 2 fingers. It is totally silent both turning and running. The new MG with spot lock is not out yet but Motorguide has told him it will be something special and should be out soon. Mike has been very loyal to Motorguide thru all the spot lock deal and also with the new Garmin so I'm excited to see what he thinks of the new motor. Final score Mike Mcclelland 12 keepers and one short. Bill Babler 3 keepers. Last time I beat him 8 to 3, so he got his revenge and really gave me the best water to fish all day. We'll get out another couple of times in the next two weeks before he has to go back on the road. It was a fantastic and educational day with a really good buddy. If you all have any questions about equipment or technique you would like Mike to answer just post them here and I'll see what he has to say. Good Luck
  13. Ab's thanks for that beautiful card, I got it yesterday and man that took some work. Thanks buddy I really appreciate it. 10 lb. on the stick bait. Cara Cranker on the rod. He is fishing some Expert series now however. I forget the name that is similar to the Cara Cranker.
  14. Nice trip and pictures Steve, looks like you all just did super. Thanks for posting
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