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vernon

May 5 Thru 12

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A little late getting this posted but I'm old and lazy and equally undependable these days so it's to be expected I guess.  Anyways, little brother and I ventured down for what we think was our 34th consecutive spring fishing trip.  Man, that's hard to believe.......

We only got in about an hour and a half of fishing Saturday evening but caught a couple dozen 12" -14" smallies fishing Ned in pockets around the Kimberling bridge that was a great warm up for the week.

Sunday we ran up to the area around Big Creek and had a blast catching smallies and K's again on the ridiculous Ned - Dirt and Watermelon/Red were pretty effective but, for the week, PBJ was clearly superior).  We spent most of our time in the buck brush in pockets and coves and it was downright silly how many fish we caught.  We fished from 100 to around 600 before we headed back to the Kimberling area to finish the evening.  It's just a guess but I'd say we caught at least 70 - 80 fish that day with about 12 - 15 keepers.  Not the kind of performance that would win many tournaments I guess but it's what we live for.

Monday was a golf day and we drove up to Rivercut in Springfield and had a great time ruining each others lives with what barely passed as golf.  We really like that little muni and the price is right for a couple old guys on "fixed incomes".

Tuesday and Wednesday we decided to try to put Bill's posted pattern of fishing swim baits out from spawning coves (extremely generous of him to provide so much intel but I guess we're used to it here) to use but had limited success.  We must have idled around the front and sides of at least 25 of what we thought were pretty good spawning coves and only saw a few fish scattered here and there on the Lowrance.  We did catch several smallmouth (all keepers) just blindly flinging swimmers in open water that we thought fit his description but just never could really find any bunches of fish.  No big surprise there though as my proficiency with electronics parallels Stevie Wonder's talents in heavy traffic on a bicycle!

I swear SOMEDAY I'm actually going to follow through on my promise to myself to hire Bill and quit trying to pretend that I can figure any of this out on my own.  Note to self:  get it out of the thinking stage stupid.

While not quite as many as Sunday, we did continue to catch impressive numbers of fish on the Ned, Keitechs and grubs mostly in ten feet of water and less.  Nothing over three pounds but at least a dozen obvious keepers.  I guess we're just destined to be Kansas bank beaters even when we're deep sea fishing.......

I should probably add that although we didn't throw it quite as much as we usually do we did pickup a couple dozen fish on our beloved spinnerbaits (double willows in white and white/chartreuse) during the week although the places that we caught them on the blade a swimbait probably would have been equally if not more effective.  But, man, when they hit that spinnerbait like a freight train hitting a bum!  Awesome.

No offense to over sensitive bums intended and none were harmed in the composition of this metaphor.......

Thursday we played golf again and headed over to Buffalo Ridge although us poor people had to wait until 400 for the twilight rate to kick in.  We've kind of expected it for a couple of years now and Johnny has finally just about priced us out of his golf market.  This spring it's $135 plus tax to play before 400 and $90 plus afterwards.  The guy in the shop said that we were the twelfth group of the day so we're obviously not the only golfing paupers in the area.  He also said the the new Ozarks National course that's opening 1 September is going to be $175 (which is an "opening special" price so obviously increasing soon) so I can only imagine what Tiger's new track will cost.  

That's OK though, it ain't like Johnny's gonna miss us and we're fine with driving up to Rivercut or playing over at the old Payne Stewart course which is every bit as good anyways and is $79 after noon.  Worst case scenario is we just don't play golf at all on these trips anymore and spend all of our time fishing instead.

I love First World problems!

Nonetheless, it is incredible and visually stunning what he's doing over that way.  If you haven't been over there it's well worth the time and effort to just check out the new clubhouse and the amazing views from that hill.  You can't see the lake like at Top of the Rock but it's still extremely cool.

Friday wasn't quite as good as earlier in the week and we attributed that at least somewhat to the falling water level and the wind.  Lots of fish still very shallow though but the wind was pretty crazy.  If it wasn't for the modern marvel called "Ultrex" it would have been near impossible in the areas we were wanting to fish.  Probably caught 30 - 35 total and we did catch the biggest fish of the week which was a four pound on the nose largemouth and a gorgeous 19" walleye both on PBJ Ned.  By the end of the day we were worn slick from fighting the wind and practically blinded by the dust and pollen in the air.  

Nasty stuff.

All in all it was another great week for us although I saw no reason to tone down my incessant anti-tournament and overcrowding rhetoric.  It felt like we were in the middle of of the runway at LaGuardia the day before Thanksgiving out there sometimes.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I had specifically targeted this week as it had the least amount of tournament activity during the late April/May time period.  "Least" translated is 950 boats worth of events from Saturday to Saturday.

Oh well.  Lots of happy people I guess.

And, with the exception of the Oklahoma dust bowl conditions on Friday the weather for the week was embarrassingly good.  Kathy and I are headed back down this Saturday for another go around and if it's half as good as last week we'll be plenty happy.

I was hoping to post a few more photos but seein's how it's taken me over an hour to get these two loaded I guess they'll have serve as representative of the rest!

Good luck out there!

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Great post and looks like an awesome trip!

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1 hour ago, fshndoug said:

After digesting those fees for a round of golf I am glad I never played.

I hear ya.  

At this rate, I might have to consider the meth making business if I want to keep up both hobbies!

And I'll about bet you the price of a round of golf that by this time next year that $175 fee will be at least $225.  The guy tried to "explain" to me that the average green fee on a course designed by the two guys that did Ozark National (Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw) is $275, hence, the $175 introductory price was "an absolute steal."

I kindly suggested that that was probably at least one of the reasons that I'd never played a Coore/Crenshaw property before and likely never will.  Heck, the only reason that it's "only" $175 is because it's gonna be pretty rough around the edges until it's had a year to grow in.  Once that happens the price will escalate proportionately.

It'll look awful pretty on TV though!

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1 hour ago, Sore Thumbs said:

Nice to finally put a face with the name. Good job man. Nice tan. 

Uh-oh.

Didn't think of that......

Might be time to reconsider that witness protection program deal!

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I love Rivercut and Payne Stewart.  Hate to recommend other places as I actually work for the Springfield Parks Department BUT, the new guys at Island Green are getting them fixed up.  Slow on the rebound but a fun course to play too.  Indian Tree is in the middle of Stone County north of Cape Fair.  Not my fav by far but might be closer than other courses depending on where you stay.  Hidden Valley is kind of a fun course too.  

I moved here from Alaska where I fished quite a bit.  Before that I lived in International Falls for a decade or so and practically lived in my boat on Rainy Lake so thought I knew about deep clear lake fishing and not bad with a stick.  Couldn't catch a cold on Table Rock until I took a ride with Bill Babler.  Explained to him I didn't want a guide trip but a fishing lesson and he drove me around pointing out what to look for.  The rest is history... 10 time Table Rock fishing champ!  Okay maybe not but usually catch something even if it is just a cold.  

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What shoes are those?  I'm about as bad about buying boat shoes as I am about buying spinnerbaits.  Also, I was in one of those tourney boats on the 5th.  The lake felt like driving through a washing machine most of the day!

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