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Mother nature was not kind to us..


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My buddy and I drove down to Stockton on Tuesday morning and came home today. We planned on 3 days of fishing but ended up getting to actually fish less than a day and a half due to the weather. We got into Stockton on Tuesday about 9 AM in the middle of a thunderstorm. By looking at the radar we saw that we'd have a wait until it would be safe to get on the lake. Many thanks to the kind lady at our motel who let us get into the room well before check-in. We unloaded the gear into the room and watched the radar and finally thought everything with lighting in it was past us and put in on the water at Orleans Trail at 2. The very nice staff there were concerned about us going out and let us know if it got worse to come back and get in a slip.  We fished from 2 until 5 in the rain (in every variety from pouring to drizzle) and the bite was excellent! When the sun came out the bite dropped off to next to nothing. We fished until 8 and am not sure we put a fish in the livewell after 5.  We were trolling Bandit 300's and #7 Flick'r shads. I am normally a big Bandit guy but will have to say that the Flicker's outperformed the Bandits on this trip. Our first fish (about 10 minutes in)  was an almost 21 inch walleye! We ended the evening with 15 keeper crappie, 5 walleye (only the one keeper), 4 smallmouth (one was 16+) and two drum. The crappie and walleye made a nice bag of fillets. The two best colors on the Flick'rs were purple over pink and firetiger.  Tuesday we started by driving to Mutton Creek (with a stop for breakfast in Arcola at Ken's Kafe - two thumbs up!) as we heard there had been a good bite down there at Mutton and at Ruark. We fished for about 6 hours there around Mutton and over toward Ruark but the bite was very tough and the wind really picked up with white caps. It made boat control difficult. So we pulled out there, ate some lunch, and moved up closer to Hawker.  We fished there for a couple of hours until a buddy texted us about the weather forecast.  I'm sure glad he did as neither of us had internet service and had no idea what was coming. The weather last night was certainly something with storms including tornados (according to the weather channel) passing on either side of Stockton. We ended yesterday with 6 walleye (2 keepers) but only 6 crappie.  The water in the backs of coves was starting to dirty up. There was a lot of floating stuff that slid down the line to the baits killing the action so we'd have to reel them in and re-deploy them. We intended to fish for 4 or 5 hours this morning but woke to  thunderstorms and saw they were going to continue all morning. We packed out tin the rain and headed home. I understand that areas around Stockton have received almost 15 inches of rain since Monday. I have a feeling the lake (which is 11 feet over pool) is going to keep rising fast and expect the water in coves may dirty up some more. BTW Many of the females we caught still had eggs. Water temp ranged from 64 to 70.  We still had a great time! It was my buddy's first trip to Stockton. He loved it and I'm sure we will be back soon. Thanks to all for putting fishing reports on here as it does help - especially for those of us who aren't local.

Tater

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With your report and additional rains predicted...

Sounds like the bite may become pretty tough for several days not to mention the challenges playing log/floater roulette while attempting to navigate.

Glad you were able to catch enough for a good fry!  

Thanks for the report.

od

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We didn't run real far south but there was not a lot of "Big stuff" floating in the main channel on Wednesday. That can, and likely will, change with all the Tuesday through Thursday water  being added.  It  was definitely a challenge with the spikes pf barometric pressure not to mention the high water. I hope to get back down there later after she goes back down closer to normal. I do love fishing on that lake!

I was really surprised that we did not catch a single white bass while trolling. That is usually almost a given..

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1 hour ago, GRANDPA TATER said:

We didn't run real far south but there was not a lot of "Big stuff" floating in the main channel on Wednesday. That can, and likely will, change with all the Tuesday through Thursday water  being added.  It  was definitely a challenge with the spikes pf barometric pressure not to mention the high water. I hope to get back down there later after she goes back down closer to normal. I do love fishing on that lake!

I was really surprised that we did not catch a single white bass while trolling. That is usually almost a given..

From what I've seen, they are higher up in the water column, from the surface to 8 feet down or so. I'm usually trolling 15-17 feet down.

I have caught them on cranks, but it's usually while making a turn, retrieving, or doing something else to make my baits run higher up.

-Austin

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Thanks for the hint MrGiggles. I did not try fishing higher in the water column. I tried changing trolling speeds,  bait colors, different depths of water, and pulling different directions i.e from shallower to deeper and vice versa. I did note we caught some of the crappie on the turn but that seemed normal. 

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55 minutes ago, GRANDPA TATER said:

Thanks for the hint MrGiggles. I did not try fishing higher in the water column. I tried changing trolling speeds,  bait colors, different depths of water, and pulling different directions i.e from shallower to deeper and vice versa. I did note we caught some of the crappie on the turn but that seemed normal. 

I don't really fish for them, just catch a few here and there on accident, so I'm not the one to ask. I believe the fish that are seen hitting the surface are whites.

I imagine casting a jerkbait, swimbait, roostertail, etc. would work pretty well. Letting out half as much line with the same baits you use for crappie would probably work just about as good, so they run around 10' deep.

-Austin

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