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Johnsfolly

Where's Waldo... Texas tour report

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On 10/13/2019 at 9:43 AM, Ham said:

Slowly BFJ got line back . Net is ready. Staring into the murky water for first glance of the beast. And then the hook pulled/failed.we were like 15 minutes into the fight. 

a fish that will haunt John forever was gone without ever being seen by us. I’m confident it was a > 20 lb Blue Cat. 

I now have that fish and a big boatside musky as haunting fish memories of that moment when the hook popped. That was a hard fighting fish on such a light pole. I was trying not to horse that fish and as Ham knows there was a lot of give an take using that little reel's drag, back reeling, and bringing in line when I could. Ham didn't mention that there was only 9 feet of line out when that hook pulled on that fish. Still didn't get a look at the fish, but it was so close. That fish was well above the weight limit of that thin wire 1/32 oz crappie jig.

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We had a great time and one pastime was coming up with nicknames for these fish. Ham mentioned Swamp Musky already, but didn't talk about BOWFUN! Now these fish are considered trash fish by most folks, but to those of us in love with the thump and strong pull they can be a lot of fun. As Ham mentioned, after catching that crappie in the brush sitting in about 4 to 6 feet of water, I hit it again with the 1/32 oz crappie tube jig and Bobby Garland pearl crappie plastic. That fish hit like a freight train and fortunately ran out of the brush into more open water. That allowed me to actually play the fish using that long pole to wear it down. I back reeled a lot and let the drag work as well when the fish ran, trying to maintain constant pressure. I was also fortunate that the jig caught the fish right in the lip and upper jaw and not in its hard palate where it may have pulled sooner.  It was my largest swamp musky to date - 23" and 4+ pounds.

 

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My second encounter with the Swamp Musky was in the same lake where Ham had two solid bowfun strikes. This fish hit the bait about 6 to 8 feet from the boat and not more than 30 yards from Ham's strikes. I did not get a solid hook set and the fish swam off. Later as we had circled the banks of this small lake and heading to the channel out to the bayou, I made a cast with the spinnerbait again not more than 70 yards from my last encounter, the bait got smashed. Again I was fortunate to have the hook find the spot just behind the upper jaw and not in the hard palate. After the nice fight my second swamp musky was in the net :D.

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Keep an eye out this holiday season for our line of swamp musky apparel and video series :goodjob:!

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Okay so we are bragging about the bigger fish. We also pulled a lot of mini fish out of the brush, stumps, cypress knees and tree roots along the bank. With a new boat there are always a bunch of first fish that happen. Like the first channel catfish, first spotted bass, first bowfin, first blackstriped topminnow, maybe first redear sunfish, etc. that occurred on this trip. One of the fish that Ham and I discussed prior to this trip was the possibility of catching a spotted sunfish. Looking over photos of fish that Ham has caught in the past I was certain that he was catching redspotted sunfish. So we needed to catch some to confirm. On one of the tree tops without much crappie action, Ham was throwing towards the back of a cut. I threw my olive Gulp honey worm close to the bank between two cypress knees and got a bite. I pulled in the first redspotted sunfish of the trip (actually my only one as well). It didn't take Ham too long to catch his first and then with a pattern he was able to call the shot as to what cypress knees, roots would hold a redspotted sunfish.

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We caught bluegill (Moe or Momo's), longear sunfish (aka Larry since that was the least favorite of the three stooges), juvenile or hybrid longears (Larry X), green sunfish, and warmouth.

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Ham caught the smallest warmouth that either of us have ever seen on Lake of the Pines.

For the first few days, we had opportunities at several micros but didn't fish for them and spent most time fishing for other fish. I did get excited about some topminnows and I could see a couple of species. Also there were a few different schools of minnows seen throughout the trip. I tried fishing with a shorter pole on Thursday for a different topminnow species than I have seen before and had one bite and drop off and didn't get close enough to reach any others. At the boat ramp Thurs. there were groups of topminnows and I called the shot that it wouldn't take more than a minute to catch one of them. It didn't take more than a minute and I landed my first blackstriped topminnow of the year.

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On Friday morning it didn't take Ham that long to catch his first of that species for 2019 either.

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Friday's poor weather did not allow us much opportunity to catch any other micros for the trip :unsure:.

 

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33 minutes ago, JestersHK said:

Glad you boys had a great trip.  Wish you could of saw the big fish John... Next time I guess lol.

It was a great trip (all except the frigid stinging rain on Friday :mellow:! Even in the rain the cypress are impressive trees.

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Ham bore the brunt of the rain as he was driving the boat.

As Ham mentioned I had not fished tree tops for crappie using those long poles. Pretty similar to how Livie and I fish the piers here in Maryland. I just need to pay attention to when Ham is moving the boat and get that jig the heck out of that tree top before the hound dog needs to come out :rolleyes:. Also haven't had much experience with using a baitcasting reel except for musky fishing and those lures are quite a bit bigger so not as many bird's nests. Also there is typically no overhead branches or docks behind you to grab your lures on a musky lake. We ate well. Chicken with lemon and capers with rice, fried crappie with beans, and only one frozen pizza.

We caught bluegill, longear sunfish, redear sunfish, green sunfish, warmouth, redspotted sunfish, blackstriped topminnows, spotted bass, largemouth bass, white and black crappie, bowfin, chain pickerel, channel catfish, and blue catfish. Ham can add any that I might have missed.

Only one really unwanted visitor but Ham would have to tell that tale.

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So that was Texas. Onto Arkansas and the White River for its famous yellow perch fishing :D!

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7 hours ago, Johnsfolly said:

 

We caught bluegill, longear sunfish, redear sunfish, green sunfish, warmouth, redspotted sunfish, blackstriped topminnows, spotted bass, largemouth bass, white and black crappie, bowfin, chain pickerel, channel catfish, and blue catfish. Ham can add any that I might have missed.

Lol, looks like John missed Yellow Bass, again. 

Here’s a better warmouth pic. 

I guess I feel like there are more species because I am layering Saturday’s fish on top on the Texas Tour. 

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