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Last Couple of Weeks

Bill Babler

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Just got a moment to catch-up abit for the last couple of weeks. Most of the guides, myself included have been working the Rock extremely hard as this is the time you have the best chance's to capture some of these great fish on camera.

The clients range from young to feeling young and most have had great fishing not because of what I have done, but because it's just that time of year. It's easy to be a guide when the fish are biting like they have been for the last month.

It is the time however that we must be a careful with these magnificent critters as we can, because lake populations live and die with each years spawn.

It saddens me to hear rumors of a guide fishing the Shell Knob area and filleting spawning fish. I know it's true as a strange guide boat in the area has been reported and voices even overheard, as they throw these wonderful bass in the livewell to be butchered. We have no place for guides killing bass during the spawn. If you have to do this to be a guide, you had better look elsewhere for work as you just don't have to do it. It simple means your not good enough, or you just don't care. Probably both. If you do it at Shell Knob, they know who you are and the word gets out. It is a small town and they really care about the fish.

On a brighter note. Fishing from the Long Creek area of the lake to Eagle rock is pretty much the same. Siwm a C-Tail grub on flat gravel, in the color of your choice, it really dosen't matter, they will hit a rock if you throw it. I am using 6 lb. line and swimming the grub on a 3/16 oz. head, putting my boat in 15 to 20 feet of water. Smallies are eating it up. They are still really clean and full of eggs, so BE CAREFUL WITH THEM.

Spotted bass seem to be in the pockets or on abit steeper stuff. They are also off the main lake pts. and seem to be schooling some times, if you can catch it right. Sammy's, spook's or a fin will catch the schooler's. It don't matter, just heave it in front of the chasers and you will get bit.

The Shell Knob area has had lots of spotted bass working the main lake points. No one is a hero for discovering these secret spots, as they are not a secret. Any dummy that has fished the lake for a year of two knows the spots. Don't kill the schooling fish, some have spawned some haven't, its hard to tell by looking at them.

Lots of spots are being caught on a frech fry and again it really dosen't matter which one you use right now as they will bite most anything that is drug thru a bed or thru a staging point. Boat in about the same depth of water, as you did with the grub swimmers.

I am also having nice success on a floating worm. Bass Pro's chartruse floater is catching really nice largemouth in the wooded coves and in the back of the spawning coves. Alot of these fish look to have spawned but some haven't. I have caught spawning spots clear into June. so it is not over.

When you don't see the schooler's and just want to catch some topwater fish, try the bluff ends and also the wooded pole timber on the inside of the points going back into these spawning coves. Nice way to catch a good black.

Try the flat gravel early with the fin or sammy, fishing it right on the bank and down the banks in under 8 ft. of water for great topwater action for the smallies.

Come to the Rock right now, and if you have any kind of boat there is absolutely no need to hire a guide. You won't need one if you can hit the water with the majority of your casts. Enjoy, because July and the jet skiers are a commin. Good Luck

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I would like to add I think a very important opinion of mine to Bills response to the guide filleting fish with eggs.

First, I can't remember when the last time I even ate a bass. I throw everything back. I have been around TR to long to see all of the negative changes it has been dealt. (Growth, pollution)

Next, I do think it is wrong to kill fish that are spawning, But I also think that with all of the tournaments we have on this lake now, they are doing more damage than one guide killing a few fish.

When a fisherman in a tournament or just fishing takes the fish off of the "beds", he is not only taking that fish away from protecting the nest but has killed every egg that could be. I have a real problem with fish being yanked off the bed and every little blue gill eating the eggs. That kills more fish in the long run than keeping a few once in a while.

To me, it's like pouching.

So please stop pulling fish off of their beds, We will all have a better fishing future if we can do that one simple thing.

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SD, I agree. The biologist say that bed fishing dosen't hurt the population, because only a small percentage of bass bed are where they can been seen.

I still think it really hurts for the reasons you mentioned to drag these fish 50 miles to another location during the spawn.

On the Rock, the smallies and the KY's sometimes will bed clear to 20 ft. and this is just not visible to the site fisherman.

They are however easy prey to the drag fisherman. They are easy when they are chasing shad in the cove mouths getting ready to make their spawning runs.

I have no problem with a fisherman keeping a fish to eat, I do have problems with guides killing these fish for sale. It is not that they are doing something special, we all know where the fish are. Most of us just choise not to kill them. They are easy and I will tell you there is not an unlimited supply. You know this if you have been here a while.

I reminds me of someone coming to your home and seeing a deer grazing in your back yard and paying you $100.00 to shoot it out the back door.

If a guide feels he has to do that to make clients happy and the only way they will be happy is by eating fish full of spawn, that is where I see the problem.

I won't comment on it any further, everyone on this fourm knows how I feel on the subject of killing these wonderful creatures. It sickens me.

It is fantastic though to catch and release them and they are really available for that right as we speak. Get out and enjoy the great fishing.

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  • Root Admin
drag fisherman

Are you a drag fisherman? Are you slipping out in Becky's clothes again and screaming up and down the lake like a crazed ban chi again... I thought theapy had helped this time.

Oh well... there's always hope.

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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I won't even go there.

Come over and help serve breakfast on Sat and Sun while I'm working. I know it will cut in on your beauty sleep, but it will do you good getting up before noon.

Oh! I forgot, you have to get up by 9 on Sunday to make Church. Don't worry, you can still make your afternoon nap.


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  • Root Admin

You're so funny... just because I don't get up at 5 am like you-- but you still get your 8-9 hours in buddy-boy.

And it's 8 am at church Sunday for prayer- so there!

Fishing... WORK?! Come on!

Cleaning, taking care of people at the lodge, cooking, more cleaning - that's work. That just means Becky wears the pants in your house- buddy!

You got it made!

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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