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Bill Babler
Bill Babler

Many Ways of the Fall

Usually starting around Turkey time, Table Rocks Bass start thinking about a holiday feast.  If you are a chunker and winder, there is a place for you and if you are one of those guys that is all about electronics the holiday table also has your place set.

When the Rock reaches that magic temp of around 60 degree these fish are triggered to put on some pounds.  At this time crayfish and also both of our shad species are in more than abundance and are extremely active.

Chunk Rock wind swept banks are excellent places to toss your WarEagle  SB or your RK Crawler.  Most any speed retrieve at this time will catch some interest. 

This past week, the cedar tree bite was on using Zara Spooks, Whooper Ploppers or SB's.  Yes the topwater bite is still going.  There were also lots of reports of fish chasing up Long Creek and in the mouth of the James.

Main lake gravel roll-offs and long gravel flats where they meet the main river channel especially up the White River. the James River and Long Creek hold fish that can be either caught using electronics and vertical fishing or dragging big Football jigs.  Start in 20' and move out to 60+

If you are a vertical fisherman like most of the guides and longtime locals, now is the time to catch big limits of White Bass on the jigging spoon.  These fish are also caroling with LM and very nice K's.  One of the local guides yesterday had over 70 fish with 35 keeper LM and K's to the boat, spoon feeding them.  During the tournament last weekend some of the guys were having a very hard time keeping 3 pound Whites off their junk while trying to catch bass on the spoon.

A lot of times this will really test your skill with the electric pencil.  Instead of looking for hooks or fish, look for an extremely wide line on the bottom, sometimes really nothing more than what would appear to be a wide marker line.  When fishing the spoon drop it into the line and just start winding it up slowly.  At times the entire bottom with rise with the spoon.  "If you catch one, its on with worming and lines streaking everywhere."

Another method that is a real fish finder on these large gravel flats is the 3/4-7/8 or 1 oz. Football Jig.  Start in that 20 ft. range and slowly drag it out to where the flat dumps into the channel.  Make circles along the edge of the flat and drag it thru any ditches or guts on the flat.  If you catch one, mark it and I'll bet my Bippy that he will have friends that you can get to  check out that jigging spoon.

Very soon the shad will start moving back into the big creek channels and either suspending or hunkering on the bottom.  I usually start coming into the creeks, looking at 70 ft. and start slowing moving in.  Again some times you see fish but most often it is just an abnormal bottom hump or signature heavy line.  If you are lucky enough to see fish working these shad balls you are in the money.

The deep vertical and the deep dragging bite will continue well up into the day and is not quite as time sensitive as the crank and wind bite.  Folks like Bo are already on the deep bite and if you all enjoyed his video last year, the same deal is getting underway.  Spend some time with your head looking at your on board TV screen in some of the locations I have mentioned here and it will for sure get your Holiday season off to a resounding fish catching start.

Good Luck

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Evening my internet friends....well I had the chance to fish the Rock today....cloudy with a fair wind and water temps were in the 58 - 60 range. I launched out of Moonshine and really didnt go to far. Mainly in the coves to the west. 

Had a craw crankin bait tied on, ned, whopper plopper 130 and a war eagle spinner per the past few articles. Here is the first fish that I caught - it was a fighter....as you can see about 17" - I caught this one on the craw color crank.... nothing on the WE or the WP,


and a few on the ned with the smallest being this one.


Then it really slowed down - sat down to eat a cracker or two and decided to read the OA blog again and Bill kinda challenged me to use my "TV" screen to find bass....well I had bought a Dixie some time back and tied it on. 

Looked for the mark on the screen dropped it down and two pumps later a nice 1.5 pound bass - i duplicated that is few times and then hung the crazy thing in a tree and broke it off. 

Overall had 8 for the day - not a bad thanksgiving at all




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Great info guys.  Go out and grab ya some more jets, fish seem to think there food.  On Lake O that sounds like a blast.  Got a good friend that guides up there  Big Ed's Guide Service.  He has been hammering the whites on top water in the backs of the pockets early and late.  Using a Chugbug, PopR and a spook.

I fished with him a week ago and we had some decent LM off the front of condo-docks.  The amount of Gizzard Shad in the backs of the pockets up there is unreal.  Just millions upon millions.  I can just see a wind blown bank.  Bet they tried to take that Jerker away from you. 

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