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HardCore
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1,858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I’m retired I save the small places, tough access places and restricted boating places for weekends, and fish the waters that attract the skiers, tubers, jet skis, and assorted other crazies during the week, when most of them should be in work. Friday of a 4 day weekend? Small water day for sure. I had some odds and ends to catch up on this afternoon, so I decided on half-day-Hatch.

It took a while to work out the details, but once I did, the fishing was good to the tune of 28 bass, five of which went over 3#, including two over 4#.

When I saw 84 degree water temp, I was sure I’d get an outside weedline bite. I got a few fish plying the edge of the milfoil with an Ozmo on a TitleSHot head, but they were a far cry from the bass I was hoping to catch today. When the outside edge of the veggies proved less than thrilling, I started eliminating options. I did a little pad fishing and flipping in some of the best looking milfoil beds I’ve seen in a while. Nada and nada. On to the steep, rocky, west bank with all the laydowns and deadfalls.The bank that's been disappointing other than early spring the last two years.

Work tight to the bank under the overhanging trees with a sinking Slug-Go.

Nope.

Fish the trunks of the laydowns with a PanHead and with the Oz.

Nope.

Back to the weed edge.

Nope.

I decide to head back to the steep bank and work the Ozmo deep into the outermost branches of a few of the laydowns. Usually, the trunk of the tree, especially right near the shoreline, is key, but that had been eliminated, so I put down the medium heavy rod I was using on the weed edge, and picked up the big nasty. About the third cast, Bump. Hookset. 4-1/2 pounder! Hot damn! Two casts later, one just a hair smaller. Houston, forget the bug eaters. We have ourselves a pattern!

Three hours and twenty bass later, I was headed for the trailer in plenty of time to be off the water by noon, and home before 1. Every one of the 20 bass I took off those outermost branches was at least an “ok” fish. I had to get very slow and thorough with the presentation, often not getting bit until the third or fourth time I dragged the Oz through the same tangle of branches and let it settle.

Only one of my best fish came out of the cover of its own accord and jumped. The rest of the big ones, and even most of the pound-and-a-half guys, got themselves pretty badly buried in the mix of branches and vegetation. I probably wouldn't have had a very good hooked to landed ratio if I was using anything less than 20# braid and a 17# fluoro leader to fish the trees.

Two of the bass I caught had a hook in their mouth or throat and were dragging 3 or 4 feet of line. In both cases, it looked like 10 or 12 pound mono. And in both cases, I had little trouble removing the hook with long nose pliers before letting the fish go. One of the hooks was a gold short shank about 1/0. Probably a bait fisherman's hook. The other was a black, Octopus style hook that I'd bet once had a wacky rigged senko on it. These were bass that had broken off in the trees. I'm sure they guys who lost them went home talking about the giant that broke them off in the trees. Truth is, they were both about 2#, tops. 10# line was fine for bass that size, but NOT fine for the timber.

A third bass got itself tangled in someone’s lost drop shot rig down in the thick stuff. If you’re going to drop shot in these trees, Texas rig the worm and use at least 15# test. After cutting the mess free from the bass and my line, I pulled in about 30 feet of 10# fluoro, a nose-hooked black Berkely Power Worm, and what looked to be a 1/8 ounce curved drop shot weight. For what it’s worth — if it was yours, you’re using lousy drop shot weights (had to be tied on because of an ineffective self cinch) and too big and sturdy of a hook for nose hooking (but too small for Texas rigging).

OK, sermon is over. Here’s pics of the two best fish of the day (the first two that put me on the pattern).


 

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Life is good !
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3,757 Posts
Show how do you remember all of that ? Great report thanks for the pics. Maybe one day the powers to be will get rid of barb hooks . Been crushing them down for many years.
 

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HardCore
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1,858 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Show how do you remember all of that ?
There was a time when I could recreate a day on the water like that form almost any trip in my fishing life. But I got into the habit of logging everything as soon as I get home. And the years have taken their toll on my memory, and these days, I'll start to lose some of the details of this trip when I go fishing tomorrow, and start committing a new trip to memory to log later.
 

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Life is good !
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3,757 Posts
So Rich what do you hold that will give you a chance of RETURNING to the scene of the previous catch? Presentation - water temps- barometric pressure or other ?
 

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Registered
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541 Posts
Glad your report ended with a mini-rant on fish caught with tackle in their mouths....I was DS's yesterday and had a strong fish hooked up, did not see the species but I caught a 3lber the next cast, so I'm assuming it was a LM. The fish surged hard and broke me off. I had #10 floro on the DS rig and I have no idea how much line the fish took. I felt so bad about the break off because the fish not only has a hook and worm, it also has a DS weight dragging around hanging out of its mouth.
Told my wife about it and she told me the fish was going to swim into timber and get stuck and die!
After consideration this is def a possibility......but it sounds like u were able to catch some fish functioning well with tackle in their faces.
Our sport has a direct impact on the life of the species we target....it's always important to remember that as a responsible angler.
I will def be setting my drag a bit lighter in the coming days. Rather have the fish shake loss of the hook than break off the rig and have to live with it in its face

This report is amazing BTW!
You write well and the detail allows the reader to really be out on the water with you. Keep em coming
 

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Unicorn Chaser
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871 Posts
nicely done rich, sounds like a great day, gotta use that heavy gear around that thick stuff, don't bring a knife to a gun fight .
 

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LM BASS
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2,588 Posts
Nice Richie, I haven't been there in years.
 
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