Monday, December 06, 2004

Big Bass Splash

Dudley and I, teamed up to fish the tournament and see what we could catch. We'd been prefishing off and on for two weeks before the tournaments original date and then all hell broke loose in the weather causing flooding and pretty much every lake in central Texas to close down. Lake Austin opened up on Thursday for the first time since Nov 18, which put all our prefishing knowledge out the door. We'd been catching good fish on the inside hydrilla grass line early in 1 to 5 feet of water and then on the outside grass line in 10 to 20 feet of water later in the day. After the flooding the lake went from clear & no current to muddy with a slight current. We prefished on Friday and did fairly well, I had some large fish boil on a spinner bait early that would have been in the 5+ lb range judging by the strike and swirl… We spent the better part of the morning trying senkos, lizards, & spinner baits in various colors trying to get fish to bite something. Then I decided to try something I wouldn't have even considered of throwing on Austin, a 1/2 oz lime/chartreuse rattle trap. I caught fish in the 2 lb range on back to back casts after about 5 casts… then later some short fish and finally a 3+ lb fish before calling it a day. Tournament history indicates that 3lb fish would get a 3rd place, $100 and possibly a 2nd place $200 pay check for hourly big bass. Ok so we were pretty pumped about fishing on Sunday after getting some good fish on that rattle trap, but it just didn't work out. On Sunday we covered the same water where I'd missed the big fish on the spinner bait, I added two trailer hooks to it by way after missing those fish on Friday, and the area had 6 other boats sitting there before 6:00 AM. So I worked the area, weaving through the crowd and hooked up once only to have the fish pull off. Felt like a nice fish... Ok so after sharing an over crowded grass bed for the better part of the morning we headed up to the creek where I'd hooked up with my first two keepers on that rattle trap, when we got there, there was one boat coming out of the creek and one going in, fishing pressure was a little high to say the least. I caught an 8 inch fish in there and moved on to new water. Shipping ahead, it's lunch time now, the lake is pretty choppy from 13+ mph wind gusts and we're headed to the creek where I caught the 3+ lb fish on Friday and it's a fun trip getting there bouncing in the waves. Good news is there isn't anyone in the creek, bad news, the surface is covered with leaves from the strong winds which makes retrieving a rattle trap trash free something along the lines of threading a needle with anchor rope. Needless to say, nada for all our hard work fishing to the back of the creek and back out to the mouth of the creek. I decided to stop at the mouth of the creek and have a late lunch and something to drink, flipped a senko under a dock while munching a leftover Whataburger biscuit and caught a bass, 13 inches, flipped again to the same spot and caught his twin… finished my lunch and just before leaving the creek, I got another 13 inch fish. This isn't gonna get us a big bass, so I decided to head over to bull creek to see what's going on there, short end of a long story, I caught another 13 inch fish in bull creek on the "glow" trap. An hour left in the tournament we head down a small creek near the weigh-in site that I've caught bass out of before… nada, so with 15 minutes left in the tournament I decided to have a Cliffbar and drag a senko in 20 feet of water off the main lake across from Emma Long park and caught a fish that might have been 14 inches long, but I didn't bother to measure it. The senko color I settled on for Sunday was watermelon/white by the way and I rigged it weightless Texas style. So the trip is pretty much from my perspective, Dudley caught some fish on Friday, but struggled to get a solid hook set on Sunday. Not a bad weekend of fishing, but it didn't turn out the way I'd planned it to go from the beginning. There's always next year. :-)