Thursday, October 27, 2005

Men Rescued As Fishing Trip Turns Rocky.

This one of the funniest fishing stories I've read in a while and felt like I should share it. It was reported by WBAL Channel 11 NBC.

Two fishermen are at home safe after they were stuck in a frightening situation Monday.
WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Barry Simms said the men were on the Susquehanna River just past the Conowingo Dam when their boat got stuck on a rock. Simms reported the two men had started fishing when there was quite a bit of water going over the dam, but then the water levels changed and their activity turned into an adventure.
Howard County residents Richard Leasure and Henry Belcher found themselves stuck in the Susquehanna River. The fishing buddies had been visiting some of their favorite spots upriver. They were heading back to shore when they noticed the water level dropping.
The boat ran aground and the men used their cell phones to call for help. Because of the low water levels, rescuers could not use boats.

Four rescuers came down the river by foot -- walking across slippery rocks -- to get Leasure and Belcher to an area where a helicopter sent down a basket and lifted the two to safety. Both were okay and allowed to go home. They were just a bit wet from their day on the water.
The men are hoping to retrieve the boat on Tuesday. If they can't, the Department of Natural Resources has offered to assist them.

It is amazing they ever got off that rock! Glad the helicopter was able to air lift them to safty!


Monday, October 24, 2005

October Texas Classic Bass Club Tournament

Dudley and I fished the Texas Classic Bass Club tournament held over the weekend, Oct 22 & 23. This tournament was a two day tournament, Saturday 6:00AM to 4:00PM and Sunday 6:00AM to 1:00PM. The weather was great most of the weekend. Saturday was high of 85 with 10 mph winds, partly cloudy, perfect. Sunday on the other hand was the same weather until about 11:00AM and the wind started blowing 15 to 20+ mph. I'm glad the tournament was over at 1:00, because it only got worse as the day went on.

Day 1:

This is how the tournament went, I got up at 4:30AM on Saturday morning pretty excited about fishing in the Texas Classic Bass Club tournament on Lake Travis. I met Dudley at Jones Brother's park, which is in Sandy Creek near Jones Town on 1431. We launched the boat and headed out into the darkness on the lake, the morning sky was clear revealing a bazillion stars, swirls of steam rose off the waters surface as we headed to our first spot to fish. We started fishing at 6:00AM and I looked up at the sky shortly after we started and saw my first of four shooting stars in the next hour of fishing. About 6:15 Dudley caught our first keeper on a crank bait off a point. We fished around a point and back into the back of a creek and I caught our second keeper about 7:30AM. We had caught a total of about 10 fish at this point, including an aggressive perch that Dudley caught on a 6 inch lizard out of a brush pile. We made our way back out of the creek and caught about 10 more going down the other side of it. The fish were caught on two lures mainly, crank baits and lizards. We decided to make a run to another spot where Dudley had a 4 lb bass the weekend before in prefishing. We made a few passes in the area and picked up a few small ones. I hung my line on a rock and broke off forcing me to tie on a new rig. Instead of just putting on a new rig I picked up another rod and tossed out a six inch shad colored slugo to drift with while I put on a new rig. As luck would have it, I picked up a nice 2 lb fish before I could finish putting on the lizard. I repositioned the boat and once again before I could get my rig tied on Dudley sets the hook on our 4th keeper. I did finally get that lure rigged up and shortly there after Dudley finished out our limit with another fish 2+ lbs in the same area. Key here was fishing slow in 12+ feet of water. We spent another hour after that with no bites and figured that was it for that spot. We headed over to Cypress Creek closer to the weigh-in site. Dudley picked up another keeper slightly larger than the 14 inch bass I caught in the back of the creek early in the morning, so we culled out a little guy. We fished for a while on the other ledges of Cypress Creek and I decided to take a little break. Pulled into the marina while Dudley grabbed some snacks. After the break and some snacks, we were back in action. We pulled up on a stretch of bank that had a slight slope with a few docks and private boat ramps. I slid a lizard down one of the boat ramps and set the hook on a bass only to have it jump completely out of the water and through the hook after reeling it halfway to the boat. It would have culled out a smaller fish if I could have gotten it to the boat. The one that got away.
Anyway, we puttered into the weigh-in site along with most of the other teams with about 15 minutes to spare. End result was a 5 fish limit for a total of 8.55 lbs putting us in 3rd place at the end of day one. I estimate we caught about 40 fish total for the day and that's not exaggerating it. The fishing was awesome early in the morning.

Day 2:

Same as the day before, I got up at 4:30AM on Sunday morning and met Dudley at Jones Brother's park. We launched the boat and headed out into the darkness once again swirls of steam rising off the waters surface as we headed to our first spot to fish. I saw two shooting stars while launching, one while we were running to our first spot and one more shortly after we began fishing. Even if the fish were not biting, it was great to be on the lake. We started fishing at 6:00AM and it didn't take long before I set the hook on our first keeper with a crank bait off a ledge. We had a little company come down the bank fishing and I quickly swung around to cut them off since we were in the area first. Two guys in a Skeeter were fishing in another tournament and they wanted to fish the same area, so without words we acknowledged each other and split the ledge in half. I think we got the better half. Both boats worked back an forth over the ledge catching small fish till about 8:00AM. Back up a few minutes and so I can tell a funny story here. I caught a 13 and 7/8 inch bass, just under the length requirements about 7:45AM. I released the fish and a second or two after I dropped it over the side, it jumped back in the boat! So I caught that one twice, but I tossed it out the other side of the boat the second time. About 8:00AM our company loaded up and blasted off up the lake, and we decided to follow suit. We went back to the creek we caught two keepers from the day before. Only this time, short fish were biting and there were not that many of them. At 10:15 we went back to the ledge, to discover the guys we had shared it with were back before us and fishing the area we had been covering. They moved out the way and we slid in to see if there were any that had pulled up to feed. As luck would have it, Dudley tagged a nice 14 inch spotted bass in the same area he'd caught bass the day before using the watermelon lizard he'd been throwing all weekend. (See pic below) At 12:00 we were down to the wire with only two keepers and I made the call to head to new water. We left Sandy Creek and went up the lake, pulled up on a point and Dudley missed a fish on the first cast. I followed up with the crank bait and pulled in a 2.5 lb bass. We burned up the bank pounding it as fast as we can and Dudley picks up another 14 inch keeper, 12:40 and it's time to go! We strap down and run the main lake jumping waves produced by the winds and large boats headed down the lake to Cypress Creek for the final weigh-in. We arrive with 2 minutes to spare. End of the day results was a 4 fish limit for a total of 6.85 lbs retaining our 3rd place spot. I think we probably only caught about 10 fish over the day, a cold front blew in and really turned off the fishing.

Tournament in Review:

We caught fish on watermelon lizards rigged Texas style on a 1/4 oz weight and crank baits. The fish were in 1 to 3 feet of water early and moved out to 12 feet later in the day. We had a two day limit of 9 fish for a total of 15.40 lbs that put us in 3rd place.

Dudley with a rare keeper spotty from Travis.

Official results posted at:

Sunday, October 02, 2005

September Texas Classic Bass Club.

The Sept tournament was delayed due to Hurricane Rita. This is how the tournament went, I got up at 3:30AM on Saturday morning pretty excited about fishing in the Texas Classic Bass Club tournament on Lake LBJ, loaded up and hit the road. I met Tom Pursell at Cotton Wood ramp on Whirtz dam about 5:15 AM. I wanted to make sure I had my starting spot in the marina so we were there about 45 minutes early. We unloaded the boat and puttered around to the back side of the marina, watched the rest of the club slowly trickle in, and launch. At 6:00 we started fishing and I caught our first keeper on a white ¼ oz spinner bait. Two of the teams in the club were still trying to launch their boats at that point, so I was pretty pumped. We caught several short fish in the marina and moved on to fish some rocks. We found some large schools of shad and I knew we were going to catch some fish. I caught three fish in consecutive casts to the exact same spot. We worked that section of rock for the first three hours of the tournament and caught three more keepers, broke off two good fish, and caught a total of around 20 fish so far in the tournament. We caught them on everything we threw pretty much. I used a white fluke and white spinner bait. Tom used a chartreuse spinner bait, a watermelon fluke, and a Pointer minnow. We headed up lake to fish some new water and the first stop was Apple Head, nothing, but dinks there so we moved on. Next stop we hit the reed patches about mid lake and I tagged our 5th keeper on a white spinner bait. We picked up several more short fish and a few 14 inch keepers that would not help our limit. We headed up the lake further into the river, picked up a few more short fish and Tom caught a keeper that culled out the first keeper I caught in the marina early. He caught that fish on a Carolina rigged smoke colored worm. We headed back down the lake and hit a couple more spots picking up a few more short fish along the way. Tom manages one more keeper on the smoke worm about 3:00PM, but it won’t help our cause. At 3:30 we join a few other boats in the marina to finish out the day. Tom caught one more short fish in there before we called it a day.

Day in Review:

We caught 30+ bass, and took 2nd place honors in the tournament with an 8.5 lb 5 bass limit. Tom and I had a great time fishing and I look forward to fishing with Tom again sometime. Congratulations to Josh and Dave for 1st place honors and big bass.

September-in-October Tournament on Lake LBJ Results:

Current Standings:

Current Weights per Angler and Monthly Big Bass: