Sunday, August 27, 2006

Williamson County Park: Part 2

Well it took a few trips and I thought it wasn't going to happen for a while there, but I caught one of the big ones last night from the Williamson County Park. I got out there at dusk with only a little light left on the horizon, made about three casts across the top of the grass when a 5+ lb bass surged up through the mat and leapt a good two feet into the air with my Zoom toad in it’s mouth. :-) Caught about six more bass before calling it a night.

Had my flashlight with me for the first time on this trip since I caught a big snake on a Zoom toad last week at dusk about the same time of the day. While walking the bank I shined my light on several leopard frogs along the bank about the size of a Zoom toad. I know why everything in the pond hits those baits, so well know. I’ve never seen any frogs out there in the daytime, but shine a light around the edges while you're walking the bank and you'll find them all around.

It wasn't that dark, the camera didn't pickup that much light for some reason, shutter speed was to fast? Anyway, if you've been out there and are trying to figure out where I'm standing, the pond spillway is right behind me. If you're wondering how I got the fish out of all that moss, 7 ' 2 " G.Loomis Med Heavy rod with 17 lb Vanish line did the trick. Good luck if you head out there and let me know if you catch a big one.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Williamson County Park

Thought I'd let you guys know this pond is fishing quit well with topwater action. I fished from 8:00 to 9:00 last night and caught 10 bass on a top water popper or chugger. It'a a clear one made by Rebel lures. All the fish were less than 12 inches long, but fun to catch when there's that much action. The other cool part of being there at dusk was the bats. There had to be a few hundred flying over the pond just after sundown. Anyway the fish aren't big, but there are a bunch of them in there to catch, so now is the chance to take a kid fishing. The water is kind of low, so don't be afraid to toss the topwater bait out into the open spots where the grass is only an inch or two below the surface. The bass will come up through it and hit the lure. The bite is so good that three of the bass that I landed hit the bait before I ever moved the lure. I simply cast it out and took up the slack. It doesn't get much easier than that. A week or two ago I took my daughter, Kelsea, out there and taught her how to use the Zoom Horny Toad. See picture below with Watermelon frog on the line. :-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Spy Optic + Sunglasses

I'm not sponsored by Spy Optic, but I'd like to review the pair I have been wearing for a few months now. I am wearing the Meteor model of Spy Optic sunglasses and absolutely can't stand to fish without them. They are fitted with polarized lenses and take all the glare off the water and reduce the strain on my eyes while I'm out on the lake. Not to mention the fact that I can see bass in clear water conditions and most of the time when I can see a fish, I can catch it.

Polarized sunglass make all the difference in fishing success. That's not a blanket statement though, you need to get a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Off the rack sunglasses that are polarized can cause eye problems, because of the low quality lenses they are fitted with. I've tried several brands of sunglasses and have to say that I stand behind Spy's as a quality product. The only draw back, if you should have a warranty problem with them, getting through to someone in the warranty department can be a bit difficult, but not impossible. I had and issue with mine and Teddy Bess at Spy Optic had me back in a new pair of glasses in no time. Thanks Teddy!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Texas Classic Bass Club August Tournament on Stillhouse Hollow.

I fished the Texas Classic Bass Club August tournament on Stillhouse Hollow with Don Steussy, 5:00 to 2:00 on Saturday. We got fourth place, and had a great time fishing. The hot Texas summer weather made for some tough fishing conditions. The wind was calm and still all day, but you couldn't have asked for better topwater fishing conditions early in the morning.

The Tournament:

AT 4:30 AM I met Don at the Rivers Bend boat launch. Normally the ramp isn't open till 6:00 AM, but the club had registered the tournament with the lake authority. We loaded his gear in the boat and headed off to our first fishing spot. There wasn't much moon light, it was pretty dark. I decided to follow a boat that zoomed past and seemed to know exactly where it was going out behind the island. Turned out it was Bryan "Snakeman" Cotter on the way to the same area I planned to fish only he didn't exactly know where he was going. We ended up dragging the bottom somewhere in the darkness near the island. We laughed at each other while we deployed our trolling motors and push polls to find our way out to deeper water. I made it out of the shallows first thanks to my trusty Maxx 80 trolling motor. :-)

We moved out on to the grass flats in 4 feet of water and went to work. Nothing happened for the first hour of the tournament and then around 6:00 AM the action picked up. I caught our first keeper in the dark on a spinnerbait. Several cast later I caught another keeper on the spinner bait and the fish hit it so hard, it knocked the skirt off and bent the arm 90 degrees in the wrong direction. I didn't have another one exactly like that with me on the trip, so I had to go with the next closest spinnerbait, but it turned out to be, not close enough because I didn't get another bite on a spinnerbait despite all attempts.

About 8:00 AM a lot of topwater action scattered around us started happening, so I switched to a clear top water chugger and started catching bass along the defined grass edges. By 9:15 AM I had caught three more keepers and started culling, but none of the keepers were helping much. At 10:30 I decided to slow down and go for the bigger bite in a attempt to get our kicker fish. I tied on a black/brown jig rigged with a red shad Eager beaver. We flipped the deep grass for about an hour and I set the hook on a 14 inch keeper. We kept working the deep grass with jigs and C-rigs till about 11:30 and noticed schooling bass out in the middle of the lake. They are schooling on small shad in 30 feet of water. We threw all the standard schooling lures I've always had success with on Stillhouse and they wouldn't touch any of it. I don't feel bad though because there we three other boats out there and no one caught any of those fish. You could see them on the surface chasing the bait. Some of the bass were good size fish, but none would bite. About 12:15 we switched to punching through matted grass around trees with deep water near them. Don set the hook on a big fish only to have it wrap up in the grass around a tree limb and pull off the hook. We spent the rest of the tournament trying to get another big bite in the matted grass, but no takers. The water was clear enough that I did see a bass that was pretty big cruising around the grass edges, but it spooked about the time I saw it.

Tournament in Review:

The sky was clear and sunny all day with very little wind and water temps were 85 to 88 degrees. We probably caught two limits of keepers, with a five bass total for 8.78 lbs. We caught about 15 bass all day long and had a great time. The majority of our fish were caught on clear top water baits and white spinner baits.

Special Thanks:

Thanks go out to Kelly, Landry and my kiddos for camping out with me on the lake before the tournament. Also thanks go out to Austin Boats and Motors for getting my 20 hour service done quickly and installing my new sonarGPS the LMS 334c.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

ICAST 2006 Product Show

About ICAST:

ICAST assists the new product introduction cycle for next spring. Many of the new products in this article are not in production, but some are already in stores. Many are the final development versions, but a few are in the late prototype phases still. ICAST vendors show these products and prototypes to large distributors and their biggest buyers during the show. Those distributors and wholesalers can then give lucky vendors a feel or commitment for how many units they would need allocated for their 2007 mail-order catalogs or distributor's dealer-only shows late this fall and early next spring, so production can ramp up and the new products can be on local dealers shelves, available online or in mail-order catalogs for you by the time bass fishing season opens next spring. Fishing magazines, normally give new products reviews in there December or January issues.

Not a Complete List, but the good stuff:

Odor Assassin -

Bass Assassin also has teamed up with Will Thompson to market the new Odor Assassin. "It does not cover up odors but eliminates them," says Will Thompson who is known for his Blue Wonder gun care products. "The product was originally invented to solve a stinky problem with bullet proof vests and body armor being used by our soldiers in Iraq. Problem is that you cannot wash these items, so you could imagine in the heat and all. The product worked so well, our soldiers were using it in their boots, in the military vehicles they drove, everywhere. It's a great product for anglers to use in live wells, rod lockers, and yes, you can apply it on your hands to eliminate odors," says Will.

Berkley -

Berkley Vanish Transition Crimson Red is 100% fluorocarbon that's hi-vis above water. This enables an angler to control his or her presentation by sight and to see unfeelable strikes via line movement. The company claims its not lo-vis but "no-vis" underwater.

New PowerBaits for 2007 are the Sabertail Bug, Sabertail Grub, Sabertail Worm, two sizes of the gliding, slow-falling Powerbait Beast designed by Mike Iaconelli, plus the Bat Wing and Floating Bat Wing Frogs, two sizes of Power Shakey Worms, the weighted Sinking Minnow stickbait, and Chunky Trailer.

Click here to watch videos of:
Scott Martin fishes the new PowerBait Sabertail Bug
Legend Larry Nixon demonstrates the new PowerBait Shaky Worm
Mike Iaconelli speaks, designer of the new PowerBait Beast

Daiwa -

As if that wasn't enough, Daiwa has introduced a new series of six affordable hardbaits that will sell in the $4.95 price range. One, the "Peanut" crankbait is already famous in Japan where it has been producing many fish for happy anglers for 15-20 years now. The Peanut rattles and has a tight wobble. There's a shallow-diving Peanut that gets 3 feet deep and a longer-billed Peanut model gets 5 feet deep.

Mustad -

Mustad's best-selling bass hooks is for fishing soft plastic frogs. The black bayonet style gripper holds frogs securely. The weight on the shank (either 1/16 or 1/8) has a silicone insert, making it movable, yet grips it in place after it's moved. For frogs, the best position for the weight is shown below. This acts as a counterbalance to keep the frog from spinning, a common problem with frogs which this hook helps correct.

Owner Hooks -

Three TwistLOCK hooks, all three of these new hooks feature Owner's new concept of an 'open gap' which allows for more positive and effective hook sets. What this means is we made a conscious effort to put the hook point above the eye. This acts more like a straight shank worm hook and lets you set the hook a lot better. When the point is above the hook eye, you get leverage. Very effective once they strike. Yet unlike a straight shank hook, which holds bait poorly, the TwistLOCK holds bait on snuggly.

Strike King -

Strike King came up with a new 1/2 oz Red Eye Shade series of lipless crankbaits that will put bass in the boat like no other bait on the market when they are worked over grass beds on your favorite lake.