Monday, December 22, 2008

Jackpot Tournament on Fayette County Lake

Texas Classic Bass Club put on a small jack pot tournament on Fayette County Lake on Dec 20th from 6:45 AM to 3:15 PM. We had some pretty strong winds early on that were blowing a good 15+ mph sustained, and air temps in the mid 60's. Fayette is a power plant lake that has a hot water discharge from the power plant that keeps the lake warm in the winter so the water was 66 degrees around most of the lake, but it was 75 degrees in the discharge area. We fished down the dam rip rap throwing cranks and dragging worms with no success. We then hit a point near the dam and Regan caught our first fish of the day out of about 15 feet of water that weighed about two pounds. We drifted over the point a few more times and decided to run over to the hot water discharge area. We got there and joined the crowd and I caught a 3+ lb fish on a spinner bait fishing the rocks on the left side. Then a few minutes later I broke off a 2 lb fish that hit a small crank bait. The fish rubbed the 10 lb florocarbon line on the rocks after the hook set and broke it almost instantly, but it jumped several times trying to shake the lure free so we got a good luck at him. I got tired of fighting the current and the crowd and decided to try some new water so we ran around to the cold water intake area. I switched lures to a Mann's Little George and started catching fish almost instantly. My first hook set and short fight would have been the big fish of the day, but it pulled free after a good fight. Two casts later I set the hook on a big bass and landed a bass over 4 lbs, didn't weight it, but it measured 19 inches in length. The picture above is my big bass of the day. I proceeded to catch another 3 lb fish and short keeper several casts later. At that point I offered one to Regan and he started catching bass also. We caught another 15 bass that were probably 2 to 3 lbs each. With a little time left in the day we decided to fish over by the boat ramps and Regan suggested we flip some trees he'd fished before. We hit a couple of trees and Regan set the hook on a nice 4.8 lb, 19 inch bass pictured right. We ended the day with three keepers and took 2nd place in the tournament. We had a great day on the lake and I can see why people like to get there and fish on this little slot lake.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The one that didn't get away yields long-lost ring

Every once in a while I read a fishing related article and I feel like I need to share it with everyone I know. Below is a story that falls into this catagory.

BUNA, Texas – The one that didn't get away held an unlikely surprise for a Texas man. The blue-stoned class ring of Joe Richardson, engraved with his name, turned up inside an 8-pound bass 21 years after he lost it while fishing on Lake Sam Rayburn.
"My first reaction was — you gotta be kidding," he said Wednesday.
The fisherman who discovered the tarnished ring inside his catch contacted Richardson on Nov. 28 in Buna, about 100 miles northeast of Houston, after tracking him down with help from the Internet.
His fisherman hero asked to remain anonymous.
Richardson, 41, said he lost the ring about two weeks after his 1987 graduation from Universal Technical Institute in Houston. His mom had bought it for about $200 and wasn't pleased when it went missing.
As a mechanic, Richardson said he doesn't wear jewelry so he tucked the undamaged ring away.
"I have not cleaned it," he said. "I told my wife I don't want to clean it."

Food for thought -

Lake Sam Rayburn is the largest lake in Texas, it's surface area covers 114,500 acres and is 80 feet deep in places. That is a lot of room for a bass to hide!

Original story -

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Texas Classic Bass Club December 2008 Tournament

I fished the Texas Classic Bass Club December Tournament over the weekend on Saturday at Lake LBJ. There was near perfect fishing weather a little cloud cover and 60 degree temps. Water temps in the 60s and water clarity was about 18 inches or less on the upper end. The lake is fishing very well lately. I fished with my lovely wife, Kelly Bridges.

The Tournament:

I woke up at 6:00 AM and let Kelly sleep in while I launched the boat and started fishing at 7:00 AM when the tournament started. I fished the rip rap on the dam for a while and only had one bite when Kelly called me to let me know she was ready to go fishing around 8:00 AM. I picked her up and we idled across the lake to the first spot I wanted to fish and set to work. After fishing around some docks Kelly felt a tap on the line and proceeded to start reeling in her first fish, only she forgot to set the hook and it pulled off after a little fight. It didn't take long and I missed a fish on a spinner bait. On the next cast to the same spot I caught our first 15 inch keeper. We worked our way down the bank fishing around boat docks. We fished the area a little longer and I caught a short bass about 13 inches. We made a long run up the lake to a new area and started fishing docks. A few docks and I hooked into a large bass that wrapped up on something in the water and broke off. We fished a while with no other bites and we decided to run up the lake and try some other areas. We moved on from there and hit all the bridge pilings over the next few hours and I caught another 15 inch bass.

With time running out for us, we headed to a spot back down the lake and hit one of my favorite main lake points, I think Kelly made one cast and set the hook on a 15 inch bass to give us three keepers in the box. High fives were due since that was Kelly's first tournament keeper, ever. A few casts later I caught a 10 inch bass, which got a, "That's a little one," comment from Kelly, which made me laugh. The 15 inch fish she caught a few minutes before was her first tournament bass, but she's already talking smack like some of the pros. :-)

A few minutes later Kelly caught another short fish around 12 inches. We had worked the point pretty well and decided to run down the lake to hit one more spot. Kelly caught two more short fish on this point and time was up. We loaded up and ran down to Cottonwood Marina to weigh in the fish with 15 minutes to spare, so we fished out the tournament fishing near the ramps. It didn't work out for us, must have been bad luck.

Tournament in Review:

I'm not sure I accurately accounted for all our bass, but we probably caught 10 over the day. We threw a lot of different stuff that caught fish. Kelly and I caught three keepers going 5 lbs were 8th out of 10 teams. I think 5 teams weighed in a 4+ lb bass and everyone reported good fishing. It could be argued that our bad luck was due to the banana Kelly brought on the boat. Kelly learned, bananas on boats are bad luck! And before you ask, yes I've read this article - Banana Myth. It's ok sweetie, we'll catch'm next time. :-)


This post wouldn't be complete without telling Mike Amescua congratulations for pulling off the 3rd place finish in the tournament which earned him one more point in Angler of the Year standings than the leader. Congratulations Mike on earning the 2008 Angler of the Year title.

Mike holding two 8 lb bass from Choke Canyon, October tournament.