Date:7/5/2012 - 7/5/2012
Catching Up A Little
I feel like I have been away from here for a long time. With Spring coming on early the swimming pool business kicked off full swing and things have kept me jumping. I have fished with Jerry Rapp down at Clearwater Lake in Missouri and thanks to Jerry's work we have struggled along and are tied for 1st Place in points with two more Fall tournaments left to fish.
Jerry had really mastered a shakey head pattern that he had so dialed down that we knew what type of line, the type of shakey head, particular bait color, the bait it self and the type of structure and cover it took to catch fish. It was so specifically successful that one guy using the correct combination would kick the other ones butt even if only one component was off in the combination. Now all we have to do is square off and dial in the Fall fishing as well.
I have been out a couple of times with the Midstate Bass Anglers as well as the Illinois Bass Anglers Association. I have fished Egypt and Carlyle with them so far this year. Egypt was some what elusive for me. We fished it the first weekend of May and definitely had a good frog bite happening. Had two decent keepers but could not seem to punch up any more of those over 16 inch fish. It can be very frustrating when you are catching nice healthy 15 inch plus fish which you have to flip back over the side.
Now Carlyle was another story. It has been attacked over the years for being a poor fishery and a tough place to catch fish. The last few years have generated high water periods for the spawn. Better yet the water stayed up after wards and fry had a chance to feed and grow before the water receeded. Right now I feel and saw a nice population of good keeper fish. My partner, Joe McClary, and I caught a good number of fish in the 14 to 15 inch range.
We caught them early on in the day fishing crank baits on rip rap. We would position the boat so I could throw a Bandit 200 and really work the 5 to 10 feet range. Joe threw a Lucky Craft and a Luck-E-Strike square bill working super shallow to about 5 feet. This held up good for us until about 11:00 in the morning with one exception of our best fish of the day on a red shad Power Worm.
We then rotated more to bottom bumping baits. Joe was throwing a black and blue jig and I struggled along with the Power Worm. Joe was catching many more than I was so I switched to a jig as well. We seemed to constantly up grade our catch but by ounces. We just could not seem to punch up that kicker fish. We had an incredible flurry of fish in our last area but time was running out. We pulled out of the protected pocket we had been catching fish and started off along a steeper rip rap bank to finish off the day. No sooner than I made my second of third pitch with the jig than I felt a good hard solid thump. When I reared back on my trusty Falcon rod I knew then it was not a bass. It ended up being a solid 8 pound or better flathead. After getting my jig back two casts latter and the thump was there again and another big flathead. I should have been somewhat prepared for these results because on Thursday while prefishing I stuck a 27 pound flathead on a squarebill in this same area.
After disengaging this second big cat for the day I started stowing some gear while Joe ran the boat and we prepared to call it a day. On that infamous last cast Joe stuck a decent keeper. Unfortunately when he called for the net he was standing on the rod locker I had just put the net in to store. We ended up in 4th place but had a great day on a fishery which is certainly showing a positive face. Go fish Carlyle, I really think it could be a fun day.
I have also been fishing the ITT Circuit for Southern Illinois with Lyle Dewitt of Belleville, IL. We just have not really done well. We have fished two events at Egypt, one at Kincaid, and now two at Rend. We have improved our results at each event but just really have not dialed in the right stuff to make a good showing at the scales.
The two Rend events have been our best. The first one we brought 4 keepers to the scales but really did have more than enough bites to have had a limit and done some culling. Rend as well as Carlyle have been producing some really good numbers of keeper fish. This last Rend event we had over 10 keepers with a kicker over 4 lbs. A total weight of 12 pounds however could only muster a 12th place finish with the field really packed from 4th place to 12th.
So I have a few more Midstate Events with Kincaid,Rend, and Shelbyville being sites to fish . One more ITT event and two more Clearwater Tournaments are still on the schedule. I am also looking forward to fishing the Missouri BASS Federation Team qualifying event at Table Rock in October. I will do my best to try and do a better job of sharing some of these fisheries.
Do not forget to stop by The Fishing Hole at Leisure Time Pools in Swansea, IL. We are in the process of expanding our ability to service more sportsmen by adding hunting supplies and firearms to our inventory. We will be changing our name as well to Leisure Time Outdoors. Keep an eye out for the grand opening come August. Be save out there and see you on the water.