Sunday, October 18, 2015

Back to the Mississippi River

This past weekend took long-time friend Don Henry and I to Pool 9 of the Mississippi River.  I have tried to make it an annual trip to get to the upper pools in October, and once in a while a trip in November even happens.  I don't see that this year, so this trip will most likely be my last trip to the big river until 2016.  Nevertheless, I am always eager to get to the river to test my tackle and gear to see if some bass can be located.
Some heavy frost greeted us Saturday morning and that definitely had the fish a little shy earlier in the morning.  However they warmed up with the air temperature.  With the massive cold-front we could only get them to bite on soft plastics, especially the Hot Rod Baits tubes.  We ended up with about 2 dozen bass on the day, almost all of them coming from backwater areas where there was no current present.  We tried many areas with current, but only managed a few bites.  
On to Sunday, another heavy frost, but a weather forecast that promised warmer temperatures.  With the warmer temperatures and another day of colder weather for the bass to acclimate to the dropping water temps, I figured to try some more areas with light current.  We tried some main channel current where the flow is pretty slow, but nothing.  Our next move took us to a side slough with mild to slow moving current.  The largemouth were there and feeding!  We caught dozens of bass within a 200 yard stretch of bank.  The bass were healthy, fat and fighting just like river bass always do.  The best bait of this day was by far Hot Rod Baits Tubes, although a few bass did bite a crankbait.  Black/Blue, and Christmas tree seemed to be the best color of tubes that the fish reacted to.   It was an awesome day of catching, one that neither one of us will soon forget.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A break from Bass

Today I met up friends Don Henry and Jacy Large for a little fun fishing at Lake Red Rock.  We were hoping to catch the crappies that always start to school up and feed during the fall and winter months on this huge reservoir.  I rarely fish for panfish without my kids, so an "adult" trip for panfish was something I was looking forward to all week long.
The morning started off much slower than I had anticipated, but I had the feeling that once the sun got up higher in the sky, that the fish would cooperate much better.  My hunch was spot on, mid to late morning was a good, steady bite for all types of fish.  Bluegills, crappies, largemouth bass, and white bass all showed themselves today.  We ended up focusing on water that was around 10 feet deep.  Shallow flats near the deeper water  seems to be the best places for catching fish this particular day.  Thinking back on the day, I am not 100% sure that the shallower water was key or not though.  The Vexilar FLX-28 was marking fish in all depth levels, however we were able to battle the wind by dropping the Minn Kota Talons anchoring system down in water less than 12 feet.  By setting the anchors we were able present our jigs and minnow/plastics at slower rates and make multiple casts in the same area.  Either way by putting the Talons to use once again, and locating the fish on Vexilar we were able to focus in on higher productive areas and catch many fish today.  A few gills and a dozen or so crappies were kept for  fish fry at a later date.  All in all it was a great day of fishing and was glad to get out and enjoy this unusual 70-degree October day.