Pre-Fishing Lake Livingston
Trey and I left Montgomery to pre-fish Lake Livingston about 5:30 am this morning. The lake has changed in some areas because the hurricane washed some of the spots we had out, all that was left of them was a sandy beach. Yesterday we caught 18 fish of which 8 or 9 were keepers. Today we caught 7 fish only 3-4 keepers. We fished shallow using spinner baits and Texas rigs.
As we were fishing I saw a gar blow up and saw his outline. I told Trey that I was going to catch him. We were in less than a foot of water when I flipped over the back of the gar and then I was about to set the hook and out of nowhere a 3 pound bass came up and took the bait.
Tuesday Night Tournament
Today I fished the Tuesday night tournament with my friend Parker Greer. There are 29 boats competing tonight. We drew the coin and got #2 in the lineup.
Caught one on a frog and some other lures.
We caught our 3 bass weighing in at 9.07 pounds. We came in 6th place and collected a check
An Evening with Zell Rowland
Tonight was an extra special evening with Zell Rowland. He is known as the “Greatest Top Water Fisherman”, famous for the “Rebel Pop r ” bait. He invited me to come over to visit. My Mom and I brought dinner. Zell showed me how to tie a knot that would keep a fish from breaking my line. It was complicated at first because there was a lot of line and you have to hold it just right. He was very patient and determined for me to do it correctly and he made me keep tying until I mastered every step. That took at least 6 times. He showed me how certain knots break easily and that can cause you to lose fish. That could cost you in a tournament where mere ounces count to win.
After that he showed me how to make jigs. Wow I was impressed. He had every color and type of material to do everything. There is one lure that I love and there is no jig for it so I showed him the colors and we started creating and came up with a custom jig. That was really AWESOME! Boo Yah Prank is a new top water bait that was designed by Zell. Be sure to get one of those to try out.
Then we sat down at the table and had dinner. My partner Trey came by and we sat and talked about all his past fishing experiences when he young. When Zell first started to fish he would go to the boat ramp in Livingston and stand out there till he saw someone with just one person in the boat and then ask if he could go fishing with them. They would pick him up and take him out. When he was out on his own and had no money like all the young fisherman starting out he would sleep in his car, hotels were too expensive. Trey and are were enthralled at all the stories. He told us about a cold night at Lake Livingston when he lit a Coleman stove and put it in his station wagon to keep warm. Looking back that was pretty crazy. At the time it was a good way to keep warm. One morning we were at Lake Bistineau in Louisiana and it got cold and Rick Clunn was in his car and the handle of the door was frozen and he could not get out. Zell could have left his competition in the car, but he was nice and got him out.
Zell was 13 years old when he got his first flat bottom boat with a 10 hp motor. That story sounds just like mine. That was one of the best gifts I ever received. He told me that at 13 years old he was in his first Bass Tour Event, right after that they changed the age to 18. He also guided part time on Lake Conroe while in High School.
The first tournament that Zell won was at a Super BASS tournament in 1986 winning $175,000 in prizes and money which included a customized Suburban and a Ranger boat on Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee. He won this tournament using the “Rebel Pop r” lure and instantly became famous. This was a great win but this is what happened next. He and his partner were going to Lake Meade to a tournament so they flipped a coin to see who would take their boat and Zell won. They took the boat out and they hit something and the lower unit was destroyed. It cost $6,000 to repair it. He won $7,000 not hardly worth the trip, then we he got home the Suburban was not in the garage, he thought that was weird maybe his wife sold it while he was gone, that was not what happened. She went to Willowbrook mall to buy a dress, came out and it was gone. The police finally found it after several weeks and it had been totally stripped.
One of the things that Zell said that he likes is fish that pull back. He also loves to Marlin fish, just like his dad and wants to catch a 1000-pound Marlin 10 feet long. He loves the fight of a big fish.
He said a bass fisherman can catch anything because it takes a lot more concentration and knowledge than salt water fishing. Dave Gliebe and Denny Briar were the fishermen that taught him to shallow water fish. He loves top water because you get to see it happen.
The most important thing Zell enjoys the most about fishing is meeting and knowing everyone in bass fishing and always getting to meet new people.
9-30-17 Lake Livingston Tournament
It was a cool 64 degrees this morning with blue bird skies. We launched our boat from Lake Livingston State Park and started fishing out on the rocks. Trey was throwing a spinner bait and I was throwing a Texas Rig flipping down the bank. I decided that I would throw a buzz bait. I made a couple of casts and my bait got destroyed right away. I lost 2 of them. A 3 ½ pounder came up and ate the buzz bait but I missed the fish because I set the hook to early. He hit it really, really hard. A couple of casts later I had another blow up and the fish missed it. At 9:15 we had 2 bass.
We were fishing some good docks where we fished during practice. I flipped my jig where Trey caught one on practice. I got bit and didn’t notice it because it happened during the fall, when the lure was descending down into the water. I saw him swimming off so I reeled really fast to set the hook, I had him on for a second and then the jig came flying out of the water. We thought it was at least a 4 pounder. I had too much slack in my line. They stopped biting for a while, then it picked back up around 12:50 and we caught 2 more fish and finally at 12:55 we caught our 5th fish. I guess it was late lunch today.
After going to all our spots we found some new water to explore with a stretch of docks that looked good. We decided to try them out. On one corner of a dock there was a little shade and Trey said, “There’s gotta be fish there”. Trey flipped his Texas rig in the little spot, he got bit immediately. His line went thump, thump, thump as he felt the fish hit the bait. He reeled down and set the hook. The bait came flying past him and it felt weird. He laughed because there was a little fish on his hook and it was a warmouth, which is a type of perch. He bit just like a bass and they are real aggressive.
We caught all our fish on square bills and Texas rigs today. Nothing on the lay downs. Although it was a tough day of fishing we caught 3-4 smalls and our 5 keepers. We wished we could have had a better day. When Trey and I went on stage for the weigh in, the tournament director presented us with State Championship jerseys. We placed 11th out of 200 teams in the tournament. Montgomery High School came in 3rd place. THROW IT OUT, POP IT IN, FISH ON!