June 15-16 2020
Today Parker and I went fishing at Lake Fork. We fished and fished and guess what? Zero Fish.
Since we did not catch anything yesterday, today will be a challenge to find where they are hiding. Parker’s brother-in-law and girlfriend went with us today. She caught a 5 pounder. The challenge was on. I was determined we would catch some good fish today.
Parker and I were basically fishing in the same place making the same cast. He caught 2 spotted bass. I was fishing with a football jig. I caught a 5 pounder, and a 4 pounder. We kept on fishing in that honey hole. It was just fun catching since yesterday was a big 0. I caught 9 fish on the same spot.
Parker was having fun and did not want to leave. I needed to drive back but he kept insisting we stay a little longer. The gas tank in the boat was saying it was empty and he ignored it, thinking there was still gas in the tank. Surprise, the boat came to a screeching halt. We flagged down a guy on the lake and he went to get us some gas. He brought it back and we put it in the tank and it still did not start. He took Parker back to get more gas and that boat would not crank. This man called his wife and she had a little car and we all jumped in. I was scrunched and my head touched the roof. It was crazy, but thankful we were rescued. We all needed to get home and it was getting late. She took me, his brother-in-law and girlfriend to our cars. The man took Parker to the boat launch.
What an adventure. I did not make it home till 1 a.m. exhausted.
July 4, 2020 Happy 4th of July
What a great way to celebrate the 4th of July. Fishing at Galveston with my best friends Trey and Travis. The catch of the day was redfish and trout. There is a 5 trout limit and a limit of 3 redfish per person. We caught our limit of 3 redfish each and 6 trout. Used plastic swimbaits for bait. Having a great time with my friends and cooking up our catch.
July 5, 2020 Surfing on Lake Conroe
This evening I went out in the boat with my parents. It’s really busy with boats on July 4th so I like to go out after everything calms down. The best time is early in the morning or late in the evening about an hour before sunset. The lake is quiet except for the birds and the sound of the waves as we move on the water. It is one of the most relaxing times of the day. I get my board out and enjoy the rest of the evening. My legs are burning, what a great workout. It’s all worth it. At the end of day enjoying a great sunset. Doing What You Love. Loving What You Do. Enjoying the Great Outdoors.
July 8-9 2020 Fort Gibson Practice
Trey and I are getting ready for the tournament on Fort Gibson. It was originally scheduled in March, but got cancelled because of the Coronavirus. Today we went out where the lake meets Ft. Gibson up the river. It was a giant rock wall. Current was on one side of it. Overflow from the lake was above us flowing over the rocks.
We used spinner baits and big worms. Got about 30 bites and caught a few fish. At the end of the day we shook them off. While we were idling, a big paddlefish jumped up about 3 feet in the air and scared Trey. Some of them we saw were about 5 feet long.
We went out today and practiced and caught about 13 pounds of fish. Going to continue to practice and try to locate the big fish.
Our trolling motor was giving us trouble and was not working correctly. We did not have time to fix it so I went to Walmart and purchased a paddle. Trey already had one in the boat and I bought another one. I don’t know how that is going to work but we will try our best.
I called Lee Livesay, one of my buddies on the Bassmaster Elite Series and talked to him and told him that the trolling motor broke on Trey’s boat. We both had paddles and we would use them. Lee knew that was not going to work so he called his one of his buddies, named Billy that lives in Oklahoma and told him we were in a bind. He asked him if we could borrow his boat and he said, “OK”. That was such a generous offer but we did not feel that we knew him enough to take out his nice boat. Lee talked to us and said, “Go ahead and use it, you can’t paddle and fish at the same time”. We had never accepted something like this before. We did not even know this man and he was willing to help us. So, we both looked at each other and said, “Let’s do this”. We got in the truck and drove an hour away and picked up Billy’s boat and talked with him and transferred our equipment into his boat. We just met one of the most generous guys. We were extremely grateful that he trusted us to use his boat. We drove back to the hotel and finally got to bed around midnight. Set our alarm to wake up at 4:30 a.m.
July 10, 2020 FLW Fort Gibson Tournament
It was a Friday morning with a slight breeze blowing. We were one of the last teams to take off. There were 82 teams in the tournament today. We were driving the bright green Skeeter and were about to set out on a great day of fishing.
We headed to the south end of the lake first. That is where we had the most bites during practice.
Our first stop was at a transition bank with a brush pile. This is when the rocks go from big to small with sand. This was one of the patterns we discovered. At 12 feet deep there was a school of fish. I caught the first keeper on the first cast. It was 2 ¼ pounder. Trey cast once and then on the second cast he landed a 6 pounder. He was going crazy, but he had to keep it down because there were other boats near us and we didn’t want to make it obvious our spot was good. What a great way to start a tournament. For a solid hour it was non-stop action. Every cast we were getting bit or hooking fish. We were on a roll and this was fun! At this spot we caught 10 fish, 5 of which were keepers. It slowed down and we left and went to the next spot.
We went to a brush pile half way up the river. This is another spot we went to during practice and I shook off some fish the day before. We didn’t catch a thing. It was getting cloudy and as we looked in the distance you could see it raining about 500 yards away.
Rain came and went. We went back to the first spot where we caught the big fish and got the most bites. We did this because the day before a storm rolled in just like today, they bit like crazy and we were hoping for a repeat. Well as you know things change and that did not happen. We saw some a high school boat fishing nearby so that hole was probably fished out.
We decided to go north running way up the river. It was a 30-minute run. Got to another transition bank with a brush pile fishing in 10-12 feet of water. The thermocline was at 12 feet. Trey and I were listening to Podcast Bass University on the way to the tournament about how the thermocline effects fishing. We realized why we were catching fish at a certain depth.
A thermocline develops when layers of water separate into several layers and the lowest level of water in the lake is full of rotted decaying matter, therefore depleting the oxygen. Since this bottom layer is depleted of oxygen baitfish like the gizzard and threadfin shad and other fish cannot survive below the thermocline. When you have reached the thermocline there is a sudden change in temperature. We were fishing right above the thermocline.
We were up north going up the bank fishing some of the lay downs. On my 3rd cast I hooked a 4 pounder. I culled one of my fish up. Right after I caught mine Trey was throwing the big worm on a small lay down and as soon as it hit the water, he picked up on it and it was dead weight. Had it on for two seconds and it pulled off. He didn’t have a good hook set. After that we only had one more bite. We had ten bites on this same spot the day before.
We went to four to five more places and didn’t catch a thing.
We ran all the back to the South end of the lake. We were low on gas. Running from one end of the lake to the other that we used fifty gallons of gas. We stopped at the gas station and put in five gallons, that would be enough to get us back to the weigh in.
Trey was throwing a jig and made a cast. He was dragging it across a brush pile and got hung up. He started popping it hard trying to release it and it came out. He drug it for two seconds and got popped. He had a fish on. Set the hook, it felt good. Fighting it, as he was reeling it in, he knew it was going to be a good cull. Landed it and culled one of the smaller ones. We only had one more small fish.
The lures we were using were the Magnum Trick Worm, Ol Monster and a Football jig. We ran out of spots so I started idling looking for new spots. We found another brush pile and on the first cast I set the hook and it pulled 3 strips of drag and the fish pulled straight into the brush pile and broke me off. That was our winning fish. It only needed to be a 4 pounder, but I know it was way bigger than that. It dominated me and I could not do a thing. It was so strong it broke me off.
We fished a few more places with no luck. Last place we went to we caught 4 keepers. That did not help, they were all too small. We fished as far as the lake goes from the south end all the way to the north end of the lake. We covered everything that looked good.
When we arrived at the weigh-in we pulled into a boat stall and parked the boat. We had a good bag on board but it sure would have been better if we had my fish that broke off or Trey’s bigger fish that we lost to cull up the last small fish. Since we are social distancing for Covid-19 they only let one of us go up on stage with a mask to weigh the fish. Our bag weighed 17-5. They had me hold up our fish. It was exciting. I told them the big one was Trey’s. We were excited! I told Trey and my mom I did not think it would hold. There was going to be someone else that had a few more pounds. There were still people in line and we were patiently waiting as they stepped up to weigh in fish. Then the Oklahoma’s team came up and had a bag weighing 19-14 and took over first place. We were still happy to come in second, but the most exciting thing was that we qualified to go to the FLW National Championship. The top 10 teams qualified. It will be held in 2021. It was a great tournament and we want to thank our new friend, Billy for being so generous and letting us borrow his boat. We sure could not have covered the water we did with a paddle instead of a trolling motor. This is what makes fishing so great. Meeting great people that are so generous and help others. It is all part of the journey, we will never forget this. Trey and I cannot thank Billy enough for letting us use his boat.
When the tournament was over, we took the boat back to Billy. He told us that 4 to 5 people called him and wanted to know why he let those Texas guys use his boat. He told them that we were friends with Lee so we must be good guys. You could spot this boat anywhere. It was fluorescent lime green and obviously this guy Billy knows everyone on the lake. THROW IT OUT, POP IT IN, FISH ON!