Flipping for Bass from the Kayak

I headed out to Mittry Lake this weekend with the intent to learn how to flip for bass from the kayak. I had previously been concerned about my low position to the water and how hard it would be. Within the first 10-15 minutes I had the technique down pretty good and my confidence was pretty high, even though the only other time I’ve ever flipped before was with a friend in his boat last summer. 
Rigged up with a zman palmetto bug in green pumpkin, and confident in my newly acquired ability I headed to a stretch of water where I’ve had a lot of luck in the past with throwing a frog. On about the third flip, I felt a solid thump and set the hook. The rod came tight and it felt like a decent fish, but quickly pulled off. I then realized that I was nowhere near manly enough with my hookset. I pretty much just lifted the rod like it was a crankbait bite. Oh well, lesson learned. I pick that stretch of grass apart over the next hour, and ended up putting two in the yak before calling it a day. While I didn’t burn them up, it was a great learning experience and I am looking forward to getting out and applying what I’ve learned again in the near future.

Welcomed home to the Old North State by a fatty flatty

Was blessed with an opportunity to finally get back to NC to spend time with family and on the water after being away for 8 months. The majority of my time revolved around spending as much time as possible with the kids on the water. That said, one night while home around 10 pm my better half tells me that I should wake up and go fishing by myself until early afternoon. The kids hadn’t done their school work in a couple of days (homeschool is awesome) and needed to catch up. Not one to argue with the boss, I woke up the next morning with the intent of fishing a lone for a little while after I picked up a gallon of XD100 for the boat. I had plans of going to Beaufort and seeing if I could find any reds to play with. I’d had the kids out and had them on rats (report to come on that soon) but I wanted some bigger fish. 
I woke up around 7 the next morning to get ready so I could be at the store by the time they opened at 8 to get my oil. It was then that I remembered my good friend Steve is retired and unless he was already fishing would be willing and able to go. So I gave him a call and low and behold his boat was in the shop for routine maintenance and he was available to fish.  After a quick conversation, we decided to meet at the ramp around 9 am. 

We splashed the boat and headed out in search of a few gray trout while waiting for the tide to get right and found what we were looking for, though they were picky and had a strong preference for my sting silver over his (I think he was being nice since I hadn’t fished in a while). Once the tide got right, we decided to go in search of Mr Redfish. We found them and quickly put 10 or so in the boat, but they were all rats. While fun, they were not what we were hoping for. Running out of time to make something awesome happen, I decided to hit the port wall in hopes of a few flounder. 
It didn’t take long to fill the bait well with good sized finger mullet, and we got setup to drift for flounder.  On the first drift, Steve came tight with a good fish and we finally had something to stink up the cooler with. Next it was my turn, but this one was a tad smaller than Steve’s though still a legal fish at 16 inches. Steve then put another one in the boat at 17 inches, and it was my turn again. I felt the thump and knew right away it was going to be a good fish. Using live finger mullet 6-8 inches long I had to give her a second to eat. I waited about 3 seconds and checked to see if she was still there. I slowly lifted my rod tip and felt it pull back. I lowered the rod, taking up slack and then let her rip! At first, nothing budged and Steve thought I was hung. I knew better. This is a good fish, get the net! After a few moments I saw color. She rose to the surface and her head tried coming out of the water but Steve made quick work with the net job and I had my largest flounder to date in the boat. I took it to Chasin Tails for a weight after the trip and she came in at 6.94 pounds. 
We finished the trip shortly after that fish as I’d already pushed my window to get home to the family, but we managed 4 nice flounder. We fished the first hour of the falling tide and used live finger mullet on Carolina rig as bait.

Lower Colorado River Bassin’

Today, Robert and I hit the lower Colorado River near Yuma AZ for some largemouth bass action.  The lower Colorado is loaded with big bass, and has several small “lakes” or backwater right off of it. Our goal for the day was to explore some new water, and see if we couldn’t put a few fish in the boat while we were at it. 

We splashed Robert’s boat at first light, and made the short run to our first spot.  Having never fished in this particular “lake” we didn’t really know what to expect. Going in was a little tight, but we made it work.  

 Once inside, we started looking around for “fishy” looking spots to start. Watching his Lowrance Mark 5x sonar, we see that there’s a steep drop right off of a major point. Perfect winter time spot! I’m throwing a Spro Little John and Robert is tossing an Alabama rig.  10 minutes or so into working that point, I put the first fish of the day in the boat on the Little John.  

We continued to work the point for a little while longer, but that was the only fish we found. Moving around the lake, we find some standing timber in 7-8 feet of water. This spot should hold some fish we said, but I was in need of a crankbait that ran a little deeper. I changed the Little John out for a Bandit 200 and Robert began throwing a drop shot. A few casts in, I felt a good deflection off of a tree limb, and then a solid thump. I set the hook and a few moments later had fish number 2 in the boat.  

 Quickly getting it back in the water, I made another cast and stuck fish number 3.  

 At this point we knew we had found a pattern and Robert tied on a crankbait.  We continued to work that area over, but didn’t find anymore fish. We eventually decided to run to the next lake.  This one was even harder to get into, but once again  we made it. Once inside, we quickly keyed in on the same standing timber that we found fish on in the previous lake, and in a matter of minutes had another fish in the boat.  

 We each had a few followers and a couple of hits after that, but didn’t catch anymore fish. Running out of time, we decided to give up on exploring and head to one of Robert’s standbys to see if we could find our last fish for the “tournament bag”. Though we weren’t fishing a tournament, it’s always nice to know that if you were, you’d have brought a limit to the scales. 

This last spot ended up being the hardest of the day to get into. Once in, Robert pointed out a rock pile and a stump and said there’d be a fish on one of the two. After throwing at the rock pile with nothing to show for it, we eased over to the stump. I threw the Bandit in and started cranking. About the fifth turn of the reel I felt a deflection and then the thump. Fish on!  I get her to the boat and hoist number 5 over the side.  

 At this point, we are out of time.  We make a couple more casts and decide to call it a day.  All fish were caught on crankbaits, and four out of five bit after the crankbait deflected off of wood.  Thank you again for the trip Robert, and I look forward to doing it again.  We hope you enjoyed reading about our trip, and have tight lines until next time.  

Three Presentations for Winter Bass

Just because it is winter and might be cold outside, doesn’t mean that you can’t catch a fish.  I have three presentations for winter bass that have consistently produced results for me, regardless of where I am at in the country.

1. Lipless crankbaits such as Strike King Redeye Shad or Spro Aruku Shad, with a fast retrieve. It goes against conventional winter wisdom of slowing down, but if you burn it by their face enough times they’ll eventually get mad and hit it.

2. Jerk baits such as Lucky Craft pointers or Rapala x raps. I really like the pointers. This is nearly a do nothing bait. Cast it out, twitch it a couple of times to get it down to depth, and then pause, and every so often give it very light and subtle twitches. Don’t over work the bait. It suspends in the fishes face long enough, that little tiny twitch will drive her mad.

3. Weightless zoom super fluke. Cast it out, allow it to fall on a slack line and watch for your twitches or ticks in your line and set the hook.  They’ll usually hit on the initial fall.

Give them a try and we would love to hear your results. If you have a presentation that you’d like to share with us, please feel free to do so.  


My Number One Secret to Being a Successful AnglerĀ 

  There is no denying that we all want to catch more fish.  We sit at work and dream of being at our favorite fishing hole and catching the fish of our lifetime.  In the next couple of paragraphs, I am going to reveal to you, my number one secret to catching more and bigger fish.

  I find it imperative to approach every situation like my next cast could result in a new personal best. How many times have you had a fish to grab your bait right at the boat, or right at your feet?  For me, the answer is too many to count.  By thinking that any cast could result in a personal record, you are more apt to work your bait all the way back to the boat or bank.  You will pay closer attention to what your bait is doing, and when you get bit, will notice exactly what was going on so that you can effectively begin to piece together a pattern.  

  How many times have you gone out to fish and not gotten any bites in the first couple of places and started digging into your tackle bag for that “magical” lure?  I think at some point or another we have all fell into that trap. I believe that an angler will be more successful by sticking to a couple of lures, and not spending unnecessary time in the tackle box. Pick three lures that will cover the upper, middle, and lower water column. My uncle once told me as a child “you’re not going to catch any fish in that tackle box”. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now. By sticking to a few lures on a given day, you are going to focus on your presentation rather than what is tied onto the end of your line. You’ll put more emotion into the bait, and as a result will get more bites.  That is not to mention the obvious, you’ll make more casts and as a result stand a better chance of catching more fish.  I don’t get wrapped around exact colors so much as I do the style and profile of the bait. I will go into details on my thoughts on color selection in a later post. 

  To sum it all up, my number one secret to catching more fish is to have confidence. Have confidence in yourself as an angler, the gear you are using, and the area that you are fishing. This has worked wonders for me, and I am confident it will work for you too. Good luck out there and until next time, tight lines.  


We Saved the Best for Last. Part 4 of 4

My last day of fishing over the New Year break, and hands down my favorite came on Saturday January 2nd.  I had my best and favorite fishing buddies aboard for the day. The kids wanted to catch some trout so I pointed the truck east out of the driveway and we were off to hopefully do just that.  We made it to the ramp about 30 minutes later after a quick stop for gas and snacks.  Having plenty of snacks onboard is very essential when planning a fishing trip with kids.  If you think they eat a lot while at home, you should see what they can put away when they get on a boat!  I’ll write more on ways to ensure success on the water while fishing with your kids later.

After launching the boat and a short 10 minute boat ride we were pulling into a creek that I hadn’t fished in several years, but based off of current conditions had a hunch would hold some fish.  I pulled the boat off of plane at the mouth of the creek and stopped about 100 yards short of where I wanted to start fishing.  I dropped the trolling motor, and while quietly making my way over to the spot, gave each of the kids a juice box and a snack.  In this case, it was some of momma’s fried chicken!  

 They started catching on the very first stop and didn’t quit until it was time to go home at dark. What a trip with memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Gold Broken Glass Mirrolure 17mr’s and curly tail grubs did the trick. We didn’t find any big fish, but every fish is a trophy in the eye of a kid.  Proof is in their smiles.  



New Years Day Crappie

Friday January 1st I snuck out for a quick assault in the New Bern area with good friend Steve Fifer and crappie were on our agenda. We pulled into a small creek off of the river and dropped the trolling motor.  Easing up to the first spot, we note that the water is higher than normal and despite all of the recent rain was pretty clean.  Once on the spot, we set anchor and began casting to dock pilings and stumps that normally hold fish.  After about 15 minutes and nothing to show for it, we started discussing our next move.  I decided at that time to pick up a one inch white curly tail with small silver spinner and fan cast the area.  On the third cast I hooked up with a good fish, but it pulled off by the boat.  Very next cast and I had another one on, this time I brought it aboard.  I tell Steve where I am casting and he fires in with a minnow under a cork and instantly gets eaten.  Why the sudden uptick in bites?  We found the fish, and were onto a pattern.  They weren’t up against the visible cover, they were offshore and holding on the first break or ledge.  We caught crappie after crappie in that same area using the same pattern and eventually decided to break fishing cardinal rule number 1.  We left fish to find fish!  What we were thinking, I am not really sure, but after an hour or so trying other spots with only a few other fish to show for our effort, we ended up right back where we started.  The day turned out to be one of my best days of crappie fishing in NC for both size and numbers. Along with the several crappie we caught, we also landed a few nice bream, but the crappie clearly stole the show.  Small jigs, wax worms, and small minnows got us bit in 3-8 feet of water.  The crappie bite in the New Bern area will last well into April and early May depending on seasonal temps, and then the bream bite will take off for the summer.  The crappie will still be around, but they will move to the deeper water of the river and seek shelter from the summer heat.