Yesterday I fished the Boys and Girls Club tournament out of Fate Sanders. The day before I had a guide trip in Fall Creek where we did some crappie fishing. The water was clear and 60 degree….PERFECT for my spook bite. I entered the tournament and was like a boy the night before Christmas!
I made the run into Fall Creek where I saw no other boats…..yea!!! After the shallow flat across from the boat ramp I stopped at the first PVC on the left. I grabbed my Heddon Sexy shad spook and started looking for the stumps. I could not see any and suddenly realized the water looked a little stained and has risen 6 inches! I kept walking the dog hoping I was over the isolated stumps. After 30 minutes without a bite I picked up my red rattle trap and started casting on the flat. After a few cast….GULP! I fought a 4lb to the boat while my partner netted our first fish! I thought to myself “four more bites like that and we’ll be in contention.” I continued to the back of the creek switching from my trap and spook without a bite. The sun was rising and I was starting to realize the water was really stained! I could not believe the rain from 2 days just made it to the lake over night……my spook bite was shot! I abandon the back of the creek and started casting my red rattle trap back out. I picked up another keeper about 2lbs on way back to the first stretch of stumps where I caught the 4lb. I fished the stumps for a long time without a bite and then moved on casting my rattle trap to all the shallow rock points. On the first rocky point on the left just passed the PVC pole we caught 4 little fish and missed one. We continued down the long shallow flat to the next rocky point. The water was getting a little clearer when I cast to the point near a stump….POW! I fought a giant for several seconds while pulling out drag with my hand! We netted our 3rd keeper…..near 5lbs!!! My confidence was through the roof while we started casting again. We continued down the rocks catching a couple little fish and then moved up 500 yards to the right bank of rocks and fished for a couple hours without a bite. I motored back to the PVC pole and started back on the rocky points with the rattle trap. Down the same stretch of rocks we caught 6 more with 2 more keepers! We had our limit with around 15lbs at 11:30am. I put culling buoys on my two smallest fish and kept fishing. I went back and forth on the rocky banks while the wind started really cranking up!!! This time we caught zero. I tried the mud flat where I caught the first 4lb….nada. With 3 hours left I figured I better try somewhere else to get a big fish.
My next spot was the island across from the Smyrna pump house(on the Fate Sanders side). Starting at the PVC pole with our rattle traps we made long cast to the left point. We caught 2 pretty quickly, but they were both short. I kept the boat in 5ft and casting into 2ft. The water was 61 degrees with 1ft visivbility. It was this time I realized my batteries were getting low. I got in late the night before and think they did not have enough time to fully charge. I could not hold us on the point so I strapped down the rods and fired up the motor.
I cruised to the back of Fate Sanders and fished the back right and center of the cove with my rattle trap….nada. TOO WINDY TO FISH!
Then I moved to Jones Mill cove and tried the back left corner. The water clarity was 1ft at 62 degrees. The wind was blowing in the cove while cast our red rattle traps and H2O red squarebill crankbaits to the boulder rocks in 1ft-3ft. My partner hooked up and told me to grab the net. I looked at his rod and it was pulling back hard. With the net in the water he pulled up a big turtle!!!! After 30 minutes we made a move.
I motored to the bank across from Fate Sanders(out of the wind). The water was 1.5ft vis at 62 degrees. I tied on a white/chart Hoppy’s Tally Whacker buzzbait and made long cast to the shallow boulders. I was hoping to get just one big bite to cull my little keeper…..nada.
With time was running out I ran back into Stewarts Creek where it narrows to the left. I pulled out my 1/4oz Hoppy’s Rattle Brush Jig(black/brwn with brwn/blue trailer). The water was the clearest I had seen all day at 2ft vis at 63 degrees. I flipped the rocks for 30 minutes without a bite and we had to head in.
I thought I did not have enough to get a check, but I was wrong. We had 14.16lbs and finished in 7th place. First place was 16.20, so all I needed was one more big keeper. Hindsight I should have stayed in Fall Creek and just flipped my jig the rest of the day or continued with my rattle trap. All and all, great day!
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