Saturday - May 14th, 2016 - 40 degree air temp, 20-30mph NW wind, cloudy, snow, sleet and 56 degree water temp. The 1st US Angler's choice tournament of the year was held on Okauchee Lake out of Foolery's Bar and Grill. 23 boats in the field. It was a brutal day of wind and cold for 8 hours but we ended up catching our 5 fish limit (US Angler's Choice allows 5 fish limits) and taking 9th place...a few spots out of the money. Started the day throwing crank baits and jerk baits on a shore line where the wind was hitting it at 20mph. No bites, so we moved to the NW side of the lake to throw finesse worms and swim jigs, still no luck. Moved to a bay that was protected a little bit from the wind and ended up catching a 3.7 lb. Largemouth Bass (LMB) on a KVD 1.5 crank bait. Thought we may be on to something there but that was the only bite we had in about a 500 yd. stretch. We moved to the West side of the lake with a couple hours to go and filled out the rest of our limit with small fish caught on a finesse worm in 3-6 Feet of Water (fow) using spinning tackle and 6 lb. test fluorocarbon line.
Sunday - May 15th, 2016 - 45 degree air temp, 20mph NW wind and 53 degree water temp. The 1st WABTA tourney of the year was held on Okauchee Lake out of The Golden Mast. 55 boats in the field, pretty good turn out. Another uncomfortable day of fishing but at least the sun was out! We started the day where we left off on Saturday on the West side of the lake and caught a 2.5 lb. LMB in the first hour using a finesse worm on spinning tackle and 6 lb. test line. Moved out of that bay to fish a rocky shore line and caught another decent 2.5 lb. LMB. But again, the only bite in a 500 yd. stretch. Moved to the North side of the lake and caught a short fish on a jerk bait over 8 fow...that fish had 3 more bigger fish following it. We stayed in that spot for another 20 minutes and could not get the school to bite. We decided to go fish a couple wind blown points and picked up another 2.5 lb. fish on a jerk bait... only bite in 500 yes, crazy! We moved to the South side of the lake where we caught the 3.7 pounder the day before but couldn't get bit. Probably because there were no clouds today. We spent the last 3 hours on a windy shore line flipping sparse vegetation in 4-8 fow. Caught a good 3 pounder and one more 2.5 lb. LMB but could not catch our 6th fish to fill out our limit. (WABTA allows 6 fish limits) We ended up in 9th place and got to cash a check this time. 16 hours of fishing in brutal conditions really takes a toll on the body. I hope the remainder of the year yields a some better weather. My next 2 tourneys are June 11th and 12th on Pewaukee Lake. Fish on...
May 10th, rainy and 49 degrees with the wind out of the NE at 10-15mph. Not exactly comfortable fishing conditions but I'm glad I made a last second decision to fish the 1st Lake Beulah Tourney of the 2016 season. There's some really good sticks that show up for this tourney and a bunch of good fish came in to weigh-in. We only have 3 hours to fish. I wanted to cover a lot of water quick so I started out with a Rapala jerkbait in 5-10 feet of water (fow). Caught a dozen 12 inchers in 45 minutes and decided there were no big ones up shallow yet so I did a 180 and crossed to the other side of the lake. Went to my bread 'n butter and started pitchin' a soft plastic craw. Set the boat in 20 fow, pitched up into 12 fow and hopped it back to the boat. I caught a 3.5 pounder on my 5th flip, a 4-13 on my 10th flip and then I switched to a chatterbait and proceeded to catch another 3.5 pounder which sealed the deal. Ended up taking 1st place and winning big bass. Nice way to start the season. I sure hope this momentum rolls into this weekend. I have a US Angler's Choice tourney on Okauchee on Saturday and a W.A.B.T.A tourney on Okauchee on Sunday. Check back for results. Fish on...
Early May. Wind was 10-15mph out of the NE. I took my buddy Joey fishing a few days before his 13th birthday. He was throwing a KVD 2.5 Chartreuse and Black crankbait, his rod doubled over and the fight was on. It was his 1st Northern Pike and his biggest fish yet. North of 36" and a good 12 lbs. Exciting fight and a healthy release. Congrats Joey
The 1st time I took Jackson fishing was last summer...he was 4. He's been asking me "when can we go fishing" since February. Well, the ice has finally cleared so we decided to go for crappies after work one night. Packed the cooler w/ snacks, stopped at the bait shop for some fatheads and drove to the launch. Windy and cold but that didn't seem to bother anyone. We fished for about 2 hours and only had 1 bite. Jacks reeled it in. About a 20" Pike...his biggest fish yet. He is really getting the hang of casting his open bail combo. I know baitcaster's can be pretty difficult to learn but I would like to teach him how to throw one this year as well. If you have the opportunity, take a kid fishing. Good chance they will love it and remember it forever. Jackson's already looking forward to next time.
Beautiful day today on Guntersville Lake in Alabama. Cool morning at 46 degrees with wind out of the North at 5 mph. Got to our 1st spot at about 7am and I was pleasantly suprised to be the only boat there. Positioned the boat in 20 fow (feet of water) and started throwing a Strike King 2.5 crankbait (Tenessee Shad color) in into about 4 fow. The presentation that we found to work the best in practice was to get that crank bait to dive down, tick the eel grass that was in the 5 foot range and when it cleared the vegetation and got over about 8 fow, the bass would hit it. Seems that they were staging on that main lake ledge waiting for the water temp. to be right in order to move up shallow to spawn. So, got there at 7am and had 2 keepers in the boat for 5.5 lbs. in about 45 minutes. Not bad, feeling pretty good. I was now confident that we would be able to put together a 5 fish limit fairly quickly and then go look for some bigger fish. Well, that wasn't the case. we fished this spot until 10 am and only caught 2 more short fish. We ended up running 10 miles down river to fish a couple more spots but no bites. Came back to our starting spot at about 1:30pm and caught 2 more short fish but that was it for the day. Pretty frustrating. We hear that 25 lbs. is leading after day 1 and the big fish of the day was an 11 pounder.
Just got back from our pre-tournament meeting and dinner. Total purse and prizes of this tourney is over $250,000. 1st and 2nd place wins a $65,000 Legend Boat. 271 teams in the Angler's Choice Championship this year. Our boat position is determined by how we ranked against every team in the country last year... we ranked 87th. Take off is tomorrow at safe light and our check in time is 3:30pm. Had our best day on the water so far today. Caught 2 that were close to 4 lbs and a couple other 2.5 pounders. Air temp. was in the mid 70s, wind was out of the SW at 5 - 10mph and the water temp on the main river was in the mid 60s. Right now we have 3 spots that we have confidence in. Our 1st spot is on the North end of the lake, 2nd spot is about 25 miles south and our 3rd spot is in between them both. So if we don't have a limit by 10...we'll be making a 25 mile run and work our way back to weigh in. Check out some practice day 3 video below.
Day 3 was better. Air temp. 80. Wind 10-20 out of the SW. Water temp. was around 65 in the creeks and 60 on the main river channel. We caught a number of fish today but they were all in the 2.5 lb. class. We really need to find 5 pounders to even have a chance at cashing a check here. The locals are saying it will take around 50 - 55 lbs. to win this thing. That's a 2 day total weight for 10 bass (5 bass limit per day). Tomorrow should be pretty nice w/ the air temp. in the 70s and the wind only around 7mph which is comfortable for us, but today the bass bit better when the wind picked up. Tomorrow we will expand on what we found today and hopefully find more pieces to the puzzle that is Lake Guntersville.
If you're following this blog...thank you and I hope to keep the content fresh throughout the year. Also, follow me on Facebook and Twitter @matthewfieber Check out the Periscope app (live video feeds)...I will try to Periscope in the mornings before the tournament and the afternoons after the weigh in.
I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Fished from 7am to 5pm and only caught 1 fish on a lipless crankbait. We fished 3 different creeks as well as the main river channel. We fished deep and shallow. Targeted water depths from 15' to 2'. Wind was 10 - 20 out of the SW. Heavy rain throughout the morning. Tomorrow should be a pretty calm day so I'm hoping the fish are in a positive mood and I'm hoping we figure out what it is that we haven't figured out yet. Looking forward to tomorrow. I'm confident we will get something going.