Fished a one day tourney this past weekend on Monroe Lake. Horrible weekend to have a tourney needless to say. Very dangerous with all the pleasure boaters and drunken idiots.
Well, stupid ol’ me found 2 schools of fish in practice. Both of them just happen to be offshore. Too close to the boating lanes to fish safely.
I was able to fish one school early in the day without much problems. I had caught a 5 pounder and a 3 pounder here a couple days before on back-to-back casts with a 6XD. Well I pulled up to my waypoint and let the cranking begin. After 30 or so minutes of trying to relocate my fish with the crank and a football head I finally took a second to re-group. This lake is fairly clear, 3 to 4 foot of visibility. I took that into consideration when I was prefishing and adjusted pretty well in practice. But with all the boating traffic the water turned cloudy-blue….not stained or muddy, just turbid. So I reach in the box and grab my spinning rod (something I RARELY fish). I practiced with this back in a couple idle zones and had a Kiwi trick worm on (just in case). Well, it turned out to be a huge component for my day. The point I was fishing was right off a bluff wall. It was mostly rock and gravel and went from 40 FOW to 2ft up on top.
After a few casts with this shakey head I hooked up with a solid 3-12. Catching this fish got the school going somehow and then began busting shad right at the boat. I had a rod with a LC Gunfish tied on already on deck. So I flung it out there and hooked #2. Smaller, but still a solid keeper.
The schooling was short lived so I went back to the shakey head. My next bite came a little while later at the same spot I caught the 3-12. This fish was scary. After I set the hook on it she began pulling drag. I pulled her out to deeper water and played her for a couple minutes. My co-angler was standing there with the net doing her part. At this point I was beginning to think I had hooked a catfish or something. I couldnt get the fish to come up. So I MAKE A BONE-HEADED MOVE…........I tightened the drag with 8lb test fluoro. Well, it wasnt a catfish. It was a big big bass. It came to the top about 10 feet from the boat. When I finally saw the fish I got nervous…and didnt loosen my drag back. Well she took another hail-mary dive and broke me off. My inexperience with spinning tackle just kicked me in the a$$.....
I’d like to say that was the end to my mishaps that day. But breaking off that fish really got into my head. So I missed the next two fish that bit because my drag slipped on the hookset. When I finally stuck another fish, it was the whole situation playing out again. Big fish pulling drag. This time I was being tossed around by the waves now on the lake. So my hook-set wasnt the greatest. But after a minute of fighting this one, she just pulled off. My hook point wasnt out much past the barb.
So, I finished 4th with 5-15…one spot out of the money. Tough day for eveyone. It took 10lbs to win. I had the winning fish hooked twice and couldnt seal the deal.
For an hour or so yesterday I went out in the backyard with my spinning rod(s). I have one reel and 3 rods. So I tried it on each rod and practiced setting the hook on a 10 lb anchor….over and over again to gain confidence in the strength of my line and to learn where to set my drag. I also ordered another reel and some 15lb Spiderwire Ultracast. Im driving back up there this weekend prepared and ready for some payback!
What are you guys throwing your shakey head on? I have two 6-10MH Kistlers and a 7M Quantum Super-Lite….....just wondering if a longer rod in a lighter action is better for throwing braid. Something like a 7’2ML or M.