I tapped my good buddy Ben for a 4 day/ 3 night trip down to Wheeler lake in Northern Alabama. Wheeler is a TVA lake that falls between Lake Wilson and the famed Lake Guntersville. The reason for the trip is I wanted to pre fish for my partner who has a classic down there in a couple of weeks and any excuse to get away and fish I’m going to capitalize on it!
The 3 of us (couldn’t leave Toby) made great time and arrived at Joe Wheeler State Park boat ramp roughly an hour after sunrise. Hef was nice enough to loan us his boat for the trip since I was concerned about using mine with the bilge pump out on it. Things started off exciting right away when we started pitching to some trees located in “First Creek”. “We are taking on water G!” I hear from the back. I looked down to see the water gushing in so we had to power our way back to the boat ramp and put the plug into the boat. Great news was Hef’s boat received a great cleaning. After that little set back we ran over to our trees and 15 minutes in Ben flipped our first keeper into the boat caught off of a Jig. Of course this was a great start but it was the only bite we would come across for the next hour.
Our next move was to run out to the main lake and hit the next pocket up river away from the dam. After shutting down we ran into a couple of rock points with no noticeable breaks or structure but on my first cast with a crankbait down the latter point I get a taker and swing it into the boat, Ben had casted immediately in behind me and snagged one as well and both bass happened to be spots which were also keepers. We ended up staying on the point quite a while but couldn’t even get another whiff from a fish which was baffling. Ben did manage to hookup with a 7 or 8 pound drum off a tree close by but those nasty things are well left alone. We ran over to a point on the other side of the cove where the water was really clear. This point had a very nice defining break on it so I opted for the KVD Sexy Dawg walking bait. 2nd cast parallel I look to see a nice spotted bass following the bait just underneath with every move. As I approach the boat I stopped it suddenly and the fish blew up on me. It was the closest top water bite I have ever had. Ben managed to hook another drum off of the point about the same size but no more desirable fish. Later on we would get another spot put into the boat but unfortunately our limit was sitting somewhere between 7 and 8 pounds. Being in such clear water the odds did favor Spotted bass over the much larger Large Mouth Bass we would need to up our bag.
The next day we made the hour and a half drive over to Lake Guntersville since Ben had never been over there. Unfortunately after talking to the locals we were told that Guntersville had been fishing horrible the past few days due to a cold snap. We were able to confirm this ourselves as we only had 2 keepers and a ton of small fish the entire day.
Day 3 we were back on Wheeler lake with a bit of a chip on our shoulders knowing that we didn’t want to crash and burn like the previous 2 days. The plan was to concentrate on our strengths from back at home. Both of us are shallow muddy water fisherman. Ben prefers Crab Orchard, while you can put me on Rend Lake any day. You can find many review sites on the internet, but remember there is always a catch these sites may not have your best interests in mind but more a referral commission, we found numerous dog fence referral sites, the catch may be these sites are simply look for an affiliate commission boost electric dog fence reviews can be, you can find reviews here and hundreds of other sites like amazon.com.
Our first stop was the back of “Second Creek” which is the first large neck nearest to the Wheeler Dam. We ran all the way to the back and found some trees in the perfect depth of water. Running a crankbait down one I felt the bait bounce off of a tree tip and the rod loaded. A nice 4lbs largemouth came right to the boat. About an hour and a half later we were running out of trees but you could find an occasional isolated tree with some wind on it. Ben made a cast with his spinnerbait down one and loaded up on another 4lbs Largemouth. Though we had a long time in between keeper bites our weights were definitely there. As we made our way out to the main lake the water kept getting cleaner which hurt us. After a quick lunch we decided to look again for exactly what we were needing (shallow muddy water) and we found it in the Elk Creek area. We saw a bank than ran several hundred yards down which featured log jams, muddy water, and wind! I cut off my chatterbait and grabbed a black Strike King one knocker with a huge Colorado blade. It wasn’t long before I was able to get our 3rd keeper in the boat that weighed a little over 3lbs. Probably 15 minutes later Ben Flipped a black jig in and matched me with another solid fish. One thing to note about these fish is that they were really shallow even with 5 foot of water close by. They seemed to be hiding in the mud line a couple of feet off of the bank. Looking for fish number 5 we approached in the way which makes easy for fishing for more tips — read more a point with two large rocks just off of the bank. As soon as my spinnerbait cleared the center of the 2 rocks my rod loaded up. Without hesitation I knew it was a solid fish and uttered “There’s number 5”! Our first spotted bass of the day came in at around 2 and a quarter pounds giving us a total of 16.50 pounds for the day. To put that in perspective the previous weekend a tournament with 203 boats launched and according to their results we would’ve been 9th or 10th. Not bad for only our 2nd day fishing the lake. Before dark we caught a few more keepers but nothing to improve our sack. That night we decided to call it a trip because we felt there was nothing left to prove and a snow storm was threatening to hit home.
A word of wisdom from our experience of fishing only a small portion of Wheeler. If you’re an offshore fisherman you would be served well by finding schools of Spotted bass and Smallmouth Bass in the clearer waters littered with gravel bottoms up towards the Wheeler dam. If you’re looking for the Largemouths then concentrate on shallower muddy water. Since we were here in early March the lake was down at winter pool making it difficult to find the kind of banks we wanted but with some diligent searching we made it well worth it.
signing off G.
Well winter started off strong back in December but has ultimately been one of the most mild that we’ve had in the past few years. What few times I’ve been able to get out to the lakes I’ve done pretty well and the site is almost wrapped up. I decided to do a quick blog tonight as I’m taking a break from building a website for a lady friend of mine. She’s done a lot for our community and I hope to deliver her a darn good website to help her business along.
Toby is laying here snoring and running in his sleep which is always entertaining to watch. I’ve had so many people comment about my first YouTube video which will be the opening theme for the fishing shows during the first season and with all the positive feedback I’ve gotten, I’m now confident that I can produce some great fishing videos for people to enjoy. I had a lot of fun making this one which was all shot around Cedar Lake and Rend lake a few weeks ago. The videos will help promote small businesses that are involved with the fishing industry and we will get some tournament and fishing highlights of Hef and I’s adventures during the 2017 season.
My e-commerce site is almost finished and I’ll begin selling either in April or May depending on my schedule. It feels like Christmas was just a couple of weeks ago and with time flying so fast I’m way behind on getting the new boat ready for the opening season which will begin on May 7th for me. Let’s hope to equal the success I had last year and due to a little greed, perhaps build upon it. I’m looking more forward to this year than any other since I started making this my part time occupation.
signing off, G.
November came and went really quickly this year. I got a lot of fishing in but didn’t get all of the good video footage I was hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to get some great shots for my upcoming video vlogs but wasn’t able to hook up with the larger fish I wanted. I was fortunate enough to get to go crappie fishing last weekend with Kevin Hall at Rend Lake. We were pretty close when it came to numbers but he smoked me when it came to the size of the fish. Of the keepers we came back with he was responsible for 75% of them. The guy lives for crappie fishing and it definitely showed with the results.
The site is coming along really well as I’m set to roll out the store section of my website where local anglers who build their own lures will be able to sell them through me. It will start slow like all things but I have a great head start thanks to a couple of companies that are by that are provided by the seooneclick.com website. Also I’ve been fortunate to run into a couple of video producers who will be helping me shoot the intro and outro to my YouTube channel which will start airing in February/March.
A huge shout out to my old school friend Dane (Dangerous) Johns for his and his good friend’s help in laying the musical tracks for my videos free of charge. I owe ya guys!
I will only be blogging periodically as I’m busier than ever as 5 years of hard work is about to be delivered in a couple of months and then I will be back at it hopefully blogging two or three times a week.
I would love to say I love my underground electric doggie fence system, but I can not because my dog runs right through it, I bought mine from amazon, and recently switched to another company extreme dog fence this system is more similar like the big companies install professionally, the main difference is extreme dog fence is a diy dog fence kit, and is about half the price.
Well, the time has officially changed and we’ve fallen back to early sunsets but for a morning person like myself I’m excited because that means I can get it on the morning bite even earlier! I didn’t get too much sleep last night and found myself at a diner in Carbondale at 3 in the morning. Last night I had no clue where Toby and I would be fishing today but I decided on Crab Orchard since I don’t get here as often as I’d like. Word has it that the bass are feeding up for the winter time and the numbers have been good. I’m trying out a new bait and color for a guy who will be selling it through my website once the ecommerce side of my business gets started.
I will say one thing about owning a business. Anyone who gets upset by a person who if financially successful with their business or “makes too much money” has never attempted to start something like this on their own. I’ve put in countless hours learning website design, Video editing, YouTube marketing, and camera fundamentals. Not too mention the school of hard knocks that come from learning accounting. The only bright side is dealing with the IRS (yes I said it). They are happily paying me to drive to the lake and do what I love and I can’t thank them enough for that :). Even half of this meal is on them!
I just polished off my coffee and am heading to Walmart to pick up a trailer or 2 for my baits and will be off to the lake. I’m hoping for an early sunrise. I’ll be fishing along 13 most of the morning before looking for warmer water.
A long time still in between blogs I know, but a lot as happened this month. First of all as you can tell from the picture up above I bought a new boat from a kid out in West Virginia and snapped this photo before leaving. My first ever glass boat was a Javelin and I absolutely love them. I’ve rode in most boat brands and consider this to be one of the best rides out there. I’d considered Rangers but since the Nitro takeover and the major shakeup that Bass Pro Shops has had on the fishing industry I felt like it was too much of a gamble. I don’t know what is in-store for Ranger owners but I have tried to keep up with the news quite a bit and I do know 3 of Ranger’s top people have resigned and not given a reason. Nitro really relies on their Tournament Rewards system to keep a high turnover rate which devalues their boats considerably after 3 years, while Ranger has a pretty amazing “Ranger Cup” system which allows Ranger owners of 15 years plus to compete for tournament rewards. This equaled with the fact that they are quality built boats has been why Ranger was the go to brand. Now that they are under new management with a “Quick Turnover” mentality I see some leaks (if you will) coming shortly. Time will tell and I’ve been wrong before but the Javelin felt like the safe play in the mean time. Plus, since my house is finished I needed a winter project!
Ryan and I have got the fishing bug so bad right now that we’ve decided that we are going to learn Lake of Egypt to add a fall/winter/spring lake to our tournament list. We’ve been fishing it really well as of late, just missing the money in both the Angler’s Choice and the Bass World.
2 weeks ago in the Angler’s we launched and stuck to the front end of the lake for the first couple of hours. I was in the front hog hunting with a large spook and frogs while he was in the back trying the shaky head approach. We’d only had 2 bites up until 10:30 when we decided to move back off the banks and since the sun was finally showing through that we should try to fish drop offs with jigs. The very first cast and on the initial fall I picked up my Jig to find a fish had it but dropped it once he felt me. An old trick I’ve learned was to pause it there for a moment and then shake it slightly. The bass took the bait (literally) and we netted up keeper number 1. About an hour later we headed back toward Shawnee neck. We stopped off on a point that had a very distinct drop off on it. I threw my top water spook and had fish #2 blow up on it and now we were cooking. Probably about an hour later we make our way into another neck (I’m still unfamiliar with these names since we are new to the lake) I drop my jig in on a 15′ drop off and bring it all the way to the boat to where my jig is exactly under us in 30′. I go to lift if up to bring it back in when I feel a bend in my rod. Out of reaction and not certainty I set into keeper #3. Ryan had gotten our under fish earlier with a shaky head and had since then put on a jig himself. We make our way over to a flat across from where #3 was caught into a small grass patch when Ryan stuck a nice one and swung him into the boat. The lake limit is 16″ on Egypt and when Ryan measured him he was just barely and I mean barely able to make his tail touch 16 making us both nervous so we fished extremely hard for another one in hopes of culling up. It was not to be as we would have to idle back into the boat ramp soon after. While idling in I go back into the livewell to make sure the fish will bump, but when I go to check him I see that the bass has synched up by 3/16 of an inch giving us no chance whatsoever of weighing him in. We were both bummed because we would’ve loved to have a limit on our first Egypt tournament but was just all out sick when we weighed our fish in and found out we only needed 1.85lbs to make a check. The fish we had to toss was 2.25lbs. What a bummer!
The Bass World the following week was an incredibly tough tournament (especially on me) Ryan did all of the catching this time. We had found a large school of really nice fish the day before out off of a drop in 25 foot of water holding onto some cover, and with 3 casts we had 3 keepers. We knew once the sun got up we’d head back to that spot but wanted to try to fish shallow in the grass for a kicker early. Ryan was able to get us going with one of our under fish on a Pop’R. After about 2 hours of no action at all we decided it was time to try our spot. We get there and right away Ryan snags a nice one on his Jig but it was quite a ways away from the school of fish we’d be tracking so we weren’t able to disrupt the school or get them fired up to bite. Shortly after Ryan get’s keeper (under) #3 off of the drop off with his jig but once again we couldn’t get them active. It took another 30 minutes for us threatening to leave when he pulled out the shaky head and got another taker, this time an over giving us over 7lbs. We went the rest of the day only catching a few more fish (me only two) but all fell well short of the 16″ limit. We decide to give one more area a look before weigh-in. Once again I was going for the big bite with my top water spook. I danced that thing for 20 minutes and finally had a 3lbs bass jump almost over the bait and come back at it again only to miss it again. Needless to say it just wasn’t my day. After getting back to the weigh in we found out that we came up just short once again as it had been a tough day for all but the top boat. We missed a check by 2lbs again. Oh well. Not the worst start to our season.
Ryan and I are also on cloud 9 because the Bass World just announced that our classic will be held on Wheeler Lake in northern Alabama! This lake fishes perfect for us as it’s got a ton of features that Rend provides. You can fish a lot of muddy back water with Jigs and top water so we really feel like we can contend for the big bass boat that will be given away to the winners. With an extremely busy winter ahead I’m sure time will fly by and we will ushering in the spring and another season on Rend Lake.
Copyright GassFishing© • Created by 1187 Creative
- LOCAL CLUBS