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.