Nope. Won’t say where and - and don’t mean to be an ass but it’s just the way it has to be out of respect for these beast as well as some individuals who’s home waters it is. Some know where these lurk - if you know you already know - just hope you also share the same level of respect for these incredible fish and release any caught and protect the fishery as well.
Mike / Gator, Charlie and I headed off early Wed AM for our annual road-trip. Took my boat this year and the new bait tank, which I had finished up around 4pm the day before we left, so no time to really debug any kinks it may have. As such we took the 40 gal SBT just as a backup. We loaded up the truck & boat and looked like the Clampets on their way to Hollywood.
After a stop at Big Fish Outfitters we arrived to our destination around mid-day and pretty quickly got on the target bait, then transitioned to another spot to fish for the evening bite.
We had one good swirl which gave us some confidence and felt good that we had safely arrived, secured bait and got some fishing time on the water. Settled in at the place for the night after dragging the boat up a twisting, winding road and parking it cock-eyed on a too-short driveway.
Up the next morning to find the battery on the tank had died - even with the charger connected saying the battery was at 100%. Still not sure what was going on - battery read 7V - perhaps a bad battery or charger.... we headed to our home-away from home-away from home - WalMart - picked up another battery and got some food & tackle while Charlie climbed under the trailer to adjust the guide bunks which were binding the boat when loading (and likely the cause of the problems I've had along the way, including Tyler and my infamous Bay trip when we broke the strap and then bent the bow stand trying to load the boat).
We got all that sorted and out after the bait again a little later in the morning - a bit tougher this time but we got what we needed to fish for the day. Headed back and tried some creeks and the main lake channel - no action except for one strike which I blew the hook-set on. Headed back to the house that night and there was a brilliant idea to park the trailer up on a hill above the house - the road up there was about a 400% grade - the truck got about 75% of the way up to the top where we wanted to turn around and when we transitioned from gravel to grass it was done - fortunately there was a semi-flat spot to the side about 1/2 way up that we were able to back the boat down the hill and over into. I think I'm still a little puckered up from that event.
Friday was a rinse & repeat without the trailer work - still having some weird electrical / pump issues with one pump but we got our bait and went to a little different area Think we got setup around noon and then about 1:30 or 2 magic happened. A rod with a live bait on the bottom got hammered and we put Charlie on the rod as he was due a good fish from not landing one on our previous trips. The thing screamed drag and had him in for a good fight - but he got it to the boat and it was a pig - 48 lbs!
Reset everything and inside of 30 minutes - probably less, the same road doubled over - Gator grabbed that one and eventually brought a 46 lber to the boat!
Things died off for the day and we sat there until an hour or so before sunset without another bit, tried another near-by spot without any luck and then packed it in - this time parking back in the drive-way.
The next day, out last day, was going to be a wet one. We had to sit at the ramp a little while to let the water come up enough to get the boat in (and the truck out) so we started a little later than we hoped - but we got some bait quick enough as the rain started to pour. Fortunately the worst past as we moved to our fishing spot and we were just in a light rain all day. Tried where we were the day before without a sniff, moved to another spot without a sniff, so decided to make a move back to the creek where we had the action two days prior. Was a good call as within 15 minutes of the pull the way back float had this huge roll and then the rod doubled over. I got this one hooked up and to the boat - smallest of the trip at 38 lbs and 41.25" - but we all got a quality fish for the trip, which was a huge success as I was not going to have been surprised if we skunked on this trip based on reports & conditions on those waters recently
We worked that area another couple of hours till dusk - had a couple of rolls but could not get hooked up again - but we packed it in headed to a great dinner of BBQ and then drove home all day on Sunday in the rain.
A very fun & successful trip where we all stayed safe & no equipment failures or such - and some beautiful beast caught & released to catch next time, bigger! Ready to head back!
Last Edit: Apr 16, 2018 9:32:38 GMT -5 by mwardncsu
Awesome fish. Really amazing. How did you like your new bait tank?
it worked out great - need to do a little tweaking to get more current flow, and had an issue with one pump cutting on and off - these new Rule pumps apparently have a thermal breaker so for some reason it was cycling - need to pull it and see if some plastic got stuck in the impeller or if it is just a crap pump. But no bait deaths over some long days of fishing, and the boat handled the full tank well