Fog and light rain
By the time I made it to the first spot I planned on fishing, it was light enough to do away with the lights on the boat so I put them away before I made my first cast. I caught several fish in that area, but no big ones. I hooked a real big catfish on a crank bait, but he popped off about 10 feet from the boat.
Typical Smallmouth for today
After I was done with that area I headed off to the opposite end of the river but stopped at another spot I haven’t fished this year before I got there. I hooked one good sized Largemouth but he got away. A short time later, the same thing happened. The fish was slightly smaller, but it was still a good fish and that convinced me to add a new task to my to-do list. That would be getting rid of the Sure-Set hooks on several of my lures. I’ve lost more fish that I can count with those hooks and just don’t have that problem with standard treble hooks.
I gave up on that area and continued my run up river. Once I got to my destination, I caught a couple small fish and decided I’d go fish below the locks. I hooked and lost another nice fish up there but never brought anything to the boat. I cut my time up there short because a 3-wide barge was having some kind of difficulty in the lock and had to back out. I didn’t know how far he was going to back out so I figured I’d give him one less thing to worry about and headed back down river a little ways.
After fishing my next spot for about 10 minutes, I connected with the only fish I’d see in that area. It was a giant Gar. I had gotten my Bass net out first thing but it was way too small for this fish to fit in. I dropped the net on the floor and played the fish at the side of the boat until he popped free and took off. Gar are fun to catch, but they are slimy and can really stink up the carpeting in your boat so I generally unhook them at the side of the boat.
At the opposite end of that area, I tied into another good Bass that jumped right away and tossed the lure. I was really frustrated with that crank bait at this point but the fish were hitting it. I ran down to my last stop and managed to land a good Freshwater Drum on the lure that the bass were so good at tossing.
I didn’t get any other hits but I could see shad being chased so I switched to a plastic worm. After a few minutes a fish picked it up and took off with it. I pulled back and the fight was on. As soon as I got the fish close enough I could see by the way the plastic worm was still on the hook that the fish wasn’t hooked. Sure enough he spit the worm and was gone. I was angry for not setting the hook like I should have and that cost me the best bass of the day.
The next fish that picked up that worm got his eyes crossed. I got a good hookset on this fish and it turned out to be a big Flathead Catfish.
Lifting the fish out of the net
I got his head in the net and juggled him up into the boat. I decided that I was done for the day after photographing the fish and letting it go.
My outboard started beeping at me so I’m guessing I sucked up some of the plant material that’s floating around the river and making it hard to fish crank baits in a lot of places. Tomorrow I’ll take it apart, flush everything out and make sure everything is as it should be before I put the boat back in the water.
The water temp ranged from 76 to 89 at one of the discharges. It sprinkled quite a few times during the day but I only had to go for the rain gear once. For the day I think I caught 20 to 25 fish which really isn't anything to complain about.