Posts Tagged ‘bull shoals’

Two Nice Fish

We had a decent Easter weekend on Bull Shoals and fished on Friday and Saturday. Friday was the better of the two days. We only fished for three hours on Saturday with one fish.

Temperature was in the lower 80s all day Friday with wind at 30 mph. While wind is generally good, I would have liked a little less of it.

Water temps. ranged from upper 40s to mid 60s depending how far we went back in the creeks.

A cold front was scheduled to push through around 4 p.m., and it arrived on schedule. The skies clouded up and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in one gust. We fished for about 30 minutes past the temp. drop and then headed back to the dock. We caught the biggest fish of the day just as the front was pushing through – a 2.5 lb. Kentucky bass.

Since the wind was so strong, we fished mostly jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. We found a few banks that were protected enough from the wind that allowed us to try jigs, but only one fish was caught bouncing the bottom.

We boated nine fish and with two keepers. We did have one 16” walleye.

Below are photos of some of the lures used and the fish caught. Some of the fish were from a few days prior to me arriving and were caught by my father-in-law.

Easter Weekend on Bull Shoals

Easter Weekend on Bull Shoals

4.25 lb. Largemouth

Jerkbaits and Chompers

Jig and Craw


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We had a great day on Bull Shoals Lake yesterday. The day started with me taking my family out fishing. The weather was cold and windy at that point so we did not expect to be out long. I did not expect to catch many fish (if any)…so we focused on them casting their rods so they could at least be “doing” something. While they were casting, my wife and I were dragging grubs behind the boat with the wind.

Spring Fishing on Bull Shoals

Fishing with My Family on Bull Shoals Lake - Big Buck Creek

After about an hour, the kids were ready to head back to grandma and poppy’s house for lunch (as expected!). As much as I wanted to stay out there, I did not want to make them do something they didn’t want to do. My goal is to keep introducing them to fishing and let them decide on the pace. Pushing them constantly can have negative effects. I want them to one day be the one to wake me up on a spring morning and say, “DAD, IT’S TIME TO GO FISHING!”

After we had lunch, my father-in-law and I went to the very back of Big Creek. We chased the largemouth and Kentuckys instead of the white bass this time.

We found a long channel swing toward the end of the creek. This bank always holds fish this time of year, and today we found them. The last 100 yards of the bank produced nine fish with one keeper Kentucky bass.

Jerkbait Fishing on Bull Shoals

Jerkbait Fishing on Bull Shoals

Fishing on Bull Shoals

Tom's Second Fish

We fished primarily Smithwick rogues which are perfect for early spring fishing. I stuck with my go to color – “Red Sunrise”. I have consistently done well with this color on Bull Shoals.

Smithwick Rattlin' Rogue

The water temp varied from 48 degrees all the way up to 52.5 degrees. In about two or three weeks, this lake is going to explode with fish moving up on the banks.

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Wow…this is a great parka!

I have had the opportunity to wear it on several hunts and have really enjoyed it. Most extreme weather jackets are too big and bulky to be effective in a tree stand. I found that this jacket is not bulky, and it keeps you warm and dry. Movement is easy, and shouldering a rifle or getting my bow up and ready is a breeze.

The parka is easy to put on and remove. The “slick” Scent-Lok material allows the arms to easily slide through the sleeves. Other jackets are tough to put on and take off, especially ones that are “two-in-one” jackets.

The fit is snug, but not constricting. I can sit down and not have the parka ride up and hit me in the chin. The weight of the parka is perfect – heavy enough to keep the wind from penetrating, and light enough not to interfere with activity.

While the parka is not as quiet as fleece, it is still extremely quiet. I was able to draw my bow back without being detected by a deer at 15 yards from my stand.

I also liked the flaps that cover all the zippers on the coat. I am guessing this feature helps keep the parka 100 percent waterproof. I believe it also cuts down on accidental noise.

Features and Benefits:

Gore-Tex Performance Shell
Once again, Gore-Tex comes through with an effective product that anyone who hunts or fishes should consider owning. Of the eight times I wore the jacket, three of those were in the rain. Not once did I get wet or even get the feeling that I was getting wet. Other water-proof jackets make me sweat, thus making my clothes wet which defeats the purpose of rain gear.

Thinsulate Supreme Insulation 
have always been a fan on Thinsulate, and my loyalty still stands strong. This insulation is extremely effective. The coldest temperature tested was 28 degrees, and I never got cold…or even chilled. My core stayed comfortable as did my arms.

Other parkas offer big, bulky insulation. While they might be warm, they are not effective for hunting because the thickness constricts movement. I have worn these bulky jackets in the past, and when I shouldered a rifle or shot gun, the gun was too far away from my arm pit to be effective or accurate. It was almost as if I was holding the gun straight out in front of me. This parka is heavy and warm, but is thin enough to not impede hunting activities.

This is the first piece of hunting clothing that I have used that utilizes Scent-Lok technology. I have always been skeptical of this product because, in my mind, it is not possible to eliminate 100% of my odor. Just breathing, alone, will put unwanted scent in the woods. I am, however, an optimist at heart and love the thought that some piece of clothing could reduce non-natural odors in the woods.

I did not follow the manufacturer’s instructions for activating/re-activating the Scent-Lok technology. I simply used the wind in determining my deer stand location.

Mossy Oak
Camo I have always been a big fan of Mossy Oak camo patterns. Just about every piece of clothing that I own has one of their realistic patterns on it. They are the industry standard for concealment in the woods or in a duck blind.

The Mossy Oak pattern on my jacket is Mossy Oak Break Up. It has enough green in the design to be effective in early bow season and sprint turkey season. The dark base makes the highlights really pop. The realistic limb and leaf patterns totally blend into the hunter’s environment. I love this stuff!

Other Features:

Pockets – It is evident that the makers of this parka have spent time in a tree stand! Not only are the pockets placed in easy-to-access places, but the zippers are easy to open and close with one hand. The pockets are also deep and wide to easily handle my hunting accessories.

Buttons – The rubber-coated buttons are a nice feature. I did not have to worry about hitting my bow or my release on metal anymore!

Velcro on Wrist – Another nice feature that helps avoid sleeve “creep”. My hands were always free of any sleeve obstruction.

Hood – The hood on this parka is fully functional. A very cool feature is the strap on the back of the hood. The benefit is that the hood can be adjusted so that it does not cover your face when up. If you wear a hat under the hood, you can let the strap out so that it fits easily over the hat. I have not seen this feature on other parkas. It is another example of the attention to detail seen in this design.

Unless it is extremely cold, I typically will not use the hood since it interferes with listening in the woods. Only when it is very cold am I willing to trade warmth for hearing. I will utilize the hood anytime I fish, however. I am looking forward to my late winter trip to Bull Shoals!

Elastic Waist Band – I liked this feature. The elastic kept the coat “connected” to my body. It also keeps cold air from entering through the bottom of the parka. It’s a very small detail that most manufacturers would overlook. Again, when asking a hunter to pay $340 for a parka, features like this help justify the cost.

Target Market:

The people that I think would be interested in the parka would include serious hunters, wealthy hunters and hunters who live in very cold climates. The price tag on this is pricey but well justified. I believe novice hunters would not buy a parka of this quality. Serious hunters (hunters who spend more than 30 days in the woods or on a lake) could easily justify the higher price.


Hunters will spend money on two types of gear: gear that will keep them warm, dry and comfortable and gear that will help them take more game. I believe this parka does both!

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