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Posts Tagged ‘fishing info’

I showed up at Tim Schulte’s farm to turkey hunt and go jug fishing. Unfortunately, neither the turkeys nor the catfish were aware of the weekend’s game plan. Mother Nature was also on the side of the animals because it rained just about the entire weekend.

I got to the farm late Thursday night. I figured it would be better to get there late and sleep in till 4:45 a.m. than get up at 3 a.m. and head to the farm. As usual, I slept well. Tim and Ben Cole showed up just after 5 a.m. and we headed into the woods. They headed to the back of the farm while I went to the field and sat in the ground blind (that would eventually provide great cover from the rain).

I have been hunting at the Schulte farm since 1993. Spring turkey season always provides great hunts with lots of gobbling by the toms. Unfortunately, this year was different. I did not hear one gobble all weekend. Tim and Ben heard some in the distance, but none was close to the farm.

I did get to see dogs chase four deer about 35 yards from my blind. There is nothing more relaxing than having two dogs start barking and howling at the exact time the turkeys should start flying down from their roost. We have had problems with these dogs in the past and this weekend was no different. They noisily made their way through the neighbor’s farm and eventually to Tim’s farm. I actually spotted the small dog twice. I sure hope those dogs don’t get hit by a passing car or truck.

After the barking and chasing dog episode, I spotted another deer that emerged from the cedar patch across from me. The deer went to the creek for a drink and then headed back into the woods to eventually pop back out into the field exactly in the same spot where the other four deer emerged about a half hour earlier. He/she eventually made his/her way around the edge of the field and out of site.

It wasn’t’ long after the deer left that it started raining. My plan to hunt in the pop-up blind was finally paying off. Tim and Ben headed to the back of the farm…and they “got their panties wet”! While I did not see any turkeys, I did see deer and stayed dry. The guys emerged from the woods about an hour after the rain started, and they picked me up and we headed back to the cabin for a quick high ball and a nap.

Jug Fishing

Turkey season closes every day in Missouri at one o’clock p.m. That leaves the rest of the day to do what ever we want. The activity of choice this year was jug fishing on the Missouri and Gasconade Rivers. I have never jug fished for catfish before, but it has always interested me.

Catfishing usually includes a stout rod and reel with heavy line and heavy sinkers followed by lots of snags and fighting a strong current and really, really stinky bait. Jug fishing is different. The “sport” consists of a jug (two coffee cans soldered together, a half of a “noodle” float, an old duck decoy or even an empty paint can), a heavy line, a weight and a hook.

The line is tied to one side of the jug so the jug stands on end when a fish takes the bait that hangs anywhere from 1 ft. to 4 feet below the jug.

The basic technique for jug fishing is this:

  • Put a hot dog on the hook
  • Place the jug in the water
  • Repeat 15 times with the remaining jugs
  • Move the boat above, below or to the side of the jugs
  • Watch the jugs and drink beer.

That’s about it.

It is definitely not a physically demanding sport, but it does get interesting when a jug gets hung up in a wing or trail dike that is located just below the surface of the rising river. Releasing the jug takes some pretty savvy boat maneuvering.

We fished for about three hours each day, and we only caught one channel catfish that weighed about three pounds. The great news is that it rained on us both days…and we got our panties wet…again. Here is a great photo (from my Blackberry) of the back of my truck to show how much rain fell from Thursday night through Saturday afternoon. It’s basically a poor man’s rain gauge.

Poor Man's Rain Gauge

Poor Man's Rain Gauge

We had some great food and even better company. Nick Zagarri, Zach Cole, Ben, Tim and I had a fantastic weekend and are going to miss the cabin until late September when bow hunting season starts.

Watching the Rain...Waiting for Dinner

Nick Zagarri cooking wings and Tim Schulte watching the rain from the front porch of the deer cabin.

I sure hope those dogs don’t get hit by a truck while we are gone.

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Another spring cold front day so it was another day to chase white bass on Bull Shoals.

My wife, daughter and father-in-law went as far back as they could get his boat in Shoal Creek. There were only a few other boats at the back of Shoal, the rest of the crowd was at the back of Big Creek, which is accessible by both boat and car.

The fish really did not start biting until 2 p.m. There really is no science to catching these fish this time of year. They are stacked at the back of flowing creeks…getting ready to spawn.

Everyone was catching fish, but eventually, my daughter got tired of casting. She was content on letting her poppy cast and hook the fish so she could then take the rod and reel in the fish. Poppy took the fish off the hook and she would run it back to the live well. By the time she came back to the front of the boat, poppy had another fish on the line.

White Bass Fishing on Bull Shoals

Brenna and one of her white bass from Bull Shoals

While the few other boats were in what they thought was the back of the creek, Tom found the creek channel and went up another 100 yards or so, into about two feet of water. That is where the majority of the fish were located.

The lure of choice was a white Bang Tail…1/2 oz. They had a great day on the water and landed 38 fish total. They missed a bunch as well. Brenna caught 15, Tom caught 15 and Dawn caught eight. That’s a pretty good day on the water.

White Bass Fishing on Bull Shoals

Catch of the Day - White Bass

As for me, I had the opportunity to take my boy fishing…just us…in my boat. This was the first time we have done this, and it was truly a fantastic trip. We only fished for about two hours.

Colin really got into casting his rod and did so for about 20 minutes. I was smart enough to take his Nintendo DS and some food and drink to keep him busy while I fished from the front of the boat.

When he had finally had enough fishing, he wanted to go for a boat ride. He got to drive…

Truly a great day on the water, and one that I will never forget. Fish or no fish.

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One of my greatest pleasures in life is to be standing on the front of my Champion bass boat while heading down a bank in search of lunker largemouth bass. Unfortunately, many of us are not lucky enough to have their own bass boat and have to fish with someone else who DOES own their own boat. When this happens, you are stuck fishing from the back deck of their boat.

There are many advantages to fishing from the front of the boat. For example, you get to run the trolling motor…which means YOU get to make the decisions of where exactly to fish (depth, structure, location, etc.). You also get to decide on the speed of the boat as it heads down a bank which means you get to decide if it’s going to be a Wiggle Wart day or a Chomper’s day. To put it bluntly…you are in control.

For those of us who get to fish from the back deck of the bass boat, don’t despair! Even though I own my own boat, I often fish with my father-in-law in his boat since his boat is already in the water on a lift in his stall. This means that I don’t have to haul my boat five hours and spend a bunch of money on gas just getting to the lake. He always runs the trolling motor which leaves me on the back deck…and there have been many times where I have caught more fish than him!

There are ways you can improve your odds fishing from the back deck and catch more fish. Following these suggestions will allow you to keep some control over your fishing experience.

First, if your partner is catching fish, you get the advantage of watching exactly what he is doing with his lure. You get to analyze his cast (is he flipping, pitching…is the lure hitting the water softly…landing on the shady side of a stump, etc.). By identifying what he is doing, you can mimic his approach which will help you land more fish.

Second, don’t fall into the repetitive cast-and-retrieve without thinking about lure placement. Break the water up into small sections. Watch where your partner casts, then cast to an adjacent section. Dividing the water up will allow you to fish “new” water even though it might only be four to five feet away from where your partner placed his lure. Sometimes, a few feet will be the answer to a fish deciding to strike a lure.

Third, change the cadence of your lure. If you are both fishing a grub, and he’s hopping it on the bottom like a jig-n-pig, then you can try swimming it or dragging it like a Carolina rig. By switching up the cadence, you have better odds of finding out how the fish want the bait presented. This technique is especially helpful in tournament situations.

Lastly, when the driver of the boat shuts off the big motor and climbs up to the front deck, reach over and turn the steering wheel so that the back end of the boat is turning toward the bank. This technique is extremely effective when you are paralleling a bank with a spinnerbait or crankbait. Having the back end swing in allows you to increase your casting area and gives you better access to the bank. It also allows your bait to be retrieved at a slightly different angle than that of the person on the front deck.

Don’t let the fact that you are fishing from the back deck of a bass boat discourage you. The secret is to use it to your advantage and follow the tips mentioned in this blog. Keep in mind that on windy days and when the lake is busy with a lot of boats that NOT running the trolling motor has its advantages and your back will thank you…

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