Monday, March 30, 2015

Spreading the love...

Today I went fishing at Rocky Mountain PFA in NW Georgia. I was on the water for about six hours, threw everything in the box at them and only caught two small fish. Some people would consider that a waste of time and maybe in their world it is. In my world it's called fishing. Its as simple as that, no matter how good you are sometimes... the fish ain't hungry. What I did see today made up for lack of catching. I watched an osperey catch a nice sized fish. I got to see two juvenile bald eagles practice their mating rituals while in flight. This went on for about twenty minutes then they came oh so close to catching a very lucky mallard duck. On my paddle back to the ramp I discovered a dead grebe. For those wondering what a grebe is, they are duck like birds, kind of small and they dive for minnows to eat. This poor grebe had dove for his last meal courtesy of a broken piece of fishing line. Someone had gotten their lure hung on some submerged rocks and broke their line. When the grebe dove he became tangled in the line and drowned. I freed the line from the grebe so the eagles or ospreys wouldn't get tangled if they tried for this easy meal. Throughout the day I'd noticed a young man in a sit inside kayak fishing. This kid was hard at it too. When I reached the ramp the kid paddled up and asked me abmout my kayak. He said he was going to get a brand X kayak and asked me to compare my Jackson Big Rig to the other. After a thorough walk through of my boat I suggested he should try out every kayak in his budget. I informed him of several other dealers he didn't know of and I invited him to one of the local Reel Krazy kayak fishing tournaments. I let him know that at the tourney he could see about every make of fishing kayak on the planet and he could probably paddle them as well. I told him I knew a couple of people with the brand X he spoke of and they love their boat as much as I love mine... it really is a personal preference. I introduced myself and the talk turned to why we kayak fish, the spectacular things we've seen while paddling and the very spiritual experience that goes along with paddling a little plastic boat around a beautiful lake. I could tell this kid, by the way, his name was John, well, John was bitten by the kayak fishing bug. He loved it for the right reasons and I hope my information to him helps him find the perfect boat. This meeting made my day because although I love kayak fishing, I also love talking about it to a young fellow who's just getting started. Peace

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Haunted by those Appalachian Eyes...

Lake Blueridge is never an easy place to fish. My best luck fishing has come when most would stay at home. I've been fishing the lake since 1992 and from my experiences the wind blows when it isn't supposed to, the water is gin clear and the lake can make a competent fisherman look like a complete fool. Yesterday I left the house at 4:30am, met my buddy Sherill, fished all day and returned home at midnight. We went to Lake Blueridge fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye.The day started with a beautiful morning and a nice spotted bass soon after we launched. The spot was suspended at 20' off of a secondary point in 35'of water. As the day progressed so did the wind. We had gusts of 20-25mph causing at times 2' white caps. I was showing my buddy an island I'd camped on and as he made it to a rocky section he hooked up...a nice 20" walleye in the boat. Later Sherill hooked up and landed a nice 16" smallmouth. My highlight of the day happened off of a chunk rock bank in 12' of water. I was pulling my new favorite lure and something slammed it. It barely fought until I got it close to the side of my boat and then it went nuts. What I had on the end of my line was the biggest walleye I'd ever seen. It was big.I fought it and got it back to the side of my kayak, grabbed my net and "pop", my line broke. I assume my knot was worn by the rocks we were fishing and the fact walleye have teeth didn't help. My heart literally sank. That fish will definitely require a return trip very soon. After that we decided to take a long paddle to a bay that has a creek emptying into it. Sherril caught a huge white bass, I caught a nice largemouth and had a smaller walleye...yes, he got off of my hook. It wasn't meant for whatever reason for me to catch a walleye. The paddle back was brutal. Straight into the wind for about 2.5 miles allowed me to rethink, hash out and over think my brief meetings I'd had with one of our two target fish. From now on I'll have 12lb test fluorocarbon leader instead of 8 I'd been using and if the fish is smaller than a couple of pounds I'm foregoing the net and swinging the fish into the boat. He can try and get away then. Overall, the trip was a success because Blueridge is a tough lake to fish but we managed to catch enough for a fish fry for 3 people. Could've been enough for 3 more if mojo would've been on my side. Maybe next time and there will be a next time. Peace

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I think my equipment's sexy...

I have three prized possessions. My Jackson kayak, my Gregory backpack and my Hennessey hammock. I've told my wife that a single man could pick up chicks paddling my Jackson Big Rig. Her lines are perfect and she's big, not too big but just right. This pretty girl has hauled me and all of my "way too much" stuff over 2 miles out in the gulf, through class 2+ rapids and long distances across mountain lakes. All while keeping me in first class comfort and stability. She's my other lady and Ms. Amber approves. My backpack is a Gregory Baltoro 75, she's accompanied me to many places. She doesn't mind getting dirty, rained on or the dark. She's at home on the side of a mountain, an uninhabited island or downtown Boston. She looks good and feels even better. My hammock is the coolest addition in my box. I can sleep anywhere as long as there is something to tie it off too. It's as comfortable as my bed...well almost. I don't worry about rocks, roots or level ground.. It sets up quickly, is water and bug proof, cool in the summer and can be made warm in temps below 0. I've personally tested this sexy beast in all conditions . It puts a smile on my face every time I set it up. These 3 items, as simple as they are keep me out of trouble and most of all in the heart of nature...my second home. Peace

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Year with a Rivergoat

This year, 2014 has been one hell of an adventure. The year started with the theft of my kayak the week before a paddle trip over to Little Tybee island. Luckily I have a dear friend who didn't hesitate to loan me his. Three days on the island in January sleeping in my hammock, paddling, fishing, eating fresh clams and oysters set the tone for the most adventurous year I've ever had. When I returned from the Georgia coast I set about searching for my next yak. I researched many models and after laying eyes on the Jackson Big Rig at Cohutta fish Co. I was in love. This kayak is a mean fishing machine, the guys that designed it knew what a hardcore angler needs. The big rig makes fishing better. Simple as that and that's the goal in any plan for specific tool isn't it...to make the task easier and more efficient. The Jackson guys nailed it! The first time on the water I knew I was going to spend a lot of time in this thing. I work a crazy swing shift schedule, average a 60hr work week and only have one weekend a month off. Despite the work I still have managed 3-4 days a week or about 150 days kayak fishing. The magical thing is I've caught fish on every single trip! February 28th I took my new kayak to Blue Ridge Ga for a trip on a tail race river for trout. That day, my first trout was my largest ever...a 24" 4.5lb Brown trout. I knew then I was in for something special. In March I spent a lot of time on the Coosa river in Rome Ga fishing for white bass. That month I caught stripe, white, yellow, spotted and largemouth bass, walleye, Freshwater Drum, White and Black crappie and Smallmouth Buffalo. On a Kayak trip to lake seed I caught chain pickerel and yellow perch. I was very pleased with my purchase of the Big Rig but only when one of my best friends asked how many different species I had caught that month did I realize what exact adventure quest I was on. I had caught 12 and I was going for more...Thanks Chris for the idea! I fish alone most of the time but my close childhood friend Sherill spent many days with me this year fishing, camping and riding many miles around this great state. We never had a cross word and he was as eager to hit the road as I. He has been a great partner and I am grateful for him and his little blue Jackson Coosa. We fished the Toccoa river several times adding brook and rainbow trout and a neat little fish in the "River Chubb." We decided to go after shoal bass on the chattahoochee. Our target area was below Morgan falls dam in Roswell but when we arrived they were generating so we quickly hatched a plan to trout fish above the dam, contacted a rafting company for a shuttle and in an hour we were fishing. That day we lost count of the rainbow and Brown trout we caught but 40+ is a safe estimate. Our next kayak fishing trip was to Carter's lake in Chatsworth Ga. On that trip was a swimming squirrel that hitched a ride on the bow of my Big Rig but we caught several fish including a new species for the list. While throwing a shad rap around some rocks in hopes of the legendary spotted bass the lake holds a large flathead catfish hit like a train and after a long fight he was landed then released. When the weather started to warm we started fishing the Etowah river for striped bass. We managed quite a few nice fish over the next few months and added a couple new fish to the list, channel and blue catfish both which hit a glass shad rap. In May I decided to fish my first ever tournament, the CRBI/Cohutta Fish co. 3 rivers fishing tournament. The conditions were against us with super clear low water and sweltering heat but I, yes I managed the win with a mixture of white bass and spots. This win added something that has made my paddling more efficient. Grand prize was a Bending Branches pro angler, super light and powerful. Sherrill and I had developed an obsession with the Shoal Bass and over the summer we planned a trip to the Chattahoochee, this time we'd be floating above Lake Lanier. This stretch of river holds a healthy population of these hard fighting fish but it also is home to several class II+ rapids. We caught our share of Shoal Bass and our boats handled these rapids easier than expected. This will be a definite return trip because of it's beauty and wildness. Another trip that was memorable was a night float on the Toccoa River tailrace. Two of my closest friends Chris and Keelan joined me and we launched at 9pm. Our hopes were to catch the trophy Brown trout that feed at night and after 14 hours picking our way through the dense fog created by the cold water meeting the warm air we reached our take out. Overall a successful yet risky trip, Keelan caught a nice kyped 21" male brown. Throughout summer I bass fished the Etowah, Coosa, Big Cedar and Brushy Branch area with lots of success with largemouth, Striped and Spotted bass but as fall arrived and the weather cooled some I started to concentrate on catching a Smallmouth bass. The best area is only an 1.5hr drive and I've spent 6 days so far camping and fishing Lake Blueridge with no luck yet with a bronzeback. I've had two on but they've thrown the hook before I could land them. In October my close friend Mike and I headed for the coast. We camped at Cape San Blas and had very good luck fishing St. Joe's bay for redfish, trout and flounder. We had a couple of incidental sharks on and had great opportunities seeing sea turtles, rays and sharks. Through late fall I tried my luck at catching a lake sturgeon in the Coosa with no takers and did a bit of deer hunting to change things a bit and reflect. By the end of November I was ready to hit the water again. Chris joined me a day the first week of December for a trout fishing trip in our kayaks. The river we floated had been excellent in the past and that day was our best day ever...8 rainbows from 17"-20"...we decided to head back the next week knowing there was no way it could be better, we were dead wrong. We had a world class trip, although it was cold and dreary we caught 21 rainbow trout ranging from 18"-21". I must say that God smiled upon us that day and I'll never forget it. I just returned from my first trip of 2015. I invited a young friend, Chase, to go along with me for a return trip to Little Tybee Island. We left out on a Thursday, arrived on Tybee Island after lunch and loaded our kayaks down with enough food and equipment for 4 days. The fish weren't cooperating but we dug enough clams for 10 and ate like kings. I was honored to get to show this young man the beautiful Georgia coast and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the island and tidal creeks with him. I first thank God for my health, my parents for their loose reigns while I was growing up and my wife for understanding my love for adventure, nature and fishing...lastly for my buddies, I thank you for the time we've shared, for the adventures, for the mutual trust in our skills and capabilities and most of all the innocence of youth we still harbor in our aging bodies. I think we all relate to this quote, "I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death." To date I've caught 28 different species of freshwater fish from Georgia waters out of my kayak. I plan to continue chasing the smallmouth and lake sturgeon and if I'm lucky the rare Suwannee bass from south Georgia. But...I have to admit, this past year has been a blessing to me and with 28 or 30 species it makes no difference it has been great. Peace. Note: on 15 Jan 2015 I traveled back to Lake Blueridge, the air temp was in the 30's and the water was 45-47 degrees. I marked bait in 25' of water next to a creek channel. I dropped my flexit jig down to the bottom, twitched my rod tip a few times and got bit. After nice fight I netted my Smallmouth bass. 19.5" and about 4+ lbs. This fish is my proudest catch of the year. It was the fish I had almost given up on. She makes 29 species and I plan on finishing my black bass slam later this month with a Suwannee bass and make it a total of 30 January 31 2014- My friend Sherill traveled to the Santa Fe river in N. Fla. On my 5th cast I caught my Suwannee bass, a 14" chunk that is eligible for a Florida Big Fish award...Mission accomplished. What a year...I may try for a lake sturgeon, 31.

The Making of a Rivergoat

Imagine this, you're looking out your window and imagining how cold it is outside and something catches your eye. Its a boy, maybe 12 years old on a mini bike wearing hip waders, an old boy scout backpack and a basket fastened to his handle bars filled with steel traps. That was me.. I'd ride the school bus home, hop on my Honda z50 and ride over the mountain via Ridgewood subdivision. At the base of that mountain was the upper reaches of Silver Creek....my wilderness. To my young eyes, it was untouched, unexplored and pristine. It was my favorite place. During Christmas holidays in 1983 myself and good friend Raymond went camping down on the creek. My dad dropped us off and was going to pick us up the next afternoon. We were not sleeping in the tent I had packed, we were sleeping in a cave. We had found a small cave on the hill above the creek that was about 10' deep with an opening of about 3' and an interior width around 5'. We hiked up to the cave, cleaned all of the leaves out, made sure something else hadn't claimed it as "home" and we moved in for the night. We set out a dozen or so traps and squirrel hunted the rest of the day. Dinner was probably beanie weenies and after we'd eaten went to bed in our cave. When morning came we crawled out and to our amazement there was a couple of inches of snow on the ground. Dad showed up earlier than expected, my mother was probably worried that I had frozen to death but he found us perfectly fine and extremely thrilled about the snow. I begged him to let us stay another night. He went home to call Raymond's mom to get her graces, he also brought us more food.. That night we had hobo dinners which is hamburger meat, potatoes and onions with butter wrapped in a foil pouch and cooked in the coals of a fire. Moments like that, the freedom my parents gave me, watching the movie "Jeremiah Johnson", the book "My side of the Mountain" and Boy Scouts all were ingredients that helped make me what I am today.I am constantly seeking the excitement I got from sleeping in a cave with snow on the ground...waiting and dreaming of what would be in my traps when the sun rose. God, I am a blessed man.

Redfish Magic

· This fish was caught in St Joe's Bay/Cape San Blas Fl. In Oct 2007. This was my first full day of what has turned in to 7 1/2 years of sobriety. Two days before I'd been arrested for DUI, my life seemed like pure chaos and at the moment I wasn't liked very much by my wife. I needed to go Fishing. I waded way out onto a turtle grass flat, the sky was cloudy and it was so quiet. The only sounds were birds and the random splash by baitfish. I'd not caught much at all and found myself praying. I asked God for help, guidance and forgiveness. I had made a cast and as I watched my lure getting closer a huge violent flash and swirl erupted. A long fight ensued and when I landed the fish a calm was over me. There was no doubt that God was telling me , "I'm here" and"it's all good." I cried so much as I waded back in. I knew I had it in me to fix this mess and change my life. I'm still a work in progress as a Christian but if you're having problems, Go Fishing! After all, since the days of Simon Peter, Jesus has touched a lot of men while they fished. Peace

Monday, March 23, 2015

It's just a little boat and a double bladed paddle...

As a kid, I was accused of day dreaming, lollygagging and not paying attention. As an adult that is called a wanderer ...a free spirit if you will. I'm not much on labels but I'll accept that one. I am proud of my wandering ways. I have seen many things that a lot of people have never seen. Some of these things would bore people, some would scare them and yet others would be amazed. I am sure that most of you have witnessed things that would be equally amazing to me so I'm not attempting to convince anyone that I've "lived" and you haven't. This blog is for people who haven't a clue how to experience nature but really want to or for anybody that loves nature and fishing. I will write about my adventures and rarely do they take place more than a few hours away from home. They will involve a few necessary tools which are hiking boots, backpack, kayak, shelter, fishing gear and passion. If I can spark someone's curiosity and get them to climb in a kayak so they can explore some waterway that they've only seen from the road, you know, that stretch of river you look at on your drive to work and wonder just what's around that bend. If that happens then my blog is a success. Kayaking has single handedly changed my life. I am a better person and fisherman. I am closer to nature and I am happier because of a simple plastic boat and a double bladed paddle. I hope you all enjoy my trip reports, fishing stories and hopefully my sense of adventure. Peace

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Paddling thoughts while the fish ain't biting...

Yesterday I went yellow perch fishing. I took 4 rods with 3 rigged for bass and 1 for perch, I ended up bass fishing after about 30 minutes of trying for perch. I had a great time caught a few fish on a custom painted shad rap by Bait Mafia in a cool color I call voodoo. I was fishing the tailrace portion of Etowah river and I couldn't help but think about the dangers that are associated with these stretches of water. The first and most remote is a dam failure. If this happens it is my belief that no matter where you are, it is your time to go. There would be nothing you could do but attempt to ride the flow. On the other hand there are many things that you can do that will increase your odds of survival in the case of an accident. The first is wearing your pfd. I don't want to sound rude but you are stupid if you do not wear a pfd, at all times. I also keep a knife handy in case I have to free my self from fishing line, an old trot line etc. The third is what I call a turtle rope. This is used in the event of capsizing. Its a simple loop of anchor rope that I keep attached to one or both of my kayak's side carry handles. I keep one of those cheap extra large carabiners from Walmart clipped to it and after capsizing, I can toss the rope over the top to the opposite side of the kayak, grab the rope , while bracing my feet on the kayak's gunnel and pull. If you practice and get this to work this is the best way I've found to self rescue while in a large fishing kayak. I also use the turtle rope to attach to limbs and roots on the bank instead of anchoring at a fishing spot. There are a few extra things you can do like having a dry bag with clothes, a firestarter, food and water or anything else you may need. I have a story and this may or may not have happened to me...This lake we were fishing was a very placid one. Beautiful as it was nestled in a valley surrounded by the Appalachian mountains. We were walleye fishing and had been on the water since 10pm. We stopped fishing around 3am, unloaded our sleeping bags and tarp for a guerilla camp lakeside. It was cold and had been spitting snow all night. Surprisingly, I slept great under the stars that night and woke up to a clear cold morning. After having coffee and some oatmeal we set out to fish. As the day went on, we moved further up the lake. This lake was actually the second of 7 on a chain of lakes all separated by dams. By around 2 pm we were only a few hundred yards down from the dam. It was clear how far the water rose when released because of the waterline about 2' above the current level. I'd been on rivers with much higher fluctuations than that so I wasn't worried much about a huge flow catching us. At a bend in the lake, which at this point was only a small river, there was a deep hole. I was going to fish this spot before I headed back to the ramp about a mile away.I was standing in my kayak and the wind was blowing me backwards. I was aware of my distance from the bank because I knew I was being blown fast enough that if I hit the bank it would probably toss me out. What I wasn't aware of was the submerged tree between me and the bank. When I hit the log it stopped me instantly causing me to fall. I tried to land in the center of my seat but ended up on the outer edge. This caused the boat to roll...me out and it over. The water was 42 degrees and I felt it. As I tried to regain my footing in the 4' of water I realized something had a hold of me. My pfd was keeping my head above water but I could not get my leg free. A limb had went in my pant's side cargo pocket and was twisted tight locking my leg in an awkward position. I gave it a huge tug and ripped free. I used my turtle rope to roll the kayak over and reentered it. All but one rod was still in the boat and I easily fished it out of the shallow water. My biggest concern now was the risk of hypothermia. My plan was to paddle without stopping until I reached the ramp. As I made my way down the lake with my adrenaline flowing I heard the sound of the water release warning horn at the dam. As I caught up with my buddy the water started to rise too. I told him what had happened and he assured me he'd keep a close eye on me while we paddled out. I made it to the ramp without any complications, changed clothes, loaded up and headed home. Only when we were talking about the trip did the possibilities of those few chain of events hit me. My pfd quite possibly saved my life, the clothes I had on kept me warm even when wet(I did stop and wring out all of my clothes) My turtle rope made rolling the kayak much quicker and easier and god had my back because if I had been in the same predicament 15 minutes later...caught on that limb with the water rising ...that fun paddle trip on that beautiful mountain lake , as peaceful as it was could have been disastrous. Please, before you go on the water have a plan...basic knowledge about hypothermia, dam generation info, some basic survival gear, don't stand in your boat in windy or rough conditions and for God's sake, wear your PFD!!! Peace.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I'm ready for a fish fry...

I'm only a few days outside of my hardest stretch of fishing in my life. Sounds like I've been digging ditches, huh? All kidding aside, I enjoyed the competitive side of kayak fishing and I can't wait until my next tournament. For the time being I'm planning a trip for Friday where I'll be chasing a fish not very common in our area, a beautiful fish called "yellow perch." I've read that there is a spot close by where there is an abundance of the tastey fish with some rather large ones mixed in. I've caught these before on several of North Georgia's mountain lakes but never in our area. Hopefully I score and we'll have a fish fry at mom's friday night. I'm going to hold off on letting the location out until I return but the change of pace by going after panfish will be a relief to my shoulder. I have fished this water in the past and I know it has some nice spotted bass so if the perch aren't hungry I can change my plan and go after bass. Perch, from my experiences with them like to hug the bottom that has grass and they'll take small jigs like Lindy grubs, worms, minunows and small jigging spoons...I'm sure I'll try all of those. I'll definitely have a cooler on my yak and hopefully I will call Amber to pick up some fish batter and hush puppies. Feel free to call me for rates for fishing trips on our local rivers for trout, bass and maybe...Yellow Perch. Until then, Tight lines and God bless. Jim Ware Rivergoat Kayak Adventures Rome, Ga 706-936-9164

Monday, March 16, 2015

Believe half of what you read and none of what you hear...

Day one of the Kayak Bass Fishing Open starts at 6am. I've had 2 days of practice and I stuck to the plan that I'd developed from reading articles, YouTube and verbal communication. At 1230 today I'd only caught 3 fish...2 drum and a sardine sized largemouth bass. I was severely frustrated and i had to make a change. As I sat there on this beautiful lake drinking a bottle of water I decided...scrap the plan and just go fishing, just like as if I were home. I paddled a while and saw a place that looked "fishy". I tied on a lure that I use regularly and made a cast. ...1 14" bass bit and I landed it, on the fourth cast a 16" was caught, a hundred yards away another similar spot yielded a 19.5" bass. Overall, I caught 6 in about 3 hours. I have a plan that's not new or technical. It's what ive been doing for most of my life. Just plain ol fishing. Tomorrow the fish probably wont be so cooperative. But that's fishing.

KBF open recap...sopping wet gunslinger.

I'd said earlier that you have to compete to see where you stand. I just returned from the KBF open on Kentucky Lake and although I didn't win I'm pleased with where I placed. 28th out of 156 anglers. I had a plan and had to change it on the run, I caught some very nice fish and had a ton of fun. I met Jason Hopper and Cody Black through my buddy Jim Clark and together we all placed very well which was a fine representation of North West Ga. I took away a new outlook on competitive fishing and gained a ton of knowledge about strategy, new water and things to anticipate during a tournament. Its not always the most hi-tech lure or what the books say that works. On this trip after a day and a half my fancy newfangled plan changed to looking for places I'd normally fish in wet cold conditions, throwing a lure thats been aroundnd for 50 years and making as many casts as possible. I call it gunslinging. It worked the first 2 days but anticipating the amount of boat traffic that 2 major bass boat tournaments would generate on Saturday was never figured in. The bay that I fished was very popular with the Ranger's with 225 HP motors, although I did catch a good number of fish they were small and just not enough to hold or advance in placement. Overall, Chad Hoover with Hook1 and Wilderness Systems put on an impressive event. I'll definitly be back, smarter and better prepared.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pre Tournament thoughts

   The water in Kentucky lake is at 42 degrees now and with the warm air and rain forecasted this week the water should get warmer. The area I plan on scouting should hold fish and the warmer water hopefully will make the fish start moving and feeding. I'm as anxious as I've ever been barring the the wait for the birth of my daughter and mine and Amber's wedding. Sounds silly that a grown man would lose sleep over a fishing tournament. I'll put it simply...you either get it or you don't. One thing that is for certain...I've played out every scenario in regards to weather, water conditions, bait and the lack of it. I've got a buddy over at Bait Mafia baits ,Todd West to tie me new tail flies for a couple of jigging spoons and custom paint a trusty shad rap in a top secret color so I'm literally loaded for bear. I'm sure that most if not all of the 180 or so kayak fishermen that'll be competing are equally prepared. The winner of this thing will have truly beat the odds and had a little bit of luck thrown in. One thing that I'm really excited about is being around a couple hundred folks that share the same passion I have for kayak fishing.This will in a sense be a family reunion. I probably won't speak to everybody and hug them but the energy level I assume will be abuzz will be a new experience for me and I can't wait. Let's get it on!!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

You'll never know your level unless you compete

   Like a kid waiting on Christmas morning, I'm waiting on next Wednesday...I've entered a kayak fishing tournament on Kentucky Lake. It's a big one with probably 150-200 kayak fishermen in it. Surprising is the prizes. New kayak, paddles and money...Over 10 grand. I've looked at every lake map, read every article and watched every YouTube video about fishing the lake. I've fished every chance I've had for the past year. I went over on my phone's data limit, my eyes hurt and my shoulder feels like it could fall off. What to do now? Wait, work and try to rest. The hardest part is the waiting. You watch the weather, you hope for the water to warm up from the current 38 degree mark its at right now. You daydream while looking at the topo map about the school of bass that's
suspended over the submerged creek channel meets the main river channel in 40 foot of water. There's no way that spot doesn't hold fish! You worry if the wind will be too high to maintain a spot over the channel or maybe too high to even paddle out. I'll worry no more and I'll  take whats there. I've put in the time, I've done my homework and I've driven my wife crazy.My hopes are light wind and 45-50 degree water temps, a little overcast and 5 hungry bass 18+ inches long. Stay tuned and until then...I'll just wait.