Temp. 40 to 55 rain with hail showers.
Wind was 5 to about 25 during a downpour.
Water temp. 46 to 50,
stained 6 inch visibility.
Fished the local High School Tournament put on by Vista del Lago HS. Each boat has 2 anglers from a high school fishing team. The HS Anglers fish for their own 5 fish limit and the boater fishes for one fish in a big fish only option. I prefished Saturday, the water levels have been fluctuating greatly with all the recent rain. Between 2/10 and 3/5 the high water level was 450 and the low of 400. With all this and the lingering cold water temps, the fish were not very active. I committed to the main body of the lake. Found some nice groups of fish in the 20 foot range outside of some coves and off of some points. I threw a number of known fish catching baits at them with no takers! I threw spinnerbaits, A-Rig and my trusty pointers on some flats, nothing! Deciding that some smaller baits like tubes, baby brush hogs and 4″ fat worms would increase my odds of getting bit, everything else went in the rod locker.
Working a rocky flat with a few stumps I got my one and only prefish bite. Chunky spot that ate a 4″ green pumpkin Senko, covered in Smelly Jelly. Surprise to me, it was in about 2 feet of water. That was a pattern I was going to focus on in the tournament. I was paired with Daniel and Tony from Vista del Lago. They were ready and had similar results from their prefish. At 8:30 I got bit and landed a nice 4lb Spot on a green pumpkin tube dipped in chartreuse dye on an 1/8 darthead. Having a little confidence that we were doing the right thing, I put my rod down and let the kids go at it while I tried to keep them in good position. The grind was on, doubts creeping in my head as 2 hours passed without another bite. I grabbed a rod with a Zappu head and trick worm. Many more casts and finally a bite, but it was gone that fast! One of the team had a Smallie Beaver on a darthead rigged which he threw in immediately where I was just bit. Fish on! They landed a nice little 2 pounder. I put my rod down again for some time. I really wanted these guys to do well, but the fish weren’t cooperative! We kept moving around trying different baits. I picked my rod back up and instantly wished I hadn’t, I landed another 4 pounders!
Knowing we have decent fish around is great, but me catching them is not helping! I put the rod down again and kept my guys in good position, until the wind really started going. It was time to seek shelter behind a hill. There were several other boats with the same idea. There was also a huge school of fish down in 20′, but they would not bite! The water was also 46 degrees! We had an hour left and decided to try one other spot close to the ramp. The wind had really shifted and was blowing. On our way in we found some good size waves and the ride was rough, even in a 21′ Champion! We stopped outside the ramp area and discussed our options. They made a great decision to call it a day. We had a great pizza lunch, raffle while the wind laid down as the sun was coming out.
Simple and effective baits all found at outdoorproshop.com were the key. While there were some that did better, there were many that didn’t even get bit. Remember what’s important is the learning and to remain safe when you’re out there!