FISH CATCHING TRAVEL
I really love it when I hear from you all. So here is a few comments I thought I would share with you today.
I got the following question from Richard, and it made me think about not only Big Bayou but all the drains coming out of the back lakes on the island. That is where I will be doing most of my fishing the coming months as we start to get those monster low winter tides and the redfish gang up.
Great info. I fish POC, mostly Barroom Bay and Big Bayou, but only get down there about 3-4 times a year.
Question: When the tide is coming in, do you set up inside the drain at Barroom Bay and fish the incoming tide from that side or do you still fish the drains from Big Bayou side?
Thanks and blessings
I want water coming out of any drain that I fish if I have the option, no matter where I set up. Basically I like the little passes between the small islands that drain Bill Days reef. The best set up is usually right at the mouth of the drain leading into Big Bayou as the water falls. The Power Pole is great for positioning so you can reach the back, middle, and out into Big Bayou. I always try to bring my bait either with the tide or parallel to it for a more natural presentation. Now should the water be coming in the drain as the tide floods you can still find a few there, and they are usually right in the back where the water goes onto the shallow flat. Then you usually have enough water to get out on the flat and throw into the drain and pull it back to the boat. Remember though once it is up need to pay ateention, when the water falls at the mouth of the Big Bayou drains on the Bill Days side it gets shallow big time fast. Basically the fish set up in the same position on the opposite side of the drain when fishing the outgoing. The fish like to set up on those little points and oyster bars at the mouth on the reef side, though on the upstroke tide it is never as good. So as a rule when the tide is still coming in or up then I work all the grassy banks there. The reds are usually up and the trout are scattered along the grass here or there. As a rule of thumb if the tide is up I fish wherever and the minute I notice it falling I head for the drains. I hope this helps some. Every day is different and yesterday was a perfect example of that. So good luck next trip and let us know how you do.
Funny how things work. I got this comment from Jaime about a place I actually thought about yesterday.
If you’re going back, go to Dewberry shoreline, has been awsome as of late, up close to shoreline, did very well there Friday and Saturday. Also I read a report where some follower of yours fished the surf Saturday, we drove there to find it very rough, I guess we should have tried it. Some big rollers.
Thanks for the tip. As you can see from a couple of Chad’s reports if you can get out to the surf they will bite. But as usual it is deciding whether you can make it based on wind and some of those big ass rollers at the jetties, which can be pretty daunting at times. Thanks again and keep those comments coming.
Jim had a question, which brought a lot of things to mind.
I want to fish crappie at Coleto Creek starting this fall. Where can I purchase minnows ?
I checked with the little store prior to the entrance and I thought they were really expensive. Perhaps I am living in 1957 when we usually dug for worms to fish perch on the bayous of Louisiana
Everybody I know who fishes Coleto get their minnows at the store. When we bought some last time I was surprised that they were $3 a dozen, which I agree is way high. Of course I will always compare bait costs to when I had my store in Arkansas in the 70’s. I sold crappie minnows, the ones at the store here are actually a small shiner, 3 dozen for a buck. Funny thing was people bitched all the time. The minnows were to big, to small, their eyes are to far to the side of their head, we should get more than 36 for 3 dozen, how come you are not open earlier, how come you are not open later, and on and on. There was just no pleasing some folks. And growing up in Iowa we could pick up nightcrawlers anytime it rained, so worms were like free. So sorry, but I think we both are just old guys, but $3 a dozen is still to high. But no matter what there are good crappie, and lots of them, on Coleto. Let us know how it goes this fall, I intend to fry a few up this fall myself.
It does not matter where or what folk’s reports about we can all learn something. In this case I have learned that I am jealous. Jay is an Texas transplant in Alabama and he is on a fishing adventure in an area with some of the best bass fishing in the country much less monster stripers and world class catfish.
So, as I had told you a few weeks ago I’ve not really been able to find any gizzard shad to use for catfish bait. Been no problem cast netting 2-4″ threadfins. But no matter how you cut em and stack em on an 8/0 circle hook, these big TN river blue cats just don’t seem to want em. Heck, even the little guys been snubbing their noses at em. Watching them on the graph, swim up, take a sniff and swim away is frustrating. Off to Google and youtube to figure out what works.
Skipjack herring; TN Tarpon, Skippies, freshwater jr jacks as some folks call them around here. One thing’s for certain they’re catfish candy! Reports of guys suspend drifting, dragging Santee Cooper rigs or bottom bumping and getting 1 1/2 lb to 104lb blue cats! Catch skips on spinning gear burning what’s called a local foley spoon (looks like a #13 pet spoon), crappie jigs or sabiki rigs. Had pet spoons and crappie jigs, picked up a couple sabiki’s but wasn’t looking forward to catching anything on a rig with 5-6 different little jigs! Found out Skipjack run 4″ to state record 6lbs. Hmmmm. And catch them in damn tailrace spring thru fall.
Off to Guntersville damn tailrace. Spend two hours 75ft off the damn (some of these crazy rednecks actually drive boats in the damn to fish while water is being released)! Not me! Catch four on a pet spoon in 2 hours. Hmm, time to re- evaluate, look around, enjoy my surroundings. Beached the boat, admire the view as a barge came out of the lock and went by (picture attached). It’s getting hot, real hot, did I mention 99* Alabama humidity hot????? I look 75-100 yds below the dam and see skippies being literally skippy on the surface. Ahhhh! Didn’t want to, but tied on the sabiki, put a glove on my non-reeling hand for fish grabbing.
Spot lock just off the edge of the current seam and cast. Start burning it back and wham! TN Tarpon on! These things fight like crazy! 3 on the first cast! 2-3 a cast lasted for about 30-40 minutes then I ground it out till mid afternoon 1 at a time.
Had an ice/salt water brine in a 50qt cooler. (Picture attached) Caught about 90. Got to the ramp, drain the water off, drove 45 minutes home and ziplocked them into the deep freeze.
Sometimes you gotta learn a new technique. I’d prefer to be at Smith lake chasing record spots and striper but that’s an hour drive. And Smith lake is a huge impoundment of creeks and fingers with a LOT of graphing to find them.
TN River is 10 minutes, so I’m catfishing for trophy blues now…..
Report to follow as soon as I drown some cutbait catfish candy drifting some old river channel ledges on the river and Wheeler Lake or dragging some flats.
Always enjoy reading your stuff!
Keep after it and thanks for letting us all contribute a little.
Rather be fishing in Texas but here I am, I’m fishing and life is good.
Having lived in 3 completely different states I sympathize with you. Whether it was catfish and bass in Iowa, bass, rainbow trout, and stipers in Arkansas, and now bass and bay stuff in Texas, everywhere has been different. And one of the great things about what you are facing with the move is learning some new techniques. And when a plan comes together nothing beats that, and the river is a place to make it happen. I am very envious of you getting to become proficient at catching those big river blues. I have fished them here with cut bait and done ok, but nothing like those monsters you are going to be catching. Never thought of using a sibiki for them, see we all do learn something. We will be looking forward to hearing how it goes. Can’t wait to see you trying to hold up one of those 70’s. And having Guntersville and Smith, both on my bucket list for years, within a reasonable drive plus the Tenn River close to the house is enough keep you busy for years. So keep those reports coming.
And last, I was flipping through the new Field and Stream magazine and there is an article on shooting a whitetail that scores over 200. That is a real big deal. One of the guys, Sam Collora, mentioned was a couple of years ahead of me in school and we were on the same wrestling team. His giant was shot in southeast Iowa where I grew up. That area is known for big bucks. One of my friends dad shot the number 2, if memory serves me right, non-typical all time in Iowa, a freakin’ monster. Those corn fields feed America, and some monster bucks.
So thanks to all today. It makes my job so much better when you all participate. Tomorrow I will be on the water before the big weekend starts. And then why not move to an even busier place for the holiday weekend? But it will be for a good cause, on the lake with the grandkids having a big time. So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines