Another Fine Day on LBJ

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Every once in a while you have to let your friends fish too. Today was one of those days. I find that when your friends come along, its best to stick to the tried and true fishing spots. Its also best not to go into the backs of coves. Not because there's no fish in the backs of coves, but because there are lots of stumps and logs. Although stumps and logs can hold lots of fish, your buddy's inexperience will likely mean that he will get hung up more than once. That was the story today.

Earlier this week I bought a couple of new fishing poles. Believe it or not, I actually found a couple that were worth while at Cabelas. I did spend a little money, but got two rods -- a 6'6" St. Croix crankbait rod, and a two-piece 7' Fenwick spinning rod, for the price of one G-Loomis. I put my Shimano Calais reel on the St. Croix, then moved my Quantum Burner reel to my All-Star Top-Water Special. The All-Star Top-Water special works very well as a crankbait rod, because it is medium power, with moderate action.

The St. Croix is also medium power, moderate action, but it is considerably more ergonomic, lighter, and exceptionally responsive. I love this new rod. Like the Shimano Calais reel, it is well balanced, and fits nicely in the hand. There is plenty of casting power, and with fluorocarbon line you can feel every bump and contour of the bottom. It is also very forgiving when a fish strikes. I landed a few fish today that I'm not sure I would have using a different rod and reel combination.

I put my Shimano spinning reel on the Fenwick rod. This rod is very fine, although I'm not so sure about the reel. It may be that I have grown much more comfortable with a baitcast reel, and I find spinning reels to be cumbersome. There is always a delay between when the bait hits the water, and you can flip the bail, and stop the line from spooling out. When you are in shallow water, or fishing over the tops of weeds this delay can put salad on your hook, and make you waste an otherwise perfect cast. Perhaps there are some more responsive spinning reels out there, but I haven't found one yet. One of the things I like about this 7' light-weight rig is that it is easy to flip with.

Today we started out fishing the same places I was catching fish last week. The only difference was that last week the sky was overcast, and the wind was blowing briskly. Today, it was clear blue, warm, with only the slightest breeze. The water was also very murky with lots of floatsom and debris because of the heavy rains that came down two days ago. Last week the water was super clean and clear.

The fishing action was not as good. In the morning there was a fairly decent bite, but as the sun came up, the bite tapered off quickly. Although we caught around 30 fish total by noon, the majority of the fish were caught before 10:30 am. Early, we were catching fish by casting shad-painted lipless crankbaits to shoreline cover. The fish were noticeably further away from the shoreline than last time; my guess is that the warmer water and the turbid conditions had the bass roaming further from cover in the morning.

The blue sky and hot sun had the fish going deep by mid-day. I anticipated this, so I had switched to a deep-running crankbait and managed to pick up about 5 or 6 decent bass between 10:30 and noon by casting to about 12-15 feet deep along a granite shoal. There were a lot of juvenile bass in the mix, which has been common this spring. I hope it means that last year's spawn was successful, and there is a huge crop of new bass in the lake.

Another surprising pattern that emerged today, was that there was quite a few 2-3 pound bass on the grass beds. I used a chartreuse willow-leaf spinner bait to catch a three pounder at the intersection of two grass lines where there happened to be a lay-down log. Who could ask for a more fishy place than that? I switched to a pearl-white soft plastic jerkbait rigged with the hook run through then buried back, so that it was weedless. I would spot bass patrolling the grass, cast just ahead of them, give a couple of twitches, trigger a strike. I caught three additional fish between 2 and 3 pounds this way. This kind of fishing is very exciting; kind of like spotting for redfish. I counted about 50 carp on the grass beds, and there was some carp spawning going on at the back of the cove. These are kind of like little teasers, because from 75 yards, it hard to distinguish a carp from a big ole' bass. I even had one follow my lure, which was kind of weird. I guess it was just curious.

At about high-noon, I caught an interesting bass by casting a small hard suspending jerk bait (Luck Craft Pointer) to a shady spot at the back of a boat dock. I thought it was a rock bass, but it did not match the pictures I turned up on the Internet. This one was a little more than one pound, and I found it to be very beautiful. It was dark emerald green -- almost black, with a blueish belly. It looks exactly the same as the fish I caught on Lake Bridgeport, that I called a rock bass in a previous blog. Now, I'm not sure what it is. I wish I had a picture. I need to get a cheep digital camera for the boat, for times like these. Interestingly, the one I caught on Lake Bridgeport was hiding in a shady area beside a large rock at the shoreline. The one I caught on LBJ was in a similar shady area beside a jet-ski dock, right at the shoreline. Most of the bass I caught today, I caught well away from the shoreline. I know it is not a largemouth, because it had a smaller mouth that was positioned in front of the eyes. The teeth were almost black, and there was no clearly defined markings on the sides. The fins were all very dark green. Its going to drive me crazy until I can figure out what it is.

All and all it was another successful Spring day on Lake LBJ. I've been seriously considering buying some water-front property on LBJ. The lots I have found are not cheap, but there are only a few lots left, so it is a scarce resource. This means that it will more than likely be a good investment. I just need to raise some more cash to make that big down payment.

Until next week, happy fishing!

About me

  • I'm Scott Gaspard
  • From Austin, Texas, United States
  • I really like to fish. I go every chance I can. You can pretty much bet that at any given moment, I'm using whatever spare cycles I have to plan my next trip.
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