Black Shoals in the Wind

I did a little something different today and went out to a new lake called Black Shoals, down south outside of Loganville. A friend had just built a house on the lake and invited me out to check out the house and jump in his Pond Prowler for a little fishing plus a little of my insight on fishing the lake. He is just starting out fishing the lake and also fishing in general so we set out today in the windy white caps cutting across the lake in the Pond Prowler…

It was absolute post front conditions today and the wind was getting it coming across the lake at 8am. It was already starting to white cap and off we went from my buddy Cary’s shoreline in his pond prowler. He was looking for suggestions and my first one was to get up wind so if /when the little trolling motor died at least we would be up wind for the occasion. The first thing I wanted to check out was a few windy points but with 2 grown men in a pond prowler in the wind it’s a task so we settled a couple of creeks and pockets out of the wind. I started out throwing a whopper plopper while Cary threw a spinnerbait but I pretty much knew what the bait was going to be already, I was just going through the motions to show Cary the topwater stuff. After about an hour of throwing the power stuff we headed for a calmer cove or creek and put on the old faithful shaky head and found the pattern. There is a lot of submerged grass and timber lining the shore on the lake and I found the fish mainly hanging on the edge of the grass. Once we figured that out we caught some very nice fish for Cary and his wife who is from Peru and loves to eat fish, qs well as Cary. When I say she loves fish, I mean she loves to eat the whole fish, like eyeballs and all so they keep everything which is fine with me.

I was able to show Cary how to rig the shaky head rod and it didn’t take long till he caught his personal best bass 5lber (pictured above). He was pretty stoked and the bass put up a valiant fight. We caught 7 nice keepers in about 3 hours of fishing and a couple smaller bass which went back, all on a pretty simple 1/4 ounce green pumpkin finesse shaky head. I didn’t get to check out much because of the conditions but I’m sure I’ll visit again before long and maybe get a chance to cover more of the lake. Since the wind was out of the north and we were on the south end of the lake we didn’t make it up to the northern part of the creek but since Cary now lives on the lake I’ll be fishing it more over the coming months. Fun morning of fishing!

Jonesin for a Sebile

First it was toilet paper and then it was my favorite corned beef hash, but now they’ve gone too far with this shortage of 125 Sebiles. If I was a country singer I’d be singing a number one hit called “Jonesin for a Sebile on Lanier” right about now because you can’t find a slow sink 125 Sebile anywhere in the south. They’re gone except for a few of those fancy chrome ones. There are probably thousands of Sebiles sitting in one of those containers off the coast of California headed for Tackle Warehouse right now. I have a stash of 125 Sebiles somewhere in this house and I’ve been searching for them for days but I have tackle everywhere including 2 shops, an attic and a large garage so finding my stash of Sebiles could take years. I’ve tore this place apart only to find one usable 125 Sebile and then I bummed one from my buddy Mike to make it 2 usable Sebiles for the week. I painted both of them my pearl white color and started my week.

This week the Sebile bite hasn’t been off the charts for me and I’ve had to work for my bites but I’ve really amassed some fish by weeks end. It’s mainly been right place right time but there has been a little skill involved. I only needed the pearl white Sebile all week and I literally wore them out, both the fish and the Sebiles. Right now my milk run is out on the main lake early and then working my way back to the creek by midday. This week the bulk of my numbers have been from the creek in the afternoon but the larger size is still out on the main lake, whether it’s humps or points.

I think that my gear was the most important part to my success this week. On Monday I started using 10lb Tatsu flouro with the Sebile but the fish were very leery of the bait so I dropped it down to 8lb Tatsu and that was the ticket. The fish started showing more interest in the bait and were much more aggressive with the 8lb. I was able to catch a few fish just blind casting the bait around brush and out on points which has been kinda hard lately as most of the fish have been caught while fish were schooling or shortly after they stopped schooling. I was throwing the Sebile on my 7’6″ MH Shimano Clarus with a Diawa Fuego 2500 spinning reel. I could throw the Sebile a long way with the spinning gear and it handled the bass and stripers just fine. Speaking of stripers, I caught a lot on the Sebile this week and at times they were much more aggressive than the bass and that 8lb Tatsu handled the stripers like a champ. I gotta hand it to the Tatsu, it takes away a lot of worry about line breaks when catching a big one.

Basically this week was about moving around and making casts early on the main lake. If the fish weren’t coming up on a hump or point out on the main lake I was making blind casts with a steady retrieve and the pearl white Sebile I painted was very visible just below the surface. It was pretty awesome to watch some of the fish just slam the Sebile. Some of the stripers would just come out of nowhere and aggressively slash through it and sometimes a whole school of a few dozen bass would follow it back to the boat without a reaction. Sometimes bass would fight over it and sometimes they didn’t want anything to do with it. If the fish started schooling and I could cast the Sebile into the area they were schooling, the Sebile would be hammered almost immediately every time. I gotta tell you that there were times when I just knew I was going to get hammered by a schooling fish and my heart would be racing with the anticipation of feeling that tug and the chance for a big bass. You fishermen know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes I could cast the Sebile in the area where schooling had just occurred and I could coax a fish back up to whack the Sebile. It was just a fun week of not having to throw the kitchen sink at these fish and the Sebile is low impact with high rewards. I suppose there could have been other baits out there that worked better than my painted Sebile this week but I was perfectly content with just sticking with it and getting the occasional nice fish. The video below pretty much covers the extent of my pattern, cast the Sebile out and reel in back in.

I think the fish were much more aggressive in the afternoon also. It seemed like a lot of fish in the morning were just a bit slow to react to the Sebile but by the afternoon they were out in the sun chasing bluebacks. A lot of times I was just looking around to see where the fish were coming up and if I saw fish schooling I would make my way to where the action was and make some casts. I think it’s a good idea to keep a watch out for surfacing fish on points and humps right now. If you see fish schooling and surface activity make a mental note of it and pay that area a visit as soon as you can. I was also able to utilize my Spot Lock on the trolling motor and sit up wind of a lot of places and just fan cast the Sebile down wind when the fish weren’t coming up. It was a blast to feel the rod load up with a nice fish out in the wind and white caps on the main lake. Even in the big choppy waves the fish were still blasting the Sebile.

This week I’m not much help with the fishing report unless you’ve got a stash of light colored Sebiles hid away in your tackle box and if that’s the case, it’s time to use them.

The lake is just above full pool and the water temps are mid to low 70’s. The corps is moving water in the afternoons and evenings. Here are a few pictures of some memorable fish this week. All of these fish were caught on the custom painted Sebile including 2 very nice largemouth caught on back to back casts on a rocky secondary point.

Bittersweet Klamath Falls

Some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen and one place that I used to frequent during my Navy career but never really wrote a whole lot about was my time visiting Klamath Falls, Ore. There was a time when I thought that I wanted to retire in the area after fishing the Klamath River, the wild streams and the majestic mountain lakes for trout during our squadron visits. Klamath Falls, the town itself was small and nestled along the the Klamath River in south central Oregon. Some of the biggest trout that I’ve ever caught were out of the Klamath River and the best smoked trout I’ve ever tasted came from the trout we caught in the river and flew back to San Diego. My friend and our squadron Maintenance Officer, Lt. Dave Lopez was one of the guys in the squadron that loved to fish so he and I would visit a few streams in the mountains so he could fly fish. I was more of a conventional tackle guy but I enjoyed tagging along with Dave and throwing a rooster tail while he whipped that fly rod around. I also enjoyed fishing for trout along the shores of the Klamath River and we caught some monster trout using a floating cheese bait and nightcrawler combo from the shore while freezing our butts off.

I also like to play billiards and I was very comfortable in an old smoky biker bar or pool hall trying to hustle a little pool to offset my bar tab and compare my skills against the locals on their turf. While a squadron buddy and I were spending an evening at a pretty rough local bar I befriended a female undercover narcotics officer and spent a little time playing her boyfriend and cover for her while she worked undercover in the town to bust some local drug dealers who were dealing out of the bar. It was pretty interesting, and she was very upfront with me from the get-go about what she was doing. She showed me her badges, one of which was attached to the outer face of the holster of her handgun, while explaining what she was doing and asked me if I would help her by just pretending to be her boyfriend for a while. I agreed, hoping maybe it would lead to being her real boyfriend, but she was all about business and wasn’t looking for romance at the time. She was very fit and pretty and looked a little out of place in the biker bar scene so that’s where I came in. She had just moved to the Klamath area and the police force from south Florida where she worked in the narcotics division and since nobody knew who she was in town, she was perfect for the undercover police work. She was very determined in her work, and I was amazed at how fearless she was when it came to dealing with a very bad element. A true badass.

The year was 1988 and I was assigned to a F-14 Tomcat squadron at Naval Air Station Miramar, just outside of San Diego. Travel and training is something we did a lot of back then and it seemed like we were always on the road with the squadron. I’m not sure how it all started but my squadron got an invite from the Air National Guard unit at Klamath Falls, Ore. to come up for a couple weeks and do some dog fighting with the Air Guard and their F16’s. At the time the Air Guard had plenty of funds and offered to provide us with full per diem if we came up and played with them for a couple weeks. The story is that our Commanding Officer was single and met a lady friend up in Klamath so our trips up to Klamath became very frequent for a while. I was perfectly fine with that because I really liked the laid back area and the fishing was awesome. Every time we went up to Klamath, which was about once every couple months for 2 years, the Air Guard would roll out the red carpet and we were treated like royalty. I can remember a few trips up there where we had a party just about every night complete with steak and lobster meals prepared and guests (mostly female) were bussed in from the local area to have dinner and meet single sailors from a Tomcat fighter squadron. Keep in mind that this was just a year or two after the release of the movie “Top Gun” and everyone wanted to meet fighter squadron folks. Beer trucks were on hand and the taps were always flowing for about 40-50 of us young sailors. It was a party every time we went, and we got to be good friends with some of the locals. There were also dance bars that we frequented, and I still have to shake my head at some of the antics we pulled while running around town back in the late 80’s.

One of the most memorable trips and my last was a trip to Klamath was after about a 6 month period of no trips to Klamath for the squadron. Just 6 months prior to us returning my good friend and fishing buddy Lt Dave (Lucky) Lopez passed away as a result of a car accident while he and one of our technical representatives were returning from a fishing trip to the mountains outside of Klamath. It was a trip that I could have easily went on but because I partied the night before I just wanted to get to my rack for some much needed rest after my shift was over. I learned of the car accident the next morning and Dave was in critical condition at the hospital. Dave had a massive head injury and he passed after a few days. It was hard on all of us in the squadron but loss is something you learn to deal with in fighter squadrons. It happens and you just have to put it behind you and move on.

On my last trip it was late October and I wanted to fish the Klamath River in a section I had never fished before. I didn’t know much about where to fish along the river but a trip to the local bait and tackle shop can do wonders for a fishing trip. I was able to borrow one of the squadrons rental cars and head into town for some tackle for the borrowed rods and reels. The tackle shop was in town and it was a rainy day in Klamath. I found the tackle shop and talked with the guy running the store about a good location along the river that a friend and I could fish from the bank. The fella behind the counter was more than happy to give me a little information as soon as I told him that we were visiting town from the Navy. He told me of a little access road along the river outside of town where we could go and fish along the bank. It sounded like my kinda place so I bought the trout buffet of yellow floating Powerbait and a couple dozen night crawlers. If I needed to catch a trout out west, those two baits would be all I needed to get the job done just about anywhere.

After getting the 411 on the fishing I left the store and drove through town. When I was stopped at a light in town a police cruiser pulled up next to me and as I looked over danged if it wasn’t my old friend, the undercover narcotics officer driving that cruiser! I honked the horn and at first she stared me down and then realized who I was. We pulled into a vacant parking lot up the road and she told me the story of how they busted the drug dealers in town and how she had met a local man and they were getting married. During the bust, she had done a few shady things and instead of firing her they put her on the street instead of the narcotics division. It was cool seeing her again and it was the last time I ever saw her.

It was a Friday morning and we had till 2pm to fish until we had to go to work. We worked the night shift and got up early on Friday to hit the river. There was 3 of us going fishing, Les, Doug and myself and we had commandeered a rental vehicle for the morning. It was in the lower 40’s when we drove out to the access road in the cold rain and tried to find a good spot to set up a few shore rods. It didn’t take long and we spotted another fisherman along the shore in a rain suit with a line in the water, sitting on a rock. We stopped the car and I walked down to the rivers edge to ask him about the fishing. He was an older fella and told me he hadn’t had any luck but he shared his secret bait with me which was a old tin with some dried and salted shiners. They looked and smelled pretty rough so I decided to stick with the tried and true floating cheesebait and nightcrawlers. I asked if he minded if we set up down the shoreline in an opening about 20-30 yards away and he gave us the go ahead so off we went. The rain was cold and blowing and it didn’t take long for us to get uncomfortable, standing around in the wet and cold after we baited up and put the 3 rods we had in rod holders. I had rain gear and I found a good place to sit down around the rods while Les and Doug went up to the car to dry off and run the heater for a few minutes. I’m glad I hung out in the cold rain because a few minutes after my buddies left I looked at one of our rods as it doubled over and started pulling drag. This fish managed to tangle the other 2 lines on the way in but we had our first trout, a very large rainbow around 5-6lbs. It was a blast to fight the fish and I couldn’t help but think our old friend Lucky was with us that morning along the shoreline.

After we caught the first big trout that cold rainy weather didn’t feel so bad to Les and Doug, so we were all 3 hovering around the rods shivering and waiting for the next fish after untangling the mess from the first fish. It didn’t take long, and another rod went off and Les was fighting another good trout. We got that one in and baited back up. Again and again, we caught these large rainbows until the 3 of us had 2 nice trout a piece and we headed back to the base all proud with our catch. The funny part was that the old man fishing down the bank had paid us a visit just before we left to ask what bait we were using so we gave him the nightcrawlers and our left-over cheese bait. The plan was to freeze the fish for the trip back to San Diego and then slice them into steak slices, marinade them in Teriyaki and smoke them on my buddies Weber. As it turned out, we had to replace my buddy Les’s water heater right after we returned from Klamath on that trip, so we spent the day smoking trout and replacing his water heater. We had a lot of smoked trout, and it filled the smoker from top to bottom, so we bagged up a bunch and took it to the squadron for everyone to enjoy.

Just after that trip to Klamath it was the start of the first Gulf War and things changed fast. There were no more trips to Klamath and the focus of just about all the fighter squadrons was the Gulf War. I never went back to Klamath after that trip, but I’ll never forget the beauty of that area. To me, the air was always fresh with just a hint of the Pacific Ocean in the mix. Unfortunately, when I think of Klamath, I also remember that I had a good friend that lost his life in that place, so young and so far from home.

Lt, Dave (Lucky) Lopez

Cast Away Meat Eaters Dip

This is another of my old Fish Camp/Deer Camp recipes and I made it yesterday for the Georgia game at Cast Away Cove. Lisa and I were working on the house while watching the game and we both found ourselves going back to the crockpot again and again for more of this delicious dip. It’s pretty meaty, cheesy and addicting, especially watching football on a fall day. Btw, you can replace the ground beef with sausage, venison, chicken or even turn it into a seafood dip with shrimp or Langostino lobster. Here’s my best stab at the amounts as I have never really officially measured anything and I always suggest making changes to the way you like it.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees


  • 1/2-1 pound of cooked ground beef/venison, cooked sausage or cooked chicken
  • 2- 8 ounce packages of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can of Ro*Tel Dice tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped andouille sausage (optional)
  • I like to throw in a little Old Bay for that southern flair
  • salt and pepper to taste

I just mix all of the ingredients listed above in a big mixing bowl and then put it all in my big blue baking dish. I cover and bake the dip for about 25 minutes covered and another 15 minutes uncovered. After I remove it from the oven I transfer it to the crockpot to keep it warm and ready to serve with my favorite, Tostito’s scoops. Enjoy!!

Shake and Bake in the Chop

This week I started my mornings offshore in search of a few things that needed to come together to make the topwater bite work for me. I would leave the creek about 8am and look for the areas of choppy water out on the vast main lake. Luckily, I was blessed with the ability to see well at a distance in my later years so I’ve been able to find the choppy areas for a great distance on the waters surface. It seemed like every morning there were these random areas of choppy water where there were areas of breezes across the lake. When these random breezes and patches of choppy water would collide with offshore humps or points with brush, that’s the areas I was targeting. If it was a hump or point and it had chop on it I would fish it because the chop seemed to distort the fishes view of the bait and they were more apt to commit to the bait rather than just swipe at it or ignore it. These patches of chop or random breezes would just drift around the lake in different areas in the mornings so I would just jump from one spot to the next following the breeze. The only 2 baits I threw this week was a custom painted pearl white Sebile and the Azuma Z Dog walking bait made by Profound Outdoors. It’s really all I needed to catch some nice beefy fish. I didn’t score big numbers but I did score some big fish. Here’s a picture of the 2 baits I used this week.

Once I found the areas I wanted to fish I generally approached the area from up wind and made my casts down wind while letting the boat drift as much as I could without using the trolling motor and without the noise of waves slapping the side of the boat. The trick to making the Z Dog work was to make a long cast down wind and immediately skip it across the water erratically for 5-10 feet and then a normal walk for a few feet and then skip and walk it erratically again and slow it back down. The splashing from working the bait erratically would get the fishes attention and they would react to it. If I just made a cast and walked the dog normally I would get far less bites. It seemed like the fish would react to the bait a lot better if I shook the bait and made it splash periodically. I named it my “Shake and Bake” pattern with the little Z Dog and I generally brought the bait back up wind kinda “against the grain” of the chop so to speak.

Another thing that was happening in these areas if I stayed around long enough was periodic schooling. That was a bonus and if I was in the right place at the right time I could score a nice fish with the right cast. If I saw fish schooling in the area I was fishing I would immediately jump on the trolling motor and get within casting distance as quick as possible. If I could get there within 5-10 seconds I could usually get the fish to come back up after the Z Dog if they had quit schooling. If I could get my bait into the area while they were actively schooling they would generally smash the Z Dog within seconds. I would say about 60-70% of my fish this week were from actively schooling fish and the other 30-40% was from calling the fish up over or around brush. The key was just about always the chop and the erratic behavior of the walking bait.

A lot of times the chop would kind of fizzle out while I was there and most of the time that’s when I would head out looking for other patches of chop. I would also take into account what bass boats were where and I didn’t really fish areas where boats had been recently. The whole thing was like an orchestrated dance that moved with the chop out on the main lake in the morning before I would head back to the creek to finish off my day fishing the Z dog over brush in the creek. I will say this, I caught some nice fish in the afternoons in the creek this week but I caught and lost some monsters offshore on the main lake.

The other bait I used this week was the pearl white Sebile. I sanded down a couple of 125 slow sinking Sebile’s I had lying around and repainted them my pearl white color pattern. This is a pattern I’ve used in the fall for a few years now and it has been money for me on overcast days and low light. This week I used it early in the morning out on the offshore stuff while the fish were actively schooling and I could make a cast to them. My Sebile was just about as deadly as the Z Dog with the fish chasing bluebacks on the surface. Here’s a picture and a video from Tuesday with a nice offshore bass on the custom painted Sebile. We had some good cloud cover Tuesday morning and it was a perfect time to use the custom Sebile. The bass in the first picture below spit up the blueback in the second picture and a video of catching the fish below.

It was pretty simple this week, find the chop on top of the brush on points and humps in the creek and offshore and use the shake and bake method over and around the brush for a few nice fish. When they were actively schooling on schools of bluebacks they were so lit up they would have probably hit a cat turd if you painted it white but out of convenience I used the Z Dog or white pearl Sebile this week. That’s all I’ve got from this week. Good luck!

The lake level is a foot above full pool and as I predicted the corps is moving a lot more water right now so the lake level is very slowly dropping. Surface temps are in the upper 70’s as I type this but that shouldn’t last much longer. Here’s a few pictures of some of my memorable fish this week.

Who Moved My Cheese?

“Who moved my cheese”. It was a pretty popular short book back about 20 years ago. It’s been described as a motivational business fable involving two mice and two little people and their ways of dealing with the change of periodically moving a pile of cheese in a maze. Just like in the book, this week I felt like my cheese had been moved but I kept going back to the old cheese location instead of looking for a new cheese pile. Highly recommended reading.

Transition is a hard time for me and it usually happens around the turnover. There comes a time when the cheese pile gets moved and I have to accept the fact that the cheese is gone and I need to move on. My topwater bite left town yesterday afternoon when that big striper tore off with my last Z Dog walking bait in the YouTube video below so late this week I needed to find a new confidence bait or confidence pattern. The popper isn’t the best choice for me right now and about all I can get with the popper is a couple swirls and a blowup or two. Just a week ago I was slaying the bass with the popper and I’m sure that bite will return as it always does in October but it’s about time for me to move on…..

When it comes to the turnover period on Lanier, remember two things to make it simple; 1st, turnover does not happen all at once on the lake, the back half of the creeks could be in turnover, but the main lake hasn’t got to that change yet. Secondly, when the water turns over so do the fish. By this I mean that the fishes primary focus is no longer what’s above them for their food supply and they start looking below them as well. That’s why beating the bank with things like a crankbait, jig or shaky head become very popular after the turnover in late fall/early winter. Just keep that in mind and make the transition from one pattern to another early instead of late. Go find the fish or the new cheese pile and don’t be like me and return to the old area of cheese hoping more cheese will show up. Another thing to keep in mind this time of year is lake level. We just had a significant rise in the water level and if there is one thing I know about Lanier and these spotted bass, they move with water level changes. When the water rises some fish come to the shoreline in search of new foraging grounds that may be rich in crawfish and baitfish feeding in the shallows, so anytime the lake rises it’s a good time to check the shoreline and rocky areas for foraging bass or “Meat Eaters” as I like to call them. I copied an excerpt from the fable below and if you replace the word “cheese” with “pattern” it’s pretty sound advice when it comes to transitioning bass.

Change Happens: They Keep Moving The Cheese

Anticipate Change: Get Ready For The Cheese To Move

Monitor Change: Test The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old

Adapt To Change Quickly: The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese Change

Move With The Cheese: Enjoy Change! Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!

Not to change the subject but I certainly wish I had the ability to take more photos back when I was running the marshes in Louisiana, but 30 years ago taking a picture was a little different than today. A selfie would take a week and $20 to develop the film only to find out it was out of focus and not centered. I guess my point is that if I were able to take pictures back then there would have been hundreds of pictures of me catching speckled trout by the dozens right now in the marsh. This is the time of early fall when the trout migrate into the marshes and I loved to catch trout in October in the marsh. The possession limit was 25 and speckled trout are delicious as table fare. Here’s one picture from an October marsh trip with my friend Eric some 25 years ago.

Every time I went out on the lake this week my mind kept going back to the Louisiana marshes and catching trout with a sparkle beetle under a popping cork. If you have never experienced speckled trout fishing in the fall in Louisiana I highly recommend making a trip and loading a cooler with trout and redfish in late October.

The lake level is about 1.5 feet above full pool, water temps in the mid to upper 70’s and the corps is pulling water a few hours a day. I figure they may start a more frequent generation soon to draw the lake down. Hopefully my topwater bite will return soon but I may be looking for a new cheese pile next week.

Here’s a little video from the last few hours of my last Z Dog. Z Dog….you served me well my friend.

The Hawk and the Crows

I wrote this a while back and decided to put it on my blog. Try to be the hawk in life”.

The Hawk and the Crows…..I spend a lot of days on the lake now and as I’m going about my day I can’t help but see the occasional hawk flying around the lakeshore and nesting in nearby trees. We have a very large population of red tailed hawks around the lake and a lot of times the hawks will use the lake as their hunting grounds. I love to watch the hawks swoop down for a floating fish from time to time and often times I can see them in the trees working together to hunt squirrels and small ground type rodents. They have a shrill scream and can be heard from a long way away when they are hunting or communicating and it’s easy for me to get distracted from fishing to watch the hawks. Numerous times I’ve seen the big hawks flying over the lake and sometimes hoovering around the big hawks are one or two black crows. The black crows seem to harass the hawk at every turn and they are relentless almost crashing into the hawk as they dive and swoop over the hawk during flight. The crow does not hunt and is not a predator and certainly no match for the hawk in battle. A couple of my observations during these hawk vs crow encounters are number one, if you watch closely you’ll see that the crows never attack the hawk from the front, it’s always from the rear and it’s always followed by a quick get away. Another observation is that the hawk pays little to no attention to the crows. The hawk goes on about his business and very rarely acknowledges the harassing crows existence. Keep in mind that the hawk is a master hunter and can kill it’s prey in flight with a quick swoop of it’s talons but it chooses to ignore the smaller weaker crows with focus and an even temper. My guess is that the hawk doesn’t like the taste of crow or there would be a lot less crows and a lot of fat hawks around there but they pay the crows no mind while in flight. After a few minutes of relentless attack, the crow gets no reaction and usually looses interest, moving on with no blood loss or feathers shed. If there is a moral to my observation, it would be to try and be like the hawk as you go through your life. There will always be a crow or two nipping at your heals, trying to throw you off course but pay them no mind and keep going with the focus and even temper of the hawk. Be the hawk in life, not the crow.-Jim Farmer

Welcome to October!

Finally! It’s the month I’ve been waiting for all year. It’s by far my favorite month of the year and for good reason; baseball is winding down and it’s time for the play-offs, college and NFL football gets going, my annual fantasy team starts tanking and topwater on Lake Lanier is in full swing.

Right now I’m in a place where fishing has become hyper focused for me so there’s not much of a report this week. I have a tournament tomorrow and I know exactly what I have to do to catch a fish but as it turns out, it’s totally up to the fish as to whether it’s going to be a magnum or it’s goin g to be a 14 inch fish. They are all mixed together in the brush and trying to increase the odds of a good fish verses a dink is where the proper bait comes in. –

In the past I have related my experiences from fishing to my experiences while hunting. When site fishing you need to lead your target much like shooting a bird in flight but before this occurs you must be able to lure your target to within range. Duck hunters know what I’m talking about when I say that one of the most satisfying feelings in duck hunting is the moment the ducks fold their wings to drop down on your decoy spread because that’s the moment you realized they bought your call, hook, line and sinker. It’s the same with fishing over brush; the idea is to lure the fish out of the brush and to your bait so the better call you have, the more success you’re going to have. It’s like creating and ringing a dinner bell for the fish and they start moving around looking for dinner. Really, it’s not completely necessary to just target the brush as the fish may already be in a feeding mode and moving around nearby brush on a point or a hump. This time of year they tend to cruise around looking for bluebacks on or near the surface and the brush is where they make their home. It’s that simple…..

Bottom line is that these fish are looking for a meal on or near the surface and the better you can call these fish up, the more success you’re going to have with topwater. Whether it’s the Emerald Popper, a whopper plopper, a walking bait, a gunfish or a big OG, for the next few weeks it’s all topwater for me so there isn’t a whole bunch to report and the videos I made this week are all location sensitive so they won’t be published. Water temps are in the upper 70’s and the lake is around full pool. Corps is still moving water in the afternoons during high power usage. Here’s a few memorable pics from the week.