Here They Come!

It’s like someone flipped a switch this week. On Monday I kept thinking that the creek was beat up from the extended tournament weekend, but I was wrong. It was a new day, plus a new week and the spotted bass refused to disappoint. Over the weekend I ran a tackle history trend analysis for this time of year, and it seems that in the past I have had pretty good luck throwing a little swimbait around various places and catching some nice fish. I’ve had good luck in the past using other methods, but something told me that casting the little Damiki head with a little 2.8 Keitech would get some bites on the wind-blown points so as soon as I cleared the marina area, I hit my first point with the little Damiki rig. These morning fish have been suspended so I cast the little swimbait across the point and gave it a 5 count before starting the slow retrieve. The retrieve isn’t that much different than the speed of the retrieve using the little spybaits in the summertime. Same deal with the swimbait in the spring, casting, counting down and followed by a slow retrieve. It’s slow but when these aggressive bass hit that little swimbait, it’s a great feeling and it didn’t take long till I felt that old familiar feeling again when a nice 3lber hammered the little Damiki on my light tackle. I fought the fish all the way back to the boat and the fish shook free boat side, but I got a good look at the fish before it departed. That was the only interest I had in the Damiki around that point, so I moved on to the next long point in the creek and on my first cast I hooked another good fish, but I managed to boat this one, another nice 3lb fish. As I brought the fish in, I looked down at the graph and it was like a jailbreak underneath me. I had brought in the whole school along with the caught fish, so I quickly released the caught fish and dropped the Damiki straight down into the group of fish that had gathered under the boat, immediately catching another fish before the little Damiki could reach the bottom.

At that point I backed off the area and started fan casting the point to pick off any stragglers from the scattered school of bass. This was my biggest before leaving the area.

The bite was hit and miss for the next few stops before I hit the jackpot with the little Damiki when I gave it a long cast up onto a shallow point and started my retrieve. It wasn’t long before I felt a little tick on my line and when I turned on the fish, the fish turned on me. The fish almost pulled the rod out of my hand when he took off with the swimbait and it turned out to be my biggest of the day.

You can see in the video below that the first fish I hooked just about jerked the rod out of my hands and turned out to be the fish pictured above but the camera cut off just after I hooked him.

After a few more fish on Monday, I called it a day feeling good about the little Damiki bite only to have it hit the brakes for me on Tuesday. I was kinda screwed up for a while because the little Damiki pattern was nowhere to be found so I started casting the a-rig and chatterbait on the windy points for a few bites here and there. I didn’t feel real comfortable about the moving bait bite by the end of the day Tuesday so my plan was to go back to finesse on the bank for the stagers on Wednesday. Here’s a couple nice fish caught on windy points with the chatterbait on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I spent about an hour on the Damiki stuff but then quickly shifted to the finesse style shaky head on rocks and docks. It’s that time of year where the bass are coming out of their winter slumber and moving to the shallower staging areas before a push to spawn. Beating the right stretch of bank right now will net some nice fish. Bigger fish are coming out of the deeper water and cruising the secondary points in search of big-ticket meals and when they are up on the rocks, they are there for one reason and that is to eat. By noon on Wednesday, I was searching my staging area milk run in a few of our creeks on the south end and I found some very nice fish to make a pretty good sack by 4pm hitting rocks and docks with the shaky head.

At the same time I was fishing Wednesday, I was also starving because of my upcoming colonoscopy on Thursday and the requirement to starve for 24 hours before the procedure. It was a good way to take my mind off food for a while and I had a lot of fun on Wednesday with the afternoon shaky head pattern. Here’s a video from my day on Wednesday.

After my procedure on Thursday, I took it easy but managed to take Lisa for a little boat ride in the evening and she caught her first official shaky head fish for 2022.

Yesterday, Friday, I was back out mid-morning and back on the finesse bite again. It took a little while for the fish to warm up and start moving around but by noon I was catching fish again. I spent yesterday afternoon catching fish on both rocks and docks in all kinds of random areas. The fish are very hungry and very forgiving right now when it comes to tackle to use. This week it was the little 1/4 ounce Lanier Baits Damiki head with a 2.8 Keitech swimbait as well as a 1/2 ounce chatterbait. I also caught some fish on my little 1.5 shad crank pictured below.

The little 1.5 shad crank will be a must as we approach the shad spawn a little later this spring and I’m sure Lanier Baits will have a few in the upcoming weeks.

I ended yesterday on a bad note as my last fish was lost boatside and it was to be my biggest of the day, but the fish outsmarted me, jumping several times and dislodging my shaky head hook with every jump. She finally shook it at the side of the boat and swam away. The fish pictured below was my biggest yesterday and came from the end of a dock. Right now, the lake is just above full pool, and the water temps are approaching the mid 50’s. The fish are on the move and moving up into the shallow areas and with this beautiful weather it’s time to enjoy the lake and our resources.

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