Patience! Maybe it was something that was taught to me on our little farm on the outskirts of my hometown when I was very young. Maybe patience was born during an evening of fishing on a pond dam back in 66-67 or was it the rocky shore of Grand Lake camping in the 60’s. Maybe it was out at our little river cabin in 70-72 where I learned to set trotlines and limblines. Maybe it was with our Britney dogs on point, waiting for that covey of quail to burst from the ground in a thunderous explosion and just maybe it was staring out across the deep blue pacific from the open doors of the aircraft carrier’s hangar bay, just waiting to come back home.
This week was all about patience and it wasn’t much different than last week in terms of what I did for my bites. I started out on Monday swearing that I was going to spend some time in the ditches but after a couple of hours of driving and looking, followed by casting and dropping I had two pale 2lbers and one 3lber, all on a Cast Co. Prodigy swimbait. Don’t get me wrong here I enjoy a good ditch bite, but I just couldn’t hang with it, and I have decided to let Jeff Nail give me a refresher in ditch fishing because my confidence is lacking. Hopefully next week Jeff and I can get it straightened out.
I’m like a dog rolling on a deer carcass right now when it comes to the shaky head on the rocks. I really can’t help myself and if it wasn’t for my gift of patience, I’d probably be doing something else; but because of that patience I sit with my back to the cold wind with my spot lock on, fan casting and dragging the worm down the hill. If you have been diagnosed with ADD or some other disorder that makes it hard for you to watch paint dry, this isn’t a pattern for you, but if you like the occasional dull thump of a fish sucking in that worm, I think it’s worth it.
The screen shot below explains my position on the secondary points in the creek pockets. If you can imagine that underwater rocky area where I’m sitting with the point facing the west in full sun and the wind blowing right into it; that’s my target area right now. I took this picture because that’s exactly where the fish pictured above came from. I was making casts with the shaky head worm up onto the shallow rocks and the fish was in less than 10 feet of water. Basically, I’m just shopping rocky areas in the sun and looking for rocky outcroppings, ideally, with sun and wind on them. There are places like this all over the creeks on our lake and the options are endless using this pattern alone. The bites aren’t usually fast and furious but moving around and finding the little areas that produce fish are probably going to produce fish again and maybe again day after day. This, meaning that most of the places I caught fish this week provided me fish just about every day I fished it. One of the biggest problems with this pattern, this week was the size. I usually expect the fish to be over 3lbs when I catch them using this pattern but this week, I had a lot of frustration due to the lack of larger fish. The 4’s and 5’s just didn’t turn out this week like I expected. Sometimes it’s like that during the winter running this pattern but soon mother nature takes over and the larger females will find their way to the rocks. Fan casting is the deal on the rocky points for me right now. Whether there is wind or no wind, sun or clouds, just spend a few minutes fan casting the point and move on, win or lose. The fish that are on the rocky points aren’t there for sightseeing or to visit the local sunken lounge chair, they are there to eat and they aren’t really picky eaters. Definitely a crankbait, swimbait, underspin, a-rig or chatterbait could work on these fish but I like dragging the worm down the hill or ledge.
If you look at the background in some of the pictures below, some were cloudy and some were sunny backgrounds. I think there was more activity on the rocks during the sunny/windy post front days at the latter part of this week but there were fish cruising the points in the afternoons whether the sun was out or not. Some of the points I checked in the mornings were barren of fish but a return in the afternoon produced fish. If you’re looking for an addition to the ditch bite right now this pattern is a definite option.
Right now, the lake level is falling again after a heavy generation from the corps yesterday and the level is about a foot below full pool. Water temps are around 50 in the creek and there is still a good stain in the back of our creek. Here’s a few pictures from my week. I will say that there were quite a few smaller fish up on the rocks that didn’t make the picture cut this week.
Jim, thanks again for your helpful inspiring reports. These reports cause me to give it another try even when it’s cold. You are a catching machine. Your bud Mic. I have a deep V-16 Tracker with a gray bimini top. I’m usually in the NE and HW creeks. One of these days I hope to see you on the water.
Thanks. Looks like your knee is doing pretty good. Looking at that crayfish and your depth I’ll be dragging a green and orange trd some Friday morning.