Creek Report 1-15-2021

This report is from yesterday which wasn’t much to talk about after having such success earlier in the week but I was only able to get out for a couple hours total. I did catch some fish but nothing worthy of my “big fish only” photo rules so in order to carry on the tradition of many humbled anglers before me I have included a picture of a beautiful sunset. I didn’t make it out till noon yesterday and I needed to be back at the house at 3 to pick up the grandson so that is my excuse for doing poorly. I didn’t have much time so I decided to try a few new places and a few new baits since time was short. I ran into my buddy Mike out in the creek and he was catching a few in a ditch. I assumed he was spooning but he told me he was using a Damiki rig in 40 feet of depth. I didn’t have one and Mike hooked me up with an extra he had so I put it in my pocket for later and another ditch I had in mind, my lucky ditch. I left Mike and his ditch and started hitting some rocky points and bluffs. I wanted to spend some time throwing a chatterbait on the sun soaked points to see if I could get a bigger fish to react to my chatterbait. My favorite and most successful chatterbait has always been the 1/4 ounce pearl Jackhammer with a pearl paddletail fluke. That chrome blade on the front of the jackhammer seals the deal. You want to always keep that blade as clean and reflective as possible. It’s the flash of that blade that often times causes the reaction on sunny days like yesterday. Turns out that wasn’t the deal yesterday and after about a solid hour of throwing the jackhammer I went to the shaky head and some rocky stuff I hadn’t checked in a while. I spend a little more than an hour with the shaky head on rocks and docks with just a couple of solid 2lbers to show for my efforts. After catching some big beefy 4+ bass earlier this week, every time I set the hook yesterday I just about ripped the lips off the little scrappy 2lbers thinking every fish is a big one now. I had a little less than an hour left and I remembered I had the Damiki rig in my pocket and I still hadn’t checked the lucky ditch yet so I eased up on the ditch after tying on the newly acquired Damiki head and little swimbait trailer. As I hit the ledge and dropped down into the ditch I could see a few fish on the ledge but I wanted to drop where the ditch bottomed out at 40-45 feet. When I hit the 40 foot mark I saw what I was looking for, a small group of suspended bass so I dropped the Damiki right through them and watched every one chase the Damiki down to the bottom. As soon as it hit I raised the rig up off the bottom slightly and then held it there. I could see the group of fish watching the rig on the graph. I started to pick up the rig and I felt a small tick. I lifed a little higher and realized there was a fish holding the Damiki. I jerked, the fish jerked and it was on. It was another feisty 2lber but hey, it was my first on the Damiki. I moved around the ditch a bit and found another group of fish to drop on, catching another smaller fish before calling it a day and heading to the house. Not sure what day I’ll be out again but I’m looking forward to playing around with the little Damiki rig in the ditches again next week. Have a safe weekend!

In search of the Meat Eaters

Early this morning I made an entry in my blog about the shaky head and some pointers on how and where to fish it. My trip out in the creek this morning was textbook what I had written about earlier. I didn’t get out to the creek till around 10am again so I missed the early morning stuff. This morning the sun was out and for a while the creek was flat and calm. Once I cleared the marina I made a quick dash to my lucky ditch that wasn’t very lucky this morning. There were no fish in the ditch at all so I went to a little stretch of deep docks that I frequent in the winter. I hit pay dirt and busted a beefy 4+ on some deep dark chunk rock right next to a deep dock. It’s the fish on the left pictured above. Just to give you an idea of the dock depth, it was 50 feet deep at the very end of the dock and the dock sat on top of some big dark chunk rock. I was using the same setup as yesterday with the senko style shaky head rig. I wrote a little more about the senko rig in my earlier blog post but I believe these bigger fish really like the looks of that fat body worm. Some of these bigger fish could be down in the ditch with all their buddies chowing down on 1-2 inch threadfin shad but they choose to hang out around deep dark rocky areas in ambush mode or they go cruising the shallow sunny secondary points in search of the bigger ticket meals like crawfish, bream and gizzard shad. I call these fish the “meat eaters”. After catching the big girl next to the dock I started throwing the worm on sunny secondary points. I tried to keep the boat out in 25-30ft of water on the point and throw the worm up as shallow as possible. The fish I caught on the points today were in 10-15 feet of water including the one pictured above on the right. Another solid 4lber. The key to my fish today was fishing the worm very slow. I caught a few fish this morning while dead sticking the worm but the common theme with all of my fish this morning was a very slow presentation. It’s hard for a power fisherman to slow it down to the speed of a three toed sloth but it’s the best speed for success right now. The two fish below were caught on back to back casts on the same secondary point in the creek. A good example of why throwing right back into the area of where you just caught a fish pays off.

Since my bum shoulder is only good for a few hours of fishing I spent the rest of the time just hitting sunny secondary points and working my way back to the house. I was back in the house by 2 pm and all totaled I had caught 7 fish, all of which were keepers. The water temps were around 47-48 at 10am and the wind was minimal and out of the west.

My thoughts on the winter shaky head pattern

For the past few winters I’ve spent more and more time throwing the shaky head worm rather than fishing the deep stuff. The more time that passes the more I’m convinced that there is a population of larger fish that cruise the shallows all winter in search of bigger ticket meals such as crawfish, bream and larger gizzard shad rather than the millions of threadfin shad and blueback herring that are stacked in the deep ditches. I have yet to figure out why these bigger fish would want to leave the “sure thing” but if they are like me, maybe they just get bored with the same old seafood diet and go searching for the meat and potatoes. I’ve found that these bigger fish cruising the shallows generally hark up a array of regurgitated chow from crawfish pieces to decomposed bream. I can tell they are in the shallows for bigger meals judging from what they’ve been eating. Since I’ve established the pattern of bigger fish cruising the shallows in the winter, it’s just a matter of finding and catching them.

Years ago I was all about the crankbait all winter. My thought has always been that the fish, like me, enjoy the warmth of the winter sun and I would always gravitate towards the sunny rocky shorelines with my crankbait. I would tie on my crankbait, beat the banks with reckless abandonment and usually run across a few fish by days end. That was my strategy back in my cranking days but for the past few years I’ve decided to slow it down and learn more finesse with less power. Probably the most frequently asked question I get is “what worm do you use“. That seems to be the key to success with the shaky head but you need to be able to define success. My definition of success with the shaky head may differ from yours. I think back to a few years ago when I was fishing as a boater in a BFL tournament on Lanier. I had been on a great crankbait bite and spent most of the day cranking with little to show for it. With a little less than an hour left till weigh in my back seater tied on a little green pumpkin finesse worm on a little screw lock ball head and put 5 keepers in the boat to cash a check. I didn’t make the switch quick enough and I didn’t cash a check. On another occasion I was on a guided trip and my guest absolutely smoked them on the same little setup of a green pumpkin finesse worm on a ball head. One thing to note was that most of the fish were smaller keepers in both instances but nonetheless it was fish and it was success for those cases.

For me, success has a different definition now. Primarily because I live on the lake and I can fish several days a week but for the past few years I’ve grown tired of numbers in favor of quality. With the shaky head it’s hard to rule out quantity at times because it’s just a good bait for Lanier. It’s bailed thousands of tournament anglers out of a bad day and helped cash a lot of checks I promise you. Lake Lanier offers a lot of rocky shoreline plus shoreline structure such as docks and those two areas are perfect for the shaky head tactic. With my knowledge of where the bigger fish may be in the winter it was just a matter of the right offering. A few years back I went through my jig phase and enjoyed the thump of a big ole spot pounding my jig. That will get your heart racing but I wanted to slow it down to light tackle finesse with big fish in mind. That’s when I found the 5 inch senko type baits on a shaky head. The 5 inch stick baits are fat, beefy and heavy. They sink quick and the smaller fish tend to leave it alone. The 5 inch bait on a 1/4 ounce ball shaky head out performed all the other worms I’ve used including the good ole 6 inch trick worm for big fish just about every time. Another thing I like about the senko type rig is that I can throwing it a mile, control it and I can feel everything with my light tackle spinning gear.

Speaking of gear, a lot of times in the winter months with the shaky head the bite can be subtle, For that reason I switch my gear to a more visible line such as hi-vis braid with a flouro leader. I want to be able to see my line at all times so I usually tie on about 30 feet of 7-8lb good fluorocarbon to a load of 12lb green flouro braid. I use a modified Alberto knot, appropriately named the “Jimberto” knot for the flouro to braid and I like a good Shimano spinning reel such as the 250 Ci4. I’m using a 7′ 6″ MH rod with a lot of backbone so I can make a good hook set on these bigger fish and that boney mouth.

Location is a big part of the process and probably the second most asked question I get. In the creek, it’s just a matter of me going back to places I’ve caught big fish in the past. Some of my favorites are the deep dark rocky bluffs. Those deep dark areas are a place that big bass like to wait in the shadows and ambush a unsuspecting meal. Probably the absolute best area is a dark rocky bluff very near a dock and very very near deep water. There are strings of docks in the creek as well as all over the lake that offer this setting. My second favorite area is secondary points in the creek. These points will load up with bigger fish as we get closer to the spawn. I’ve found that the bigger fish spawn the earliest in the creek so usually they are in a post spawn feeding mode and staged up on points going back to spawning areas as early as late Jan. On a sunny day these staging areas are a magnet to bigger bass as well as foraging food moving around the warmer water. As the fish warms in these sun soaked areas, there color gets richer and their metabolism speeds up a bite. The fish are much more aggressive and much stronger than the cold slow fish in a ditch and that’s why I like to target them. I’ve gotten to the point of accepting less bites for better quality so if you ask me how I catch the bigger fish in the winter, there’s a few tips that may help this winter.

1-12-2021 Creek Report: Cold and Windy

It’s been a while since I was out in the creek in my boat so I needed to get familiar with the creek again today. I’m using my brace for my bum shoulder and mainly using the low impact baits like the shaky head so I don’t damage the shoulder further. I didn’t leave the dock till after 10am and came back shortly after lunch. The water temps are 48-49 right now, water levels are just below full pool and today it was cloudy with the wind out of the NW. My first stop was just up the creek from the house and I pounded a few docks with the shaky head. Not much was going on in the back so I headed out into the creek and straight to a ditch that I had been getting some nice fish out of. Nothing was happening in the ditch so I ran another stretch of 8-10 docks near the ditch with nothing to show for it. After that I went to the secondary points and caught my first big fish of 2021. It was a nice 4+lber and I caught her on a 1/4 ounce shaky head with a 5 inch Yamamoto senko worm. This was the fish below.

After that fish I concentrated on the points in the creek but I couldn’t scrape up too much more. I lost another larger fish next to the boat when I was trying to get fancy and lip it like the pros and I also caught my first largemouth of 2021 pictured below. The largemouth was hanging out on some rip rap in less than 5 feet of water, also with the stick bait shaky head combo.

I headed back to the house around 2pm after checking a few more docks back by the house. I’m going to try and get back out for a while tomorrow and expand my search so will see what that brings.

2020 to 2021 on the Sidelines

There just wasn’t much fun for me during this New Years holiday season. First, I came down with some kind of sinus/bronchitis funk before New Years eve and secondly I’ve been suffering through another torn rotator cuff. For me, making the transition from 2020 to 2021 is very similar to making the transition from 2010-2011 and 2016 -2017. Those were the New Years transitions that I had a torn rotator cuff and it looks like I’m going to need another repair on an already repaired right shoulder soon. I’m pretty sure I know how I did the damage and that was from making the transition to the Ultrex trolling motor from the Fortrex. I know it sounds weird but I noticed that the Ultrex was just a bit heavier and unfortunately I generally use my right arm to deploy and retract the trolling motor. The reason I use my right arm is because I’m left handed and I usually have my rod in my left hand so it’s out of force of habit. A few weeks back I started experiencing some minor separations in my right repaired shoulder and it just went down hill from there. It’s finally gotten to the point of burning pain anytime my arm isn’t supported so it’s just about impossible as well as very uncomfortable to fish right now. I’m in the process of getting a MRI and finding a Ortho surgeon that takes my insurance so going forward, I have a shoulder brace and I may try and fish a little here and there if possible.

With all that being said, my buddy Mike took me out for a couple hours this week and we were able to catch a few fish and I got my first few bass for 2021. The first was a feisty 2lber on a shaky head in a 40 feet deep ditch and the second was a small deep ditch bass on a spoon. We caught a few more on the jig and a little swimbait and most of our fish were deep fish this week. Hopefully I can get back out on the lake next week with my shoulder brace and I can find a few more fish. This is the time of year it can be tough, slow and cold but there are also opportunities for some very big fish and hopefully I can find some soon.

Five Years in Fightertown

“Blood was streaming through Dave’s hands that covered his face as one of the AME’s brought him through the hanger and back to the shop. I was coming from the shop, on my way to the flightline to help with the launch when I saw Dave’s slumped over body and the bloody mess all over the front of Dave’s clean pressed dungarees. I knew it was bad right away from the amount of blood lose so I peeled off my t-shirt to help wipe away the blood and see if we needed an ambulance or just a car ride for Dave to medical to get him sewn up. We got Dave to the shop after I shoved my t-shirt in his face to capture some of the blood that was dripping all over our nice clean shop floor and I went to work to find out what happened and access the damage to Dave’s face.  Dave was our supervisor and rarely went out to the flightline. That was for his own safety because he was old and wore coke bottle glasses. Not a good mix for working around a moving aircraft that will cripple or kill you in a split second if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seems ole Dave had been told to get off his butt and get out to the flightline to deliver a part that the shop needed during a launch. Dave was able to get the part needed but when he went out to the flightline to deliver the part he walked directly into a lower antenna blade protruding from the belly of the Tomcat. That’s why we didn’t let Dave get around aircraft. You see, in the Navy every squadron rule was written in blood and we all knew to abide by those rules but every once in a while some goofball in charge would forget about our rules and try to be a hero so someone with a nice clean uniform ends up being carted back to the hanger with a chopped off face. Once I got Dave calmed down and cleared the blood that kept streaming down I realized that the cut was between his eyes and about a quarter inch in size. Seems old Dave must have been hoped up on blood thinners and with his heart racing it looked much worse than it really was and only required a few stitches to get old Dave back to the shop and doing what he did best, paperwork.”

The summer patterns are here! 6/13

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I got out on the lake a few times this week and it’s been great. I don’t do weekends this time of year but I do like to throw out a report for the folks that can’t make it out during the week and are the true weekend warriors this time of year. I was told years ago by a very wise fisherman that when the moon and the sun are in the sky at the same time the fish bite the best. I’m convinced that that is just about always the case judging from my experiences over the years and it held true this week. The lake has set up for a 3 pattern bite right now and when you can catch them on 3 different patterns it really really makes summer fishing fun.

Here’s the scenario: You find humps or points in the creek or out on the main lake that have brush in 20-30 feet of water. The reason for those depths is that the thermocline is setting up and it tops out at about 20 feet and runs down a good 30 feet this time of year. The bass will find brush and structure at that depth and make it their summer home. On some days the bass will range out in search of schools of blueback herring that drift into their area and some days they will stay tight to the structure. If you have them marked on your gps you stay off of the brushpile by about a casting distance length away and make a few casts with a topwater bait. Sometimes there is what I like to call a “Bull Bass” cruising above the brush and he’s guarding the area and looking for something to eat. The big bull usually eats first and then the rest will follow. Generally he will strike out at any bait on the first cast. My favorite summer topwater baits are the Emerald Popper or a walking bait like a translucent KVD Sexy Dawg walking bait. That’s what I used to get the bull. I’ll make 5-10 cast with that while circling the structure and making casts from different angles. One thing that is very important this time of year is putting your catch in the live well to extend the bite. Make sure your livewell has nice cool water and some kind of O2 system. You’re only going to keep them there for a short period of time to extend the bite but you release them right before leaving the area. The reason for this is that sometimes a released fish will kill the bite. It’s like these bass have pheromones’ that alarm the other fish much like a bee that stings you, releasing a pheromone that alerts the other bees to sting you. After I make my topwater cast I keep my topwater bait handy in case the fish start coming to the surface to feed. You’ll want that topwater handy to make a quick cast at the surfacing fish. Next is the spybait. I’ll generally move in just a bite closer to the brush and start making casts with my spybait. On the spybait option, pick your favorite color and size or cycle through colors and sizes until you find one that works. There are many color patterns and a few sizes to choose from. I use a 5-10 second count down on my spybait and start a slow steady retrieve. Try different speeds until you hit the sweet spot with the spybait speed. If you catch a fish at a certain speed try and mimic that speed again. Once you find the right speed and start catching fish after a while that speed will become natural for you. I do the same thing as I did the topwater, I’ll circle the area making casts around and across the brush. The spybait is small and the ideal gear for this pattern is 6lb fluorocarbon ties on a good reel with the drag set properly for 6lb test and a Medium fast action rod about 7′ in length. If the spybait is working I’ll keep making cast until I feel like that pattern is slowing down. This is when I ease up on the brush and start the drop shot pattern. If you’ve never used the drop shot you are really missing out this time of year. My suggestion is that you do some research on the drop shot pattern and start practicing or book a trip with LJ Harmon from Lanier Baits. I hoover over my front graph waiting for fish to show up on the graph. When they do I’ll drop my bait down and watch it on the graph. If your electronics are tuned correctly and you drop around your transducer you can watch your bait go down in real time and you can watch the fish react to your bait. This is sometimes called video fishing and it is a blast.

I strongly suggest that you do research on these patterns and get out there putting them to use. It took me a while to learn these summer techniques but when you learn them you can go out on the lake during the summer and just about always catch fish on one or all of these patterns. Here’s a few pictures from the last few days on the lake and I also included a link to my latest video on spybait tactic and tips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcNSKTXVBVE

Politics and the Buzz Fink Traveling Hypnotist Show

I have finally gotten to the age where politics is something I pay closer attention to. I’m not sure why but maybe it’s because so many people in our circle of friends are into politics or maybe it’s because we are in an election year, nonetheless I can’t spend a day without politics being shoved in my face in some shape or form. When I think about politics and the different beliefs people have concerning politics I think about Yuma, Arizona in the mid 80’s and a large bar with a big dance floor and a billboard out front that said “The Buzz Fink Hypnotist Show” tonight only! Yea buddy, I expected a night of drinking, dancing and shenanigans with about a dozen or so of my closest Navy buddies while we were in Yuma for a few weeks playing with the Marine Corps and as a bonus we were all going to be treated to a hypnotist show. How about that! I had never been to anything like that in the past but a $20 cover charge paid for old Buzz Finks night in town and my entertainment. I’m going to leave out a few names here because I’m friends with a shipmate that was hypnotized by Mr. Fink and our friend provided us with some much needed entertainment after a long week of work. Let’s just call him “Bill” for the sake of anonymity and questions that could arise if I used his real name. I don’t have any solid proof of this happening other than my word and maybe a few witnesses willing to talk as cameras were not allowed during the show and taking photographs in a nightclub in the 80’s was a little different than it is today. It didn’t happen a lot.
We arrived at the club a little early and as we were paying the cover charge the doorman asked if any of us were interested in being in the show. I thought that was kind of odd but one of the guys in our group piped up and volunteered for the show. His name was Bill and he was no different than the rest of us, a beer drinking Navy guy looking for a good time and a place to hang out for the evening. We made our way in and found a few tables to pull together for all of us. I don’t recall the name of the bar but they had a few pool tables in a different area of the club so I wandered into the billiard area to see if anyone was a decent player that I could hustle for a beer or a few dollars while waiting on the show to start. One thing that was pretty cool about hustling pool while at the club was that I usually had a few friends within shouting distance if I needed backup but 99% of the time everything was fine. I remembered that the 9 foot tables in the billiard area were all covered in black felt vs the typical green felt which took me some getting used to. I shot pool with some of the locals and a few Navy friends before we went back into the dance floor area for the show. When we all sat down for the show to began the lights dimmed and there were about 25 chairs lined up on the dance floor facing the opposite direction as the tables and where we were located. On the wall in the direction the line of chairs were facing was a large screen tv mounted on the wall which really wasn’t very big for the size of tv’s in the late 80’s. The only thing playing on the tv was a round black and white rotating swirl. As the show began Buzz Fink introduced himself and rattled off some credentials before calling all of his volunteers to the dance floor to be seated. Our buddy Bill from our group made his way to the floor and his seat facing the swirling tv screen. We were all laughing at the fact that Bill was going to be hypnotized right before our very eyes. Old Buzz started talking fast and telling the group of volunteers that they were going to relax and let all of their thoughts fade away clearing your mind of every distraction. Buzz continued to relax the group and then said that the group was getting very tired and sleepy. Very relaxed and very sleepy..very sleepy now as you doze off to sleep. At that point most of the group had fallen into some kind of deep sleep with heads down and eyes closed. Not everyone was hypnotized though. There were a few that were wide awake and excused themselves from the group as Buzz had instructed them. This was the small group that didn’t get hypnotized. Out of 25 people, probably 5 got up and returned to their seat in the audience. At that point Buzz had the group that was hypnotized do all sorts of crazy things. They were acting like farm animals, making funny sounds and sitting on each others laps. Our buddy Bill was the highlight of the show as Buzz had Bill doing all kinds of stuff, from acting like a chicken to acting like a male stripper. It was very very entertaining to say the least. Bill was the topic of discussion for weeks to come in the squadron. It was very interesting to see these individuals under complete control of ole Buzz. I asked Bill what he remembered after it was over and he said it was like being in a dream where everything was kind of hazy and cloudy and he didn’t remember a lot about what he had done.

When I see politics on tv and I think of our differences in opinions when it comes to politics and our beliefs, I think of ole Buzz and the show. It’s like this; some folks believe whole heartedly that their political beliefs are righteous and the true path for our nation while others see it completely differently to the point of violence and aggression. They have been conditioned to believe this by what they see and hear in the media. The media is able to hit those buttons by continuous disinformation or skewed information to form your political opinions. I have friends that have completely different views from me and my beliefs and sometimes I wonder how they could possibly be in favor of something I don’t believe in but just like in the hypnotist show they were conditioned into their beliefs. It’s not like I blame them, I’m just as guilty at times because I have been conditioned by my media. Basically, you don’t need a swirling screen on a tv to put into some kind of trance so you can form a solid political opinion, you just need to turn on a news outlet and continue to watch that one news outlet.

Now, there’s one thing old Buzz told us folks in the audience when the show started, he said that if you didn’t want to be hypnotized like the folks in the chairs, look away from the tv screen….and that has been my choice. I rely on my faith to guide me through the tough times and I don’t get caught up in all the shenanigans of politics on that swirling tv screen.

Is LeBron the greatest athlete ever?

Earlier this week while watching ESPN I heard Steven A make the comment that LeBron was the “greatest athlete ever” and it made me wonder if he actually was? I’ve followed sports for the last 50+ years and I’ve seen a few athletes in my day. Having grown up with a weekly Sports Illustrated magazine at my disposal and parents who allowed me to watch sports every chance I got on our television. I admired the level in which professional athletes played their sport and aspired to be just like them.

Here’s my take on it:
First off, we can probably cancel out the “Greatest of all time” label because I would consider the likes of Jim Thorpe or Babe Didrikson to be closer to the “greatest athlete of all time” if we’re talking about all around athletes but I’ll consider all of the modern day greats that I can remember that would compare to the greatest of modern day times in my opinion. The first name that popped into my head as the greatest athlete of my time would have to be Mike Tyson. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a Mike Tyson fight having been a big fan of boxing since the days of watching Mohamed Ali and Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson pound for pound was a machine. His body mechanics and overall brut force was unmatched. I can remember watching the fear in his opponents eyes just before the bell would sound. Some of Tyson’s opponents were just looking for a soft place to land on the mat and hoped the brain damage from the upcoming blows from Tyson wouldn’t be permanent. That was Tyson and he was the best all around fighter I’ve ever seen. Does that make him the greatest Athlete? Tyson could probably play basketball no better than LeBron could box so who knows on that one. Believe it or not I could make a good argument that Bruce Jenner was the greatest athlete of all time if were talking about multiple sports. I can remember watching the rise and fall of Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan, Deon Sanders and a couple of other athletes I would classify as great athletes. How about Pete Rose? I watched him throughout his whole career and I can promise you there isn’t a ball player today that plays with the tenacity that Pete Rose played with. He legged out every hit and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with a few opponents. I believe it was Dave Winfield that was drafted by 3 separate professional sports teams if my memory serves me correctly so in terms of multi-talented athletes LeBron may not compare to other athletes of the past.
Don’t get me wrong here, I see Steven A’s point. I’ve been a big fan of basketball for years and spent plenty of winters growing up on Sunday afternoon watching Wilt the Stilt, Larry Bird, Kareem and his sky hook. Heck, I think Bill Laimbeer could actually be in the running for greatest ever for enduring some of the beatings he took back in the day, most warranted but nonetheless. Seriously though, could LeBron be the best athlete ever? I’ll give him this, he’s probably the strongest athlete out there and LeBron is able to impose his will like no other player. I attended several NBA games here in Atlanta during our daughters High School days and her short lived basketball interest during high school. Often times we had very nice seats just behind the visiting teams bench and sometimes we got to interact with a few of the players. During that time I was able to get a close up view of a lot of NBA players and I can say that of all the players I got to watch, Lebron was definitely the most intimidating. When he drives to the rim you might as well step aside because if you don’t he’s going to make you look stupid.

There’s no doubt in my mind that LeBron is the greatest basketball player of all time but from my 50 plus years of sports spectating, unless Lebron picks up a golf club or a baseball bat and impresses me he got a ways to go to be the greatest athlete of all time. What’s your take on the greatest athlete of all time?

Starting off 2020 with a bang!

Starting off 2020 with a bang!

 

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It’s a little more than a week into January and I feel like the past holidays are ancient history. I was on my way to the “Jim”inar a week ago this morning and getting ready for a big day. We had a blast last weekend. BASS elite series pro and Enigma Fishing owner Jesse Tacoronte, his brother-in-law Shane P plus BASS elite series pro Shane Lineberger were all guests for the weekend at Cast Away Cove. We had a blast in the man cave and did a lot of chatting about fishing and the upcoming BASS trail while watching MLF on the big screen…LOL It was pretty cool to have that much talent all together in the man cave for a weekend. We did the Jiminar on Saturday which was a raving success with over 170 in attendance. I did a 45 minute presentation and worked in the Enigma Fishing booth for the rest of the day. Sunday morning we all got up and had a little Cracker Barrel before spending a few hours on the lake. Jesse’s brother-in-law Shane had never caught a spotted bass so Jesse wanted him to ride with me and see if we could find some spots. It was windy and very cold on the backside of a strong cold front so that kinda limited our options for success. I wanted Shane to get a good bass up on the rocky points but I also knew that we could catch our fill of spoon fish in a ditch I had staked out earlier in the week that was loaded with 1-3lb fish. We wound up picking on the spoon fish before calling it a day and heading back to the house. Between Shane and I we caught 12-13 spots on the spoon and Shane got his first spotted bass as well as 6 more in addition to his first. His first spotted bas is pictured below. Jesse was heading up to Chickamauga and Shane was catching a flight out and needed to get to the airport so we could only spend a few hours fishing. All in all it was a very fun weekend and now it’s back to fishing.
I got out early in the week spending a few hours looking for that crankbait bite and found that it wasn’t working for me so this week I just kinda messed around with the shakey head and crawling a deep small swimbait. It has been pretty windy this week so I’ve been using a heavier Senko type worm with a 1/4 ounce head to get the bait down in the wind. The worm color has been a green pumpkin type worm with some type of flake. I prefer red or blue. I’ve also been using a Keitech 3.3 swimbait in a Dobyns 1/4 jig head on the points early. I’m swimming this bait at a steady pace early for suspended fish and then slowing it way down and dragging it on the bottom as the sun get’s up. You can also do this in the backs of pockets early swimming or dragging an underspin with a fluke or fluke jr.
Not much more to report this week. I did catch a few more than usual around docks this week but they were usually lacking in size. Yesterday I mainly fished rocks and docks but never found the big ones, just a bunch of smaller fish. The last picture was the biggest from the 7-8 I caught yesterday.

The water temps are around 51 to 53 depending on where you are and the lake level is a little more than a foot below full pool but the expected rains coming this evening could bump that up to close to full pool by late next week.
One other thing that we did that was fun was doing my first podcast. It was hosted by “Fish North Georgia” and lasted and hour and 41 minutes. It’s just a little more of a look at my personal life, military travels and how that relates to my fishing addiction. I’ve included a YouTube link to the podcast below as well as some pictures from the last weeks fishing. Take a look at the Fish North Georgia YouTube page and hit that “subscribe” button for these guys as they have some great upcoming videos and podcasts in the near future planned.

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