Our favorite bunch of Razorbacks from Fayetteville, Arkansas fished with us this week for their annual Bass O’ Rama. It sure was good to see Doc and Creed Holladay, Bill Whitfield, Josh Maier, Bobby Whitfield, and Steve Lindley. The arrival of this crew always kicks off our smallmouth season. Dave Brown, Josh Teigen, and I teamed up for our first dedicated bass trip of the year, and it panned out as I should’ve expected. Inconsistent weather patterns over the past two weeks have made it difficult for our lakes to warm up, and pre-spawn smallies need water in the mid 50’s to really get ripping. After a relatively warm weekend we started the trip on Tuesday with flat calm water, cloudy skies, and water temps in the high 40’s. Not exactly a combination I like at this time of year. Especially flat calm water! A little wind usually helps concentrate warm water which will activate pre spawn smallies. Doc and Creed were in my boat, and it was a struggle throughout the day to find willing biters. We were able to find a few including a 20″ tank landed by Doc in 5′ – 10′ of water. All of our fish came on jerk baits, but we had to really experiment with size and color to get the right combination dialed in. Dave and Josh had the same experience as their report was almost identical.
Wednesday brought some wind, and I was confident we’d have a change of fortune. The morning was slow to get going, but by the end of the day we had a bunch of happy fisherman. Northwest winds got things moving, and we were all able to locate concentrations of fish in 4′ to 6′ of water. Jerkbaits and tubes were the recipe we needed as all three boats landed lots of fish throughout the day with the largest a 21″ slob landed by Bobby Whitfield in Dave’s boat. That’s a cranker!!! Water temps ranged from 48 to 51 degrees, and we sent the boys back south with some smiles on their faces. Gotta love those guys, even if they stole our football coach. Can’t wait til next year fellas!!!
Friday was spent with the gang from Road Weary Productions. After my experience on Thursday, I felt confident we could lay down some great jerkbait footage. That’s what you get for thinking!!! Of course… When cameras are in the boat, fish don’t seem to read the script. We had impossible conditions with high skies and flat winds. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaning! Just sayin… In any event, we were able to work it out and got some great shots of pre spawn smallies. After testing out the jerkbait bite for awhile without success, we had to make a drastic change. Football jigs with plastics in 4′ – 6′ were the answer, and we boated several nice fish up to 19″ that will hopefully be television stars someday. It was a classic case of fine tuning the presentation and using your eyes instead of your electronics to dial in on what the fish would react to. By the end of the day, we had found surface temps up to 56 degrees. If this keeps up, you’ll see fish nesting up in a hurry. A big thanks goes out to Greg Miller, Jake Miller, Nolan Swinghamer, and Nate Winters for grinding through a hard day. We worked it out men. Nice job!!! Oh… I should also mention that there’s a nasty rumor going around that someone may have taken an unexpected plunge into the lake today. Be easy on me fellas… You’re the best!
Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone. We’ll keep you posted!!!