Mixed Wednesday

Eric, Adam and I head out after work today looking to just hit the lake. Work has been keeping most of us busy the last few weeks and off the water for the most part, so an afternoon we all had free was all we need to make a quick trip over to our local lake Clinton Res. The plan today was to work over the crappie for a few hours until the evening wiper bite started.

We started the day driving around using our electronics to find brush piles that held fish. This time of year the best bite for crappie seems to come on a minnow hanging in or around a brush pile in 12 to 22 ft of water. Today was no different! We spent 3 hours using one rod each pulling crappie out of brush at  various stops along the lake.

Last Crappie Before Wiper Time

Last Crappie Before Wiper Time

Nice double

Nice double

 

After some solid wiper action we headed over to one of our favorite wiper spots to see if they where awake. With the overall lack of wind we where a little worried the wipers would be scatter and not on their usual spots chasing chad. After only being in our spot about 10 minutes a huge exposing of fish happened about 200 yards a way. We quickly motored over to surfacing fish and started casting to them. The next hour produced some the crazies top water action for wipers I have seen. Casting sassy shad to surfacing fish produced hard fighting strikes over and over for the next 45 minutes. After the surfacing action died, the fish where still chasing shad but it was at the bottom now, so as we saw the fish on our depth finder we would just let our baits drop to the bottom and bounce it along producing another 15 minutes of hard fighting fish.

Nice Average Wiper

Nice Average Wiper

The Floating Kiburz Blue Cat rig….

Sunset on Lake of the Ozarks

Sunset on Lake of the Ozarks

Over the last few weeks we have been trying to learn as much as we can about fishing for blue cat fishing with rod and reel in both KS and MO. Eric and I have made a few trips to Truman and Adam has made a few trips to Lake of the Ozarks. Catching a blue cat on rod and reel is not hard but it really doesn’t seem as productive as some of days the float line fisherman have had. Normally when we blue cat fish we float the flats and breaks using either a three-way swivel with a drop weight and hook or an in-line egg sinker with a 3 to 4 ft leader to a bobber with a #4 hook. These two methods have produced some solid results of 10 to 15 fish on a good afternoon of fishing.

Eric with a 27" Blue

Eric with a 27″ Blue

I ever was able to get my dad out for father’s day a few weeks ago. We didn’t have stellar results that day but dad did catch the most fish and biggest best.

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As the weekend approached we all realized we where free so a weekend trip was put into place. Earlier this week one of the guys on a local cat fishing forum pointed out that they have been doing really good on catch fish on their jug lines but couldn’t get any good results on rod and reel. Then at our recent DU shoot Adam and I got to talking this exact thing and Adam pointed out why don’t we just use some bobber and suspend them off the bottom behind the boat just like a jug… wow, could it really be that easy. So this weekend we had a guys weekend where Adam, Jeff, Thomas (Jeff’s son), Eric, Kale (Eric’s son) and I headed down to Adams At LOZ to put our new founds brain fart/trust into affect. I have to say, the over all results where solid.

And Puppies too...

And Puppies too…

We started out bye taking a regular bobber stop and moving it up our line to about 20 ft. Then we added the needed bead to keep our foot long bobber from getting stuck on the bobber stop. (Now quick side note, I can’t lie. I have spent my entire life walking past these over sized bobber looking at them in the fishing isle going who in the world would waist their money on those… Yep, I am now that guy) Below the bobber we would add sliding egg sinkers of different weight. The actual amount of weight over the weekend was always changing depending on the wind, sometimes one ounce was needed if the wind was blowing and less once it stopped. The weight was tied off above a normal barrel swivel with a regular dropper to 2 -4 ft of mono to a number 4 or 5 circle hook.

the weapon of choice

the weapon of choice

So the plan was to have as many shad as we could float through the water column as we drifted. By adding the bopper’s where able to stagger depths and distance behind the boat just by letting line out. So on top of our usual array of bottom bouncing rigs we where able to add as many floating rigs as we wanted, which in MO are a lot.

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The truth is it really didn’t take long to get results. As would happen over and over this weekend the bobber what the first to produce fish. I had three nice blue cats in the boat and short order all on a bobber floating in the current about 25 ft down.

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Over the rest of the weekend it was solid mix of bottom and suspended fish over and over again. We would go a while and the bottom bouncers would produce most of the fish, then if would flip and bobbers where the hot action. When the wind died and we just sat there we could cast around and get closer to the breaks or cast out into the channel. You also had to change depths on the floats as fish changed or that bobber would go cold. In addition, one thing we noticed where the bites themselves where a little harder to connect on with the bobber then a bottom bouncer. At time the fish where short striking it and you had to let them run a little longer with it, other times you had to be on them quick or they would spit the hook. My best producing rod was always the one I kept 15 to 20 ft down from the boat. I think the short line distance and quick hook set really helped hook the fish on a more consistent basis.

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Again, this was our first time trying to use big bobber for Blue’s so we have a lot to learn and a lot to refine but the production was there and consistence all weekend. We even had a few channel cats’ fall to the bait.

Results you can Taste!

Results you can Taste!

We also came up with a great way to net shad. Have you ever driven around standing on the front of your boat with you buddy looking at the depth finder at the back of the boat going “there they are!!!” Well, why not drive around in reverse and then net them as the front of the boat goes buy… Ya, we just figured that one out as well.

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So… to answer our original question yes… Bobber fishing for Blue/Channel Cat was that easy.

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The Truman Blues

With a little more time than recent Saturdays have provided, Nick and I decided to try something new and headed down to Truman in search of some of its renowned blue catfish.  Step one of course is finding shad for bait.  After a good 40-minute upper body workout throwing the cast net around we finally had enough bait to give it a go.

 

Nick's nice 29" Blue Cat

Nick’s nice 29″ Blue Cat

Five minutes into our second drift we quickly had two rods double over and landed the above 29” blue along with a nice 25 incher.  About an hour later we got our next action with another double; a 27” blue (below) and a 22 incher.

 

Eric with a 27" Blue

Eric with a 27″ Blue

After that, it the fishing slowed down a bit and we picked up a single here and there over the rest of the afternoon.  With the new slot limits in place, the two larger cats (over 26”) had to go back to keep up the breeding stock, but we still ended up with 9 nice ‘eater’ size fish for the table.

 

A Tasty Treat!

A Tasty Treat!

~ Eric

The Force is Strong in this one

As I am sitting here this morning drink my coffee trying to wake up, notice our 7 month old pup Paige hasn’t left the window for a over 10 minutes. We all know the story when it comes to puppies, if their not making noise be suspicious, very suspicious. I look over and I see her sitting there staring out the the window.

Ah dad, come check this out!

I walked over to the window and it took me a second to see what she was so intent on. Ah, I see you…

Can you see the Green?

Good Dog Paige.

Nick

The Spot on the Spot

I believe it was the Linder brothers (Angling Edge) who talk about finding the spot on the spot, meaning that fish may be using a particular area of the lake, points, flats, rocky banks, etc. but typically within that larger area there are usually a few smaller spots that hold the largest concentrations of fish.  This scenario played out exactly as the Linders described last night.  During a recent outing to Clinton, we stumbled (and I can admit when dumb luck comes into play) onto a completely new area of the lake that we’ve never fished before and found a good number of crappie still actively spawning.  The general area included a bunch of scattered rocks out on a large flat.  Last night Nick and friend Gary joined me on a quick evening outing to see if we could find these fish again.  Due to the 20 mph winds, we headed out armed with a couple of heavy anchors, ¼ oz. jig heads, and some good casting rods.  We cruised the flats and would mark the rocks when we saw them on the sonar and then do our best to anchor up within casting distance.  Every rock pile held fish, but eventually we honed in on the ‘Spot’ that produced the best and just blistered them for a couple hours until sunset.  At least one of us seemed to have a fish on at any given time if not doubles or even triples coming into the boat.  Red/Chartreuse and Black/Chartreuse jigs dragged or hopped along the bottom seemed to be the ticket.

Gary with a big 14" crappie

Gary with a big 14″ crappie

Nick's 14" Slab

Nick’s 14″ Slab

Eric with a big 13" darkly colored male

Eric with a big 13″ darkly colored male

Most notably was the size of many of the fish as Nick and Gary both landed a 14” crappie.  As we approached our 60 fish, 3-man limit we got to start being picky, throwing back about another 30+ 10” fish holding out for the ‘bigger’ ones.  All in all, I would estimate that we caught over 400 last night with about 50% coming from the Spot on the Spot.

And we got treated to this beautiful sunset on our way back to the ramp.

And we got treated to this beautiful sunset on our way back to the ramp.

~ Eric

2 Hours Straight

Well…. I may have snuck out again tonight since the wife was busy. And I may have gone back to the new spot we found. I may have found two big schools of crappie and spot locked in between them and I may have caught a fish on about every cast for two and half hours straight. Red and Chartreuse might be been the best bait until the moonrise happened and they shut off like a light switch. The moonrise also coincided with a wind switch from light N to 1o mph SE wind, not sure the wind hurt them but something changed them a lot…

Garmin Producing some fish

Garmin Producing some fish

My 7 month old pup loves to see the slabs come in.

My 7 month old pup loves to see the slabs come in.

 

16 no doubters for the grease

16 no doubters for the grease

Secondary Spawn Spot

We had a strong cold front this week that has slowed the spawn some. I think we are coming to the end of the spawn at most lakes and with the cold weather the number of fish up on the banks is much lower than it was last week. Thanks to Jeff’s suggestion we pulled out to a new spot as a last resort and it saved the day. We worked some deeper water in the 8 to 10 ft range that is a secondary spot just to find them. Water temp on the main lake was 65 but we found a good concentration of fish in that range. Ended up cleaning 31 tonight with Black and Chart being the main color.

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Clinton 5/10 – Crappie Spawn

Saturday’s fishing trip actually started last night when Nick noticed that one of the bunk boards on my trailer had come loose right before trying to load the boat.  After quickly lashing it down with some extra rope, we trailered the boat and limped our way home from the lake.  That meant Saturday started with a quick trip to the hardware store for some lumber and carpeting.   I made it back home in time to attend the kids’ soccer games then rushed home again for a little repair work.

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With Nick’s generous help, we got the boards cut, carpet glued, and everything stapled down in about 40 minutes of frantic effort.   As soon as we got the boat into the water, we stripped the old bunk boards off and replaced them with the new preassembled pieces we brought with us and were on the water by about 4:45 ready to fish.  It’s amazing what motivation you find when a hot bite is waiting!

Take a Kid (or two) Fishing

A bit bigger Kid with another good one.

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10-yr old Kale with his first keeper of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had just enough time to hit some of the spawning banks that produced earlier in the week to catch about a dozen keepers before the storm blew in and forced us to take a shelter break for an hour.

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Once the rains passed, we headed back out to finish out the evening.  Although it was still a bit windy the storms didn’t seem to affect the fishing.  We continued to catch them on jigs (red/chart & black/chart seemed to work the best) bouncing the bottom in 5-7 feet of water.  I think we ended up with 28 keepers, a bunch of smiles, and some very good memories.

~ Eric

Spawn, Spawn…

Good Friend of the outdoorsman Marc Murrell did a nice write up on two of the outdoorsman. If you don’t follow Marc’s Blog on the KDWP website your missing out.

http://cjonline.com/sports/outdoors/2014-05-10/marc-murrell-crappie-spawn-full-swing

http://outdoorswithmarcmurrell.blogspot.com

Nick with a Nice Male.

Nick with a Nice Male.

Turkey Turkey Turkey

This years Turkey season has been one of highs and lows all year long. We started this year bow hunting hoping to pull an early bird. On the first day of bow season we had a nice group of turkeys roosting just behind where we sat up in the trees. With Temps still in the 30′s that morning and no mating activity what so ever I knew the odds of calling in the Tom’s away from the hens where very low. The plan that morning was to piss off the momma hen as much as I could hoping she would want to kick some ass and bring the boys in. From the word go I spent the next hour and half mimicking her and talking over her until she couldn’t take any more and brought the entire group over to find out who this monthly little girl was. With her where two of the biggest tom’s I have seen in years! The two big boys stayed back out about 30 yards and just wouldn’t come any closer. We had 30 birds in the decoys 10 yards away but they just didn’t like what was going on so I tried the shot. As I pulled the trigger there was a loud snap and turkeys went everywhere as my bow string snapped and sent my arrow off to the left… Let’s just say that was end of my bow season…

The following week was the gun opener which in KS falls on a Wednesday morning. Gary Mellard and headed north to try our luck as we had scouted the turkeys and found they had changed ends of the property. We sat up in a tree row hoping they would work there way up trees and out into a large bean field to feed. That morning we had about 100 turkeys roosting in the trees 100 yards to the south of us. As they flew down some came out in the field others dropped straight down. Over the next hour and half we had 2 sets of hens and 6 jakes that played with our decoys. As our usual luck goes we had about 30 turkeys fly down late into the field at 8:30, whey they stayed in the trees so long I have no idea. Alright, the big boys where late getting down was my thought get ready! As they come into the decoys what we thought where big boys where 26 hens and 4 jakes…. They enjoyed playing with the decoys for the next 10 minutes until they got board and headed over join their other buddies that never came out of the trees. As the worked the other way up the tree row in the opposite direction we couldn’t believe the number of tom in there, at over 100 yards we counted 9 big tops we could see their beards from that distance… We had over 50 turkeys in the decoys that morning which provided a heck of a show but not one mature tom… The plus side was I knew where the turkeys where going and we where they would end up that evening.

Gary had a Ducks Unlimited commitment that night so I want back to see if they birds would come back down the tree row like I thought they might. It took them until dark with only a few minutes left in day two big toms wondered over to the decoys and calls… My first tag was filled a few minutes later. A great start to the turkey season. IMG_1093

Paige and Dakota trying to figure out what this wonder smelling bird is.

Paige and Dakota trying to figure out what this wonder smelling bird is.

Nick with a nice Tom

Nick with a nice Tom

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