Catching Spanish Mackerel in Punta Gorda Florida

Here’s a little change of pace. I am visiting friends in Florida and we went out and got on some nice Spanish Mackerel. We had a great time, caught some fish and made it through some pretty rough water. These Mackerel are real fighters.
Thanks to my good friend Alan Hamilton for having me over to do some fishing. He promises to make a trip to Lake Fork to catch some bass soon.
We’re heading back out tomorrow for more. We are headed southwest to Bull Bay, near Boca Grande in search of more and bigger fish. Details to come.


Caution: This video contains “R-rated” words.

Quick Trip to Fork – Sunday 2/10

It was too nice to stay home today, so I grabbed Judi and we headed for the lake. Inspired by the comments to this post, I had to go fishing.
We got out around 3 and headed to Birch Creek. There were a good many boats out today. We got one fish in a cove just north of the 515 bridge on the west fork. Not a serious fishing trip, but a nice time on the water and one decent fish as you see in the video below.
Surface temps are rising on Lake Fork. The Spring bite will soon be ON!

Coming to Lake Fork this Spring

To bigbasscountry.com

In your youtube videos i see you throwing hard lures a lot. I am coming down to lake fork for the second year in a row now. Last time we were there we didn’t have much luck throwing soft plastic and spinner baits. We are coming again this year the 19th though the 22nd . If you could give us any advice we could use it we want to catch a good lake fork bass!

Site for Boat Electronics Price Comparisons

I found a site that shows the different models of GPS units for boats and shows different places to get them and shows the different prices that merchants have. It is Boatronic.com. The site covers the major brands of GPS graph units and even handheld GPS units.
It lays out all the specifications of the different models in a table that makes it really easy to see what features each individual unit has.
Check it out. There is no registration required or anything like that.

Berkley Tournament

Well the last tourny of the year has passed for me. This one was quite the ride, literally. The first day we headed out to our first spot bouncing from wave to wave. That was a treat. I never heard my motor come out of the water before.

Once we got there, we took about 15 minutes to tie up to a tree to fish. Another wet ride as we were facing the wind head on. Then after the waves stopped coming over the bow we got to fishing. A couple of small ones and we headed to a protected part of the lake. Day one passed without catching much of anything.

Day two; my partner decided he would sleep in a bit since the sun didn’t come up for another hour. I’m more the type to get out there, and it paid off. At 6:30 I started fishing, and at 6:45 had a nice fish in the well. By nice I mean a money fish, but not big money. I caught the thing on a Jig. This was on the first cast with a lure I never fish, and by never I mean I only use them when sight fishing in the spring. But anyways, he comes out around 7:oo and I had already caught 2 more. He didn’t believe me until I told him we needed to get to the weigh in to be in the first hour. Then he said “Not again”. {I’ve done this to him before.}

We spent the day chasing schooling fish in different areas, but nothing else eventful happened. All in all we had a good time.

 Little Berkley Jig = $3.99

Trailer = $3.99

Cup of coffee to wake up = $1.07

Telling your buddy you caught a money fish while he was sleeping = Priceless

Bass Fishing on a Private Pond

I went to visit my friend Jim Dax and we fished his private pond.
Jim has 90 acres just outside of Winnsboro, Texas with a 5 acre pond on it. He has it stocked with Florida Bass. They aren’t huge, but they are plentiful. We caught dozens of fish in a 2 1/2 hour period of time on this Thursday morning.
There are bigger bass in this pond in the 5 to 7 pound range. We didn’t find them on this trip, but we had a blast catching the feisty bass we caught. At one time towards the end, I was catching a fish on almost every cast with a 1/4 oz. chrome and blue Rattle Trap.
Thanks Jim! This was a lot of fun.

Jigging Spoons / Tail Spinners / Swim Baits

Okay, so I’ve started looking for deeper spots on the lake to fish but several fishing reports suggest using jigging spoons, tail spinners, and assorted swim baits. The closest things I have used in the past were slabs for striper fishing, Little George baits for sand bass, and swim baits for crappie. Are these the same as what the fishing reports are talking about? It’s the jigging spoons that intrigue me the most. What are they exactly talking about? Is there a brand of color I should be looking for? Any help would be appreciated.

The 2007 McDonald’s Big Bass Splash Tournament on Lake Fork

The McDonald’s Big Bass Splash is September 14,15 & 16 on Lake Fork this year. As usual, it is based out of Lake Fork Marina.

This is a fun tournament because of the hourly weigh-ins. It adds a different element of strategy other than just fishing hard for the tournament times and hoping to weigh the most fish. The fact that Lake Fork has a 16″ – 24″ slot makes things that much more interesting. I am sure that some fat 15.9999″ fish will win some bucks during this tournament, so just because you are not catching fish over the slot does not mean you can’t win some bread!

The official radio station of the tournament is KMOO 99.9 FM. You need a radio in your boat to keep up with the current weight of any given hour to know whether or not you should weigh a fish you might have in the boat.

The tournament is $210 per person to fish all three days. Fishing times are from 6 am to 3 pm. Banned fishing times are from 8 pm Thursday until 6 am Friday, 8 pm Friday until 6 am Saturday and 8 pm Saturday until 6 am Sunday. See the complete rules for the Lake Fork event.

The best I can tell there will be nearly a half dozen boats given away, a Hummer, a few 4×4 utility vehicles, a few camper trailers and LOTS of cash to be had by the contestants. To keep it an amateur tournament, anyone who has fished 4 or more tournaments within the past 12 months with an entry fee over $600 is not allowed to participate, nor is someone who has been paid to take others fishing in the last 90 days on Lake Fork. In other words, no pros and no guides can fish this. That means that a hack like me can have a decent day of bass fishing and have a chance to win a boat…or a Hummer…or both!

For more info on the McDonald’s Big Bass Splash Tournament Series, click here.

Are you fishing it? See ya there!

The Lake is High. Water Water Everywhere.

I went out yesterday for a few hours, from about noon to 3, before the daily thunderstorms ran me off. I caught one small fish on a Fluke in about 20′ of water, using a large splitshot sinker about two feet in front of it to get it down.
Bass should be schooling pretty soon, but I didn’t see any evidence of this.
The water on Lake Fork is very high because of the torrential rains we have had in the area this Spring/Summer. Many of the locals are saying that this messes up the fishing because they open the spillway to let some of the water out and that seems to kill the bite. I am not familiar with this, but I can tell you that I have not talked to anyone in the past month or two who has had any real success.
It will all come back to life when the weather stabilizes and the water levels are back to their normal level.

Side Scanning Technology

At a recent bas tournament I had the opportunity to get out and see a demo of Humminbird’s side scanning technology. What can I say other than WHOA. Their pricey, but you can get a great idea of what’s down under. From the marina where we took off, we went out about 200 feet into some trees and began just idling around. The picture detail was phenominal. You could see trees, grass, perch beads, and supports for docks. At one spot you could actually pick out which post on a dock was holding fish. Simply amazing. After seeing this, I had to get one. So I am now the proud owner of a Humminbird 797 2c. Had to sell off some other hobbies to pay for it though. I’ve only had it out twice, but it has definitely shown me a few things. Other than the massive array of GPS functions and mapping views you can actually purchase a memory chip and follow the cleared boat lanes simply from the display.

Back to the side scanner. I knew where a couple of bridges were before the lake flooded and had to see what this thing had, so I made a few passes and got some amazing photos. I was able to see the guardrails for the bridge and count the number of supports. Next I started scanning around the 515 bridge looking for schools of bass by the pilings and actualy could point out which pilings were holding fish. If only I had some minnows. These things are amazing, but terribly expensive, and tricky to install. Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck Ya’ll