OUTDOORS COMMENTARY: Return to Lake Ray Hubbard | News


Sitting in my truck on the dock at Chandlers Touchdown at Lake Ray Hubbard ready to hitch a few guides for a morning of catching hybrid stripers and white bass, my thoughts started to wander again about 55 years. I glanced again towards the dam and mirrored upon the distant previous once I was an adolescent searching squirrels and rabbits in a patch of woods earlier than the lake crammed. We moved from Purple River County to Mesquite once I was a younger teenager and a household buddy launched me to a spot the place I might hunt. I escaped the “huge metropolis” of Mesquite by using my little scooter with a 12 gauge single shot slung over my again.

In later years, I’ve loved many fishing journeys right here with my buddy, the late information, Johnny Procell, and others. I used to do loads of trot lining within the higher finish of the lake. I’ve many effective reminiscences of the enjoyable instances I’ve had on Lake Ray Hubbard however haven’t fished right here in a number of years. This was about to alter as I shook palms with my new mates, Brandon Sargent and Jeff Bobo.

This was our first time to fulfill however I had spent a great little bit of time on the telephone speaking fishing with each these guys. Sargent is a fishing information on the lake that fishes for a number of species however lately, he’s concentrating on the lake’s plentiful hybrid stripers and white bass utilizing downriggers, which is a deadly methodology of catching the open water education species, particularly this time of 12 months.

Bobo can be a veteran angler and maker of a preferred fish attracting unit. I used to be anxious to see this unit in motion. I’ve for a few years identified {that a} disturbance on the floor equivalent to a fishing rod churning the water or a rubber mallet thumping the boat will draw the fish in shut.

Our journey coincided with a powerful frontal passage that moved throughout the area solely hours earlier than we launched the boat, simply after dawn. As any fisherman is aware of, a sudden change in climate and particularly lightning and thunder usually performs havoc with a fishing sample that had been as fixed because the Polar star. Such was the case on this explicit morning. Sargent’s boat is rigged with all the most recent fish-finding instruments and as he used his onboard GPS to trace to the precise spot he had hammered the hybrid stripers the day earlier than, we have been all questioning what the change in climate would do to the chew. A have a look at the sonar proved that the large combined faculties of hybrid stripers and white bass have been nonetheless there, holding on deep submerged ridges. However the fish merely had lockjaw; we trolled with A Rigs, which consist of 5 lead head jigs rigged with gentle plastics; we fished the rigs vertically proper underneath the boat and we dropped lead slabs down proper on high of the fish, however they merely wouldn’t chew.

Quite than elaborating additional on a fishing sample that was clearly interrupted by climate I’ll inform you what was biting: Crappie and large ones.

Sargent is a a number of species information and has a ardour for catching huge crappie. He had a number of dozen feisty minnows within the bait tank and mentioned these have been his insurance coverage, simply in case the climate had fouled up the hybrid chew. He buried his face within the GPS unit and motored us to one in all his crappie hotspots and mentioned with certainty that we must always proceed to load the boat with good consuming crappie. He was not incorrect.

I like to catch hybrids however was not in the least dissatisfied when Sargent flipped on his Livescope and marked a giant tree trunk with numerous limbs mendacity on the lake backside.

“That is one in all my sizzling spots that has by no means failed me,” mentioned the information. ”We should always be capable to catch a bunch of crappie right here and a few chunky ones.”

A giant faculty of crappie was hanging above and across the limbs of the tree trunk that had not seen daylight because the mid sixties when the lake crammed. The tight faculty marked the sonar so fully that it was exhausting to truly make out the form of the tree. Fishing with a Livescope is perhaps thought-about dishonest a bit however in the case of catching what is perhaps probably the most finicky fish in recent water, I’ll readily use any benefit out there. The Livescope is called appropriately; it offers you a “dwell” view of precisely what’s underneath the boat. With the scope, it’s potential to focus on particular person fish.

For an previous time angler like me that used to make use of a twine with knots to find out water depth, modern-day sonar is sort of like magic. I noticed a single huge crappie marking on the graph a number of toes away from the college on the scope and dropped my minnow all the way down to inside a number of inches of its nostril. There was no mild faucet, faucet; this barn door snatched my minnow and made a run for the closest limb. I might inform he was a great fish by the arch within the rod. Generally, when all the celebrities are aligned, it’s potential to offer a fish tangled in brush a bit of slack and it’ll free itself. Such was the case and I quickly had a 15 inch crappie on ice.

For the following hour we proceeded to place collectively the making of 1 huge crappie fry. Then we determined to make use of the downriggers and A rigs and see if the hybrids is perhaps within the biting mode. They weren’t. On the way in which again to dock, Sargent once more positioned the boat over one of many honey holes and we once more started snatching crappie out of the comb.

By way of my years of fishing with and writing about guides and professional anglers it was very clear that my information knew his enterprise of catching fish, so effectively the truth is that he had guessed the hybrids is perhaps affected by the extreme climate that moved by way of and had a plan B for us. Who can complain a couple of huge fish fryer filled with golden brown crispy crappie fillets?

I’ll save the hybrid story for subsequent time, if I can resist the good fall crappie fishing.

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