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#10794094 - 04/24/15 02:36 PM Should I Stay or Should I Go
Mike Ryan Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 2349
Loc: Fort Worth,Texas
That was the question I asked myself as I arrived at Lake Benbrook earlier today. It had drizzled a little on me on the way to the lake. When I arrived it was cloudy but not raining. I got my gear and walked the short distance to the first place I have caught spawning crappie in years past. Not a bite, it was at that point looking at the sky that I asked myself should I stay or should I go, well I stayed and I got soaked. But I also caught six dandy crappie and two ten inchers I threw back to grow a little more.
The fishing at the second spot made the drive and later getting soaked all worth while. The fish at the second spot were hitting soft, I missed way more than I caught. They seemed to be just tipping the jig enough to make the float twitch. Once the rain arrived, everything crappie related stopped.
The next two fish caught were channel cats that bit the blue thunder crappie jigs, they were both good size cats but with a half dozen nice crappie in the basket I was perfectly fine with tossing them back.
But the big excitement of the day would come as I stopped at my first stop of the day for one more try. By this time my slip float rig needed to be changed. The knot was slipping and the tie ends to tighten it were almost gone. So rather than rig another slip float rig I tied on a road runner.
My thinking was if crappie were there I might be able to entice them with a lure bounced off of the bottom. I cast out and as I let the roadrunner fall to the bottom, it stopped and line started being pulled tight. I began to reel the slack up and that is when I knew I had something big, I mean really big. I had caught a Hybrid in that same area recently and I felt certain that is what I had on the line. The fish began a hard run pulling line off of my medium action reel.
With 6lb line I knew this fish was going to test all of my skills to land it, sadly my skills were not enough this day. The fish stopped running, I felt several hard shakes of the head then the line raced to the surface. What happened next will stay with me for a long time. A bass, a monster size bass completely cleared the surface and before falling back into the water with fierce shacking of her head threw the small lure back towards me.
I grew up bass fishing. I have caught many, many bass in my day. My largest to date is a bass that was 27 inches long and weighed right at 11.5lbs from PK Lake in the early 90's, this bass may well have matched or exceeded that bass. Until you land any fish, you can only guess a fishes weight. But experience does have its advantages and with hundreds and hundreds of bass landed in my life, this one was exceptional.
I am just thankful the line did not break leaving the lure in her mouth. I am even more grateful for a awesome memory that fish has given me. For those like me who are walking the banks hoping to put some fresh crappie on the dinner table, take heart there are fish that can be taken by bankers right now. And if you are lucky, you might tangle with a bass of lifetime even if the fish wins the fight. Should I stay or should I go, I am ecstatic that I decided to go.

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#10794111 - 04/24/15 02:44 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
hawghoover Online   content
Angler

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 446
Loc: Lewisville Tx
very nice!

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#10794146 - 04/24/15 02:57 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
Mike Ryan Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 2349
Loc: Fort Worth,Texas
Thanks hawghoover. The crappie are on ice right now. I am going to have to look around for my fillet knife, it has been a long time since I last had to use it to clean fish.
If the weather is not too threatening, I plan to go again in the morning. I will be at Lake Benbrook if anyone wants to join me. Now tomorrow is another day, who knows if the crappie will be in a biting mood. But they are there, and I plan on being there too and who knows, we might catch a hybrid, a catfish, or hook a monster bass.
Benbrook is a heartbreak lake, but it has some real good fish in it and sometimes it rewards those who make the effort of fishing there.

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#10794184 - 04/24/15 03:09 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
Joe Slab Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 1273
Loc: NTX
Nice work sir. Thats definitely worth getting wet and ha got dinner. thumb

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#10794213 - 04/24/15 03:20 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
texboxer Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/18/10
Posts: 1235
Loc: Hewitt/Waco
Nice read. Thanks for writing and sharing. cheers
_________________________

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#10794499 - 04/24/15 05:14 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
cellis Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/15/02
Posts: 7359
Loc: Arlington
Neat story. Thanks for sharing it.
_________________________

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#10794565 - 04/24/15 05:42 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
Fooshman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 1971
Loc: Black Dog, TX
Nice story. cheers
_________________________

Custom Crosses and Plaques

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#10797532 - 04/25/15 11:42 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
jarrett033 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/24/15
Posts: 7
Loc: Ft. Worth
I'm going to try crappie fishing on my new kayak tomorrow (Sunday). I've never fished on Lake Benbrook, do you have any suggestions on where I should try?? I was thinking of starting around Rocky Creek Park.


Edited by jarrett033 (04/25/15 11:44 PM)

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#10797664 - 04/26/15 07:16 AM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: jarrett033]
Mike Ryan Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 2349
Loc: Fort Worth,Texas
Jarrett,
I just saw your reply, you may already be at the lake. When Rocky Creek Barge was there we would do really good fishing on the walkway that took you to the barge casting jigs rigged with a slip float up against the rocks that ran parallel to the walkway. The fish would hold tight to those rocks.
If you can go to those rocks you should have a good day. As for where I found my fish, I was fishing was on the opposite end.
I was fishing closer to the water intake area at Longhorn Park. I think if you find water that offers an opportunity for the fish to spawn even when the water level was low, you should be in business. Good Luck to you!


Edited by Mike Ryan (04/26/15 07:17 AM)

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#10797697 - 04/26/15 07:50 AM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
jarrett033 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/24/15
Posts: 7
Loc: Ft. Worth
Thanks Mike, I actually slept in a little this morning, so I'm getting ready to head out there. Good luck to you if you go out. I'll post my results if i come across anything.

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#10797710 - 04/26/15 08:04 AM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: jarrett033]
Mike Ryan Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 2349
Loc: Fort Worth,Texas
Jeff, I may be giving the crappie too much credit but it is my experience that they have an almost instinctual knowledge of spawning in water that can withstand water level drops due to water release or lack of rain.
The area I was fishing generally holds water in certain areas even during low lake levels.
I don't know what fish you are interested in catching other than crappie, but I caught two nice channel cats by happenstance using my slip float rig. Bass were doing well for a fellow who told me he can generally catch a few with each outing working the shorelines with a plastic lizard/worm in the slough areas.
Benbrook can be a tough lake, but it can also produce some good catches and once in a great while it can offer almost cartoonish large bass that will make all of the hard days worth another visit.

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#10798221 - 04/26/15 01:36 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: jarrett033]
DFW-fisherman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 1197
Loc: DFW
Originally Posted By: jarrett033
I'm going to try crappie fishing on my new kayak tomorrow (Sunday). I've never fished on Lake Benbrook, do you have any suggestions on where I should try?? I was thinking of starting around Rocky Creek Park.


welcome

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#10802561 - 04/27/15 11:07 PM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
jarrett033 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/24/15
Posts: 7
Loc: Ft. Worth
It was a slow day on Sunday. I met several other fisherman that were trying to catch crappie, nobody was having much luck...a couple here and there. Apparently one guy who got there at sunup and caught his limit, but that was all I heard about.

There were several of us fishing on a rocky point, nobody catching anything and one of the bass tournament guys shows up, first cast, catches about a 5lb bass...we all just kind of scratched our heads.

If the weather is ok in the morning, I'm giving it another shot.

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#10802614 - 04/28/15 01:05 AM Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go [Re: Mike Ryan]
Mike Ryan Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 2349
Loc: Fort Worth,Texas
Jarrett,
That is too bad you did not have better luck.
Catching a limit at sunup, I don't doubt that at all. That has been my experience that the best bite is at sunrise and for maybe an hour after then it shuts down. That is why I did not drive back to fish the other day after leaving my wallet at home as mentioned on the other thread.
Jarrett033, believe it or not there are lots of respectable bass and crappie in the Trinity River and those who I have talked to that make the effort to put in a canoe can do really well fishing there. The access is not the greatest at many places for launching a canoe but with some effort you can put yourself into some areas most don't get to fish. Don't keep the fish you catch in the Trinity River bellow Benbrook, there is a consumption ban. But there are lots of fish to be caught in that old river.
You might want to go down there without the canoe one day and check it out, I often go to the Trinity just to get my bass fishing fix in the dog days of summer when good fishing for the shore anglers slows down on our area lakes. I fish the different sections at Trinity Park. The ones down by the children's play area have been the most productive for me. I mostly use plastic worms but some of the best fishing in those sections comes in the last hour of daylight when throwing shallow running crank baits parallel to the rock walkways that cross the different sections. The bass move up to those rocks where the water is flowing between the rocks in the evenings. Throw crank baits parallel to those rocks on the receiving side of the water flow and you can almost always catch bass in the last hour of the day. thumb
I have caught bass up to 5 lbs there but most average around 2 pounds. I have never fished it from a canoe but I see folks go down to the same area I fish and canoe just for the fun of being on the water.
Yes, give Benbrook another try. There is some good fishing out there, daybreak is the key to good crappie fishing during the spawn. wink


Edited by Mike Ryan (04/28/15 01:30 AM)

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