Yesterday me and a buddy booked Justin to fish the afternoon half of the day. Justin met us right on time at Oak Ridge Marina. He already had his brand new Phoenix in the water. What a nice rig! Wide stable platform to fish from and great soft ride. It rides like my Legend but is much wider at the bow, Sweet!
We took off from Oak Ridge at 1 pm. We figured with the high bluebird skies & post frontal conditions that the fish might have a small case of lockjaw so Justin pulled into a pocket and started down the bank looking for bed fish. It took all of about five minutes for him to spot a nice one on a bed in about 3 feet of water. Power poles down and we were all set!
Justin has Shimano & Loomis as sponsors so he had about 8 rods rigged up on deck for us. I sat in back and let my buddy get up front with Justin. Kevin started pitching a black blue jig at the fish to see how she responded while Justin coached him. The water was a little dingy from wind and recent rain so it was difficult to see the fish well but she (or he) seemed to be interested.
Kevin worked the fish for maybe 15 minutes and actually swung on her a couple times as she would nip at the jig but not fully take it. I was still in back of the boat rigging up my rods with secret weapons for the day. As the fish swam round & round the bed she stirred up the water even more making it harder to see her. I went up front with a Texas rigged creature bait and made two pitches. One of them must have landed in her mouth cause she took off with it. I set the hook and a beautiful four pounder puts up a great fight for us. We all laugh about my lucky pitch and move on.
Justin can spot those fish like a Great Blue Heron so I just sat in the back and made random casts toward the brush with various lures. Kevin stayed up front with Justin. A few yards down the bank Justin spots another nice one and puts the PP's down. I would like to mention, if you have never fished from a boat with Power Poles, you are missing out. They are the Cat's Meow for shallow water fishing. They are an invaluable tool for the fisherman. Justin said he had Talons on his last boat but they seemed to be in the way a lot of the time so he went PP's on this boat and is very happy he did.
Kevin catches a nice four pounder off the next bed and we move on. We hit a couple secondary points with Senkos & lizards with no luck. Justin fires up the big Merc and we speed off into Little Caney.
I have fished Fork pretty much since the day it opened but Justin took me into several pockets I had never been. We work down the bank while looking for bed fish. We see a couple guarding fry that we throw at for a bit with no luck. Justin taught me that if the fish are sitting up higher in the water column guarding fry that they WILL be harder to entice. He wasn't kidding!
We work down to another secondary point and I rig up a Magnum Fluke. I have 25# fluorocarbon with a 7 foot heavy rod for this bait. I have selected a heavy wire Owner Magnum Worm hook in case Big Momma bites. I throw it out toward a stump in six feet of water and my line starts moving off. I set the hook and a bass of about 8 inches comes flying out of the water! How in the world did this fish get a Mag Fluke in its mouth?? Hungry little sucker!!
We run across the lake to a mainlake point and Justin has Kevin throwing a new Smash Tech Convict Swimbait. It is a giant soft bait rigged with a 10/0 beast hook. No takers here. We run to one more small point and try our luck.
I kept looking at the clock to see what time it was thinking Justin would be telling us any minute that we needed to head back. It was now 6:45 pm and we we headed to another spot. We hit one last spot on the way in and get back to the dock at 7 pm. He tells us he never watches to clock.
Justin is a great guy to spend the day with and an excellent teacher. The only time he picked up a rod all afternoon was to hand it to one of us. We ended up the afternoon with six fish. Not a killer trip but I have fished harder for less many times. I would highly recommend any of you looking for a guide that will teach you techniques and patterns on the lake call Justin. That Phoenix is a nice rig to fish from too! Very stable and great layout.
I wish I could tell you we ended the day with a Giant but it wasn't meant to be. Oh well, that's what keeps us going back!
Edited by Ken A. (04/03/16 05:41 PM)