The West Side Report
With the cooler temperatures and new water, I had absolutely no choice but to go fishing over the weekend. I live within 30 minutes of several good lakes on the west side of Ft. Worth, and with both of my girls wanting me to take them fishing, how could I resist?
The fishing was consistent at every lake we visited. First order of business, find the clear water. Fish were 12-16ft deep, with a few of them being as shallow as 8ft and as deep as 20ft. Brush piles, bridges and standing timber all produced well. Most of the fish though were in the 12-15ft range, and were not overly picky about hitting a jig or minnow.
Saturday morning was cloudy and misting, while also being a bit breezy. We opted for darker colors attached to our new gold Minnow Heads to give ourselves the best shot for catching dinner. My bait of choice was a Thump Jumper in the Swamp Thang color, while Jaymi used a Blazin Raisin Thump Buddy. Since the wind was up a little, we both were using 1/8 ounce jig heads. Tatum switched back and forth between minnows and jigs, both of which seemed to produce.
***Notice how light the bite was in the morning. All of the fish are barely hooked.***
All three of us were using G Rods to put fish in the boat. I stuck Tatum with the 6ft rod because it’s easier for her to use and the backbone lets her swing fish in the boat with no problem at all. I really like this rod for youngsters, as it gives them much more control then rods typically designed for kids. Jaymi was using my 7ft rod, while I rotated between the 10’6 and the 8ft G Rod. All rods were spooled with 6lb Hi-Vis line on Pflueger and Shimano reels.
As the conditions changed later in the day, so did our tactics. As mentioned above, we started with heavy jig heads and dark colors. As the sun broke out and the water turned to class, we all stated fishing lighter colors (Fishing Farmer and White Hot Thump Chubbies) on 1/16 ounce jig heads.
Our technique also changed throughout the day. We started the day by slowly pulling our baits off the bottom and pausing for 5-10 seconds in the strike zone. By afternoon though, the fish wanted the jig falling, so we pitched out past trees and brush piles and let the jigs fall back to us, if they made it that far
After it was all said and done, we had landed 40-50 fish and kept 5 for dinner. We had two channel cats already in the basket at the dock, so we got just enough crappie for the fish medley. I had an absolute blast guiding my two girls; reminded me of why I loved it so much in the first place.