For the past couple of weeks, I've been on the water almost every day, primarily focusing on patterns for the Sealy Big Bass tournament. As a guide, I'm not allowed to fish it. But I have a few clients who have hired me to locate fish for them. So I'm working to earn my pay.
I plan to fish every day this week, much of it by myself. If you are interested in a prefish trip for the tournament, I have some open days (including this Saturday and next Thursday morning).
Fishing has been much better since it got cooler. Water temps are back down in the 80s, making for much more active daytime fish. There's a pretty good amount of green stuff: hydrilla, coontail, lily pads, and even big floating mats. Lots of choices. The water clarity is good on most of the lake.
The lake level is great for fishing - but not for traveling. Currently, it's at 401.56. Normal pool is 403, so it's about a foot and a half low. That means most of the stumps are just out of the water or just under the water. It's still very dangerous and there WILL definitely be a lot of boat damage next week.
For those of you fishing the tournament - BE VERY CAREFUL. If you see stumps, there's probably a lot more just under the surface that you don't see. Another 6 inches down and most will be exposed. But that isn't likely to happen in the next week. Idle through any stump fields and expect to hit a bunch if you aren't looking under the water.
I've been catching most of my fish around the grass early in the morning on soft plastics and shallow to medium crankbaits. As it gets later, I've been catching some of my fish deeper. But the shallow areas have been holding fish most of the day. So you can't abandon the shallows completely. It's a good idea to be prepared to fish shallow and deep - and let the current conditions tell you where to be.
There's a lot of variables that can make you have better decisions. It's better to be prepared for everything and let the conditions dictate your plan than to rely on history and plan your spots too far ahead of time.
If I spend more than 15 minutes in a spot and don't get bit or see some type of activity, I'm moving on to another spot. The more spots you have, the better you can do.
If I was allowed to fish this tournament, I would probably have at least 12 rods out and probably another 5 or 6 in the box. I would probably start out with a T-Rig, spinnerbait, or jig in the dark. Then fish a topwater, weightless (or light weight) soft plastic, spinnerbait, and shallow running crankbait at daybreak. After sunup, I would fish some of the same and add a dropshot, shakey head, medium crankbait, and a lipless crank to the mix. Then, I would rely on what happened in the last hour (as well as my previous day's success, the wind, other boats, birds, bass, and shad activity) and try to make a decision to go deep. Then if I graphed fish deep, I would probably pull out a C-rig, spoon, tailspinner, deep diving crankbait, swimbait, and a heavier drop shot. If I didn't like what I saw, I might pitch a jig under some docks or punch some matted vegetation. I believe the key is to be flexible and leave yourself lots of options. Almost every tournament I fished, I caught the majority of my fish on something I wasn't expecting - often something I didn't have rigged up when I started.
For those who have never fished the Sealy tournament, there will be a boat on just about every spot you want to fish. In fact, during this tournament, if there isn't a boat where you want to fish, you may want to question that spot. Bottom line - the more good spots you have, the better your odds for success.
If I can help, call me at 214-549-4644 or book your trip online at http://www.fishingguidenow.com/bookonline.cfm?guideID=2