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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. #14178801 11/02/21 12:11 PM
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Bluecat Bob Online Content OP
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It’s all about the stories, right?

After a dry spell I had put some decent fish in the boat, and at last thought I had cracked the code. Fresh bait, spotting groups and trolling for the win.

So this past Saturday up at o-dark-thirty to the lake armed with some big fresh Shad and eagerly anticipating putting some fish in the boat. I launch. I exit the truck to jump on the trailer and no boat.

flush

It’s floating around at the end of the ramp, and it’s blowing off shore. Sh*t! Boots off, coat off, and in I go. The water is down to 66F and while not cold it’s still a bit of a shock. I swim to retrieve my boat, grab the front eye and I swim it back to the trailer.

So what to do? Well I’m going fishing, so coat on, boots on, and I’m off.

Nothing, nada.

All part of learning right?

Yesterday I’m off again. A perfect fall day and being a weekday it’s quiet. I launch my boat (rope attached) and I’m off to the north end of Lavon. Wind is forecast NE 5-10mph. It’s 15mph with gusts. It’s a wet ride in a 16 foot boat!

I see a huge mass of birds sat * on the water. I shut the engine and try putting a couple of baits out. No joy. I continue up the lake. I don’t see many fish ** but decide to troll 😈 n the edge of the timber’s. The wind dies so I put the trolling motor in. No bites but one after the other I snag up.

Urgh.

I lost every rig bar one and the big baits I had on.

I go further north almost to the bridge. I go again and no snags but just one bite, not a take down and dag blast it I miss it.

Ok time to get some more bait. Short version no bait and minus one (newish) cast net.

Soldier on but run out of bait….

And for the grand finale?

The wind turned around to SE so I again power against the waves to get back to the ramp, around 6 hours after launch.

So what did I learn?
Cattin R hard!
No more trolling by timber’s!
I need to spend more time finding the fish
It was still a good day.

Onward and upward, because I will get some more fish in my darn boat!!

* fish sitting on the surface and not diving does not mean fish.
** I need to learn what good looks like on my fish finder

Last edited by Texas Brit; 11/02/21 12:20 PM.

Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
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Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14178807 11/02/21 12:17 PM
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Bluecat Bob Online Content OP
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Short version.

Texas Brit sucks!

PS thanks to the two guys in n the Tundra who checked on me as I was swimming with my boat on Saturday

Last edited by Texas Brit; 11/02/21 12:24 PM.

Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14178856 11/02/21 01:14 PM
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Catfish Tim Offline
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It's not as easy as it looks is it Bob? Time on the water. That's all you can do. You gotta learn patterns and then discover what pattern they are in on a given day based on wind, weather, water level, water temp, time of year, etc... You gotta learn the bait patterns as the temp rises and falls, as the wind blows or doesn't blow, most guys think bait gets harder to catch as it gets colder but the colder it gets the more they school up and the easier they are to catch.

You need to get a few seasons under your belt so you know what happens during the different times of the year. I used to hate June. I could almost guarantee you I was not going to catch fish in June. Now I can, it's definitely more challenging but I can catch fish. You also need to know that the worse the weather is, the better the fishing is going to be. Don't be a fair weather fisherman. Gear up and get out there.

Understand the metabolism of the fish and what happens to them when the water gets warmer or colder. They move slower when the water is cold. They conserve their energy. Understand that and adjust your presentation accordingly. When the water is warmer, move! cover water faster. Learn to use your electronics but don't think that's all there is. Look up. What are the birds doing? Where is the bait flipping on the surface?

These things are just the tip of the iceberg. Time on the water paying attention, studying, learning... Learn when you catch fish and when you don't. Read, watch, listen, remember... When you think you have this figured out, you're wrong. Just keep learning. after many years of working at it, and I mean working... sweating, bleeding, being miserable cold or miserable hot, eaten alive by bugs, run over by wake boats etc. etc. you still won't have it all figured out. Because it's always changing, always evolving.

It's a journey. It's a gift. Keep learning, and just enjoy the ride...


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5wggs_BdG9qtUoxSBp94Iw
Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14178864 11/02/21 01:23 PM
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🍀El Gato Azul🍀 Online Content
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I think it’s safe to say that just about every boater has had to swim for their boat at some point Bob. Be glad it wasn’t in the middle of winter!

Timber lakes are killer on cast nets and drift rigs too. You gotta scan your areas and runs good before dropping your net or lines. Get the old paper maps and they usually show where the timber is pretty good. Then go to those areas and scan them to make sure they are clear.. When fishing is poor, go scan for new drift runs. Pin where the timber ends and starts on your runs. Over time you will build a catalogue of driftable runs for different scenarios. This can take years but if you put in the time and effort now it will pay off big time down the road.

Bluecatn ain’t easy and you gotta put in a ton of work to be consistently successful especially if your fishing a variety of lakes. Stay after em Bob! I’ve spent many a days floating around like an idiot!


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
texas Check out out my YouTube channel El Gato Azul TV texas
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg0aV-uOxzxKxeqFFfREzKg
⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️ Home of little boys holding big catfish! ⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️
Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14178903 11/02/21 02:12 PM
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Thanks guys, and all great advice.

Time in the water amen and yes Sir, and I do have plenty of time.

I actually enjoyed yesterday. Every trip I learn new things, example using drift socks recently, and also suspending baits over rocky areas. Cold/bad weather doesn’t phase me at all. I used to kayak all year round and as long as you have the right gear, no problemo. I used to break the ice to fish back in the UK (idiot - lol).

I do find the forecasts that are way off frustrating, but it’s not like we can control God, right? I’ve already got much better at throwing the cast net and getting bait, but that’s been mainly on boat ramps which make it easy. I also need to try some new things. Anchoring, fishing with a float in the shallows,

Tim, you are right on in that every day cattin is a gift. The more days on the water the better I will get.

A couple of months ago my goal was to catch a 10 pounder. My goal now is a 30 pounder, and even if that takes me a few years it will be worth it when ones comes in the boat.

Onward and upward!!


Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14179862 11/03/21 11:02 AM
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Bob, I feel you man. It's been tough for me as well. I'm an old crappie guy and I'm used to putting 40 or 50 fish in the boat. I've been skunked many times but I've kept at it. Thanks to Chris and Tim and the wealth of info they've bestowed on me in the last few months, I'm getting better. I've learned that putting one 20 pounder in the boat is as good if not better than 40 dinks. After Azul's get together almost two weeks ago, I've done pretty well. I've been twice and put about 25 fish in the boat. I would suggest to you to get the Navionics mobile app on your phone. I do the paid version so I can get full detail with shading. I use it in conjunction with my sonar. It is extremely accurate and can help you position yourself perfectly. A couple of days ago I did quite well by finding a ridge in about 30 feet of water. It came up to about 22 feet and ran for about 100 yards. When I was looking for it, I made sure it was running in the same direction as the wind. I drifted right along it numerous times. The blues were hanging on the edge of it. If I drifted right along the top of it, I wouldn't get bit. I was pulling my baits along at about 25 feet. As far as bait goes, I've done better at finding gizzard shad. Threadfins will catch fish but seldom good sized fish. There's some good videos on youtube to figure out the difference on your sonar. I look for places along the shoreline that have a steep drop off. Also, for some reason, I find that sandy shorelines seem to be better. If there's big rocks around, don't let your net hit bottom. I'm not really qualified to be giving any advice here, but I wanted to help in any way I could.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Attached Files Screenshot_20211103-053519_Boating.jpg
Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14180895 11/04/21 01:14 AM
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Bluecat Bob Online Content OP
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Hey Skeetmaster, thanks for the info and encouragement man!

I have the Navionics app and the subscription service, and can confirm I use that plus the depth/fish finder. I don't have the shading just blue and white with contours, so I probably need to try another setting.

One of my challenges is I am hopeless at interpreting my small fish finder, so need to put more work in on Google/YouTube so I know what I'm looking at. I do fish structure/features, but I think my biggest mistake is not finding the fish. When I have had success it has been more luck than judgement to be honest.

There is a reason Catfish Tim and El Gato have so much success. Work work work, which means knowledge and experience. When Tim kindly took me out in his boat is was like magic, and the thing is he is consistent.

Tomorrow one of the catfish guys here at TXFF, a super nice guy who is retired like myself, we met up in McKinney this past week to talk fishing, has kindly offered to take me out in his boat up on Texoma tomorrow, so we can go fish together. He has fished that lake for over 30 years! Even better we are going to target live shad to use as bait, so more learning for sure.

I can't wait!

The week after next I am heading to RayBob again for a full week of fishing as I will be taking our RV up there on my lonesome, I think my lovely wife will enjoy a weeks peace and quiet.

Even if I dont have much luck I am 100% sure I will learn a ton.

I bought yet another cast net today, a six footer cheapy from Malwart, and immediately netted some good shad from the ramp at Lavon.

Maybe it's a sign - lol!

cheers

Last edited by Texas Brit; 11/04/21 01:27 AM.

Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14181954 11/05/21 01:43 AM
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Local TXFF member Gophish offered to take me fishing on Texoma today on his center console boat. The weather was cold @ 46F when we set off and getting bait was tough, but 60 years experience on the lake paid off.

[Linked Image]

A 25 pound Blue, a new personal best for me and a really super day.

He knows his lake and know his graphs.

[Linked Image]

A couple of others and some good size Stripers. A very good day and a ton of learning for this n00b.

PS the tiniest bite just a slow deliberate bite, and a battle to get him in the boat.

My sincere thanks to Gophish!


Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14182083 11/05/21 10:07 AM
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Catfish Tim Offline
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Bluecat Bob, you need to start writing things down. Your PB is 28... just sayin... [Linked Image]


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
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Re: Just when I thought I was cracking the code…. [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14182171 11/05/21 12:17 PM
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^ dang, you are 100% correct Sir!

My mind is clearly going

OMG

Thank you.

Last edited by Texas Brit; 11/05/21 12:18 PM.

Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
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