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Fishing Reports

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2006

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8-06 Westlake

With summer in full swing I didn't get out as much as I wanted too.  The weather was very hot a, I was away for over 2 weeks and the water temp still very warm 85+.  I did do a bit of evening fishing and got several on buzzbaits and crankbaits but no worm fish.  Nothing in the coves until near the end of the month and then I got a couple off the dock.  I'm going to try and fish more next month.

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8-11-2006

"Oh crap!" is pretty much how this night and tournament went for us.  Doug and I with the best of intentions got a late start as we had to go back to his house to get his life vest and to take some medicine for his sinus infection.  Finally on our way the car started acting up, gauges flipping all over the place and some sputtering.  Turned out to only need a new battery.  But not knowing that at the time we turned around and took the car back home and hooked the boat up to my other car.  OK, problem solved let's just get to the lake.  We get to the lake right on time to sign up and get a burger.  I ate my burger as the meeting was being given.  Then back to the boat to set it up.  That was when I realized that I left the boat keys AND the plug in the other car!  We fixed up a sort of plug, so that was ok, then I was able to get the lights and trolling motor to work without the keys so we decided to just fish close to the ramp without trying to go anywhere with the big motor.  OK, so we're fishing at our first spot.  I start with a crankbait.  A few casts into it I snag some weeds and pull it out.  I lift up the rod, grab the weeds and try to pull them off the lure in the process breaking my rod in two! Deep Breath, blow out, hooooooo.  OK, no problem, I pick up my rod with a buzzbait tied to it and proceed to continue fishing.  BAM, a nice 3 pounder smacks the buzzbait!  I get it back to the boat and I waited for Doug to net it.  It jumped and spit out the hook before we could get it in the boat.  Next time I'm just going to lift it in the boat if the net isn't there yet. Then over the next hour I proceed to hook and miss another 4 bass on the buzzbait until I finally get one in the boat.  Then Doug gets two in a row on an IKA and I miss a couple more on the buzzbait.  Later that evening Doug looses a nice on on a senko and then pulls one in on the senko.  So we go back to the scales at 2:30am and weigh in 4 fish for 9.18 pounds.  Good for 55th out of 67 teams.  Just one of those nights.  Oh yeah, when trying to put the boat on the trailer with the trolling motor, because it was dark, I got too close and broke my trolling motor mount! :( 

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7-06 Westlake

July just seemed to be either too hot or too busy to get out on the lake this month for fishing.  We had 20 straight days of 100+ degree weather and the fishing was just tough.  I went out three times for a total of 4 hours of fishing.  I ended up with 2 keeper bass and got them both on crankbaits in the main channel.  Heard some people talking about trying the deeper water by the dam and just drifting the main channels with soft jerkbaits and such but I did not get a chance to try those techniques.  

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7-29-2006

At this 3rd J&T Tackle Night Tournament Greg and I decided to just do what we knew and fish where we knew instead of trying any new places or techniques.  We fished from 6pm-12:15am against 47 teams.  At our first spot I cranked for a few casts and then went right to a drop shot worm.  Greg did a worm and then switched to a fluke.  Around 6:35 Greg yells "fish on!" and wee got our first keeper in the boat around 3.5 pounds. We went back and forth on that stretch for awhile and then headed into a cove.  I got a couple of shorts on the crankbait and Greg got a short on a worm.  Around 8:15 we crossed over to the other side of the cove I was still worming and so was Greg.  The wind was blowing pretty good and pushing us down the bank fairly steadily.  Greg broker off his worm and asked me to take the front.  So I picked up my crankbait again and proceeded to haul water.  I cast across a point and reeled in a couple of cranks when BAM! I got a hit!  Fish On! I reeled it in quickly and skated it into the net.  about a 1.5 pounder for our second fish.  A couple of minutes later "Fish On!" and I catch our third fish a 2 pounder on the crankbait.  Then nothing for the remaining stretch of the bank.  Then we decided to cross back over to the other side of the cove again.  I was a very dark night and tough to see where we were casting so every couple of casts I would turn on a flashlight and take a look at where the next few casts would be going.  I was still in the front and Greg was relaxing on the back worming when he says "Good fish" and is in the middle of trying to coax in a nice fish.  It ran to deeper water, ten under the boat and I finally got it in the net.  A nice 5.5 pounder!  Two casts later Greg Gets another one on the worm and this one was about 3 pounds!  9:15 we have our five fish limit.  A couple of dinks later and a couple of hours later we move to another spot.  I take the front again and start cranking.  On my third cast a good fish hits my crankbait about 10 feet from the boat.  It instantly jumped and spit the lure back in my face.  It was so close I never got a good chance to set the hook.  Oh well.  A little bit later Greg gets another fish on a worm about 1.8 pounds that culls out the smaller fish from earlier.  Then it was time to go in.  It turns out we ended up in 14th place with 15.82 pounds.  The winners only had 20.11 pounds this time.  If I hadn't lost that fish we might have had about 17+ pounds and ended up in about 6th place but overall we felt pretty good about our performance.  We got some free product and had a fun night of fishing!

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7-15-06

After doing well last night I was very excited to fish the J&T Casitas night tournament tonight.  We were out 3rd to last at 6:00pm and were unable to start at any of the spots we wanted to.  We started in a cove and used worms and crankbaits.  At 7:00pm I got a hit on the crankbait as I reeled it past an outside brush pile.  We netted our only fish of the night and it weighed 1.85 pounds.  After that we kept our line wet and fished hard but hauled water the entire night.  A couple of dinks here and there but no other keepers.  Just not our night.  Out of 56 boats we ended up in 48th place.  Hey, that's fishing!  We'll try again in 2 weeks.

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7-14-06

With the beating I took at last months FOCL night tournament, losing fish left and right, I was determined to do better this month.  We fished from 8:00pm-2:15am against 90 other teams.  Daytime air temp was 107 cooling to a sticky 70 degrees.  Water temp was 78-82 degrees in some spots and lake level was a little lower than last month.  I started out with a crankbait and at our first spot and on my third cast I got a SMACK and reeled into the net our fist fish of the night a nice 2.6 pounder at 8:20!  Ok, I didn't lose it and the line didn't break, this might be a better night.  Around 8:25 Doug shouts out, "Fish!" and pulls in a 3.69 pounder on a worm. Alright.  A couple minutes later he shouts again and pull in a 1.12 pounder.  OK 3 fish in the livewell 8:45 a get a hit and reel in a dink on the crankbait.  It was now dark and I switched to a drop shot worm.  9:00 I get a bite a reel in a 1.8 pounder.  At 9:15 I look back while Doug sets the hook on a fish and the fish didn't move!  A split second later it takes off under the boat and instantly comes unbuttoned.  Oh, man, that was a big fish.  At 9:30 another fish bit on the drop shot a 2.0 pounder.  OK, we now have our five fish limit for about 11 pounds.  Now we just need a big kicker fish.  We upsized our worms and our crankbaits looking for that big fish.  Around 11:00 I tossed to what looked like a rocky point and get a bite, I set the hook and quickly put a 2.3 pounder in the net to cull a smaller fish.  Then we hauled water for 3 hours.  With the time ticking by the moon was coming up and I got a feeling.  There was a little ripple on the water and I tied on a buzzbait. I cast several times in different directs to a point.  On my 5th cast my buzzbait landed a few inches from shore and I started to reel.  About 10 feet from the bank, BAWOOSH, a fish takes the buzzbait under!  Fish On!  A few minutes later We net our big fish of the night a nice 4.03 pounder!  With time running out we headed back to the weigh in.  We ended up with 14.12 pounds and in 26th place.  We had a better night than last month and a lot of fun.

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6-06 Westlake

In June I actually only took out my boat two times, got very busy with work and such and just couldn't get out.  In June I was able to get out and fish in my backyard lake 2 times for a total of 4 hours (mostly in the late afternoon/evening).  Water temps of the mid 70's at the beginning of the month and into the 80's by the end of the month.  This month I caught 17 keeper bass.  That does not count any fish under 13 inches nor does it count any fish that anyone else caught that fished with me AND it does not count the fish that never got to the boat (spit the hook, came unbuttoned, etc.).  Of the 17 fish I caught I got 4 on a senko, 5 drop shotting various worms, 1 on a spinnerbait and 7 on a crankbait.  I sat on the dock a few evenings and got a few drop shotting worms and senko's but nothing spectacular.

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6-17-06

After last nights romp I really wanted to do well tonight.  I met Greg at the lake around 4:00 and we drew boat number 23.  We fished from 6pm-12am.  Water temp 72-75 with a slight WNW breeze all night.  At 7:15 I pulled in our first fish on a Senko about 2 pounds.  Then Greg loaded the boat with two more in the next hour on flukes but also missed about 4 too.  Around 9:30 Greg stuck a keeper on a Texas rigged worm and around 11:15 I caught a small keeper on a crankbait.  and that was it.  Five fish for 9.04 pounds.  We ended up in 22nd place out of 52 teams.  One of the fish the winners weighed in was 9.42 pounds!  Bigger than all five of our fish.  Hopefully we can do better next month.

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6-16-06

Dougie Del and I went to Lake Castaic for the second of 5 FOCL night tournaments.  We fished from 8pm to 2:30am. Water temp 74-75 with 2-3 feet of visibility.  It was quite windy at the beginning of the evening but calmed down the later it got.  We hooked probably about 20 fish.  I had a very tough time tonight.  My first 2 fish came unbuttoned.  Then Doug pulled in 4 in a row.  I then lost 2 more fish before I was able to put one in the livewell.  We caught our fish on Senkos,  black power worms and one on a crankbait.  We did find some good areas for the next tournament but I was very upset from losing so many fish.  We ended up with 11.79 pounds for 5 fish and came in 60th out of 86 teams.  Just a very poor showing.  We'll try to do better next time. 

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6-15-06

The J&T night tournament series starts on Saturday night so Greg and I decided to go and check out the afternoon bite at Lake Casitas to see if we could find anything special.  Water temp was 72-75 with high water levels and extra clear.  In some spots we could see down up to 15 feet deep.  Air temp was about 90 degrees with a WNW wind 10-15 mph.  We fished from 3:30p-7:30p and we each ended up with one fish.  Couldn't really come up with a steady pattern. Greg caught a beautiful 5 pounder on a spinnerbait in one area and I caught one on a deep crankbait about 2 pounds in a different area.  We saw quite a few fish but because the water was so clear they were very skittish.  We hope that the darkness of the night will give us an advantage but we plan on making very long casts on Saturday night. 

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5-06 Westlake

I was a bit disappointed with myself in April only getting out to fish 4 times on my lake so I really made it up this month. In May I was able to get out and fish in my backyard lake 12 times for a total of 26 hours (mostly in the late afternoon/evening).  The spawn was on and the fish were all over the place.  Water temps of 65 at the beginning of the month to about 72+ and the end of the month.  This month I caught 134 keeper bass.  That does not count any fish under 13 inches nor does it count any fish that anyone else caught that fished with me AND it does not count the fish that never got to the boat (spit the hook, came unbuttoned, etc.).  Of the 134 fish I caught I got 74 on a senko, 35 drop shotting various worms and lizards, 23 on a spinnerbait, 1 on a buzzbait and 1 on an Ika. Now that is exactly what moved to this lake for. TWITA!


5-24-06

While attending the 2006 Cash Flow Convention in Atlanta Georgia, Ernie Brown and I hired a guide to take us bass fishing on Lake Lanier!  After searching for quite some time we finally decided on a guide by the name of Joey McBride of Tight Line Charters, www.lanierguidefishing.com.  I didn't want to go live bait fishing for stripers and wanted to just fish artificial baits for spotted bass.  We met Joey at 6:00am at the boat ramp.  The sun was not even up yet but we loaded up the boat and were off.  He said that the bass were hitting top water early so we stopped at our first spot about 5 minutes from the ramp and started casting.  We could see a few bass jumping along the banks On my third cast BAWOOSH!  I got a strike and played it in nicely for the first fish of the day.  This was also the first spotted bass I had ever caught so I got a picture of it.  Then it was Ernie's turn. WAPSHHH...Fish on! Ernie reels in a nice 2 pounder.  A few casts later Ernie has a massive blow up and hooks into a nice fish.  He gets it about 10 feet from the boat and it jumps up and spits the lure right back at us.  It was probably a 4-5 pound spot.  Oh well. We keep fishing along and by 8:00am we had caught about 7 on top water.  I really wanted to keep fishing with only artificial baits so I wormed a little, tried a crankbait and a spinnerbait while Ernie kept going with the top water. I did manage to catch a nice bream on one of Joey's homemade spinners!  Then nothing for awhile.  Then Joey asked if we might like to try for some Crappie by some of the docks flipping little tiny mini jigs.  So we hit one set of docks for only a few small ones.  Then we moved to another set of docks and the crappie bite went off.  One after another we reeled in nice slabs of crappie.  We put a few in his livewell for him to take home for dinner as well.  In between the crappie we also pulled in a few different fish.  Ernie caught a walleye and I got a small stripped bass. After that Joey finally convinced me to try for some spotted bass with live bait.  And that worked very well.  We went from point to point just for 5-10 minutes and if we didn't get a bite we moved.  Some locations we got nothing and others a couple spotted bass at a time.  Joey really knew the lake well and would put us on top of sunken brush pile after sunken brush pile.  As the afternoon neared the end I really wanted to catch a plastic worm fish while I was there.  So I rigged up a drop shot rig and a finesse worm and Joey put us on a bank of rocks and red clay.  I tossed up next to a submerged tree and got a soft tap, so I set the hook and WOOHOO I got a worm fish on Lake Lanier.  A few yards down the bank and I get a tap by the shadow of a rock and I get my second worm fish of the trip!  We ended up getting off of the water around 2:00pm.  Ernie and I had a great time with Joey and would recommend him to anyone that is looking for a guide on Lake Lanier.  We ended up catching a total of around 32 fish covering 5 different species with the majority of the fish being spotted bass in the 1-3 pound range (18).  What a blast! 


4-06 Westlake

April had quite a bit of rain associated with it and I was not able to get out fishing too much.  In between storms I managed to get out only 4 times for a total of 13 hours of fishing.  I caught 46 keeper bass which works out to be 3.54 bass per hour!  I caught 12 on beds, 20 on a senko, 4 on an Ika, 6 on a jerkbait, 2 on a crankbait and 2 on a Texas rigged worm..  It is so nice just to be able to go in my backyard, hop on my boat and start fishing.  I think I'm going to like living here a lot! TWITA! (That's What I'm Talking About!)


4-21-06

Tonight was the first of five Friends of Castaic Lake (FOCL) night tournament for the summer season.  It turned out to be a tough tournament.  Of 72 teams the winners only had 13.73 pounds for 5 fish.  We were let go around 7:30 pm with a weigh in at 2:30 am.  At our first spot Doug hooked our first fish about 7:50 on a 6 inch worm, a small 1.5 pounder but at least we got our first one in.  I was cranking the shoreline and Doug was worming.  About 9:00 I also switched to worming.  About 9:30pm Doug shouts out "FISH!" and pulls in what turns out to be our largest fish of the night on an Ika, a 2.74 pounder. Two fish in the boat.  We wormed that area for a little while longer and I decided to move.  On our next spot I finally got a fish texas-rigging a black worm that went about 1.6 pounds.  Then about 11:45 am I hooked another one that went 1.8 pounds on the same rig.  We worked hard and slow from shallow to deep feeling for anything different because the bites were very light tonight.  About 1:00am my bait was down around 15-18 feet and I was shaking it very gingerly when I felt a slight tap, I set the hook and our fifth fish was on.  I worked it to the boat and flipped it in!  Woohoo! We had our five fish limit.  Now we really needed a kicker fish but we just hauled water.  We ended up in 20th place with 9.56 pounds.  Not too bad for our first tournament together.  Very few teams had 5 fish limits so we felt good about what we had come up with.  Hopefully we'll do better in June!


4-19-06

Went to Castaic today with my neighbor Doug Delgado to make sure my boat was working and to scout out the lake for potential fish producing spots for the night tournament on Friday.  Only fished for about an hour with crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits.  Really did more graphing and looking than fishing.  Found a few spots that might have some potential, we will find out.  The first FOCL night tournament of the season is this Friday, Woohoo!


3-06 Westlake

March was a great month for bass fishing at Westlake.  I was able to get out 12 times for a total of 30 hours of fishing.  I caught 95 keeper bass which works out to be 3.17 bass per hour!  I caught one on a jig, 41 on crankbaits, 6 on a spinnerbait, 36 on a senko and 11 on beds.  On my best day I had Greg over to fish with me and in 4 hours we boated 26 bass and Greg's line snapped on a 6-7 pounder!  I had not had much experience with a senko but this month I really learned how to fish it well.  Woohoo


2-06 Westlake

This month I was only able to get out on the lake 10 times.  I fished a total of 15 hours and caught 26 keeper bass.  I stuck 12 near docks on an Ika, 6 on a crankbait, 3 on a gitzit, 2 on a jig, 2 on a drop shot and 1 on a jerkbait.  Only one winter storm rolled through at the end of the month with warm and sunny conditions the rest of the month.  Water temp ranged from a low of 54 to a high of 60 at dockside.  Near the end of the month before the storm several bass were seen cruising the shallows but no beds.  I caught several fish in my cove flipping the docs and on a crankbait this month.  Looks like they are starting to move in, maybe in March we'll have our first spawn.  Details to come next month!

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2-11-06

Went with Greg on his boat to check out the bite at Lake Casitas.  We fished from 7am-1pm.  Calm, sunny and warm day.  We saw a few people catch a couple of bass off of beds but we could not find any.   Around 10:00 we were working uphill on a semi rocky secondary point.  I was fishing a jig and got a bite but missed it.  On the next cast I got another bite and this time I didn't miss.  After a nice little fight I landed my first ever jig fish from Lake Casitas at about 1.5 pounds!  A few minutes later Greg reeled one in on an Ika about the same size. We continued on with rocky secondary points.  At 11:30 I felt a little pressure and set the hook on a nice 2 pounder using a drop shot roboworm.  We fished awhile longer and called it a day at 1:00.  Water temp was 56-60 and air temp was 44-81.  It was worth the trip to catch my first Lake Casitas bass on a jig.  I'll be using that more often. 

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1-06 Westlake

Started to keep track of conditions and fishing here at home.  This month I fished in my backyard lake on my converted 1984 Cajun bass boat 16 times.  I fished a total of 31 hours and caught 43 keeper bass.  I caught 22 on jigs, 14 on gitzits, 4 on an Ika, 2 drop shotting and one on a crankbait.  A fairly warm January with only one major storm at the beginning of the month.  Water temp varied up and down from a low of about 50 to a high of about 56 at dockside.  I caught no fish in my cove this month.

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8-20-2005

The last J&T tackle Lake Casitas Night Tournament.  If Greg and I did well we had a shot at the heavyweight award for the 4 tournament series.  We were out and fishing by 5:50pm.  I started out with what the same crankbait I used last time.  At 6:06pm I get a hit hit and set the hook.  A nice bass pulls back and shakes it head then it comes straight for the boat and the awaiting net.  Greg scooped it up immediately and we had our first fish in the boat at 4.67 pounds!  Woohoo!  This could be another great night.  Well, we cranked and wormed and buzzed and wormed and cranked some more.  Nothing.  Around 11:15 I was drop shotting and felt a little pressure.  I set the hook (as I had been doing all night on anything that felt remotely different) and this time something pulled back!  I played it nice and gentle and we got our second fish of the night in the boat around 2.10 pounds.  Five minutes later I set the hook again but it came unbuttoned before it even came up.  On the very next cast I feel a little tap and set the hook AGAIN.  This one I get to the boat but it was only 12 inches long so we tossed it back in.  And that was all she wrote my friends.  Two fish for 6.77 pounds.  Ended up in 20th place out of 36 boats for the tournament.  Overall for the four tournament night series we ended up in 6th place with 52.17 pounds in the four tournaments combined.  The winners of the series had 75.60 pounds for the four events.  Wow, that's a lot of good sized bass.  Then we went home to sleep it off and we'll try again next year.

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8-18-2005

On August 18, 2005 we closed on the purchase of a home on Westlake in Westlake Village, California.  We have a house on the lake with a boat dock and everything!  It is a 157 acre lake with an average depth of about 10 feet. There are bass, bluegill and catfish in the lake.  It is catch and release only, no body contact, electric motors only, 5mph speed limit, artificial lures and barb less hooks only.  I will be fishing everyday, even if just for a little while off of my dock) and practicing my technique, refining presentations, testing out lures, learning the lake and honing my bass fishing skills.  I will probably not write too many regular reports on my bass fishing at Westlake but I will continue to write reports when I fish at any other lakes.  Woohoo!  

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7-30-2005

This was the night Greg and I pre-fished for on Wednesday, the third of four J&T Tackle Lake Casitas Night Fishing Tournaments. We were hoping for a good draw so that we could get to one or two of the spots that we had found fish on Wednesday, no such luck. We were the second to the last boat out of 39 teams. So, by the time we finally got out there we did manage to get to one of our three spots that we scouted out on Wednesday. It was not our first choice but it would have to do. Greg allowed me to take the front of the boat for the entire night. I started out with my crankbait and Greg started out with a worm. About 15 minutes go by and my line feels a little weird I set the hook and a bass pulled back! First fish in the boat about 2.5 pounds. We proceeded to crank and worm for another hour and hauled water. So, time to move but our other chosen spots were taken. We decided to hit a point adjacent to one of our spots. I was cranking and Greg was worming. We hit the point from all angles for no fish. We proceeded to work our way into the cove. I made a cast right up next to the bank with my crankbait and about 15 feet from the bank I get a slight tap and I sweep set the hook and start reeling. Fish on! Itís a good one, it pulled drag twice and tried to jump but I stuck my rod in the water to keep it from jumping. I get it out away from the bank and Greg nets our second and biggest fish of the night, a nice fat 5.81 pounder. Woo hoo, 2 fish in the livewell and three to go, itís 7:30pm. A few minutes later Greg yells fish on and he cranks in our third fish of the night but this one is only 12 inches and we toss it back in the lake. We continue down the bank and approach a secondary point. On my fourth cast over the point I get another slight tap and I start reeling, fish on! A few minutes later Greg nets our 3rd keeper fish and it weighs about 4 pounds. It is now about 8:20pm and it is just about completely dark. We continue to crank and worm our way out of the cove very slowly and into a slight breeze. I continued with the crankbait and Greg wormed. Itís now about 10:00 and we are still looking for our fourth keeper. It is very dark, I here some noise behind me and I turn around to see Greg say "fish on". I drop my rod, grab the net and Greg pulls in a nice 4.5 pounder on a worm. All right, now we have four fish in the livewell, itís about 10:30pm. A few minutes later Greg yells "thereís a fish" and I get the net and scoop up a small bass. It measured only 12 inches and we tossed it back. We swing around the outside of another point and slowly work it from all angles, nothing. We decide to make another move, it is now about 11:15pm. I was still switching off between different crankbaits and worms, as was Greg. At night we always have several rods rigged up with different worm presentations and different lures. So that when we break a line on a bush or rock we donít have to re tie in the dark as often. Greg broke off another lure in a bush and has no other rods rigged up for night fishing but, he did have a worm rod with 6 pound line on it he uses for daytime fishing in the boat. We are running out of time and need to head back in just a few minutes. He grabs the rod with six-pound line and continues to fish with a worm. Not three casts later he shouts out "fish!" and I get the net. He worked it in carefully because of the light line and we finally get it in the boat, another nice 3-pound bass. All right, that completes our five fish limit. One more cast and we head back to weigh in. That was it for us for the night, seven bites, seven fish in the boat and only five of them were keepers. As I am walking up to the scales with our 2 bags of fish I see another team posing for a picture with a 9-pounder and a 7-pounder and I say to myself, "oh great". We weigh in an impressive 19.85 pounds. As we are cleaning the boat we over heard a guy say that three teams have over 20 pounds and two have 19 pounds so we are thinking fifth place or so. Well when it came down to the awards ceremony we had actually come in 3rd Place! We got a nice plaque and our pictures taken. It was really nice to have a plan come together and I really believe that our pre-fishing day was the reason we did so well. With one more night tournament to go at Lake Casitas we are also now in 5th place overall for the heavyweight award seven pounds out of the lead. We hope to have another good tournament and I think we will definitely do some more late afternoon pre fishing.


7-27-2005

The next J&T Tackle night tournament is in a couple of days. The last two tournaments the winning teams said they caught their fish on crankbaits and worms. Iíve got the worm thing down but I have not given enough time to catching crankbait fish and I wanted to try to find these elusive crankbait fish for the tournament. Greg and I met at Lake Casitas about 2:15pm. We were fishing at 2:30pm. On my first cast with a deep diving crankbait I got a hit and reeled in a 2.5 pounder! OK, so I can catch fish on a crankbait. A little while later we moved to another spot and this time, about 3:30pm, Greg connects with a nice bass on a deep diving crankbait, this one was about 5 pounds! Can it be this easy? We went to another spot and about 4:30 BAMM!!! I got a nice bass hooked but it came unbuttoned because I tried to play it instead of just cranking it to the boat. Lesson learned. We moved to another spot a few casts into the spot I looked down at the fish finder and paused my bait, BAMM! Another nice 3 pound bass this time! 5 minutes later, BAMM! Yet another bass, this one about 5 pounds also on the same crankbait! We moved from that spot right away, I hope they are there on Saturday night. We moved to another spot and Greg pulled in a keeper on a lipless crankbait. We moved to one other spot and Greg hooked another one on the lipless crankbait! About a half hour before closing I was tossing the same crankbait I caught the fish on and my line snapped during the cast and away into the hillside went my confidence crankbait. Ouch, that hurt. Lesson learned, when fishing cranks by bumping the bottom, bringing them through brush, hanging them in bushes and bouncing off of rocks I must check my line and retie more often. Note to self - retie often, especially during the tournament. We got off the lake at 7:30pm and felt very good about figuring out where we might be able to catch some crankbait fish on Saturday night. Wish us luck!


7-9-2005

Tonight was the second J&T Tackle Lake Casitas night tournament. Greg and I ended up in the first flight so we fished from 6pm till midnight. Things got exciting as I was pitching a Senko to the reeds and I set the hook on our first fish, a 2.35 pounder, at 6:45 pm. Ok, first fish in the boat. We cranked, threw worms, fished some top water, used a spinnerbait and fished hard all night long. At 10:00 we still hadnít caught our second fish, not even a bite. As we were slowly working down a stretch of bank I tossed my drop shot worm up into a dark cut. It hit the bottom and I shook it a little bit and lifted my rod, nothing. I shook it a little more and lifted my rod, nothing. I shook it a little more and all of a sudden my line went slack. I instinctively set the hook and my line started coming directly toward me. As I reeled to catch up with the fish my adrenaline started pumping. When I caught up to the fish it pulled drag and headed toward deeper water so I ran to the other side of the boat. Then it did a 180 and headed into shallow water. It got itself all wrapped up in a bush. I kept the line tight and I could still feel the fish shaking its head. Greg moved the boat around the bush several times as we waited for it to swim out of the cover, 4 or 5 minutes later it finally swam out of the bush. It pulled drag one more time and then Greg got the net around it. It was a big fish, an 8.39 pounder! It was 10:30, we had no other bites the rest of the night. We weighed in with our two fish for 10.74 pounds and waited for the awards ceremony. We ended up with 16th place but we won some money for the 3rd biggest fish of the night. That was fun. The guys in the top three all said the same thing. They caught most of their fish before dark on drop shot worms and crankbaits. The winners had 5 fish for 27.75 ponds.


6-25-2005

Tonight was the first J&T Tackle night Tournament at Lake Casitas. Greg and I met at the lake at 4:00 had some dinner and everyone put their boats in the water for the 6:00p blast off. We tried our first spot with no luck. At our second spot I was tossing out a Senko near some brush and when I lifted it up it felt a little heavy so I set the hookÖfish on! Our first fish in the boat at 7:30pm a nice 2.5 pounder. My very next cast I see the line jump and I set the hook on a 12" dink. A few minutes later Greg starts using a Senko and sticks a nice 3.9 pounder. Two fish in the livewell. There were a lot of shad in the area and the sun had just about gone behind the hills. I kept going with the Senko and Greg picked up a lipless crankbait for a few casts. A saw him set the hook on a branch and then all of a sudden he was fighting a nice fish. When he pulled the crankbait off of the branch the fish hit immediately. He worked it perfectly and I netted our biggest fish of the night, a nice 6.22 pounder. Itís 8:05 pm. Then when it got dark things really slowed down. Around 10:30 I got a fish drop shotting but it was only 12 7/8 inches long. The fish have to be 13" to go in the livewell, that one went back in the lake. Around 11:30 Greg gets one on the drop shot and it turns out to be a 2.1 pound keeper, our 4th fish in the livewell. That was it, then it was time to go to the weigh in at midnight. I weighed our fish in and we had 4 fish for 14.81 pounds. We didnít think it was enough for anything, especially at Lake Casitas but at the awards ceremony it turned out that we got 4th Place! Out of 53 teams and only 36 of them weighing any fish it turns out we did really well. There were only six 5 fish limits and 4 of them were behind us in the rankings. Weíre going to try it again on July 9th, so keep your fingers crossed for us!


6-11-2005

Jim Tuch had seen my fishing reports online and invited me to go fishing with him on his new Ranger boat. We elected to go to Pyramid Lake and see what we could get. We were fishing by 6:30am. Water temp ranged from 67-71 at the backs of some coves, water clarity was 0-1 foot max, clear sunny day with winds forecasted to be 15-30mph from the NNW and they were correct. We started out Jim threw a worm and I tossed a crankbait for a few casts. I then picked up my drop shot rig and proceeded to land 2 nice largemouth bass within a half an hour. We headed to another point where Jim got one on a dart-head worm then a bit later landed two on a Senko bait! I asked him to show me his techniques and he was very generous with his knowledge explaining to me the finer details of dart-head fishing and Senko fishing. In the meantime I popped another one on a drop shot rig. At the next spot I tossed out the Senko. On my third cast it felt a little heavy and I set the hook on a nice 2+ pounder. My first Senko fish ever! I was very excited. Jim picked up another Senko fish at that spot then we moved again. The entire day we caught at least 1 fish from every spot we stopped at. At the next spot Jim showed his experience again pulling in a couple more dart-head fish. Iím really going to have to practice that technique. At the next spot we asked some other bass fishermen how they were doing and they replied with Ďone fishí and we could not believe it. At that point we had at least 10 already. A few minutes later, right in front of them, I pulled in another fish on a drop shot rig! It was getting kind of windy and the Sheriff boat had just cruised by announcing that they were starting to pull water and that the water level would be dropping about a foot an hour. Jim was retying so I went to the front of the boat and started to work down the cliffs with my lip-less crankbait, thinking that with the water being pulled they might get on a reaction bite. About 10 casts into it my bait gets stopped right in its tracks and I hook into what I thought was a nice fish, he pulled and pulled then wrapped himself up in something. I could still feel him on the end of my line so we took the time to work it out and we boated our only crankbait fish of the day. Jim started to throw a jig. A few casts later he pulls in a nice bass on a jig! At the next spot we darter-headed and Senkoíd (is that a word) some more. In the back of a nothing looking cove Jim gets smacked on his Senko and pulls in another bass. A bit later I get a heavy feeling again and set the hook on my second Senko fish ever. I think I like Senkoís. What a great bait, similar to a soft jerkbait but heavier so you can cast it on a baitcaster yet tantalizing enough to boat a bunch of fish. Got off the water about 2:30pm. To sum up the day, great day of fishing. Jim and I probably boated between 20-25 fish all together on using drop shot, Senko, crankbait, jig and darter-heads.


5-21-2005

I took my friend Kevin Hammer out for a day of bass fishing on Lake Piru today. With the full moon two days away and a nice hot day we wanted to get out early. We actually started fishing about 5:40am. At 5:48 I had our first bass on a soft jerkbait, 2.5 pounds. A few minutes later at 6:00, bam, another 1.5 pounder on the soft jerkbait. Then at 6:10am Kevin reeled in his first bass EVER on a Rapala jerkbait, also about 1.5 pounds! Then at 6:20 I got another 1.5 pounder on a hard jerkbait this time. Then other fishermen in boats started surronding us and we elected to leave. Next cove I got two dinks on the soft jerkbait. We fished around and ended up at the back of another cover where I spotted a cruising bass. When I tossed my bait in it swam in circles around it. After 15 or so minutes with both Kevin and I tossing our baits in the general area of the bass I finally hooked up with our sixth fish that went 2.0 pounds, it was about 10:30am. We kept fishing with different baits and different depths but as more water skiers and boats were in the lake the fishing kind of slowed down. About 12:15 I hooked up with another 1.5 pounder on my soft jerkbait. Then at 12:30 I directed Kevin where to toss his drop shot rig and he got a nice 2.5 pounder off of a bed, only his second bass ever! He was so pumped! Things really slowed down so we hit the walls for some worming before we left and at 1:15pm I got a fat 1.5 pounder on a drop shot rig. That was it. We got off the water about 1:30 and left with a great day of fishing under our ArmstrongCapital.com hats! Woohoo! Thatís what Iím talking about!


5-7-2005

Today was the Bassing For Abused Kids Charity Tournament at Lake Castaic. This year I teamed up with my daughter for her first tournament with me ever. We started fishing from about 6am and came in at 1pm for the weigh in. One day before the new moon, water temp 66-69, 2-3 foot visibility with the lake at full pool. It was partly cloudy and sunny the entire day with winds from 5-15mph WSW. We started out with spinnerbaits and crankbaits for nothing. I switched to a soft jerkbait and on my third cast I got our first fish. About 1.2 pounds. I had lots of follows but not many were willing to commit. About 7:30 Charlotte hooked up with a nice 3.05 pound bass drop shotting in about 10 feet of water. So the rest of the day we drop shotted and used the soft jerkbait but couldnít get another one to go. We ended up with 2 fish for 4.25 pounds. It was a lot of fun fishing a tournament with my daughter and we might make it an annual event. With 37 teams participating we raised over $7,500 for the Royal Family Kids Camps, the nations leading network of camps for abused, neglected and abandoned children. Good fishing!


4-23-2005

Well, Saturday morning I took my boat out to Casitas again. Now itís 2 days before the full moon and I was hoping that over the last 2 days more bass would move up and I would have a better day than Thursday. Well, the water clarity still was poor, 2-3 feet. It rained a little yesterday and a cold front was supposed to pass through about noon. I started out in Wadleigh arm about 6:15am. I switched between a buzzbait, crankbait and soft jerkbait and went around the entire arm for nothing. Now itís 8:00 and I headed to a different cove, nothing. 9:50 I move to another cove and started out by casting my soft jerkbait passed the point a little bit. As soon as it landed a small bass slammed it and I got my first fish of the day, a 1.2 pounder. As I ventured in the cove I drop shotted slowly and used the soft jerkbait. I spotted a small fish on a bed and tossed my bait in there. It looked a couple of times but then it just hung back until the bait got out of the bed. A few more casts and it darted in and grabbed the bait. Fish number two for 1.8 pounds. About 10 minutes later I saw some movement at the bottom of a bush and tossed in my bait. On the first drop a fish blasted it and I had fish number three a 1.4 pounder. Kept moving down the bank casting and slowly working my way around. Itís now about 11:30. I started to flip and pitch a Texas rigged worm in the bushes and reeds just hoping that my bait would cross a fish or two. I pitched my bait into a pocket and a fish darted out but missed my bait. I looked a little closer and the fish seemed to be sitting on a bed. About 10 flips later it bit and I pulled in a nice 1.6 pounder. I continued to work down the bank and about 15 minutes later I pulled in another bass from a bed that went about 1.3 pounds. The wind started to pick up and I think the cold front started to pass over the lake. I got out to a main lake point and started to crank the shoreline for awhile. After catching several bushes I got a bump and set the hook on a fish. I reeled it in and this bass went about 1.4 pounds. That was it for me and I headed in about 1:00. I was hoping that the approaching cold front combined with the full moon in two days would trigger some kind of a wild spring bite but that was not the case. I only caught six small keeper bass for the day but any day you even catch one bass at Casitas it is a good day!


4-21-2005

Met Greg with his boat at Lake Casitas this Thursday morning. Hoping for a great day of bed fishing and catching lots of bass. The weather called for a high of 74 degrees and sunny all day with light winds. Water temp was 62-65 degrees and itís 4 days before the full moon. We started out with some crankbaits early. As we rounded a main lake point felt something stop my bait and I set the hookÖon a bush. The lake is full and the water level is the highest I can remember. There is flooded brush everywhere. A few minutes later I felt a bump and set the hook again. This time something pulled back and I reeled in our first bass of the day a small 1.5 pounder. That was about 6:30 then nothing. The water was not very clear, only a 2-3 foot visibility, apparently they said that they had an early algae bloom and the water clarity was very poor. If there were beds we couldnít see them very well, if at all. 10:15 I had been drop shotting a little while and felt a little tap in between the brush and set the hook on bass number two. This one was only about 10 inches long, but it was a bass! As we were cruising along I spotted a dark figure on a rock in about 2 feet of water. I tossed my soft jerkbait in there and it moved! We found our first bed fish. We both worked it for awhile and Greg finally got it to commit and reeled in a nice 2 pounder. About 11:15 we passed by a bush in the water and a bass rose up from the bottom of the bush to shoo my soft jerkbait away and I saw it settle back to the bottom of the bush. We spun the boat around to take a closer look and there she was a nice big bass with a smaller bass at the bottom of the bush. We both took our turns tossing our baits to the bottom of the bush and we could see movement every time we tossed it in. After about 15 minutes Greg set the hook and reeled in a nice 5 pound bass! Really a nice fish. A while later about 12:00 Greg spotted another bass on a bed. It looked to be about a 2 pounder so we again took our turns casting to the area. Again, the water clarity was very poor and you really had to go by feel rather than watching the bass take your bait. Well about 10 minutes into it I dropped my bait in there and felt a little tap so I set the hook. The fish came up and it was NOT a 2 pounder, this was a big fish. She must have been on the outskirts watching the activity and she rushed in and bit my bait. She wrapped me around a bush for a minute but I pulled her out of it. A few minutes later Greg lipped a nice fat 5.9 pounder!!! Now thatís some excitement. We were working the small male on the bed and she rushed in and grabbed the bait. Fun stuff. And that was it, four keeper bass for just under 7 hours of fishing.


3-4-2005

Well, I got severe tennis elbow (fishing elbow) in my right arm and have not picked up a rod for almost nine months.  I've been slowly building up my strength in my arm and doing exercises to help heal it. I've been having serious fishing withdrawals but I wanted to be sure it was healed before I went out fishing again.  Today was my day to test it out.  I met Greg at Lake Casitas at 6:30am and we were fishing by 6:45.  It rained in the morning so we had our rain gear on.  Water temp 58-60, stained with 2-3 foot visibility max almost all over the lake.  We had heard there was a good trout bait bite so we threw those for awhile and hauled water.  After throwing the trout bait, a spinnerbait and a crankbait for nothing I switched to my favorite soft jerkbait. At about 8:45am I was tossing it up in the flooded bushes and slowly twitching it out when a nice fish rolled on it!  I set the hook and the fight was on.  I led it out to deeper water and Greg lipped it for me.  It was a solid 3+ pounder.  What a way to get back into fishing and my arm felt fine.  We continued to work the same way out of the cove.  Greg had a bite but the hook set didn't take.  I had another roll but the fish missed the bait, only had the tail.  When we got to secondary and main lake points we wormed (drop shotted and texas rigged) from 0-30 feet but never did get a worm fish.  About 10:15 I got another one that went about 1.5 pounds on the soft jerkbait but that was it.  Around 12:00 we could see a big rain cloud coming so we got out of the water.  The minute we got his boat covered it started pouring rain.  Not a bad day.  I got to test out my arm and we caught a few fish.  I should be back to fishing regularly very soon.


6-11-2004

Haven't been out for awhile trying to dedicate more time working this year than fishing.  Went to Piru today with Greg to see if we could catch some bass.  We fished from about 6am-11am,  water temp was 68-70, winds SW 10-20mph, stained water 3-5 foot visibility max with an air temp of 60-80+ degrees.  We cranked, threw spinnerbaits, wormed, jerked and top watered for five hours straight nearly covering the entire circumference of the lake with the low water levels from 0-30 feet.  Greg never got bit, I got one 1.5 pounder at 6:30 on my favorite soft jerkbait and that was it.  Disappointing because I haven't been for awhile but hey that's fishing!

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3-13-2004

I hooked up my boat to go to Lake Casitas today and see if the bass had turned on yet.  If you remember last week I went and it was extremely tough fishing with only 1 bass to show for my efforts.  I arrived today at 6am and fished until 2:00pm.  Water temp at launch was 65 and in the afternoon 67 with 2-3 foot water clarity, foggy in the morning and burning off by 9:30 with WSW winds 5-10 all day long.  There were lots of people in line and launching their boats this morning so instead of making an early run I just motored around the buoy line and started fishing at 6:20.  I started with a shallow crankbait and after a couple of nice long casts I felt a little tick and set the hook and a fish started pulling!  I kept my rod low so it wouldn't jump and spit the hook out and got it to the boat.  Wow, 6:25 am and I pulled in a nice 3.3 pounder.  Two casts later Bam!  I got hit like a freight train, no question about it that was a fish! I reeled her in and she went 3.0 pounds at 6:28 am.  A few minutes go by with nothing and I am just about to leave this area when I stick another one on the crankbait this one came in at 2.4 pounds, time 6:39 am.  This would turn out to be one of the funnest days of fishing I've had at Casitas in quite a while.  I started writing down the time I caught each fish along with their weight.  I went back over that first bank really quickly and then decided to move on.  At my second spot I cranked for a couple hundred yards before I stuck another bass at 7:17am and then I think the crank bite was over.  I moved to a third spot and crank for 10 casts or so then switched to a drop shot worm rig and started working it from 0-25 feet.  I cast it out and started working it back when the line moved slowly off to my left, that wasn't supposed to happen so I set the hook, and guess what?  It was a fish!  I worked it back to the boat and at 7:59am I pulled in a solid 2 pound bass.  I kept working my way around the cove and got 3 more fish on the drop shot worm.  A 1.7 pounder at 8:17am, a 1.8 pounder at 8:39 am and a nice 2.6 pounder at 8:43 am.    As I was worming I would be slowly looking for any signs of a bass on a bed, the water was not exactly clear and it was tough until the sun started to peak through.  I saw a bass up shallow and flipped my bait to it several times, it didn't leave but it was too aggressive.  I switched baits and flipped it back right in the middle of the bed.  I gave it a little shake and Bam! He took it.  Hey, my first bed fish of the year at 9:00 am, a nice 1.6 pounder.  And that's how I spent the remainder of the day, I would worm along slowly and occasionally throw the crankbait and at the same time look for any bedded fish.  I did not get any more worm or crankbait fish the rest of the day.  However, I was able to get 8 more on beds weighing between 1.6 and 4.0 pounds, an hour did not pass that I didn't catch a fish.  I didn't loose any fish and I didn't break any off, just a great fun day of fishing!  Of the 17 bass I caught today my best five for the day went 4.0, 3.8, 3.4, 3.3 and 3.0 for a nice 5 fish limit of 17.5 pounds.  If the water was clearer I am sure that I would have gotten more bed fish, most of the bed fish I got were either very shallow or just deep enough that I could see some movement but not exactly sure so I would slowly fish where I thought there was a bed and pick one up here and there.  That's what we call catching!

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3-12-2004

Went to Lake Piru with Greg today to see what was happening.  We fished from 6am to 12:30pm, water temp 55.5-57.5, 3-6 feet visibility, low water levels. and quite windy most of the day SSW 5-15mph.  We started out with crankbaits and spinnerbaits for nothing.  About 8:30 I heard Greg make a noise like he hooked a fish and I turned around to see him flying through the air into the water!  The trolling motor was on high and he pushed it to go while he was trying to retie his crankbait and the direction of the trolling motor thrust sent him into the cold water.  I quickly gathered myself and since I couldn't pull him in the boat I had him hold onto the boat as I got us to the shore where he could stand up and get back into the boat.  He was thoroughly soaked and his clothes weighed a ton.  He had a spare set of dry clothes and we were fishing again within 20 minutes.  Whew!  Anyway back to fishing, about 9:50 I got a nice 1.5 pounder split shotting a worm in 15-20 feet of water.  Then a few minutes later at 10:10 Greg got a 1.8 pounder drop shotting in 15-20 feet of water.  That was it except for the fact that with the low water level we probably fished the entire shoreline of the lake with different methods and couldn't really find too much bass activity.   

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3-7-2004

Greg and I fished the National Bass team tournament today at Castaic.  We fished from about 6:30-3:30.  The wind was a stiff NNE 15-20mph with higher gusts all day long.  Water temp about the same as the other day 51.5-54 and the lake was still full of water.  We threw everything from trout baits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits to Texas rigged, split shot and drop shot worms.  By 2:00 we still did not have any bites or fish in our livewell.  It looked to be pretty gloomy until all of a sudden on my split shot worm I feel a little extra resistance and I set the hook, fish on!  Oh, please let this fish stay on and get it in the live well.  It came up to jump and I put my rod tip in the water, it pulled a little drag then Greg was finally able to net it for us!  It was a nice 2.49 pound pre-spawn fish that came out of about 15 feet of water.  Ok maybe now the bite is going to pick up for us.  Several casts later I toss my split shot worm out and slowly start working it back about 1/4 the way back to the boat I feel a slight tap and immediately set the hook, fish on!  It came up once, went back down and pulled some drag a couple of times.  Greg was finally able to net it and it weighed 3.66 pounds.  It was 2:15.  2 fish in the boat and we just needed a couple more to have a limit.  We fished that area and the adjacent area several times over in the next hour and never got another bite.  We ended up with 6.05 pounds for 2 fish and a nice 27th place finish.  Most teams figured it out before us and caught their limit plus some on split shot worms. It took 13 pounds to get a check and the winners had 15.90 pounds.  

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3-6-2004

Today I took my boat out to Lake Casitas to see what was happening.  It had rained last week and they said the water level had risen 2-3 feet.  The water temp was 58-60 in the afternoon and was moderately stained with only 2-3 feet visibility, the winds were calm until about 10:30 when a little breeze picked up from the WSW.  I fished from 6:30-12:30.  There was a Southern California BASS Chapter tournament going on with 20 pros competing in it.  I started out with the trout bait and crankbait then gradually switched over to drop shot and Texas rigged worms.  I didn't see any fish on or near anything that looked like a bed or up cruising all day long.  At 1:45 in about 15-20 feet of water I was drop shotting my favorite 6" Robo worm and it just felt a little heavy so I set the hook just like I had been doing all morning.  But this time it pulled back and I could feel a good fish shaking its head.  It never came up and it pulled drag and went straight to deeper water, I thought it was a big one.  With 6 pound line I just kept the line tight and worked it in slowly.  I finally got to the boat and lipped a nice 3.6 pound bass on my scale!  It was a female with a nice belly just beginning to get full with eggs.  A nice pre-spawn bass.  I worked the same methods in several similar areas but that was the only fish I got all day.  Of the 20 BASS pros that fished in their tournament only 2 weighed fish!  1st place was a little over 17 pounds with 3 fish all caught on a trout bait in 6-18 feet of water.  In 2nd place was a guy with one 1.5 pound bass.  The other 18 pros blanked!  If I would have been in the tournament I would have came in second place but what made me feel even better was that I caught a fish today and 18 pros did not!  A great day of fishing!  Woo Hoo! 

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3-5-2004

I can't believe I have not been fishing in almost 4 months.  I'm going to try to make up for it by fishing the next 3 days in a row.  Today Greg and I went to Lake Castaic and we fished from 6:30am - 2:00pm..  There is a National Bass tournament here on Sunday and we thought we'd come check it out before the tournament.  The lake was full, water temp 51.5-54 in the afternoon, fairly clear water and mild NNW winds 5-10mph all day.  Greg wanted to show me how he caught some fish on his new favorite bait a Texas rigged ***.  He got three bites on it but couldn't get them to stay on the hook long enough to see if they were bass or how big they were.  I used everything including a trout bait, crankbaits, soft jerkbaits, split-shot, drop-shot and Texas rigged worms.  I never got bit in 0-40 feet of water.  That's what I get for not putting my time in but it was good to go fishing again.  

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11-15-2003

Greg and I fished the season opener National Bass Tournament at Lake Castaic today.  The water level dropped about 4-5 feet since last week, water temp 66, still very clear, winds WSW 5-10 with early morning drizzle/rain and cloudy all day.  We fished from 6:15a-3:15p.  We had a few follows early on soft jerkbaits and trout baits.  Picked up a dink here and there on different things.  Greg put our first keeper in the boat about 10:00 on a drop shot worm in about 5-10 feet of water.  At 10:20 I pulled in another keeper split shotting a worm in 20-25 feet of water.  We threw trout baits, jigs, spoons, crankbaits, jerkbaits and different worms from 0-40 feet and could not get another keeper the rest of the day.  The winning team had a weight of only 12.17 pounds with one of only three 5 fish limits caught.  We ended up with our two fish for 3.43 pounds that put us in 15th place out of 26 boats. 

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11-7-2003

Greg and I went to Lake Castaic today to pre-fish a little for next Saturday's National Bass tournament at Lake Castaic.  We fished from about 6:30a-12:30p, water temp about 67, day before the full moon, water level dropping, clear water visibility 5-10 feet, and wind 5-10 ESE.  We tried various reaction baits for the first hour or so the I switched to a drop shot.  Greg saw lots of bait balls and spooned a little bit pulling up small 3 inch baby bass and got a 6 inch on a crankbait.  About 9:00 I got a keeper about 1.75 pounds on a split-shot worm in about 20 feet of water.  About 10:00 Greg pulled in another keeper on a drop shot worm in 5-10 feet of water and another squeaker about 11:00.  We tried many different lures and depths using jigs, spoons, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and trout baits.  We had several nice follows on medium size trout baits but no takers.

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10-12-2003 

Greg and I fished at the 2-day National Bass Invitational Team Championship Tournament at Lake Havasu in Arizona.  We left early on Thursday morning and arrived in Lake Havasu and were fishing by 11:30am.  We had never gone up the river so we wanted to check it out.  We motored up through the first portion of the river to Blankenship.  We tried some crankbaits, topwater and jerkbaits but all we could see were carp.  We moved down back towards the lake a found a little spot that had some largemouth bass (LM).  I had a couple look at my baits but we didn't catch anything.  Greg and I have never really fished the river for LM and dealing with the current and wind were a bit too much to learn in one trip 2 days before a big tournament.  River water temp was 69 and the lake water temp was 79, about a 10 degree difference.  We decided to try to go with our strengths in lake fishing and headed back to the lake.  About 4:00 Greg got our first smallmouth bass (SM) on a crankbait and followed 20 minutes later with another one.  Around 5:00 I got my first SM of the trip on a jerkbait.  We got out of the water about 5:30.  Friday at 6am we launched down at Cottontail Cove and headed down into the Bill Williams arm.  About 8:00 Greg picked up a keeper SM on a tube and then another a bit later.  No top water, no crankbaits, no jerkbaits no drop shot worms.  We started to slowly head back toward the launch ramp and hit a few more spots on our way.  At 9:30 Greg hooks up on a SM with a crankbait, a few minutes later he hooks another one and a 3 pound SM jumped and spit his crankbait out.  We ventured into the cove and I still had not caught anything.  I decided that since it was tough to downsize some of my baits.  I put on a small crankbait and a medium size spinnerbait and small worms.  As we fished into the cove I was throwing my spinnerbait and as we were going by a small tulle patch I pitched it into a little corner in the tulles.  Bam!  A nice 2.5 pound LM hit and I reeled it in. That was only the second LM that either Greg or I had ever caught at Havasu.  As we were going out of the cove I was throwing my small crankbait and I felt some weeds so I tried to jerk it out and another LM bass got it that went a little over a pound.  That was about 11:00.  We went a little further up the lake and wanted to test what we had found at another spot.  We stopped at another small patch of tulles and Greg was now throwing the spinnerbait and I was throwing the small crankbait.  As we entered the spot Greg picked up a 1 pound LM on the spinnerbait and then a nice 2 pound SM that came from 20 feet away to smack his spinnerbait.  OK 12:00, back to Sandpoint Marina for some lunch then back on the water.  We didn't get much else a few dinks here and there and about 2:30 I caught a keeper SM on a drop shot rig in about 20 feet of water.  Then we headed back in about 3:00.  Saturday, tournament day, we got nothing at our first spot and we worked the area for about 2 hours for no fish.  We moved down to a different spot and about 8:30 the I hook into a fish on the drop shot rig.  It came straight for the boat and when it got close it went down and immediately rocketed in the air and spit the hook in my face not 5 feet from the net.  I just lost a nice 3 pound smallmouth.  Not a good feeling on tournament day.  Greg popped a couple of shorts on the tube and then when a little breeze started we decided to hit some tulle areas.  I don't know what made me do it but I set up a Texas rigged worm that I hadn't tried in practice and as Greg worked the tulles with the spinnerbait in front I worked the worm. At 9:45am I made a pitch to the edges and then a little tap, tap and fish on!  I pull in a little 1+ pound LM.  Whew, first fish in the boat.  Then Greg gets a nice 2.5 pound largemouth on the spinnerbait and then another 1 pounder.  A few casts later I pitched my worm in nice little cut in the tulles and tap, tap, BAM, fish on!  I pull in another 2.5 pound largemouth.  a few minutes later Greg pulls in another squeaker LM that just did measure 13 inches.  Wow, now we had our 5 fish limit and it was only 10:45a.  After that we had several shorts on spinnerbaits, drop shot worms and tubes.  Six keeper bites and 5 keeper fish in the livewell for the day.  We weighed in with 7.88 pounds at the end of day one.  Day two, Sunday, I decided to start with a drop shot worm.  We went to a place that we had not caught a fish off of the entire trip and we thought we would give it one quick pass and move on.  At about 10 yards from the end we were about to give up on the spot I get a mushy feeling and sweep the rod back, fish on!  I stuck my rod in the water so that it would not jump off (like yesterday) and Greg netted our first SM of the day at about 1.7 pounds.  We make another pass and Greg pulls in a squeaker SM on his tube bait.  OK 6:35am and two fish in the livewell.  We now have 5.5 hours to catch three more keepers.  After one more pass with no bites we head to our second spot.  Greg drops the trolling motor in and it is not working.  He tries for about an hour to figure it out and fix it but determines that the wires were all fried and we would have to try to fish without it.  As he was working on the trolling motor I picked up a short SM on the dropper rig.  We then tried to fish with the wind pushing us along but the wakes from boats passing by kept pushing us into the shore.  About 9:30 we head to some of the tulle patches.  I got in front of the boat down on my knees and rowed us along in between pitches and Greg was tossing the spinnerbait in the back.  About 10:00 I had a little tap, tap and pulled in a keeper LM pitching my Texas rigged worm.  That was it.  I rowed and flipped and Greg threw the spinnerbait and flipped and we got a couple of dinks and a Warmouth (big bluegill type fish).  Weigh in was at 12:00 and our 3 fished weighed in at 4.04 pounds.  We ended up with a total of 11.92 pounds for 8 fish and took 8th place overall.  The winners had over 21 pounds!  The weather was decent the entire 4 days with lows in the 70's and high's in the 90's with winds 5-10mph, the first 2 days from the south and Saturday from the north and Sunday WNW.  Overall, we had a lot of fun fishing for 4 days straight, I caught my first flipping and pitching fish and learned a little bit more about fishing at Lake Havasu.  

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10-4-2003

Went to Lake Pyramid today for some fun fishing.  I was fishing by 7am, water temp about 74-75 degrees with WNW winds building to 10-15 mph by the afternoon.  Water was fairly clear in some spots.  I started out throwing a lipless crankbait.  On my 5th cast I feel what I think are weeds and then it pulled back and I reeled in a nice 2lb LARGEMOUTH.  A few casts later I hook into another largemouth that went 1.5 lbs.  Then nothing.  I went to a different spot and threw some topwater and stuck one 8 inch dink. Tried some spinnerbaits and a jerkbait for a couple of follows then went back to the lipless crankbait.  A few casts later and I reel in another largemouth about 2 lbs, then nothing.  I moved to another spot and still with the lipless crankbait I felt a pop and stuck my first SMALLMOUTH of the day about 1.5 pounds.  Several casts later I got another  nice 2 lb+ smallmouth.  I worked that area over several times with the lipless crank drop shot and texas rigged tube but didn't get anything else.  It was now about 10:45 and I decided to move to the river channel.  I started working it with a hard jerkbait and within a few minutes I pulled in a nice 3 lb STRIPER!  I keep working the jerkbait and going farther and farther back into the shallow river channel.  I kept getting hits but they were not hooking up.  I switched to a smaller jerkbait and finally got a nice 2.5 lb TROUT!  I stayed with the small jerkbait and I could feel the hits but they just weren't connecting.  I had a small shallow diving crawdad colored crankbait tied on a rod so I thought I would try that.  First cast a hit and a hook up another beautifully colored and speckled trout.  Within the next 1/2 hour I pulled in and released 9 trout.  I was hoping there were more stripers in there but there wasn't so I moved on.  The wind started to pick up and I tried the spinnerbait and crawdad crankbait in the mud-lines for awhile as I worked my way back towards the ramp.  Nothing.  I picked up the lipless crankbait again and decided to work one last bank.  As I rounded a point, bam, another 1.5 lb smallmouth and then a few casts later. BAM! a much nicer smallmouth hits my lure and jumps 3 feet out of the water, this was a nice one.  I loosened my drag and let it tire out a little then I got it in the boat and it weighed 2.8 on my scale.  Wow, do they fight hard, I though it was going to be 4-5 lbs the way it was fighting.  I went back over the same area again then decided to pack it in about 1:30pm.  That's a mixed bag of 18 fish overall with 4 largemouth, 4 smallmouth, 1 striper and 9 trout.  What a fun day of fishing! 

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9-13-2003

Saturday night, Mike Taylor and I fished the final J&T Tackle night tournament at Lake Casitas.  We fished from 6pm-12:15am against 44 other teams. Water level was low, we were using the 3rd ramp, water temp 78 in the Marina to 75 by the dam with better water clarity by the dam.  We started out at a spot I found a few weeks ago and it had 4 other boats on it by the time I arrived but we stayed in the general area anyway and fished soft jerkbaits and crankbaits for nothing.  At sunset we headed to a different area and cranked and wormed and buzzed our arms off.  Around 11:00 Mike had a fish on with a crankbait but it somehow came off.  We got skunked.  Out of the 44 teams only 59 fish were brought in to the scales with only 2 five fish limits and only 25 teams brought in a fish.  Over the 4 summer night tournaments at Casitas this year I did not even get a bite, that is some tough fishing conditions.  But someone always figures them out or gets lucky and that's what fishing tournaments is all about.   

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9-12-2003

Friday night, Greg and I fished the final FOCL night tournament at Lake Castaic for this year.  The water level was as full as it has been all summer with weeds and bushes everywhere.  We fished from 7pm until 1:15am, water temp about 75 winds fairly calm most of the night.  It started out with some excitement when Greg got a big blow up on his topwater bait but we didn't get our first fish in the boat until about 8:45pm on a black power worm.  So I switched to worming and about 10:00 I pulled in a 2.21 pounder on a texas rigged black power worm.  About an hour later Greg got another keeper and that was it.  I had a dink on a crankbait and Greg had a dink on a worm but other than that quite a slow night.  We weighed our 3 fish in for a total of 6.12 pounds and ended up 23rd out of about 67 boats.  Not in the money but a decent showing for a tough night of fishing.

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9-6-2003

Greg and I fished the final 2003 National Bass Night Tournament Series at Lake Piru.  Greg and I were fishing for the Angler of the Year title again and at the beginning of the tournament there was one team in front of us by one point and one team behind us by one point.  They started dumping water out of the lake on Tuesday and the level was going down about 1 foot per day.  Water temp about 76 air temp at launch about 90 and the moon was out the entire night.  We fished from 6pm to 12am.  Greg got a couple of dinks drop shotting then our first keeper about 8:20 in 10 feet of water on a texas rig worm.  Greg picked up a dink on a deep crankbait and we went back to worming.  About 10:15 I got a bite hopping my worm behind the boat in 30-35 feet of water.  I had a lot of line out so it took awhile to get it in but it was a solid 2.39 pounds.  That was my only bite the entire night.  Greg picked up another dink and then at 11:45 he got our last keeper on a deep crank.  7 bites, 3 keepers and 4 dinks for a total weight of only 5.37 pounds.  We did not place high enough to win Angler of the Year ending up in second place in the points race.  Congratulations to David Toth and his girlfriend Kristine who won the National Bass Piru Series Angler of the Year title!  We will be going to the Championship 2 day tournament on Lake Havasu in October.  Wish us luck!

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9-1-2003

Today was Labor Day and I took my daughter with me to Lake Piru to fun fish and to do a little pre-fishing for the last night tournament on Saturday.  We fished from 6:30a-11:30a then the crowds and waves from the water skiers got to be too much.  I had her throw a spinnerbait and soft jerkbait most of the day and I stuck with reaction baits.  We each got a dink on a jerkbait but no keepers today.  I did have a couple of follows with the spinnerbait and a blow up on the buzzbait but nothing spectacular to speak of.  Just a nice day with my daughter before school started.

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8-30-2003

Went to Lake Casitas today for a little fun fishing and scouting out for the last night tournament in a few weeks.  Fished from 6:30a-12:30p, little to no wind, hot and sunny, water clarity 1-2' max, water temp 78-80 degrees.  I went to several different spots than I normally would trying to at least get a strike or follow on a reaction bait to find some active or grouped up fish.  I fished crankbaits, buzzbaits, soft jerkbaits and hard jerkbaits.  Had only a couple of follows and ran across a group of couple dozen good 2 to 3 pound fish with 3 to 5 pounders jumping every now.  I know they were bass because when they jumped they cleared the water!  Lots of bait fish in the area and normally I would not have even stopped in the area but the water is very low (3rd ramp) and there was some cover I hadn't noticed before.  I got several follows and then just cruised the 150-200 yard area and I saw quite a few good fish.  The bigger fish were the ones chasing and jumping.  I will definitely give it a try at the night tournament.

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8-16-2003

Mike Taylor and I headed out to fish the J&T Tackle Lake Casitas Night Tournament tonight in my boat.  The water level had gone down even more since the tournament last month and we were now using the third ramp.  The water was dirty and brownish with only 1-2 feet of visibility and 80-82 degrees.  We fished from 6pm - midnight against 57 other teams. We started out trying for a reaction bite on the windy areas with cranks and jerkbaits.  When the sun headed down past the hills we buzzed and cranked some more.  Mike caught a nice 3 incher on a surface popper and that was our only fish the entire night.  We buzzed, cranked, and wormed all night.  Around 11:15 the moon started to come over the hills and we started to buzz, I had a roll on my buzzbait but it didn't even touch the bait.  And that was it.  Only 31 of the 57 teams weighed a fish and there were only 3 five fish limits.  The winner had 4 fish for 29.77 pounds.  It was a tough night for us but someone always finds the fish.   

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8-15-2003

Greg and I fished the FOCL Lake Castaic Night Tournament this evening from 8pm-2:30am.  Water was down a little bit, extra clear and about 73 degrees.  Right off the bat Greg started in with 2 decent fish on a spinnerbait on his second and third cast.  Then it slowed for a little while.  Around 9:00 Greg started picking up bass on a black power worm. About every 20-30 minutes Greg would just keep pulling in bass and we were culling by 10pm.  I was doing everything right but could not get bit in the back of the boat all night long.  Oh, I did get one small 1.5 pound bass but I had set my rod down to net a fish for Greg and when I picked it up the fish had swallowed my bait so I'm really not counting that as a catch.  Greg managed to catch about 15 fish through out the night and we ended up in 37th place out of 102 boats with 10.52 pounds for our 5 fish limit.  After talking with some of the other teams I was not the only guy in the back seat to not catch fish.  Several other teams had mentioned too that the guy in the front of the boat caught all of their fish.  The bass must have just been extra spooky and after the front of the boat passed them they would just turn off or swim away.  It was a strange night of fishing for me.  Although I did get to watch the fireworks from nearby Magic Mountain and the stars and moon were especially beautiful tonight.

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8-9-2003

Greg and I fished the 3rd National Bass Lake Piru Night Tournament together tonight.  Fished from 6-midnight.  Greg got a nice 4.45 pound bass about 7:45p on a senko type bait in really shallow water and that was it.  We cranked, spinnerbaited, buzzed and wormed all night long but never got another bite the entire evening.  We actually ended up in 11th place out of 31 teams with just that one fish.  We are in second place in this series for the Angler of the Year points race and the last tournament is in September.  We have to beat several good teams to win the Angler of the Year title and make it a back to back winning season.  We will definitely give it our best shot.

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7-26-2003

Tonight Mike Taylor and I took my boat to the Lake Casitas J&T Tackle Night Tournament.  It was quite windy when we got to go out at 6pm.  We started off with cranks and spinnerbaits on the windblown shorelines looking for some action.  Around 7:30 we switched to buzzbaits for the sunset bite and we were going to motor over to another spot at 7:55 because we could only go 5 mph after 8pm.  As we were rounding a point we had our buzzbaits about three feet apart from each other and a nice fish blows up on Mike's bait.  I move the boat away from the shore and get the net.  A few minutes later we net a nice 5.93 pounder!  The time 7:55 exactly.  At around 9:30 we hear a splash in the water.  Mike reaches down and his cell phone is gone.  He had lost his cell phone in the water.  Around 9:55 we wanted to move and I reached down for the cord to pull up the trolling motor and it snapped on me.  Mike saved me from falling in the water.  Now I had to release the hinge with my pliers as Mike pulled it up.  10:30pm I try to spin the boat around to go over an area one more time and the trolling motor would only go to the right, I had lost steering control of the trolling motor.  So for the rest of the night Mike would hold it in the direction we wanted to go and we would move forward, fish for awhile and then move forward again.  We ended up not moving from that area for a while longer as we continued to buzz, crank and worm that area for quite some time.  After moving from that area to another and back it was time for us to weigh in at 12:15.  As we are heading in the boat motor dies.  I rush back to see what it might be and the fuel line had become disconnected somehow.  We fixed that and made it back with 30 seconds to spare.  Man! No other bites on anything the entire night.  We found out after the fact that the lake was "blue-stoned" just a couple of days earlier which normally puts the bass bite off for several days after treatment, which didn't help fishing at all.  The weights were very low.  Winning weight was 19.60 pounds.  We ended up with our one fish for 5.93 pounds and tied for 14th place. Of the 57 teams only 38 teams weighed 64 fish, total!  Very tough fishing conditions.  We got some nice product, some t-shirts, line and lures for our efforts.  

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7-25-2003

Greg and I went to try our luck tonight at the Lake Castaic FOCL Night Tournament.  We fished from 8pm-3am with our competition being 108 other teams.  Water temp was around 75 air temp from 92 down to 65 or so by 3 am.  We decided to do the opposite of what we did at the last Castaic night tournament.  We fished the total opposite side of the lake.  We fished some reaction baits for a while when we first arrived at our spot for nothing then started to worm our way down the bank in this one cove.  I tossed my worm in inches of water and started shaking it down hill, I felt a tap tap and set the hook.  First fish of the night 2.2 pounds and it was only 9:25pm, alright!  I continue to do the same thing, toss the worm up close to shore and shake it back down, tap tap, second fish on an in, this one was 1.6 pounds and it was now only a few minutes after the first fish, 9:30pm.  Woo-hoo, 2 fish in 5 minutes, the bite must be picking up!  About 3 hours later at 12:20am Greg gets our third fish in at 1.9 pounds.  And that was it, no other bites the entire night.  Oh some people found the fish, winning weight was 17.77 pounds and the big fish was a little over 7 pounds. As a fun side note the team that had the big fish had only that one fish and ended up in 64th place yet cashed a check for just over $2,000 for big fish of the night. We ended up in 71st place out of the 108 teams.  We really have to find where the big fish are in this lake one of these days.  

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7-12-2003

This evening I fished the second National Bass Piru Night Tournament with my friend Greg.  We fished 6pm-midnight, water level was a little higher than last months tournament, water temp about 73 with 5-10 mph winds from the WSW all night.  We struggled for the first few hours throwing spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater for zero fish, not even a dink.  Around 9:00, fishing a drop shot black 7" power worm, I thought I was stuck on another rock but it pulled back and we got a small 2.0 pounder in the livewell.  Then at 9:05 Greg pulled in a nice 3.36 pounder on the same.  Wow, we thought we were going to fill the livewell now!  Then nothing for 2 more hours.  At 11:15  I got hit like freight train, it pulled drag almost the instant it it my worm.  I though it was going to be a big fish but when we got it in the net it was just a solid 2.86 pounder.  Maybe now the bite would pick up for us.  Nope.  That was it, 3 bites and 3 fish in the livewell.  We ended up in 7th place out of 21 teams with 8.22 pounds.  We are still in the hunt for this series Angler of the Year but we have to at least get our five fish limits in the next two tournaments.  We were a little bummed because we won the last tournament here but that's what it's all about.  We'll try just as hard at the next one and see what happens!

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6-28-2003

Well, we didn't do so well last night but it's a different night at a different lake.  Tonight Greg and I met at Lake Casitas for the first J&T Tackle night tournament.  We fished from 6:00pm until 12:15am.  To sum it up, I never got a bite. We tried buzzbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, trout baits and many different worms.  At 10:45 Greg got our only bite and we actually got it in the livewell, a nice 5.68 pounder on the usual black power worm.  That was it.  No other bites, no lost fish, no broken lines, nothing.  Well we were not the only ones that had a tough night.  Of the 67 teams only 33 teams brought fish to the scales, only four 5 fish limits and only 77 total fish.  Since it was a tough night for lots of teams we actually didn't do too bad.  We ended up in 19th place, just four places out of the money.  I guess you have to have some tournaments be tough so you really appreciate the ones when you do well. 

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6-27-2003

Went out tonight to fish the Friends of Castaic Lake (FOCL) Charity night tournament with Greg.  We got out at about 8:00pm and fished until 2:45 am.  In the first half hour Greg had 2 nice crankbait fish on and they both came unbuttoned.  About 9:00 I had my first bite in deeper water on a drop shot black power worm and it immediately sliced my line on a rock.  When I pulled it up it was as if it were cut with scissors, a clean cut.  Greg had another couple of bites on a drop shot worm and a senko type bait and they both came off!  We were not doing well tonight.  Finally at 12:57 am, 5 hours into the tournament, Greg finally got our first fish in the livewell, about 2 pounds.  I followed a few minutes later with another fish just under 2 pounds.  Then I pulled another in and awhile later Greg pulled a fourth in at about 1:40am and that was it for us.  We couldn't even buy another bite.  We ended up with about 7.5 pounds for 4 fish.  The winners had 20 pounds, second place 19, third place 16 and then a pile of 14 and 13 pound limits were weighed.  We didn't hang around for the awards but after looking at the final results we ended up in 85th place out of 109 boats.  For us just a tough night of fishing especially since we just came off of a win.  Oh well, that's what fishing is all about.  Being in the right place, at the right depth, at the right time, with the right bait and the right presentation AND THEN having the skill to hook, play and land the fish without losing it. That's why it's such a rush for me to catch a bass with an artificial lure and compete against others trying to do the same.  Sometimes I figure it out and others I don't, but I'll never stop trying.  

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6-21-2003

Greg and I went to the first National Bass Piru summer night series tournament tonight.  We fished against 23 teams from 6 pm to 12 midnight.  As Angler's of the Year for this series last year we get to go out first at all of the Piru night tournaments.  We got to our first spot and had previously decided to fish spinnerbaits and crankbaits until the sun went down.  About 6:10 Greg stuck a nice fish on his spinnerbait when it jumped we were almost shocked.  After a few runs we got her in the net at a solid 7.21 pounds, good for 3rd big fish of the night.  We did not get another bite until I pulled in a 1.5 pounder on a drop shot black power worm at 10:15pm.  A few minutes later a stuck another one that went about 2 pounds.  Greg had mysteriously lost a couple of fish then at 11:25 pulled in a 2.3 pounder and, with minutes of fishing left, pulled in a 2.5 pounder at 11:45.  That was it, 7 bites, 5 fish in the boat for a total weight of 15.21 pounds!  We felt pretty good about catching a limit but had no idea it would be good enough for FIRST PLACE!  It turned out it was a tough night of fishing with only 3 five fish limits and 6 teams didn't weigh a fish.  We had a good 3 pounds over the second and third place teams who each had 12.45 pounds.  We were very lucky to get that 7 pounder early and it took a lot of pressure off trying to find that kicker fish which really gave us the confidence to just fill out a limit.  Wooohooo!!!!   

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6-7-2003

After almost one month without fishing I finally got a chance to go today.  There was a tournament going on at Casitas and Castaic had a tournament last night so I thought I would go to Lake Piru to check it out before my first night tournament there in a couple of weeks.  Started fishing a little before 6am. It was a very foggy and overcast morning so I thought I'd try some topwater for zero fish.  Switched to my banjo minnow and got a nice fat 2.7 within a few casts.  Then nothing.  Switched to a lipless crankbait and got another nice fat 2.2 within a few casts.  Moved locations after awhile.  Started with the banjo again and a nice fish hit it sideways but missed the hook. On the very next cast another fish did the same exact thing, grabbed it in its mouth but he didn't suck it in enough to get a hook in him.  Then no more action for awhile.  The fog burned off and I floated around eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sucked down a diet Pepsi, it was about noon.  Went to the dam and started to drop shot a worm down the deep walls.  Something didn't feel right and I set the hook on my third keeper, 2.2 pounds.  I worked that area for about an hour and couldn't get anything else. The sky was clear and sunny and the wind started to really pick up (white caps all over the lake) so I decided to pick up my spinnerbait work the rip rap.  I told myself that if I didn't get a fish after the rip rap I would go home.  Well, about half way down the rip rap I got a 1.5 on the spinnerbait, interesting.  I hopped over to another area on the main lake and continued to throw the spinnerbait.  Bam! A good fish hits it right after it passed a rock.  I get it in and this one is 2.4 pounds.  In the next hour I pulled in another 4 on the spinnerbait, all cookie cutter 2.2-2.4 pounds.  They didn't hit the spinnerbait in the morning only when the sun and wind picked up.  My "pattern"  was to let the South wind push me along the main lake east shore lines and throw around cover, if I saw any, and directly into the mud lines that had formed from the wind. About 3:00 my arm was getting tired so I got off the water.  Results, 9 bass landed (1 banjo, 1 crank, 1 worm, 6 spinnerbait) with the best 5 going about 12 pounds.  Definitely a great day of fun fishing!

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5-9-2003

I was not able to fishing the last three weeks so I took my boat out to Casitas to see what was happening.  It was a beautiful day on the lake with bright blue-bird skies, air temp got up to 71, water temp 65-67 and the wind was 5-10 mph most of the day. I fished from 6:30-1:00.  I started out around the sunken island tossing a buzzbait and zara-spook for about an hour with no results.  Moved over to a little hump and started with my favorite banjo minnow.  I had a few follows but no takers.  A dark green grass is starting to grow all over the lake floor about 6-8" high.  I saw a large round circle of sand in the middle of the grass in about 8 feet of water.  The water was stained and it was hard to tell if there was a fish on it but I tossed my banjo near it a nice 3+ pound fish came off it to chase it away.  Oh!  A bed fish.  I thought it would be a nice start to the day to at least catch one fish so I started tossing my bait on the bed as best I could see.  I could tell my bait was landing on the bed and that the fish was looking at it and getting agitated making quick circles and turning around sharply when my bait landed in the bed. On one side of the bed was a medium size rock.  I would say that the circle of sand in the middle of the dark green grass was about 2.5-3 feet in diameter.  So I could see when the fish came onto the bed because of the contrast between his dark green body and the sand.  I played with him for about 10 minutes and thinking that he was just about ready to go I made sure my hook was sharp and the line was not frayed because I had caught the rock a couple of times.  I tossed my bait in and when it hit the bottom he finally hit it, swing and a miss!  Oh, man!  Now I know he is ready.  I make another toss onto the edge of the grass and crawl my bait into the bed slowly.  As I am inching my bait into the middle of the bed a much larger dark green shadow follows it onto the bed  The mama?  I leave it still for a few seconds and then give it a little twitch.  Bamm!  She hit hit!  I set the hook and the fight was on.  She came right up and shook her fat head but she couldn't shake it.  This was a big fish.  She made a deep long run and then came up again.  After a few minutes I finally was able to lip her and bring in the boat.  She was full of eggs and just a beautiful fat bass.  I took a picture of her and put her on my digital scale.  The scale stopped at 8.8 pounds, as my scale is usually off I did some algebra and calculated that she was probably 9.49 pounds!  Last year in May I caught my biggest bass at an estimated 9.82 pounds.  So this was my personal second largest bass ever.  I was really hoping she was over ten but it wasn't to be today.  That was at 7:40 am.  After calling my wife and calming down for awhile I continued fishing.  I caught 3 more bass all on the soft jerkbait, a 2.8, 3.1 and a 3.4 at 9:05, 9:15 and 10:05 respectively.  I found one more 2.2 pound fish on a bed at about 12:45 and that was it.  I didn't pick up the worm rod all day.  Not too many beds left.  Lots of shad and guys fishing shad all over the lake.  I cranked, jerked and buzzed all day looking for another lunker but that was it.  Five bass for about 20 pounds +.  Not a bad day, huh!  

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4-19-2003

Went to Casitas today and so did a few hundred other boaters.  It was extremely crowded and there was not even a tournament going on.  I fished from 6:30 am till about 4:00 pm, sunny and clear high of  74 degrees, swirling winds 5-10mph all day.  Started in the Wadleigh arm for nothing the first hour with crankbaits and jerkbaits.  Then I moved over to Arrow Island and picked up my favorite soft jerkbait.  On my third cast, fish on!  And it was a good one.  First fish of the day weighed 4.8 on my scale.  Kept working around the island and around other boats and I stuck 2 more on the banjo and picked of 2 others on beds.  So at 9:30 or so I had 5 fish in the boat already.  Well I couldn't get to some of my better spots so I went to find some new areas.  Fished Chismahoo for a few hours and Wrens Nest as well.  I tossed my soft jerkbait, hard jerkbaits, crankbaits, and wormed for awhile but only got 2 more fish off of beds.  I did have some excitement around 12:30.  The wind had shifted for a moment and I thought I saw a fish or log in about 12 feet of water.  Just for fun I flipped my worm down there and made it land on top of it.  All of a sudden the log moved!  It WAS a BIG fish.  As soon as my bait landed on it it swirled around and hit my worm.  I was so surprised I had little time to set the hook.  The fish shook its head a couple of times and it came unbuttoned within a second or two.  I missed my chance.  It had to be at least an eight pounder, maybe bigger.  I did bump into a couple of guys who were fishing live shad and doing pretty well.  It's a little early for the shad to be coming up but there were several balls of shad back in Wrens Nest. Well I ended up with just those seven bass, best 5 went about 16 pounds.  Next time when I see the bass keyed in on shad I might try some downsized small shad colored crankbaits and see what happens.

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4-18-2003

Got a call from ZulesZ to fish Westlake for a few hours today.  Cloudy and cool with clear water.  Weeds were starting to grow and there were a few fish still on beds but we didn't work any of them..  I managed to catch three with Texas rigged worms and one with a jerkbait.  ZuelsZ got one on a jerkbait, one drop shot and four split shotting small worms.  They are still dredging the lake and we had heard that it was recently blue stoned as well so it was not the usual spring bite it might have been.  Fun to get on Westlake for a few hours though!    

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4-13-2003

Fished a Sunday National Bass Tournament today with Greg at Lake Castaic.  The forecast was for rain and wind 10-20mph out of the south and they were right on.  It rained most of the day air temp no more than 60 water temp between 56-58.  We fished from 6:30-3:00.  Greg got a 1.5 on a worm in the first 10 minutes then we found a couple on beds.  By 10:00 we had a small limit, 4 bass for this tournament, of about 5 pounds.  Greg got a few more worm fish from the front of the boat and we ended up with 7.71 pounds.  Nothing spectacular the entire day.  No reaction bite at all and some guys said they caught their fish as deep as 40 feet!  First place ended up with 4 bass for 14 pounds and the biggest bass was only 4.7 pounds.  Tough day of fishing for all.

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3-29-2003

This will be a long report but just keep reading, it will be worth it!  I got an e-mail from my friend Greg Friday afternoon about 3:30 asking if I knew that there was a charity night tournament at Lake Casitas Saturday night.  I had already planned to go to Casitas myself and fish in the daytime anyway, so after getting some more information Greg decided to meet me at the lake about 5:00pm to fish the night tournament together.  We thought that if nothing else, at least it would be fun to fish at night in March.  

In the daytime, I took my boat and was on the lake by 6:00am.  Air temp 48-78, water temp 62-65, winds NNE 5-10, water visibility 3-6 feet and 3 days before the new moon that came up with the sun.  Went to my first spot and saw a small bass on a bed in about 5 feet of water.  After a couple of tries my first fish was in the boat, 1.6 pounds.  As I was slowly going down the bank  I was tossing out a drop shot worm in slightly deeper water, about 10 minutes later I hook up with a bass on the worm, fish #2 in the boat 3.1 pounds.  Saw several more bass on beds and hooked up with another three bass plus another fish on a Texas rigged worm as well by 7:30.  Water clarity wasn't that great and there were a ton of boats on the water so most of the other calm spots to sight fish at were taken.  I decided to go to a rocky shoreline and try to get some kind of a reaction bite.  I was throwing my favorite soft jerkbait, slowly twitching it from side to side and letting it sink every now and then.  I had several follows but they just wouldn't suck it in.  A little breeze came up and made some ripples on the surface then my line went tight and I set the hook.  A minute later I had a nice 2.8 pounder in on the soft jerkbait!  About 10 minutes later I could see in the distance a group of about a half a dozen 4-5 pound bass following my lure.  I immediately put the trolling motor in reverse and let the jerkbait sink.  One more slight twitch was all it took and a nice 4.3 pound bass couldn't resist.  A couple of the other bass followed her to the boat.  I worked that area for about another hour with the soft jerkbait, crankbaits and worms but couldn't get anything else to go.  A while later in the afternoon I found a couple more bed fish in the Station Canyon area of the lake.  Not a bad day of fishing!  Nine hours of fishing, 10 bass in the boat, 2 on a soft jerkbait, 2 on worms and 6 off of beds. My best 5 fish were about 15 pounds, I love the spring!  

About 3:00 I got out of the water to get ready for the tournament that night.  I cleaned the boat up re-rigged and re-tied my poles for night fishing and got some dinner with Greg, he showed up with his boat about 4:30.  After that we signed up and drew boat #33.  There ended up to be about 37 boats in the tournament and all of them were really good bass fishermen.  We had to wait for the lake to be cleared and we finally launched about 7:00pm and we were fishing by 7:20.  It was already dark so we had to go 5 mph and it took awhile to get to our spot.  Greg started with a crankbait and a spinnerbait and just for fun I thought I'd give my favorite buzzbait 20 casts, just because.  Bawoosh!  On about my 5th cast a bass nailed my buzzbait, it was a very skinny 1.8 pounds, definitely a spawned out post-spawn fish.  First fish in the boat!  Several minutes later I had another blow up and it came back and blew up on it again but totally missed the bait.  We went back down that area for the first hour and all we had was that one fish.  We decided to go directly across from where we were and try worming and crankbaits over there.  Tap tap pull!  On my third cast I reel in our first worm fish, 7" black power worm for night (what else!), it went 3.5 pounds.  Ok, second fish in the boat, three more to get a limit.  We get to a point and Greg picks up his crankbait.  A few casts later "Get The Net!".  In 10 minutes Greg pulled in 3 bass to round out our limit 2.8, 1.0 and a 2.2.  By 9:00 we had a small 11 pound limit but it was a limit, woo-hoo,  it only got better from there.  About a half hour later Greg connected with another crank bait fish, this one went 3.1 and culled out the little 1 pounder.  Since he was on a crankbait bite he suggest I do some cranking as well.  I tossed the crankbait for a few casts or so but I just had a feeling that I needed to pick up my worm rod again.  On my second cast with my worm I cast to the side of a small cut, I felt a little resistance, like weeds or a bush, so I leaned back and it moved!  I set the hook and the fight was on.  It jumped once and headed for deep water, this was a good fish.  It pulled drag and made several runs under the boat and Greg finally was able to net her.  A beautiful fat 6.4 pound beauty, oh yea!  It was a few minutes before 10:00 and now we had about a 19 pound limit, so we were thinking that another two fish like that and we might have a chance to win!  So we are trying to calm down and focus and then, fish on!  I hook into another fish on the same black power worm I get it up and it's ... a trout!  That gets your heart pumping, I rip the hook out and throw it back in.  About 15 minutes later we rounded the same point that Greg got his four crank fish and Greg shouts out this time, "Fish On!"  I grab the net and Greg's fish slides right into it another nice fish, 5.9 pounds.  Wow, its 10:15 and we now have about a 22 pound limit.  So now we are thinking that we might be in the top ten, at Lake Casitas you never know if another team is pulling in 5 ten pounders so, we are trying to remain calm.  We turned around a went back down over that same bank with crankbaits, Greg with his medium diver and I was tossing a lipless.  I tossed mine out and counted to ten then starting reeling slowly.  BAM, fish on!  Another good size fish.  Greg nets it cleanly and it had almost swallowed my crankbait.  We pull the hooks out and weigh her in at 3.7 pounds, we cull out the 2.2 pounder and now we are close to 23 pounds or so for our limit.  About an half hour goes by and we feel like the action is slowing down, I let a lot of line out behind the boat and felt a tap, I engage the reel and lift up, fish on!  Greg nets another 3.5 pounder and  we cull out another fish by a few ounces.  About an hour later we decide to cruise to another area around the corner.  We started off at a point and worked our way in using crankbaits and then worms.  12:45 we are both fishing worms in a pitch black cut.  I toss it to the left of a little cut working the worm shake shake drop, shake shake drop, shake shake drop... BAM!  Fish on, get the net!  This one tipped the scales at 3.9 and culled out another fish by a few ounces.  Now we are at about 24 pounds.  We really think that we will now cut a check but we still need more weight to really believe.  A few minutes later I click on my head lamp and I see a stick or two just barely poking out of the water.  I click the light off and wait until I was close enough to lay the worm in there.  I make a side arm cast in a few inches of water and start working my worm back.  I suddenly feel a little resistance and set the hook and it pulled back at me, HARD! It jumped once but we couldn't really see it because it was so dark. Here was the fish we needed.  I loosened the drag and let it run.  After a nice little battle and a couple of long runs Greg slips the net under a big fish.  It weighed in at 8.61 pounds, exactly.  What a rush, we now have just over 28 pounds and we are fairly confident that we will be in the money.  We put another 20 minutes or so into that stretch of bank but it was time to start heading back.  We get back a little faster than we had estimated and decide to fish for another 15 minutes before we have to weigh in at 2:00 am.  We stop on another rocky area that we knew and just wormed it.  About half way down the bank I cast into a dark cut behind me and start working my worm as usual.  About 1/3 the way back tap, tap set the hook, fish on!  We get it into the boat and it was over 4 pounds so we culled out our 3.7 pound bass.  That concluded our 7 hours of fishing and we headed to the weigh in.  Well, we ended up with 29.01 pounds (8.61, 6.40, 5.90, 4.20 and 3.90).  It wasn't good enough for first place but we pulled off 2nd place by a mere one one-hundredth of a pound.  First place had a little over 31 pounds and 3rd place had 29.00 pounds.  Click this link to check out the final standings and results.  We ended up catching 13 bass, Greg had 5 and I had 8.  Although we caught fish with several different lures, our final five all came on black worms, hmm, interesting.  Every single fish we caught culled out another fish and we never had to throw a fish back (except for the trout).  I woke up at 4:30am on Saturday morning to go fishing and I crawled into bed on Sunday morning at 4:37am. The end result of the day was a combined 16 hours of fishing time, a second place finish and a very memorable day!  

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3-21-2003

Went fishing with Greg today on his boat to kind of scout out the lake for his tournament tomorrow.  Fished from 6:00a-12:00p.  We found a few fish on beds and each got three nice keepers.  We tried to find the bigger staging fish but could not get bit on a worm or crankbait all day.  Water temp 59-62 in some spots with 2-6 foot visibility, the clearest water closer to the dam.  The bite should be outstanding here in a week or two.

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3-20-2003

I went early to avoid the predicted high winds in the afternoon.  Fished from 6:15-10:45, water semi clear with the water temp 56-57.  Got one on a lipless crankbait about 8:30 but that was it.  Couldn't catch one on a worm and could see no beds yet.  I've got a tournament at this lake next month and the bite should pick up before then.

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3-16-2003

Got a late start but wanted to go and check out the lake.  It rained over 4 inches yesterday and I had hoped that the big storm had turned on the big bite.  No such luck.  The water level rose at least a foot from the storm and the water was all stained and muddy with next to no visibility.  Add stiff winds 35-45mph winds in the afternoon to the mix and that made the day that much more miserable.  Oh well, I got to test out some of my new equipment anyway.

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3-1-2003

Went to Casitas today to try once again for that big one.  Fished from 6:30-3:00.  I threw trout baits most of the time but in between I tried a lipless crankbait and Texas rigged worms just trying to get a bite.  Water temp ranged between 59-60, air temp 39-66, partly cloudy winds NNW 0-10 in the afternoon.  Saw a few fish making reservations for beds but none had checked in yet, still very spooky.  With the full moon coming up in a couple of weeks there should be some fish on the beds soon if the weather cooperates. 

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2-28-2003

Went  to Lake Piru with Greg today to see if anything was happening.  The water level is extremely low.  It was cold and windy the entire time we were there.  Water temp 51-52. We fished from about 6:30-11:00 and then headed in.  Greg ended up with 3 bass.  Two an a lipless crankbait and one on a Texas- rigged worm, all good 2-3 pounders and all before 9 am.  I might have had one on a tube bait but before I could get it up it came unbuttoned.  

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2-8-2003

Went to Casitas again today trying for that big one.  Got in lots of casting practice with the trout baits but that's about it.  No follows.  Didn't even see a fish.

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2-1-2003

I took my boat to Casitas today with the trout baits tied on once again.  Water temp around 62, water level dropped about 1.5 feet since last week, crystal clear water with very little wind.  About 8 hours of throwing the trout baits with only one good follow.  I was slowly reeling in my 9" osprey trout bait and cruising about 5 feet underneath it was a huge bass, definitely over ten pounds.  I worked that area for about an hour and then moved on.  One of these days I'm going get that big one, I'll keep trying.

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1-31-2003

Went to Pyramid today with Greg.  Started out cranking around a long point and then we decided to worm it before we moved on.  On my first cast with my purple drop shot worm I stuck a 2.8 pound largemouth, a nice fish for Pyramid.  That was around 7:15 in the morning.  We thought that their would be a great worm bite but that was the only bite either of us had the entire day.  We threw crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tubes, worms, jigs and spoons but could only scratch out that one fish.  It was sunny and breezy the entire day and the water temp was around 52.

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1-25-2003

Went to Lake Casitas today to try for a big one.  I brought 3 poles with me rigged with a 9" Osprey trout bait, 6" Osprey trout bait and a 9" floating Castaic trout bait.  I threw the Castaic behind the boat and drug it around all day as I switched between the two Osprey baits.  Fished from 6:45 - 2:45, water temp 60-61 in some places clear sunny day and about 75 degrees in the afternoon.  The only excitement was when I had a 5-6 pounder follow my 6" bait all the way to the boat.  Then a 3-4 pound bass came out of nowhere and smacked the 9" Osprey directly on the side of the bait but it missed the hooks, darn.  I really want to get a big bass on one of those trout baits this year.  I'll keep trying!

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1-22-2003

I was invited to go fishing today on Lake Sherwood, a private lake in Ventura County not far from Westlake.  I went with Joel "the jig man" and Dave "Zuels-Z".  We fished from about 10:15 to 1:15 but together we caught and released 22 largemouth bass all between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, in the middle of winter, in 3 hours!.  I caught 4 on drop shot worms and lost one on a tube bait.  Dave caught 5 on split shot worms and a new Mad Man crawdad.  But, Joel ended up with 12 all on a spider jig!  I tried using a jig for a while too but they just wouldn't hit it for me.  It was nice to fish a lake that doesn't have a ton of fishing pressure.  Joel and Dave were great company and I hope they invite me to fish with them again soon!  

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1-18-2003

Went to Pyramid Lake today with Greg.  Fished from about 6:30-1:30.  Water temp about 51 air temp about 70+ in the afternoon.  I hooked up with a keeper largemouth at about 8:10 on a dropper rig and then a keeper smallmouth around 8:30.  Greg pulled in another keeper largemouth also on a dropper rig about 10:00 and that was it.  We got our fish in 15-20 feet of water.  We tried shallow to deep with crankbaits, worms, tubes, and jigs and never got another bite.  For Pyramid in January 3 fish was a good day. 

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1-11-2003

Went to Lake Casitas today to break in my new fishing license!  I just took 2 rods rigged with trout baits and went looking for a big one.  Had two nice follows but no takers today.  Fished for about 6 hours.  Water temp about 59-60 air temp about 70+, nice clear day.

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12-12-2002

I haven't been fishing for awhile so I went to Lake Casitas to throw some big trout baits and try to get a big bass.  Water temp about 62-64 calm winds and the water level was almost down to the third ramp.  No one was on the lake today, I counted 5 trailers in the parking lot, I might go fishing on a weekday more often.  I fished from about 7:00 am until 2:00 pm.  Started out throwing trout baits switching between a sinking 6" Castaic trout that I could fish as deep as I wanted and a 12" floating Castaic Trout that goes down about 6-8 feet.  About 11:00 I had a blow up on the floating Castaic trout but it didn't get the hooks, darn, that was a good one.  I saw some commotion in the back of a cove and went back to investigate.  It turned out to be a group of bass, I counted 12, between 3 and 5 pounds that were stalking 1 trout.  The trout was sitting in 2 inches of water right next to the shore and the bass were lined up in about 1-2 feet of water parallel to the shore just waiting to make their move.  Every few minutes or so one of the bass would charge at the trout and try to eat it.  Somehow the trout kept getting away.  So after the commotion the trout would end up back in two inches of water and the line of bass would gather again.  At one point a bass did get the trout in his mouth but it came out.  After about 45 minutes of watching this and trying to get them to eat my plastic trout and various other baits I moved on.  They were not interested in anything I had to offer.  They were so keyed in on that trout, it was really neat to see.  About 12:30 I caught my only bass of the day, a 2.4 pounder.  I caught it in about 15-20 feet of water shaking a worm on an outside point.  That was it, beautiful weather but tough fishing today.  

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11-16-2002

Mike Bush and I had been debating all week weather or not to fish the first WON BASS team tournament of the season at Lake Cachuma today.  We heard reports of very low water levels and close to one hundred boats already signed up and decided to just go fun fishing at Pyramid Lake instead.  We fished from 6:30 am until 4:00 pm when the Sheriff literally kicked us off the lake.  I have never had a day of fishing like we had today.  Mike and I together caught well over 80 bass, we really lost count after about 50!  Between the both of us we caught over 70 striped bass, 10 or so largemouth bass and 2 smallmouth bass!  The stripers were in their full spawn mode and we found them just about everywhere.  We caught them on jerkbaits and a few on topwater all day long.  Most of the striped bass were 2-3 pounders with maybe one or two pushing 4 pounds.  The largemouth were not keepers but we had fun catching them on drop shot worms in the afternoon.  Mike caught one smallmouth on the drop shot and I caught a keeper smallmouth on a jerkbait.  It was the first time that Mike and I had fished together and we had a great time.  Once in awhile you can be in the right place at the right time with the right bait and really clean up!  By the way we made the right choice.  The Cachuma tournament proved to be very tough with lots of teams getting blanked and the rest just getting one or two.    

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11-15-2002

Mike Taylor and I were able to get onto Westlake today.  It was warm and sunny and the water looked like pea soup.  We got started early and Mike had a 4-15 and a 3-01 before 7:30am on a medium deep crawdad colored crankbait.  We thought it was going to be a classic 20 fish day at Westlake.  Well we were dead wrong.  I got the third fish around 10:30 on a spinnerbait and then the last fish about 12:00 flipping a tube around the docks.  And that was it.  We got off the lake about 2:00.  Considering the time of year, the unusually warm weather and the fact that the lake was being dredged we did alright.  It's always fun to fish at Westlake! 

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10-27-2002

Went to Lake Havasu with Greg Erickson from Thursday through Sunday for the National Bass Tri States Championships.  We pre-fished on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the tournament this year just on Sunday.  Thursday we arrived in Havasu about 11:00 and we were fishing by noon.  We fished from 12:00-6:00 scouting different areas of the lake and trying different baits to see what would work.  Clear sunny skies, wind out of the south, water temp 68-70.  My friend Mike Bush gave me some pointers for the lake because I had never been there before and we caught some fish at just about all of the spots he mentioned using jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and drop shot worms.  Our best five fish was a mixture of smallmouth and largemouth went about 8 pounds or so.  Friday we woke up early and we were fishing again by 6:30 am until about 4:00 pm. Clear skies, wind out of the south, water temp 67-70.  I caught a largemouth in the first few minutes on a lipless crankbait and then a striper a few minutes later.  We tried the remaining spots that Mike had given us and then started looking for a few additional spots.  We caught a few on dropshot worms and then I tried something I learned at Lake Michigan earlier in the year, tube baits.  I caught two in a row on a tube bait then Greg stuck one and I landed another!  These fish were engulfing our baits.  We went to a couple of other places and stuck one here and one there with the tube baits but we didn't want to stick to many as we wanted to "save" them for the tournament.  About 3:30 I got hooked into a larger fish but it shook off before I could get it up enough to see how big it was.  At the end of the day our best five were about 10 pounds.  A Storm moved in Friday night and there was rain and lightening in the morning on Saturday.  We waited for the lightening to pass and then we went out to see if our tube pattern would hold up in different areas of the lake. Cloudy skies, intermittent rain, winds from the south. We fished from about 7:45-12:00 in just a few areas and we decided to stick one fish each and then bend our hooks down and see if we could locate a few more places and "save" the fish for Sunday.  At 8:00 tap, tap SET...fish on!  A big full bellied 3 pound smallmouth had engulfed my tube bait and jumped 2 feet out of the water.  A few minutes later I got it in, weighed and photographed.  Wow, it looks like our tube pattern is going to be right on and give us some bigger fish!  We left that spot immediately and tried to locate a few more areas without hooking the fish.  At noon we got off of the water with a lot of confidence in our tube pattern.  We rigged our rods up and we were ready, there were 83 teams competing for a top prize of a new boat and cash.  Sunday morning, tournament day, cloudy skies for most of the day, wind out of the north.  We hoped that the change in wind direction and the passing of the weather front would not affect our pattern too much. We got out in the first flight about 6:30 and we were due back in at 3:00.  Nothing, we tried our tube pattern at most of our spots along with some reaction baits and finesse drop shot worms.  I caught one squeaker of 13" at about 9:30 but that was it.  We also got about 4 dinks to round out our day.  One fish about 1.5 pounds or so.  What a bummer.  Couldn't bare to stay and find out who won so we just drove home.  We had a lot of fun anyway and learned a lot about Lake Havasu.  "Saving" our fish didn't work this time but if the weather hadn't turned on us I may have been writing a different report!    

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10-4-2002

Went to Lake Castaic this morning with Greg hoping for a fall bite to turn on.  Fished from 7 am to 12 pm.  Greg got one early on a fluke soft jerkbait and that was it.  We tried crankbaits, topwater, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, big worms, small worms, tubes and jigs.  Not a bite.  We were pestered by dinks when we used small worms with curl tails but nothing of any size.  Water still full in this reservoir, unlike the other lakes in our area.  Greg and I are now gearing up for the National Bass Championships in Lake Havasu at the end of the month.  I have never been there.  I hope the fall bite will be in full swing by then.

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9-28-2002

WE WON! Mike Taylor and I took my boat and went to the final J&T Tackle night tournament of the summer season.  I had formed a game plan in my head with the experience I had two weeks ago and I hoped the pattern would show itself again and it did.  There were 62 teams, the water level was down about a foot or so from two weeks ago, water temp about 73 and it was cloudy with intermittent light showers all night long.  I had never fished a night tournament in the rain so we put on our rain gear and headed out in the first flight.  We fished from 6pm to 12 midnight.  For the first hour we worked a main lake point with worms and a variety of crankbaits from 0-35 feet or so and didn't get a bite.  When the light seemed just about right we ventured into the adjacent cove and I started throwing my buzzbait while Mike switched between dragging a worm and throwing a crankbait.  It had started raining a few minutes ago and at 7:05 BAWOOSH just as I was about to pick up my buzzbait from the retrieve our first fish hit.  We got it in and it weighed 3-11.  Mike immediately switched to a buzzbait and on his second cast pulled in a 2-6.  Mike got in front of the boat with me and we threw buzzbaits for the rest of the night.  8:00 WABAMM Mike pulled in a 4-9.  8:07 PSSHHH  I got one on but it shook off before Mike could net it.  8:35, SSHHABAM Mike pulls in a 2-14.  9:15  SSHHWOOSSSH Mike gets a big blow up and after a few minutes we net our largest of the night a 7-5.  9:30, I get another blow up but it wrapped itself around a set of stickups and shook off before I could get it out.  It was 9:35, we had about 20 pounds in my makeshift livewell cooler and we thought maybe we'd finish in the money but we did not think it was enough to win because the three previous night tournaments at this lake it took 40 pounds to win!  Then the rain stopped, it was calm and the bugs came out.  I stuck with the buzzbait, Mike went back to dragging a worm and throwing a buzzbait off and on for the rest of the night.  11:30, WAABOOSH way out about 15 feet from where my cast landed a big splash took my buzzbait down.  It was another good fish...it wrapped around some sticks and then got out... it took drag and went under the boat...it went around the trolling motor and took more drag...then we got her in the net.  This one weighed a solid 6-8 and culled our smallest fish of 2-6.  We now had about 25 pounds.  A few more casts and it was time to head in and weigh our fish.  Mike came back with the weigh slip with 25.27 pounds on it!!  We thought maybe we would be in the top ten or so.  Well, we ended up winning!!  In addition to the money I received a new Motorguide trolling motor and Mike received a new Phenix fishing rod for having the biggest fish of the tournament.  It is my first win since I started fishing bass tournaments and I hope there will be many more to come.  Mike and I make a great team and I hope the we can fish more tournaments together.  Check out what the tournament director wrote at this link and see the final standings.  Now I am going to start getting ready for the National Bass Team Championships at Lake Havasu at the end of October with Greg Erickson.  Wish us luck! 

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9-21-2002

Tonight Greg and I went to the final Southwestern National Bass night tournament at Lake Piru.  With the Angler of the Year points race being decided tonight we were very excited.  At the beginning of the night we were 11 points ahead of any other team, so from our calculations we needed to come in at least 10th place to win angler of the year.  To start with the lake level had dropped about 15 feet since the last night tournament and it was the night of the full moon.  Water temp was between 70-72.  We started off fishing topwater, spinnerbaits and crankbaits trying to get some sort of reaction bite and Greg finally picked up a 2 pounder at about 7:30 on a spinnerbait.  After dark we started to worm with Texas rigs and drop shot rigs but we could buy a bite.  About 11:00 Greg picked up a 2.5 pounder on a Texas rig and that was it.  I didn't get a bite the entire night.  Well, we ended up in 9th place with 4.68 pounds and we  will be crowned Angler's of the Year at the championship in Lake Havasu at the end of October!  We edged out the runner's up by only 2 points.  On a tough night of fishing we were extremely happy to have gotten those two fish.   

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9-14-2002

I decided to go to Lake Casitas to check out the afternoon evening bite to try to figure something out for the upcoming night tournament on the 28th.  I fished from about noon till they kicked me off at 7:30pm.  Water temps ranged from 75-77 depending upon where you were 10-15mph winds were blowing most of the day.  I started with soft jerkbaits for a while, then switched to deep crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and I also fished drop-shot and Texas-rigged worms from 0-30 feet on points and breaks.  Nothing.  I did not have any follows but I did find a few areas with shad and saw a few 1-2 pound fish breaking the surface every now and then.  Around 3:00 the first evening shadows started to cover a few corners of the lake and I started to throw a spinnerbait.  After about 20 or so casts I picked up a buzzbait to try some surface action.  Around 3:45 I placed a perfect cast past two sticks and slowly gurgled it in between them and parallel to the shore in about 4 or so feet of water.  Just as it approached the two sticks WAAABOOOOSH!!!!!!  A good fish pulled the buzzbait under the water and the fight was on!  It went right for deeper  water and pulled drag.  It buried itself in some weeds and as I kept the pressure on I could still feel it shaking its head.  I trolled the boat around my line trying to get a different angle to get the fish out of the weeds and it worked.  I finally got the fish to the side of the boat together with a clump of weeds.  It weighed 8.2 pounds on my scale (which is always a bit lighter than the actual weight)!  The second biggest bass I have ever caught to date!!  After taking a picture I released it back in the water.  Well I stuck with the buzzbait in the shady areas by stickups and intermittently through lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits trying to find some active fish.  Around 6:00 I tried worming for about another half an hour then I went for the buzzbait again.  I was coming out of a cove and made a nice long cast past my target, a set of three stick-ups in about 5 feet of water, my boat was in 9 feet, parallel to the shore.  As the buzzbait gurgled past the stick ups BAAWOOOSH!!!!  A big splash and my buzzbait was gone again.  This one went straight out for deeper water and didn't look back.  It pulled drag three times and a few minutes later I was lipping another big solid bass.  This one went 7.1 on my scale, my third biggest bass ever!  I took a picture and set her free, it was 7:05pm.  I  kept buzzing until the lake patrol kicked me off of the lake at 7:30.  I was the last one off of the water.  I didn't catch a lot of fish but the two that I did catch made it a memorable day of fishing.  Well, I do not know if I found a pattern but I will certainly have a buzzbait or two tied on for the Casitas night tournament on the 28th.   

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9-1-2002

Went fun fishing today with Mike Taylor.  We haven't been to Lake Casitas in a few months and we wanted to check it out a little before our night tournament at the end of the month.  We fished from 6 am till 2 pm and each ended up with a couple of nice bass.  Mike struck first at about 6:25 with a 3 pounder on a medium running crankbait.  A few minutes later I caught another nice 3 pound bass on a different medium running crankbait.  After trying a few different crankbaits and some topwater we decided to move.  At the next spot Mike hooked up with yet another 3 pound bass on the same medium running crankbait at around 7:30.  A few minutes later Mike had gotten tangled in some weeds and was reeling his crankbait in really fast over the surface to clean the weeds off and a huge bass took a swipe at it!  It totally missed the bait but it was kind of funny.  Around 9:25 after about two hours of no action I got my second bass drop shotting a worm in about 10 feet of water on a rocky point, about a 2.5 pounder.  After working the point thoroughly we moved to another rocky point and kept worming.  On my second cast I felt something funny and set the hook and it was something large.  At first it started to come up so I pointed my rod down so it would not jump.  Instead of jumping it took off under the boat, before I could loosen my drag it snapped my line.  It was a big fish but we never saw it.  If it had been a tournament I would have retied my line after working the first rocky point, I am fairly sure my line was frayed.  I have not had a fish break my line almost all year.  Well that was our last bite.  We fished shallow to deep with all kinds of different plastics and reaction baits but we could not scratch up another fish.  The water was fairly low with the sunken island showing in several spots and the third launch ramp almost in view.  I hope we get some good rain this winter to fill it back up.  

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8-24-2002

I fished the Lake Piru night tournament tonight by myself as my partner Greg was on vacation.  I was a little nervous because this was the first tournament I have ever fished by myself and it was a night tournament.  I fished from 6pm - 12am.  I started out tossing lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft jerkbaits looking for some kind of a reaction bite.  By 7:30 I had caught about 10 dinks (fish under the 13 inch minimum length limit for the tournament) with not one keeper fish in the livewell.  I started down a steep wall and tried drop shotting some dark worms for awhile. I passed by the team that had come in first place at the first two Lake Piru night tournaments and they said they only had one on a Texas-rigged worm.  About 8:00 I switched to a Texas rigged black worm and kept on working the steep walls.  At about 8:30 I felt a slight tap and set the hook.  I thought I was stuck on a rock but I could feel something pulling and shaking.  The fish had wrapped the line around a rock.  I held the line in a couple of different directions to try to get it to swim away from the snag and then it did, with a big splash!!  It jumped about 10 feet from the boat and it was a good fish.  It headed for deep water right under the boat, I had to lift up the trolling motor while keeping the line tight and hoping it would not jump before I had a chance to get on the side of the boat the fish was on.  One more jump and I had her the the net.  A very long somewhat thin fish that weighed in at 6.30 pounds, which would turn out to be my biggest fish of the night.  I was so excited I was shaking as I retied my line, and it was a good thing that I did.  A couple of casts later I worked my worm down a little point that jutted out from the walls.  I really didn't feel anything but something wasn't right, maybe that's it, I didn't feel my bait so I set the hook.  BZZZZZZ... went my drag and I had another good fish on.  This fish did not jump but just headed for deep water.  A couple of runs on my drag and I had this one in the net.  Another nice bass that weighed in at about 5.9 pounds but this one was nice and fat.  It was now 8:42.  Wow 2 big fish in 12 minutes and I have 3.5 hours left before weigh in, I'll have my limit for sure.  Well after I retied again I kept working those walls back and forth and never got another fish off of it the entire night.  At about 10:45 I worked a deep crankbait around a shallow point next to the walls, nothing.  The moon was now up in the sky and as I turned the boat around to go back over the point again something inside of me said that it looked perfect for a buzzbait.  First cast parallel to the bank in about a foot or less of water, BAM a fish on the buzzbait.  I got it in but it was only 12.5 inches, darn.  Two casts later, BAWOOOSH!!!  This time it was a better fish it jumped once and I got it in the net.  Turned out to be a little over 3 pounds.  And that was it for the rest of the night.  I had a little excitement about 11:30 when I pulled another 12.5 incher in off of the walls otherwise nothing else.  I headed in with only three fish and I was happy that I didn't lose any fish and that my line didn't break, I felt pretty good about my performance.  Well, so did some of the other teams.  With my 3 fish weighing in at 15.43 pounds I took 3rd place!  Not only that, the team that had won the first two events only had that one fish the entire night, a two pounder!  With this finish it puts Greg and I in a position to win Angler's of the Year for this summer season if we do well at the last Piru night tournament in September.  We will definitely give it our best shot!   

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8-9-2002

Went to Lake Castaic today with Greg.  Fished from 6am to 11:15 am and ended up with just a couple of dinks.  We used spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, soft jerkbaits, buzzbaits, drop shot and texas rigged worms.  Couldn't get bit.  We did see several big striper boils with fish from five to ten pounds but we couldn't get them to bite either.  I got a 9 incher on a drop shot and a 3 incher on a spinnerbait while Greg got a 3 incher on a lipless crankbait.  Oh well, that's why it's called fishing and not catching! 

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8-2-2002

I fished the Lake Castaic FOCL/ABA night tournament this evening with my friend Mike Taylor.  There were about 130 boats, which for a reservoir like Castaic is a lot.  The lake was full almost to the spillway with lots and lots of brush underwater.  We went out in the 3rd flight at 8:00 pm and headed to the fish arm until our 2:30 am weigh in time.  We fished our arms off all night long using buzz baits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, drop shot worms and texas-rigged plastics.  We fished from the beach down to 25 feet or so.  We fished slow, we fished fast and we fished medium speed.  We got skunked!  We did not get one bite all night long.  Mike checked out every underwater bush we went by and lost a lot of tackle trying to do so!  I set the hook on many bushes but not one pulled back with that feeling of a fish on.  Whew, every time you start to get a little confidence in your fishing game, mother nature humbles you again  I'm not giving up!      

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7-27-2002

I haven't been fishing in 6 weeks but Saturday night Greg and I went to the Lake Piru night tournament.  I got 2 dinks right away on a lipless crankbait then nothing for awhile.  Greg connected with a spinnerbait about 7:00 with a nice keeper fish.  Then a few more dinks and I finally got a couple of keepers on the lipless crankbait.  About 8:10 Greg got a huge fish on the spinnerbait and we landed it.  It turned out to be our biggest fish, a skinny 6.88 pounder!  The next few casts he proceeded to catch 3 more fish on a spinnerbait that filled out our 5 fish limit and culled a fish.  Then it was dead for awhile.  Greg finally broke the silence with a keeper fish on a black worm but it didn't cull.  In the next couple of hours Greg caught about 7 more fish from with the black worm and I couldn't buy a bite!  On our last cast Greg pulled in another fish and culled out our smallest one.  We ended up with 18.69 pounds!  If any of you know Lake Piru, it is a very small impoundment (only about 1,000 acres when it is full and it is no where near full right now) an 18 pound limit from that small lake is nothing to laugh at.  At the last night tournament the winning weight was 16 pounds so we were very excited when it was time to weigh in.  Well, we were not the only ones to do well.  1st place was almost 24 pounds, 2nd place was a little over 19 pounds (with only 4 fish), and we ended up in third place with our 18.69 pounds.  We did excellent but a few guys did better.  We heard that some of the other teams could not catch a keeper but the ones that did caught some good fish.  If we do well at the final two Piru night tournaments we could qualify for the National Bass Championship at Lake Havasu, AZ in October!  We're sure going to try.

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6-15-2002

Well, night tournaments have been good to me and this one was certainly a surprise.  Greg And I fished this night tournament on his boat.  Neither of us had fished Lake Piru at night before this tournament so we thought it would be fun.  We fished from 6pm until midnight and by 8:30 we had only caught 3 dinks.  Then Greg had picked a keeper up on a black worm.  I picked up two more drop shotting a smaller black worm.  Both Greg and I had a fish spit our hooks, and we heard from others that they had lost several fish each as well.  Must have been the way the fish were biting that night.  Greg hooked a nice one about 10:30 or so and it broke his line a foot away from the net, I hate when that happens.  Throughout the night we were trying different worms, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater and tubes but nothing else worked for us.  We went in at our designated time to weigh in and had no reason to believe that we did good.  We heard other people catching fish all night long, turns out they were losing fish all night long.  Our 3 fish weighed 4.7 pounds and imagine our surprise when we ran away with 4th place!!!!  The first place team had a limit with a nice 6+ pounder, second place had 13+ pounds, third had a few fish for 7+ pounds and then us.  Some teams had one or two small fish and many got skunked!  Apparently it was a very tough bite all night long and we were lucky enough to get the ones we had.  So we got a nice plaque, some of our money back and had nice night fishing Lake Piru!      

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6-9-2002

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Sunday I got to fish on Westlake with Mike Taylor.  We fished from 6am-4pm and caught (and landed) about 25 fish.  I got 12 nice fat 2-3 pound bass including 7 on buzzbaits, 3 on a frog, and 2 on a soft jerkbait.  Mike had a couple on buzzbaits, lost a big 5-6 pounder on a larger frog bait, a couple on a texas rigged zipper worm, and a several on a senko.  Fun fishing but a long day.  I had 10 of my 12 fish by 11:00 after that it really slowed down.  I missed a few on the buzzbait and frog until I put on a trailer hook then I got every single one that hit it.  Lots of weeds so no crankbait action.  Could not catch a fish on a spinnerbait, worm, or tube today, although I tried!


5-31-2002

Dr. Phil Peck and I ended up fishing the FOCL (Friends of Castaic Lake) night tournament on Friday night together.  There were 111 teams fishing the event and I think most of them did bring in a limit.  We ended up in the 3rd flight and saw a lot of boats going to the fish arm so I just went straight across the ramp and we fished all the way down to the island in the ski arm.  The water was way up since last time (6 plus three steps).  Temp was 68-70 in some spots.  When we first got out at about 8:15pm, I tried cranking for a little while then Phil got our first fish on a black worm about 8:45.  Then he got another one about 8:55 so I switched to a worm too.  The bite was good but not hot for us.  We ended up catching 9 fish, all on black worms dropshotted (6) and texas- rigged (3).  Each fish we caught was bigger than the last. from 1.2 pounds up to our largest of 2.94 pounds.  It was a steady bite all night with the last and largest fish I got at about 1:45 am.  We had a 2:30 weigh in.  It took forever for 111 boats to weigh in.  We ended up staying for the awards because we thought we might have a chance at getting a check.  We had 13.55 pounds for our 5 fish.  When we were waiting in line to weigh our fish we heard a lot of 9, 10 and 11 pound limits and we thought we might be in the money.  Well, you know the rest.  1st place had 22 pounds and they paid through 22nd place that had 14+ pounds.  I think we came in somewhere around the top 30's or so out of 111 boats, which I thought was pretty good!  At the awards the top ten caught their fish all over in both the ski arm and fish arm and in 0-25 feet of water.  Mostly worms and couple of crankbait fish.  It was a lot of fun for the first summer night tournament, I can't wait for the next one!.

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5-22-2002

While in Chicago for a convention I had the opportunity to go fishing on Lake Michigan for some smallmouth bass.  There were plenty of salmon and trout guides and charters to be found but very few bass guides in the Chicago area.  I got very lucky and found a really great guide, John Farmer of X-stream Bassin'.  This was a Wednesday and we met at a ramp in Indiana after John got off of work.  John had his boat all ready to go and we got on the water and were fishing by 2:30.  If you have never been to Lake Michigan it looks like an ocean and just like an ocean or lake 90% of the water is unfishable.  John suggested that because the smallmouth were in a pre-spawn mode that we fish drainage ditches and pipes that were releasing warm water into the lake used to cool equipment at the various steel plants in the area.  Using a few different crankbaits at the first spot, John got 2 smallmouth and tail hooked a 15 pound carp on a crankbait at a spot called the hole in the wall.  The next drainage pipe we fished had a much wider area around the current of the water coming into the lake and I hooked my first Lake Michigan fish on a crankbait.  It turned out to be about a 2 pound fish called a drum.  John said that these drum can get up to 10 pounds.  Because these areas with the warmer water concentrate bait we caught a variety of fish throughout the day including, carp, drum, buffalo and of course smallmouth bass.  I caught another drum or two and then hooked into a huge fish.  After about 5 minutes of fighting it I pulled in about a 20 pound carp with the crankbait in its mouth!  John caught a couple smallmouth and we both caught several more drum in that area.  I still had not caught a smallmouth bass.  It was probably about 4:30 so we headed to another area.  About a 15 minute boat ride later we pulled into an area about 100 yards wide with a slow flowing drainage canal on the left side of it and a steel retaining wall to the right of it with rock and sand shoreline in between.  I hooked into a good fish right away on a crankbait, it turned out to be about a 5 pound drum.  We caught a couple of drum and John landed a smallmouth on a crankbait and then switched to a tube and got a couple of smallmouth.  I rigged up a dropshot rig to show John how us Californian's do it and what do you know,  I caught my first smallmouth bass!  Just a small keeper but it was my first Lake Michigan smallmouth.  Tried the dropshot for awhile longer for a drum or two and John started catching some smallmouth in between the, now annoying, drum with his tube bait.  He rigged it on an exposed hook and worked it slowly on the bottom just like you would a texas-rigged worm.  It would get hung up in the rocks every now and then and John showed me a great trick to get the bait unstuck, and it worked most of the time.  He rigged up a tube for me and it just started happening.  Every cast or two one of us would pull in a smallmouth!  We stayed in this 100 yard stretch just going back and forth for the remainder of the evening.  I have never experienced a spot that you could stay on and catch the number of fish that we caught.  I ended up catching about 15 smallmouth, at least the same number of drum and that 20 pound carp.  I also caught the last and biggest smallmouth of the day, a nice 2 pound 12 ounce bass.  John probably had about 20 or more smallmouth, at least 15 drum, 1 buffalo and his big carp that he tail hooked.  It was dark when we headed back to the ramp about 8:45 which was about a thirty minute boat ride in 2-3 foot rollers and wind.  John was a terrific guide and genuine person.  In addition to having a great fishing outing with him I also made a new friend.

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5-4-2002

Went to Casitas on Saturday and had one of the best days of bass fishing I have ever had!  I started out on the east shore and got one on my third cast drop shotting at about 6:30.  Then I didn't get another bite until about 9:30  I had found some fish on beds on picked up a few here and a few there.  At about 10:30 the wind started picking up.  I threw a lipless crankbait for awhile for nothing.  Then I picked up a spinnerbait.  I was working down the shore into the wind.  About 11:00 I saw a bush under water with a large rock next to it.  I cast way past it and brought the spinnerbait right in between the rock and the bush  WHAMMM!!!!  The spinnerbait just stopped, I thought I got stuck on the bush but then the line started moving to the left.  I set the hook and a big fat fish jumped clear out of the water.  A few minutes later I landed a 4.7!!!  That made my day in itself, but it wasn't over yet.  After awhile I switched back to drop shotting and picked up a few nice fat 3 pound bass.  Found a few more on beds.  At about 12:30 I floated in the back of a cove and had some lunch.  I already had 10 fish in the boat, it was a beautiful sunny day, air temp about 72, water temp was between 66 and 68 degrees and the wind was quite steady about 10-15 WSW. 

After lunch I decided to drop shot my way out of the cove.  At 1:05 I felt a mushy feeling and set the hook.  Something big shook its head and immediately came to the surface.  When I first saw it I was worried that it was going to break the line or bend the hook.  I was only using 6 pound P-Line with a 1/0 Rebarb hook AND I had already caught 4 fish on it without re-tying.  The drag was set perfectly and after it jumped once it went straight to deep water and peeled off some drag.  I kept the tension on the fish and tried not to horse it in.  I got it up once then it burst back down.  After what seemed like 5 minutes (probably about 1.5-2 minutes)  I got it next to the boat and netted it.  It completely filled my net.  I weighed it on my Berkley digital scale and it said 9.1 pounds!!!  WhooHeee!  That beats my old personal best of 6.2!!  I was so excited I was shaking.  I trolled across the cove to another boat and had them take a few pictures before I put her back.  She was full of eggs and just a massive healthy fish.  At the night tournament last year when Mike Taylor caught the 8.63 pound fish my digital scale said 8.0 pounds.  So, using some algebra I figure that this fish was about 9.75 pounds.  I am officially going to say that my personal best bass in now 9.5 pounds.  After settling down a bit I re-tied and continued drop shotting and got one more at about 1:30 and that was it.  I stayed until 4:15 but didn't get another bite.  I ended up with 12 bass - 6 on beds 5 drop shotting and one on a spinnerbait.  My best 5 went about 25 pounds 9.1, 4.7, 4.2, 3.2, 3.0!  Why can't I have those days on a tournament?

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4-6-2002

Went to Lake Castaic today by myself on my boat.  Got in the water and was fishing by 6:30 am.  I caught 6 bass by 10:00 on drop shot purple worms in 10-20 feet of water.  All were keepers (over 13") with the biggest going 3.1 pounds on my scale.  All fish nice and plump.  Water temp was between 58-60 and the water was a tea color with visibility about 2-3 feet at the most.  Could not see any beds with the poor clarity.  Caught all of my fish on banks leading into spawning areas.  The wind really kicked in from the North after about 10:30 and getting out of the water was an adventure with 3-4 foot rollers coming into the ramp.  Tried for a couple of hours but I could not get anything on a reaction bait today.  

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3-29-2002

Went to Lake Casitas today with Greg on his boat.  Water level was down another foot or so and a cold front passed through yesterday.  Water temp still hovering between 58 and 60 degrees.  It hasn't warmed up any since the last time I was there.  Saw lots of empty beds and a few with fish on them.  I ended up with three off of beds and Greg had 2 off of beds and one plastic worm fish.  Most of the fish on beds that we caught were deeper between about 10 and one as deep as 20 feet.  No crankbait, banjo, or other reaction bait fish today.  Fished from about 6:00 to 12:30 or so.   

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3-9-2002

Fished the Lake Casitas team tournament today on my boat with Mike Taylor as my partner.  We were in the second flight and got out at about 6:30.  We went straight to a spot I picked the day before, idled up slowly and cut the engine.  Before I even got the trolling motor down Mike yelled "fish on!" and pulled in our first fish, a nice 4 pounder that he caught on a big 9" worm Texas rigged!  A few minutes later I hooked a fish on a worm and it got off by the boat.  For the next 45 minutes we collected 4 more fish off of beds and had our 5 fish limit by 7:30 for about 12.5 - 13 pounds.  now we had about 8 hours more to up our weight.  We moved just a few hundred yards away from our first spot and I got another two keepers on a dropper rigged worm that culled two of the smaller bed fish.  Around 10:30 we caught another fish off of a bed and culled another smaller fish.  After that fish the wind picked up and we fished our arms off for the next 4 plus hours.  We tried several other spots.  I threw the big Castaic Trout bait for about a hour and a half and wormed while Mike was throwing big worms and crankbaits to try to get that big kicker fish we needed.  Our weigh in was at 3:15 so around 2:30 we decided to head over to our original spot and see if any more fish had moved up to feed.  At 3:02 Mike said "should we go in now?"  I said "the marina is right there, we have a few more minutes".  A couple of casts later I felt a little pressure on my dropper rig and set the hook.  The line started toward deeper water and I thought I had the big one.  Then the fish immediately came up and jumped and I didn't even think it would cull a fish for us.  At exactly 3:08 Mike netted the 2.6 pounder that culled our smallest fish of 2.3 pounds!  I was totally excited to catch and cull a fish on my last cast!  We tossed it into the livewell and headed in.  We ended up with 2 four pounders, 2 three pounders, and the 2.6 pounder for a total weight of 16.63 pounds!  Overall we landed nine bass 5 on beds and 4 worming.  Out of the 84 boats we ended up in 36th place.  The winning weight was 26.02 pounds and you needed 19.34 pounds to get a check this time.  Of the 84 teams there were 77 teams that weighed in fish, 63 five fish limits and 7 teams that blanked.  I was very happy with our effort and that my plan worked out so well, we just didn't get the big bite we needed.  16.63 pounds is the heaviest weight I have ever had in any tournament so far!  Maybe next time we can get 20 pounds!?!

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3-8-2002

Went to Lake Casitas today to pre-fish for the tournament tomorrow.  Greg was generous enough to bring his boat and let me control the front of the boat so that I could save my batteries for the tournament.  We were trying to find areas that had fish on beds, areas that had clear water, and where we did find fish to see how active they were.  Found a few good areas with fish on beds that were ready to go and caught a few fish on plastic worms to get a good idea of what to do on Saturday.  We did lots of looking and a little bit of fishing.  We didn't find any fish chasing crankbaits or soft jerkbaits  I ended up with 4 bass one on a bed and 3 plastic worm fish.  Greg got one on a bed also and one worm fish (but that was a 5+ pounder!)  Overall, I got a good idea of where I wanted to go on tournament day.

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2-23-2002

Went to Lake Casitas today, with the dry and warm winter we were hoping that the bass spawn might be happening a little early this year.  The water was extra clear and we could see 12-15 feet down in some spots. Water temp between 57 in the morning to about 60 on the surface in the backs of some coves.  Fished from 6:30 to 2:30 and we ended up with two bass.  Both came off of early beds with plastics.  We could not catch any staging fish or pre-spawn fish today.  We tried every tactic we could and nothing.  There was a cold front that came through in the morning and maybe that is why the bite was so slow.  There had been reports that with the warm weather the fishing was beginning to pick up.  Not according to our day.  We only had one big follow on a trout bait and no other bites.  Another tough day at Casitas.

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1-26-2002

Went to Lake Castaic today with Greg on his boat. We fished from about 7:45 -12:30 with worms, spoons, crankbaits, jigs and the big trout baits and we didn't get a thing.  Not even a follow.  There was a guy at the dock asking everyone how they did and writing it down on a pad.  He said the only thing he heard all day was that someone caught a 17 pound striper at about 7:15 am and that was it!  I wasn't expecting much but there is always hope of getting that first big pre-spawn female bass, maybe next time.  

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1-12-2002

Wow!  I have not been fishing in almost two months and the weather was so nice I took the boat out to Lake Casitas today!  Water temp was about 59 and extremely clear.  I drug the Castaic Trout around all day and threw crankbaits, worms, and jigs all day for zero fish.  I was not expecting much for the middle of winter but with the air temps in the high 70's and clear skies it was nice to get out anyway! 

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11-17-2001

Went to Lake Casitas today.  I was the second boat in the water at 6:05 and was fishing by 6:15.  I got my one and only fish for the day at 6:40 on a soft plastic jerkbait, it went 3.0 on my digital scale, nice fat football fish!  I was really trying for a big fish today.  I drug a floating Castaic trout behind the boat the entire day and threw a 6" Castaic trout from the front of the boat.  I had one big fish follow the whole day.  I also threw big 10" worms.  Nothing.  The water temp was about 67 and the water was extra clear, in some spots I could see 12 feet down.  There was really no wind the entire day.  I ended up getting off of the water at about noon.

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11-10-2001

We got there Friday about 2:00 and got in the water to check it out.  We didn't really try to catch fish but we did get a few fish to follow our crankbaits and show themselves on my banjo.  We found several big fish 3-5 pounds in Johnson cove in the clearer water on Friday.  So our gameplan was to go back there in the morning and stay way off the bank, make long casts with worms and soft jerkbaits and try to get some of them to hit.  We were #4 and went out in the first flight.  We went there turned off all of the electronics, stayed way off shore, cast our lures up on the bank and dragged them into the water, and got nothing!!  We stayed there for about 2 hours thoroughly fishing from 0 - 30 feet.  We got several dinks but no keepers.  Then we moved to Cachuma point and Cachuma Bay for awhile and then back to the same cove we started in thinking they might have turned on.  They didn't.  I did however catch a 2 pound bluegill, and I should have taken a picture, but I was so pissed that it wasn't a bass I just tossed it back in!  That was the only bite all day.  Near the end of the day we saw a fish suspending in the shallows, about a 3 pound bass, over about 8 feet of water. I tossed in my banjo and literally landed it on his nose, it didn't move!  I rigged up a drop shot with about a 3 foot leader and shook a small worm right in front of its face for about 5 minutes, it didn't move.  It was too far down to just try and net it or I might have tried.  Finally I tossed a crankbait out and ran it past its face 2 times, it still didn't move.  Then I bumped the crankbait into it and it slowly moved to deeper water.  If all of the fish were like that I can't believe anyone caught any fish.  Needless to say Rich was totally put off but I am going to try to get him to at least do two more tournaments and the finals but we will see.  On Friday the wind was blowing from the west/southwest just like the week before.  But Saturday it was blowing from the East.  I am guessing that the fish were really affected by the change in the weather.

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10-27-2001

Went to Casitas today by myself for some fun fishing and to try out my new Shimano Curado reel and Phenix rod.  Caught a couple on a soft jerkbait, a couple on a small Fat Rap and one 4 pounder on the drop shot rig and a purple worm.  I also was throwing the big trout baits looking for a big fish but I only got a heron to pick it up!!!  

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9-22-2001

Went to the final Trolling Motor Doctor Lake Casitas night tournament for the summer last night.  There was a poor showing of boats with only 38 teams competing.  Of the 38 teams only 26 teams weighed fish and there was only one five fish limit.  Big fish was 12.5+ pounds for the first big fish and third big fish was 8.97 pounds by the 5th place team.  Oh, how did Rich May and I do???  We ended up with 4 fish for 13.69 pounds and took home....3rd place!!  Unbelievable!!  1st place had 20+ pounds 2nd place had 18+ pounds and 3rd place (us) had 13.69 pounds, 4th place had 13.67 (whew really close) and 5th place had 9.99 pounds (the 8.97 pounder and a 1 pounder.  Rich had our first fish at 6:30 (3lb) on a purple worm, then Rich stuck a good fish on a big crankbait at 7:30 but it threw it back at us not 5 feet from the net, Rich stuck and landed our 2nd fish (5lb) at about 10:00 on a worm.  At 11:00 I got our third fish on a black power worm (4lb).  At 11:15 Rich got a keeper on a crankbait (1.75 lb) and when I went over to net it I laid my rod down with the bait still in the water, while I was netting it we both heard and saw a good fish jump out of the water and try to throw a hook!!  The fish had taken my worm and pulled my pole right into the water (lost my rod and reel and another good fish)... total 13.69 pounds.  Oh yea, rich got a dink earlier on a crankbait.  7 bites (4 fish, 2 lost, 1 dink).  It was another tough night of fishing.  All of the bites were soft, you didn't know it was weeds or a a fish until you set the hook, even on the crankbait fish.  We were setting the hook on weeds all night just in case.  That ends the 2001 summer season of night tournaments with me and my different partners getting 6th, 7th and now a 3rd place finish in the last three night tournaments!!!

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9-7-2001

Went to the FOCL night tournament last night at Lake Castaic.  It was a tough bite but we managed to get 6 bites with the best 5 going 12.09 pounds AND we ended up in 7th place.  I got 4 fish and Greg got 2 fish.  Our biggest bass was 3.11, but we had another 3 pounder and a couple of 2.5's or so and one that was just over a pound.  We didn't get much money but I got my first fishing plaque!!  We got all of our fish drop shotting black power worms.  We got 3 fish between 9:30 and 9:45 and 3 more between 12:30 and 12:45.  Greg would catch one and then I would catch two more from each spot.  A slow but fun night.  What was even more exciting was that we beat some pretty good teams.  Out of 95 teams only 197 bass were brought to the scales.  There were very few 5 fish limits and big fish was over eight pounds.  1st place was 17+ pounds, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place were all in the 14+ pounds, 5th place was 13+ pounds and 6th place was 12.19 pounds, we were in 7th with 12.09 and right behind us in 8th they had an unbelievably close 12.08 pounds!  The 8th place team won the angler of the year award for the FOCL night summer tournaments so it was kind of fun to beat them even though it was by only 0ne-hundredth of a pound!!

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8-18-2001

Well, we finally did it!  Went to the Casitas night tournament Saturday night with my buddy Mike Taylor and we finally got in the money on my boat.  I never had so much fun without catching a fish!  Mike caught a beautiful big 8.57 pounder!!  His biggest bass ever and the biggest bass to ever take a ride on my boat for sure!  With that one fish we came in 6th place out of 53 teams!  And we got second big fish for the night!!  Out of the 53 teams only 30 teams weighed in fish, and only 60 fish were brought to the scales for a total of 208 pounds, a 3.47 per fish average.  I may be a little off but it was close to that.  Mike caught the big fish at about 8:30 drop shotting a black power worm!!  We tried everything else all night long but could only scratch up a few more dinks.  The winners had the only 5 fish limit for just under 31 pounds!!  They said they only had two fish and about 10 pounds until 15 minutes before weigh in then they caught a couple of  eight pounders and another 5 pounder on crankbaits.  Unbelievable!!  Second place had 11 something pounds for 3 fish and third place was 10 something pounds for a couple of fish.  Just in the money at 10th place was 7.07 pounds.  Most teams had one or two fish with a few teams with three fish.  The top three big fish were all in the eight pound range with big fish being 8.91, then ours at 8.57 and then a third a 8 something.  My friend Greg had 2 fish for 6 something pounds and ended up in 15th place or so.  He caught his fish before dark on a jerkbait.  It was a tough night of fishing but Mike brought the luck with him and we made the best of it.

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Last edited:  05/29/14 07:59:35 PM