|#1 Jack Maher|
|#2 Fred Raby|
|#3 Dave Dyess
|Big Fish Saturday/Sunday|
Pensacola Blue Angels
"John's Club Report"
Covering the Pensacola Hawg Hunters
Wind Creek State Park
April 24-25, 1999
The April tournament for the Hawg Hunters was held on Lake Martin, out of Wind Creek State Park. Lake Martin is located in central Alabama, near Alexander City, Alabama. It is one of the prettiest lakes we have ever fished and alway seems to produce lots of fish for us. This year was no exception.
My partner Wally Cassiano, was able to go up a day early and do some scouting for us. He did quite well for when I arrived Friday night, he said he'd found plenty of fish. As it turned out, he was right We started our morning in typical "Wally style" ( an hour before anyone gets up) and got the boat hooked up and ready to go to the lake. After waiting for about 35 minutes in the water for the rest of the guys to show up we finally got started.
The weather was perfect with overcast skies and cool temps. We immediately headed to the area where Wally had found fish the day before. We started out with floating worms and shad puppies working lay downs. Wally picked up a nice spot on his second cast and we were started for the day. Soon I picked up a spot on a lay downs also, and we continued working toward the back of the creek.
As we got to the back end of the creek we saw the "War Zone."I call it that because it was a little area no larger than ½ acre in the very back of the creek in a 2-3 foot flat. There were bombs exploding under the water all over the small area. We immediately grabbed a couple of Chug Bugs and headed that way. Fish were exploding all over the small area. In fact they had stirred the bottom from all the action. The shad would literally jump out of the water and land on the bank. Several times we watched as bass would swim upon the bank chasing the shad and then flop back down in the water. We immediately began catching fish. Kentucky spots, stripers, hybrids, and largemouths, all in the same melee of action. The amazing thing was that the spots and largemouths were all running 14 inches plus.
After we both culled a limit, we started experimenting with different baits to try to catch some of the bigger fish we could occasionally see explode in the water. While we never caught any fish bigger than 3 lbs, we did catch many numbers of fish and on every bait we tried.
I have been in schooling fish many times before and know that they will go down and move, but not here. They stayed in that little pocket busting shad literally all day.
We left for a little while to try to find some larger fish but didn't have the discipline to stay away for more than a couple of hours. We returned to find the action still going on.
When we left for the weigh in they were still busting the surface.
At the weigh in we found that we were not the only ones to have found the fish. Everyone had a story to tell. Many of the guys had limits and all had caught fish. Jack Maher had a nice stringer, Dave Dyess had a beautiful stringer of spots, and Fred Raby had a bag full including the daily lunker over 6 lbs. Wally and I weighed in identical stringers at 7.2 lbs each.
Most fish were caught on top waters, worms, and soft jerk baits. All evening lies and fishing tales were told, retold, and created (in typical Hawg Hunter fashion).
The next morning brought high blue skies and cooler temps for the early part of the day. Wally and I ran right back to our schoolies ready to wear'em out again.
They weren't there!!!!! I was able to pick up a couple right away including a 4.5 lb lunker and Wally got one keeper. We worked hard the rest of the day for only a few bites and even fewer fish. Wally caught 2 more keepers and that was our day. Dave came in with another nice bag of spots. Fred had several nice fish, and Jack came in with another nice creel. Boy is he on a roll.
Go get'em Jack!!!!
If there were any negatives about this weekend it was the motels in around Alex City. Our tournament coincided with the race at Talladega, and all the motels raised their rates about 35- 40% and required a 3 night minimum. There was one place that didn't rip off everyone, the "Bob White" motel.
I think that next time I may just camp at Wind Creek. It is a terrific campground. Enough of the negatives...
All in all this was maybe the best ever tournament that the Hawg Hunters have had since I joined the club in 1976. We had over 176 lbs of fish brought to the scale.
That, I believe is a new record for us. It took almost 10 lbs to get in the top ten, and for us that is great!
Congratulations to "ALL" the Hawg Hunters who fished. Everyone seemed to have a great time. It's easy to have fun when you're catching fish!! I think that we have already surpassed last years total poundage and we've got 6 tournaments to go in the fishing calendar. Our next tournament is on the Tensaw River out of Cliff's landing. See you there.....
Keep your hooks sharp
|Jim Bailey Sr.||4||7.15|
|Jim Bailey Jr.||4||5.10|