|#1 Jim Bolleter|
|#2 Neil Springstead|
|#3 John Buck
|Big Fish Saturday|
|Top Six For Year
Pensacola Blue Angels
"John's Club Report"
Covering the Pensacola Hawg Hunters
End Of The Road Landing
October 23-23, 1999
The October tournament for the Hawg Hunters also serves as our Annual Fish-Off tournament. It is actually 2 tournaments in one, the regular monthly tournament and the annual Fish-Off. This year provided some very interesting match-ups as five of the top six spots in the yearly standings were up for grabs.
The only spot that was basically locked up was the top spot, and Fred Raby pretty much locked it down last month. Congratulations to Fred, "Hawg Hunter Fisherman of the Year"
Many of the guys, including myself and my partner (2nd month in a row) Paul Sullivan, went up a day early to pre-fish the area. Paul and I didnt find any fish to speak of but we did find some really pretty water to fish in Dead Lakes. We knew others found fish because as everyone filtered in during the afternoon they were tight lipped about the fishing!!!
On Saturday, the tournament started out with the best of weather. The morning temps were cool, and due to a couple of mild fronts in the previous week, the water had cooled a little also. The high during the day was around 70 with lows near 40. The only real problem that existed with conditions was that the water was extremely low. People were finding sand bars in the main river and submerged stumps throughout Dead Lakes.
It seemed like the water was about 4-5 feet lower than normal and that really can present problems in Dead Lakes, which is nothing more than a huge cypress swamp.
Paul and I started out working top waters early on Saturday morning. I picked up one keeper and several small fish with this pattern and missed numerous strikes most of which I think were jack fish. Paul got a couple of small ones on a worm, but at this point, the fishing was pretty tough. About mid day we ran into a "local" who told us to run up river (carefully) and fish the top end of the lake with spinner baits. We took his advice and found an area that looked right and started fishing.
We each picked up several fish there and wound up weighing in 3 fish each for the day.
At the first day weigh-in Jim Bolleter and his happy partner, Neil Springstead brought nice stringers to the scales. Jim had the only limit weighed in that day totaling 9 lbs. Neil had the lunker, ( 4.10 ) for the day and weighed in 6.65 lbs. Several other guys had nice stringers also. Kevin Simmons brought in a nice bag of fish that weighed 6.65 lbs also and was tied with Neil for 2nd at the end of the first day. Several fishermen had stringers in the 4-6 lb range and the standings were tight through 10th place.
Day 2 brought some slight changes as a front blew in over night and dropped temps into the upper 30's, along with a nice breeze and high "blue bird" skies. We decided to go back to the area we
started in and work further back in the area as we felt that with the warming mid morning temps the fish would turn on. After 2 ½ hours of empty fishing, I decided to start sand-papering the channel edges with a crank bait. In short order I started catching fish. They were literally eating the paint off the bait. During the next couple of hours, I must have caught 25-30 jack fish (yuck) but about every five fish I would pick up a bass.
The fish were holding just off the edge at the break.. The jacks
would hit next to the trees and the bass about 3 feet out. Paul and I both had a nice fish to show at the weigh-in.
Paul had a 3.15 lb bass and I had one that went 5.6 lbs and was lunker for the day.
Back at the weigh-in many other fishermen had found fish also. Once again Jim and Neil brought nice stringers to the scales. Pete Potter also showed up with a nice bag of fish. When all was said and done, Jim Bolleter had a solid 1st place with 17.80 lbs of fish, his partner Neil Springstead held on to finish 2nd place with 15.85 lbs of fish, and I had climbed into 3rd place with 15.5 lbs. of bass.
While the fish werent exactly jumping in the boat, almost everyone found a few fish and brought fish to the scales.
The fish were caught on a variety of baits. Most of the fish from the Appalachicola system and the Chipola River below Dead Lakes were caught on worms, while most of the fish caught in Dead Lakes and in the Chipola River above Dead Lakes were caught on crank baits and spinner baits.
This tournament ended our yearly competition, and competition for next year starts anew next month when we fish the Tensaw River out of Cliffs landing. The "top Six" fishermen for the year are: (This is unofficial)....
1st Place FRED RABY
2nd Place JOHN BUCK
3rd Place JACK MAHER
4th Place NEIL SPRINGSTEAD
5th Place DAVE DYESS
6th Place MAC CRAMER
Lunker of the Year Award----FRED RABY6.15 lbs.
Also starting in November, a new slate of officers will take over the operations of the club for the coming year.
To all the departing e-board members, a hearty "job well done".....and to all the new e-board members, congratulations on your new positions.
A special thank you goes out to JIM BAILEY who makes this web site available to us and for all the work that goes into it. What a great informational resource hes made available to all fishermen. Thank You Jim.
Until next time....Keep you hooks sharp...
|Jim Bailey Jr.||3||4.85|
|Jim Bailey Sr.||1||1.90|