"John's Club Report"
Covering the Pensacola Hawg Hunters
Shingle Mill Landing
June 24, 2000
" Those were the days." That phrase kept coming back to me over and over again as we fished the Pascagoula / Escatawpa River system. I say that meaning that as a member of the Hawg Hunters Bass Club for 24 years, I have really seen the ups and downs of the club. Over 15 years ago we fished the Pascagoula Escatawpa system. There was a reason why we never went back.
Eighteen (18) die-hard fishermen weighed in a whopping total of 18.70 pounds in what has to be one of our worst tournaments in recent years. It really reminded me of the tough days we have had in the past 8-10 yrs from poor tournament site selection.
The day started well enough when el PresidenteJack Maher had major trailer trouble near the Loxley exit. When all was said and done, he was hobbling slowly along the shoulder til he could get to the exit. From There, he looked high and low for a replacement hub, finding it low, all the way in Gulf Shores.
I think he finally made it to the tournament site around 10:30.
While Jack and Mitch Gardner were looking for a hub the rest of us were practicing casting in great looking water but getting no fish for our efforts.
My partner for this outing was "Pistol" Pete Potter, creator and benefactor of the famous "slammer". (That story will have to wait until another time.) He and I started out running to the East Pascagoula River and up into Cunningham Lake. When we got there we found the lake to be full of bait fish with an occasional fish busting them. We started fishing the edges of some submerged islands and immediately got some explosive hits on shad puppies and bango lures. Thats all we got..... hits...no hook ups. We each caught a speckled trout as they were hitting also. We each lost a couple of decent bass trying to get them to the boat..but thats fishing. I finally got a nice fish in around 8:00 AM. We continued fishing in the area until about 10 and then decided to run up to Fishing Lake. Once there we again found some bait fish but absolutely no hits. Out to the river we went and immediately began to get pecked by bream and such, but no keeper bass. At midday we ran a couple of miles up in a cut-off and started to fish the outside bends flipping a worm and a jig n pig. We each got a couple of hits and I was lucky enough to land a keeper Kentucky spot on a black and blue jig. As we neared 3 PM we decided to run back to the Escatawpa and fish in that area to finish the day. Once again beautiful water but absolutely no fish. That was it for us.
The day was hotter than blazes and at least we brought plenty of water to keep us hydrated. Fishing on those extremely hot days can really be dangerous if you dont drink plenty of water often. Pete and I had an enjoyable day as we could have under the conditions. Hes always a great partner to fish with and graciously allows you to catch the fish, no matter whos boat youre in. Hey guys....he didnt take a nap either. It was just "too damn hot" to sleep!!!!
Speaking of naps, our main nap-taker, Jeff Weaver, showed up at the scales with a wining string of 3 bass for a total of 3.45 lbs. Rumor has it that he threw back 2 others because he was afraid they wouldnt bump. Way to go Jeff.....(what happened to your partner????). By the way Brian said that Jeff didnt take a nap during the day either...must have been too hot to sleep or maybe the bunk in the back of that new BassCat wasnt long enough for him. Smiling at the weigh in was the "effervescent" Neil Springstead. Neil came to the scales with a bucket mouth that weighed 3.30 lbs and took second place and the lunker pot with that 1 fish. I got lucky and had 2 fish that weighed 3.0 lbs and that was good enough for 3rd place. We only had 9 fishermen weigh in fish and 9 fishermen zipped........
Maybe next month will be better...
In July, we will fish the Alabama River out of Holley Creek. This can be a good place to catch some fine fish during the hot times, but like everywhere, it can also be tough as nails. The worse part of fishing this place is getting there. Non-boaters be sure to have reel covers on your reels if they are laying in the boat. We have to travel down the dustiest road in the South for several miles and everything in the boat gets absolutely covered in red dust.
Remember to be safe on the water and drink plenty of liquids and use sun screen. Til next time.......
Keep those hooks sharp!!!!!!