For the past several years, the Hawg Hunters have held their March tournament out of Wind Creek State Park on Lake Martin. We have always had good results and enjoyed good times together as a club on this outing. In the past we have always found the water to be extra clear and really good for sight fishing.
This year we were greeted with windy conditions and heavily stained water from the heavy rains they had in that area. We were right at home in stained water as most of the water we fish is stained to muddy, and as you will see in the report below plenty of fish were caught!
My partner for this trip was Dave Dyess. What a lucky draw for me as Martin used to be Dave's "home water" and adding to the fact that I had been camping there the week before and found fish, our confidence for success was high.
Dave and I started out in the back of Wind Creek where I had caught numbers of fish the week prior. By 7:30 am, Dave had a limit and I had 3.
We decided to give the area a rest and went to some of his spots and found fish there also. In a short time I had my limit and we spent the rest of the day culling for better fish. Our fish came from a variety of baits including floating worms (chartreuse), spinner baits, finesse worms, and June bug lizzards. We found spotted bass near the mouths of creeks but not on the points but spent most of our time concentrating on largemouths in the very backs of creeks and coves.
When we got to the weigh-in we found that many of the guys had found numbers of fish but, large fish were hard to come by. First day standing were as follows: Jere Jaillite was in 1st place with a limit weighing 9.20 lbs and had the daily lunker (3.65lbs), Lee "Slammer" Brannon was in 2nd place with a limit weighing 7.50 lbs and Dave Dyess was in 3rd with a limit weighing 7.05lbs.
Once again fish came from a variety of lures but the predominant lures of success were floating worms (pink), soft plastic jerk baits, and crank baits.
There was a close stack of fishermen following the leaders as 10 fishermen weighed in limits on the first day.
As day 2 rolled up, Dave and I decided to head for the coves where we had success the previous afternoon. We made a good choice but ran afoul of some bad luck with hook ups. I broke off the first 3 fish I hooked.
I'm sure all were keepers and one was definitely a large fish. All I could say was FRUSTRATION! Dave landed a couple of decent fish early and got a good start. Then he experienced a couple of break offs. We were catching them on junebug lizards in the very backs of coves in shallow water as they were coming up to look for spawning places. As mid-day approached and with a 1 PM weigh-in, we decided to run back to our cove in Wind Creek and dig it our for the rest of the day. It was a good decision as we each caught a couple of more keepers but they were not enough to hold up our standings from the first day. We both should have had a limit with the fish we missed, but I guess that's why they call it "fishing".
At the scales Rich Cornelius showed up with his 2nd limit of the tournament and took 1st place in the tournament with 14.30 lbs. He caught most of his fish on floating worms. Not to be denied, Gunny Mills brought in a limit which gave him 2nd place with a total of 13.90 lbs. Gunny also had the lunker for the day at 4.10 lbs. He also caught most of his fish on a floating worm. Brian Metcalf came in with his 2nd limit of the tournament for a total weight of 13.40 lbs and took 3rd place honors. I think he caught most of his fish also on floating worms.
Although many fish were caught on a large selection of lures, it's plain to see what really got the better fish this weekend. A few anglers were able to put some keepers in the boat on chug bugs, burt the top water bite wasn't as strong as it has been in the past for us. All said, it was a very successful tourney even if the fish were small. Out of 19 fishermen, 3 weighed in a limit each day, 14 weighed in at least one limit and everyone weighed in fish. Jere Jaillite found that the old adage of the first day honors can "go south on you over night" has some truth to it. He had a good bite Saturday but couldn't find it on Sunday.
That seems to happen a lot on 2-day events. Even though the water wasn't as pretty as in the past, fish were eager to bite and that make for a lot of action and fun. I'm already looking forward to going there again.
Next month we fish at Miller's Ferry on the Alabama River. They've had a lot of high water but it should be looking really good by the time we fish there. Til then..
Keep your hooks sharp!........