"John's Club Report"
Covering The Pensacola Hawg Hunters
Email: John Buck

September 22, 2001

Alabama River Standings
Total Fish Caught
Total Dead Fish
Total Fish Weight
91.35 lbs.
Total Year Standings
Total Fish Caught 506
Total Dead Fish 19
Total Fish Weight 741.34 lbs.

Lake Eufaula
Lake Point Resort

Beautiful weather greeted the Hawg Hunters as we began our September tournament. Note that I did not say beautiful fishing weather…. Cool temps and clear skies made for great feeling weather but alas, poor fishing conditions. The lake was down about 2-3 feet and the fish were hard to find. Up river there was some light stain in the water but the farther south you went the clearer it got.

My partner for the weekend was Neil Springstead. Most of us just call him Blinky. Neil and I went up like many others a day early to try to find fish and put together a pattern. We started out running up in the Grassy Creek area and working secondary points and ledges inside the creeks and sloughs. We worked with crank baits, Carolina rigs, and worms but couldn’t find any keepers. Actually we found very few fish period. After spending most of the morning in futile fishing efforts we moved out on the main river and worked some submerged ledges and found a few active fish. We moved a couple of keepers and then tried our pattern on similar spots as we worked back down stream to the landing. We found fish on this pattern at almost every stop, but most of them were very small.

Friday night about a dozen of us went into town to a Mexican resturant where we proceeded to eat many bowls of hot salsa with chips as well as too much Mexican food. Many of us paid the price for a few people as the air was filled throughout the evening with noxious odors around the card table. Nothing like the pre-tournament activities…ha!

As tournament day rolled around Neil and I headed for a point where we had our best action. Blinky worked a crank bait and I worked a Carolina rig. About 10 minutes into the morning, Blinky hooked up with a nice 2 lb. keeper . We continued this pattern but could only manage small fish. As the day wore on we worked down river to a favorite spot of mine. As we worked the edges and drop lines we both caught several non-keepers. Neil turned and made one of those long casts toward the middle in the open water and got his lure stuck in a stump that eventually turned out to be about a 3 lb largemouth. Once he got that stump in the boat, he really felt better. I was still without a keeper.

At the weigh in, Neil had enough pounds to grab 2nd place for the first days action. Two fish taking 2nd place really tells you how tough the fishing was. I didn’t feel so bad when I found that some of the guys that had been there fishing for several days didn’t have fish either. At the end of the first day Brian Metcalf was in 1st place with 6.55 lbs, Neil was in 2nd with 5.20 lbs , and Jere Jaillite was in 3rd with 5.15 l pounds. Dave Dyess was dalling his worm in the boat basin and caught a nice 3 lb plus LM for Saturday’s lunker honors. Good job Dave!

Saturday evening we had a fish fry for all the guys fishing the tournament. This was funded with proceeds from our new "special fund". Everyone had a great time sitting around swapping tales and stories and popping a few tabs. Thanks to all the guys who put the activity together and to Mac who did the cooking. I hope that we will be able to have a fish fry at Appalichicola in October. It was really a lot of fun and of course, great eating.

Sunday morning rolled around with the same basic conditions as Saturday. We knew from the start that it was going to be a tough day. Neil and I headed out to the area where he had caught his fish the day before. Today was to be a repeat of Saturday for us, but this time I got lucky and caught 2 keepers and Neil caught the small ones. About mid morning we decided to make a major change and headed back to the back parts of Cowikee creek. There we saw a couple of Hawgs, Jere Jaillite and Paul Sullivan. They were fishing the edges of submerged flats and islands with crank baits. They obvoiusly had found a pattern that would work. Paul was all smiles and we knew something was up! Seems that earlier on in the morning Paul tossed a lonely buzz bait into some buck brush and a big fish snagged herself on it, and as the morning passed they developed a winning pattern and were putting some nice fish in the boat. Neil and I continued on back to a secret spot of his but didn’t find anything so we headed back out to the mouth of the creek. About 45 minutes before weigh in I was able to boat my second keeper on a crank. Neil and I wound up with only 2 keepers each for the weekend… a mighty pitiful showing.

It turned out that Paul Sullivan wasn’t lying when he said the had a nice fish. He brought a 5.30 lb LM to the scales to take lunker honors. His total creel for the weekend was 13.15lbs and that was enough for his "First Ever" tournament win. Way To Goooooo Sully!!! In a tie for 2nd place was Jere Jaillite and Mac Cramer. Both of those Hawgs had 10.60 lbs. Most fish were caught on crank baits, Carolina rigs, and worms. This tournament also secured several guys in the "Top Six" but the order has yet to be decided, and a few places are still up for grabs. Once again "Hats Off" to the guys who put together the social activities. Although the fishing was tough, the fellowship was fun and this one guy is already looking forward to our next tournament "The Fish-Off" at Break Away Lodge on the Appalichicola River.

Til next month …Keep your hooks sharp!

Creek Chub