John Buck
John's Club Report
Covering The Pensacola Hawg Hunters
2005 Season

Email: John Buck

Founded In 1975

Miller's Ferry
Total Fish Caught 81
Total Dead Fish 15
Total Limits 12
Big Fish
Total Fish Weight 112.05 lbs

Total Year Standings
Total Fish Caught 434
Total Dead Fish15
Total Limits 49
Big Fish
Total Fish Weight 652.45 lbs
Place Name Fish Weight
1. Ron Fairbanks 5 10.80
2. Lee Brannon 5 9.60
3. Terry Smith 4 9.40
4. Tony Boyette 5 8.45
5. Rich Carnelius 5 7.90
6. Brian Metcalf 5 6.35
7. Jere Jaillite 5 6.15
8. John Buck 5 6.05
9. Pete Potter 5 5.70
10. Mack Cramer 5 5.55

*** Tournament Winner ***

Ron Fairbanks
5 Fish - 10.80 lbs

Place Name Fish Weight
11. Wayne Thomley 5 5.20
12. Rich Renner 5 5.15
13. Dave Dyess 5 5.05
14. Paul Sullivan 3 4.30
15. Walter McCartney 4 4.15
16. Dan Nash 4 3.70
17. Jeff Weaver 2 1.95
18. John Schaeff 2 1.80
19. Dewayne Kembro 1 1.10
20. Ken Repine 1 .70

MAY 21, 2005

The Pensacola Hawg Hunters held their May tournament at Milers Ferry on the Alabama River, near Camden, Alabama. The weather was nice with partly cloudy skies for most of the day, water temps were in the 70's, lakes and creeks were stained to muddy, but the main river was fairly clear. The morning was a little foggy, but it burned off as the temps rose to near 90, and the winds were light.

We had 20 members fishing this weekend. My partner was Terry Smith. We decided to go north from the launch at Ellis Ferry and work creeks and lakes above the state park. We had a great time and even caught a few fish.
We pulled in a little creek and started fishing the mouth with topwaters but could get no bites so we decided to go in a little further and fish the small coves and guts that were nearby. I soon pulled out a short fish on a paca craw (brown/green color). Terry was fishing a spinner bait and a worm. Soon I had two more fish that were keepers, all on the paca craw. I gave him a bait and the hook I was using and we basically fished that lure the rest of the day. By 9:00 AM I had a limit of small fish and told Terry to take the front and catch him a limit also.
Folks, I know that you've heard the stories about "snake head fish" in some waters in other states.
Terry caught a snake head! We were fishing in about 8-10 ft of water when he says "I've got a good one! Soooo…
I jump up to get the net and scramble to the front only to see a four foot water moccasin pop out of the water.
Terry almost messed his britches when the angry snake broke the muddy surface. It was securely hooked in the back about a foot from the end of its tail and it was not a happy camper as it was striking and thrashing about. Terry was smart enough not to bring it aboard or he would have gone overboard with a push from me like my partner did last month! I told him to reel it up and grab it behind its head then cut the hook out but Terry didn't see it that way. Instead he cut about 10 foot of line and let it loose several feet from the boat. I said with that much line on him you better hope he doesn't get near the trolling motor. Terry quickly moved the boat out of the area. Then he proceeded to teach me a lesson on how to catch bigger fish! He landed a couple of 3 pounders and a couple of 2 lb footballs. We basically caught fish all day. I did manage to cull about 3 fish but never could catch up to Terry. Almost all of our fish came on the paca craw.

At the scales there were plenty of lies and stories being told. Folks caught fish on just about everything including worms, jigs, buzz baits, paca craws, spinners and crank baits. I think it was just a matter of what you had confidence in. We had several limits but no really big fish weighed in. I think we had 12 limits total.
The "Connecticut Yankee" Ron Fairbanks came in once again with a nice bag of 5 fish that weighed 11.00 lbs for 1st Place. He fished behind Brian Metcalf this month. He's got a good shot at taking fisherman of the year honors at the rate he's going, and he's doing it from the back of the boat! Lee Brannon had a stiff limit for 2nd Place that weighed 9.60 lbs. Lee also had the lunker at 4.05 lbs. Terry Smith took the 3rd Place with four fish that weighed 9.40 lbs. 4th Place went to Tony Boyette with 5 fish weighing 8.45 lbs. Tony fished with Sully and nothing broke on the boat! As I mentioned earlier fish were caught on a wide variety of lures. We had limits come in from both upstream and downstream. It was one of those good luck days when the fish seemed to bite almost everywhere.

We did have an unusual number of dead fish. Almost every boat had at least one dead fish. Sometimes you just can't help it. However, by following a few simple rules we can help insure fish remain alive. In the hot weather keep the aerators going and use "catch and release" or some other product that will help sedate the fish and keep them from going into shock as well as help protect and replace their protective slime. When you catch a fish, handle it as little as possible and get it into the live well as quickly as possible. If you have to bump it, be sure to wet your bump board before placing the fish on it. A hot/dry board will surely have an adverse effect on the fish. If you choose to add ice to your live well, be sure that the ice does not have chlorine in it. I have found that freezing water in plastic bottles works for me. I just carry several of them in my cooler and drop them in the live well from time to time. They may only lower the temp a degree or so but sometimes that can make a big difference. If you have other suggestions, bring them to the meeting and share them with the members. We all want to keep our fish healthy so we can catch them another day.

Our next tournament will be on the Tensaw River out of Cliff's Landing. Reports are that the delta rivers are clearing and dropping. That should make for some good fishing in the next several weeks if the temps don't get too high. Remember that it is wise to use sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids during the hot days on the water!

Til next time….Keep your hooks sharp!
Creek Chub