Do you love big bluegill?
You never know what you’re going to catch……
Decided to try my luck a little closer to home this time. I arrived about 6:30, and found a 2-man boat and a couple float-tubes already fishing. They were all older gents, and I found out later they were after catfish.
Once I launched, I started trolling a minnowbait in Firetiger. I figured that color would show up in murky water better. I started paddling out, and within minutes, got a hit on my trolling rod. I pulled in a nice Sand Bass / White Bass, but it spit the hook at boatside.
I turned and started following the north bank. I got about even with the launch, and got another hit on my trolling rod. I had a nice, hard, tussle with said fish. Once I got it to the boat, I realized it wasn’t really something I wanted to keep:
Once I released the Drum, I tossed out that minnowbait and started back on my path. I was trying to stay in the channel, about 20’ off the bank. I got right to the start of a series of islands, and got another hit. This one also kept digging for the bottom. I was rather surprised to pull this up:
Too bad it wasn’t “keeping size”. I let this one go, and continued on.
I started marking bait and fish in the channel. The fish signals were just above the bottom, while the bait was closer to the surface. I could SEE some Shad doing the Shad flip. I even started seeing a few predators ambushing bait on top. About this time, my trolling rod goes off again. I pulled in this:
About that time, all heck broke loose. I had Sandies busting bait all around me, but I couldn’t get a cast off as I was busy dealing with the fish I already had. About the time I got that one unhooked and in the cooler, things had quieted down.
I went back to trolling. I decided to change colors to a sexy-shad colored minnowbait. Had a rather quiet paddle, interrupted by some more fish:
Caught a nice LMB out of the river as well. Gave me a nice surprise when it jumped clear out of the water:
Also saw some floaters. All Gar. Here’s one that was close to the launch:
Also did some exploring. Tried heading up to the dam, and got about half-way there before I ran into water that was too skinny for even a kayak. I didn’t really feel like getting out and portaging, so I just backed up, turned out, and threaded my way through the rocks until I hit open water again.
Dropped my lure into the water, started paddling, and saw several Gar surfacing in front of me. Didn’t really think much about it until a few minutes later, when I’m pretty sure one of them grabbed my lure, as the pole was bouncing around like crazy, pulling drag, and then just a second or two after it started, nothing. Managed to catch another Sandie, but it was small. Didn’t even get a pic of it.
Realized it was getting close to lunchtime, so I packed it in and took off.
A good day on the water for sure, Allan! Your pictures show that you never know what might grab your lure.
There's a big dam about a mile upstream. Flatheads, and big ones, at that, hang out there. Only I can't get up there by water unless the turbines are one and generating. I can, however, fish from the bank up there.
Allen, sounds like a good outing on the water. I had to beg for four small redears to come join me in the boat this evening, water temps are getting on up there.
Great account and some fine fishing !! So a Sandy is a White Bass ? What's a better fight Allen ,a Flathead or a Channel Cat of the same size? Never caught a Flathead .White Bass, Gar, Flathead ,all on my bucket list .
Most Okies, and some folks from northern Texas, refer to White Bass as "Sand Bass" or "Sandies". I think it's because the prefer a sandy bottom in rivers. I use the "Sand Bass / White Bass" description because I write my post out in a word processor, then cut/paste that post into several different forums, as well as a couple different Facebook pages.
As far as the "fight" of a Flathead versus a Channel, Flathead cats hand's-down!!! Flatheads are described as the "tractor-pull" of catfish. They just keep digging and digging for the bottom, and once you get an really hacked-off Flathead on the surface, they go berserk, thrashing and spraying water everywhere, trying to get back down. I've only caught smaller ones, 7 lbs or less. They get HUGE! OK State record rod-and-reel Flathead is 89 lbs, IGFA World Record is 123 lbs, although many people believe that fish was not a legitimate catch. Just to give you an idea of they're growth, the minimum legal length here in OK is 20". A fish that size is going to weigh about 5 lbs.
Great action tale, Allen. I have to get me a kayak.
Too bad it's dead. I saw three dead floaters, all Gar.....
It DID look to be riding a tad high in the water...