Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Time for a Change - Looking Into Buying a Bass Boat

This year was my 3rd year fishing as a non boater in the FLW BFL's.  The amount of bass fishing knowledge and confidence I have gained from that experience is unbelievable.  I have fished area's of lakes that I would have never tried on my own.  Some of them were successful and some were not.  I have used baits that I would not have tried had I not been shown how to use them.

It is always exciting getting to know a new person you have never fished with before.  It is fun to see their style of fishing. 

The more I have learned, the harder it has become to not be in control.  While I am in a tournament I see a spot that has just the right structure and depth and know that I could catch a fish there.  My boater looks right past it.  They have their game plan in place.  I am fishing out of their boat, their way.  For the first couple of years it didn't bother me at all.  I was learning.  Now I want to put all of what I have learned together in order to catch fish and do well in tournaments.

It is time for me to take the next step and become a boater. 

There is one problem.  I don't have a bass boat, and bass boats are relatively expensive.  After looking for the last several months, I have determined that there are several things I want in my boat.  Every extra item costs more, but I think each would help me to catch more fish and be able to fish more effectively.

In no certain order, I would like to have the following.  Recessed trolling motor.  GPS with contour lines.  Power pole.  Dual axle's.  21' boat.  200 hp + motor.  2002 or newer.  Under $20,000.00.  Deck and Console fish finders with 7" or larger screens.

I have came across several boats that have came close to having all of these specs.  Recently I found a boat that had all of my requirements.  I have a loan approved for up to $25,000.00.  The boat I found was right at $20,000.00.  It is hard for me to pull the trigger for that much money.  I haven't ever paid that much for a vehicle that I drive every day.  The interest rate I am looking at is really good at 4.6%.

I passed up on a really good deal earlier in the year when I first started looking.  Now that I have been looking for a while I realize that I messed up.  The boat had most of the requirements I am looking for at 1/3 of the cost. 

To be truthful, that is what I am waiting for again. If I can find a boat that has most of what I want at a great price, I would like to use it for a couple of years, then sell it and upgrade.  I would store the boat 4 hours from home, near the tournament waters I fish so that I save fuel on the drive.  I don't want to store a great boat that far from home.  I would want to go look at it all the time. 

If I don't find my boat by next spring or decide to buy a house by then, I will happily be a non boater again so that I can still get out and fish. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Still Have My Boat

A couple years ago I considered selling my boat.  That thought has been with me since then.  As I get more into fishing the BFL's I have considered buying a bass boat and storing it down around the water's that I fish the tournaments.

With my boys getting older and more into sports, we find there is less and less time to be on the water. 

The boat has been a great escape for quite a few years now.  It feels good pulling it down the road.  It's sharp looking still, and runs great.  As an added bonus, the taxes on it are relatively inexpensive.  And it's paid off. 

At some point I may sell it, but for now, my plans are to keep it for another year or 2.  We may not make it to the lake much now, but that could change, and if we do go to the lake it's nice to have a versatile boat that we can all get in and fish or tube or just scoot across the lake quickly.  A family boat.

Canton lake in Oklahoma is where I go the most to fish.  It is a fun body of water that I can almost always catch a meal's worth of fish.  It is still down pretty low and the last time I used the boat ramp I hit a rock with the motor.  It did not do any damage thankfully.  As long as it doesn't get any lower I will start going there more often.

Cheney lake in Kansas is another lake about the same distance away.  I have been hearing that the lake conditions have improved there and the fishing is good.  It is close to Wichita so I will probably only go there in the spring and fall when all of the fun in the sunner's are back in the city.

This summer I bought a Nissan Titan with the plans on buying a bass boat to match.  Since then we are in the process of buying a house.  I'm working hard to figure out how to get my bass boat by next spring.  I have been selling a lot of stuff around the house on ebay trying to come up with the money.  So far a month into it, I have sold about 1000.00 worth of stuff.  At that pace I will not have enough money in time.

It looks like if I want to be a boater next year in the BFL's I am going to have to figure something else out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lake Eufaula BFL Okie Division

The weather was cold yet again at our BFL Okie Eufaula tournament on May 17th.  It seems we have been hitting the lakes at the wrong times this year. 

I was looking for a good showing since I had dropped to 52nd place in the standings after the last tournament.  I got the monkey off my back right away in this tournament.  I caught about a 2.5 pounder in the second spot we tried, casting a Biffle Bug at a stick in shallow water.  There was a fish near the stick and he ate the Bug. 

We fished for quite a while longer catching short fish until my boater got his first and only keeper of the day.  We fished that spot for quite a while, but could not get another fish to move up.  It was the type of water where the fish should have been moving up on all day.  It wasn't going to be this day.

We moved across the lake and started fishing another area.  About half way through our pass, I hooked into a good size fish on a flick shake.  The fish came out of the water and I about lost my breath.  My boater got his line reeled in and to the back of the boat to net the fish right as I got it to the boat.  The hook fell out as he was lifting it over the edge of the boat.  Talk about a close one.  The fish was around 3.5 pounds.

We finished that pass and made another pass through that area picking up quite a few more short fish before moving to our last spot.  The last spot was a major community hole that probably had many different boats on it all day.  I had a different bait than any of them would have used and picked up more short fish.  I was thinking, "I need one more fish to get in the money." 

Finally, as the time ticked down, we made our run back to the check in boat.  At the weigh in I noticed that a lot of people had a really tough day.  We weighed in 3rd flight out of 5 flights.  When I weighed in I was sitting in 15th place with 6-1, my heaviest weight in a BFL so far.  I found out they pay out 25. 

By the time the rest of the field weighed in I had dropped to 30th place.  Not good enough for a check, but good for a bump up in the standings.  I moved from 52nd to 26th place overall for the year.  I will have a good chance to make it to Regionals at Sam Rayburn, and have a shot at winning a boat. 

The next tournament will be at Grand Lake in September.  It is a Super Tournament + it is at Grand Lake, the lake I have fished the most in Oklahoma.  I really want to cash a check in Oklahoma.  I have been learning a ton the last few tournaments that will apply to Grand Lake.  This could be my tournament.


Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 So Far

At the beginning of the year I made a resolution to make it outdoors more often this year.  So far I have blown last year out of the water. 

I have been in 3 Okie BFL tournaments and went fishing on 3 separate occasions on top of that.  Not bad for just getting out of winter. 

The first tournament was at Grand Lake.  It was cold.  COLD!  The fish had lock jaw and I did not catch a fish along with hundreds of other anglers.  They didn't even have enough co-anglers catch fish to fill all of the prize slots.  So, you could say I finished last or 22nd.  I'll go with 22nd, my highest finish in a Okie BFL so far. 

The next tournament was on the Arkansas River.  I caught 4 bass.  Two were just barely short and I had 2 keepers for 5.7 pounds and around a 35th place finish.  We were getting the bass dialed in again for the afternoon bite but started experiencing boat problems and needed to get a ride into weigh in so we could go retrieve the boat.  I caught a 19 inch crappie that weighed more than either of my 3 pound bass. 

The last tournament was this weekend.  Mizike was texting me saying he caught a bass, then another, then another.  I asked him where he was fishing and he said one of his farm ponds.  I called him and told him I was coming through that area and asked if he had time to goof around for a while.  He said he did so I stopped by on the way to the pairing meeting to fish for a couple of hours.

We had a lot of fun catching a bass on nearly every cast.  I caught the bass slightly smaller than the bass pictured above, then we went to another pond where I immediately picked up this lunker. 

In the tournament I did not fare so well.  We were at Fort Gibson Lake.  For the size of the lake it seemed to fish really small.  Every good bass spot had 3 or more boats on it all day playing merry go round with the rest of the spots.  I managed to pick up 1 keeper in a pretty common community hole that seemed like it would continue to reload all day.  My boater picked up 2 keepers there.  We moved thinking that an afternoon bite would pick up in another area. 

Unfortunately for us, the afternoon bite didn't happen.  We ran to quite a few different areas but only picked up some short fish and a catfish that I thought was my getting into the money bass.

I caught 5 bass on 5 different lures.  I couldn't figure out any specific pattern other than they were biting extremely light on everything I caught them on besides the first fish I had caught on a swimbait. 

I weighed in 1 bass for 3-2 pounds which put me in 74th place out of 143 boats.  I am currently in 52nd in points for the year.  I will need to do well in the next 2 tournaments in order to make it to regionals.  The competition is fierce.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My first fish of 2014

The last 4 weekends I have had basketball games.  I have been coaching 1st and 2nd grade basketball.  This was my first free weekend and I wanted to take advantage of the cold snap we had the previous 2 weeks.

Friday night my son was in homecoming as a ball carrier, so I we went to the game that night.  I made plans to leave on Saturday to drive 4 1/2 hours to my parents so that Dad and I could sneak out to do some ice fishing on Sunday morning.

The previous 2 days had been warm and windy.  Not a good combination for the ice.  I made the trip anyway knowing that we could always fish off the fishing dock if we needed to.

We arrived at my parents Saturday afternoon and hung around that afternoon and night.  Before we went to bed we made plans to leave in time to get to the lake by sun up. 

I awoke an hour before my alarm went off.  There's something about hunting and fishing that triggers my internal alarm.  We made it to the lake before sun up and saw that the cold through the night had refrozen the slush that had been created by melting ice the day before.  Dad boogied out onto the ice.  I was concerned about the thickness after 2 near 70 degree days, but followed him out anyway. 

He broke open a couple previous holes and tested the depth of the ice.  It was a good 7 inches thick.  I felt a lot better about being out over 20 feet of water at that point.

Dad went to work drilling holes while I fished in a couple we broke open.  It had been a looooong time since I had been ice fishing, so I was hoping I still had the knack.  I started out with a Swedish pimple but lost in pretty quick.  I switched to a dot tipped with a meal worm. 

It took quite a while but I finally had a hit.  I got the fish up and had my first fish of the year.  A bluegill!  The fishing was slow.  Dad's vexilar was not picking up any activity.  He was fishing a ledge that dropped from 10 foot down to 20 foot.  I stayed shallower in 8 to 10 foot of water around wood cover and moss.

It was getting later in that morning and we still weren't having great luck when Dad stuck his vexilar in my hole.  In a short time I saw a red line under my lure.  I would lift my lure and the line would follow.  Then I lowered my lure to the red line and jiggled just a little.  When I lifted my rod, I had a fish attached. 

As soon as I got the fish off the line I saw several others on the vexilar.  It was pretty exciting.  I had one following my line, but he wouldn't take the bait.  Dad dropped his Swedish pimple down the same hole and he took it right away. 

I caught one more bluegill out of the hole right after that.  Then as quick as they had shown up they were gone.    I worked that hole for a while longer before moving to the other hole I had caught the 1st bluegill.  I dropped my dot to the bottom and went to lift the tip of my pole when I felt some weight at the end of the line.  I pulled up and had a good fighter on my hands.  It definitely wasn't a bluegill.  As the fish got to the surface I saw it was a bass.  It made an evasive maneuver at the bottom of the hole using its head and tail to push off both sides of the hole.  It pulled free.

I pulled a smaller largemouth out of the same hole a while later, then right before we were leaving I pulled out 1 more.  I kept hoping they would be a nice sized saugeye.

As we were getting ready to leave another fisherman came out to see how things had went.  He had been at Webster and said that the ice was getting pretty thin there.  It had started to bow underneath him and decided to check out a different lake.  I like my ice to be good and thick.  Standing on ice that bows underneath you sounds completely crazy. 

I've fallen through the ice before.  It was at a pond and it wasn't that deep, but it is scary, especially when you are by yourself.  On top of that I had a mile walk back to the house and had to strip out of my clothing as it was freezing solid on my walk back. 

We had fish for lunch at my parents then got on the road to return home.  The whole way back I was radiating from the fun I had fishing with Dad in the morning.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dad Gets First Fish of the Year Again

The first fish of the year goes to Dad again.  He made it out yesterday and caught 3 crappie, 3 saugeye and a bluegill at Keith Sebelius Reservoir.  The Saugeye were in the middle of a cove on the bottom, the crappie were a little further up.  Dad didn't say his depth for the bluegill.

He was using his Vexilar.  He said the ice was about 6 inches deep in the middle of the cove.  He had been out on 3 inches of ice at Webster earlier in the week. 

I still haven't made it out fishing.  Still haven't gotten my fishing license.  I need to get my licenses and get signed up for the Okie BFL's as a co-angler this week.