Lanier 1/9/16

Thread starter #1
Water Temp: 52-55
Clarity: almost returned to normal
Level: Still high, but clean.

I started out Saturday wanting to find some crappie since the water temps were still warm. I couldn't get a bite after nearly an hour of scouting, pitching, slow cranking, floating, etc., and decided to throw in that particular towel.

My partner for the day had been throwing shakey heads with no real success, but feedback that they were somewhat feeding just not well on the worms. We switched pockets in the creek and tried again and after a few more swings and misses we decide to change it up and troll some deep cranks to cover water and look for active fish. My partner isn't one to favor the troll, as I imagine a lot of green fishermen aren't, but for the 3rd time I've done it with him we hook up on a nice fish within 10 minutes of putting lines out. It's bull dogging him and keeping him locked in a good battle as 3 people on their docks doing maintenance get treated to a good show. We get it up and in the net and it's a really nice spot that's obviously been feeding well on bait, so we know we have that much going for us.

We reset our lines (I pulled mine up in case it was a striper playing him and suddenly decided to take off into the other set, which it turned out it wasn't) when we see the lake blow up further in the back than we were. Loons are working bait hard and diving like mad, with obvious fish busting bait back to the top and chasing it down. And the hunt is on.

I'm working our way back there slowly as one of the dock owners informs us that he's been watching striper bust back there all morning, and of decent size too. Out come the flukes while I tie up my clear spook. My partner is having a ball, but not hooking up, as he watches repeat performances of 10+ striper trail his fluke, flash on them and leave 5 feet from the boat.

I alternate between the weightless fluke (thinking they want a slow small profile bait) and the spook, for distance, for about 10 minutes with the same result. We can see them following us but we don't have any takers. The adrenaline is pumping and I'm just hoping that one of us hooks up with one of these stripes and decide to put my bait in the crease of a dock that didn't have a complete deck. I work it slowly. Twitch, let it walk way out and stop, twitch again to the same effect. BOOM! An amazing fish comes 3/4 of their body length out of the water with my spook in their mouth and my brain. shuts. down. In this case it worked out to my benefit or I'm sure my out of practice topwater skills would have snatched the lure from its mouth. The fish hits the water, takes off and the yank on the rod reminds me that I have a part in this. I feather the spool with my finger tips and proceed to whip those hooks as best I can into its mouth changing from pulling one way to pulling the other just to give it the best chance. And now the fight is on. It knows it's hooked, and I know I've got it unless I do something boneheaded.

It bulldogs onto the bottom (we're only in 19 feet at this point with a clear bottom) and I know she's got nowhere to go, and nowhere to break me off. That's when she calls my stupidity and makes a break for the back of the boat, and my main engine prop. I chase her, my partner has the net and is in shock himself, and when she gets to the back, realizing that she's not fighting the uninitiated, tries the same tactic, this time heading for the TM. No way, baby, you're mine and I'm off to the races again. Like I said, she's staying on the bottom while she's swimming these circles, and I'm making her work for every inch of my tightened drag she's taking but I just can't turn her. She's staying down and not pinwheeling out like a shallow hookup like this should be doing. That has me scared. The way she's pulling drag (I have 15 lb line on and I'm as close to max drag as I want to get, and I'm feathering her with my fingers even on top of that) has me thinking this might be my new PB. And now I'm scared.

3 more laps around the boat and I can feel her power start to wane, so I pull up on the rod tip and start to hoist her. She's too tired to fight back with much effort, though coming towards the boat does make her shake her head a couple more times.

Finally we get her close to the net and she slips the first attempt. 2nd time gets it though and she's a hoss. Not my new PB like I was hoping, though we do see why I had such a hard time getting her in. I didn't get a pic of it, but 2 of the 3 sets of trebles are in the top of her head and not one hook is in her mouth. I've got 3 barbs on 2 trebles in what amounts to her skull. No wonder I couldn't get her to plane out and why she seemed much bigger than she was. She had the advantage of remaining in upright swimming position no matter how hard I pulled on her.

A quick stop on the boga, uncalibrated mind you, says she's a hair over 16 and not quite 18. A couple quick pictures later, one of which shows just how shaken I am, and she's off to her home again, with a thanks, a tip of the hat, and a promise to meet again one day.

For those in the know you'll know just how much I needed the water time anyway, but to have my first daylight topwater striper come on this day, and see it hit like we did, well that's what keeps us all going out after them, and this was able to recharge my personal batteries.

Thanks for reading the long-winded post, and we'll see you on the water. Eventually.
 

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Thread starter #3
Oh, I forgot to mention that we had a 15lb anchor in the boat to see just how far out the weight was after we released, and it read 15 on the nose, so it looks like the weight on that fish is good.
 

Cletus T.

Senior Member
Excellent re-telling of the fishing adventure….I felt like I was right there with you!
Catching stripers on topwater in Jan is crazy…….but like you said….it’s why we go fishing because you just don’t ever know what might happen when you are out there! That spot is a fatty too…….congrats on the catches.

We caught a few spots and about a 5-pound striper out there Sat. A good many bites but no hook-ups……it was weird as they slammed the baits but not many “hook-ups” We still had fun though!

Thanks for sharing it with us
 
Thread starter #9
Excellent re-telling of the fishing adventure….I felt like I was right there with you!
Catching stripers on topwater in Jan is crazy…….but like you said….it’s why we go fishing because you just don’t ever know what might happen when you are out there! That spot is a fatty too…….congrats on the catches.

We caught a few spots and about a 5-pound striper out there Sat. A good many bites but no hook-ups……it was weird as they slammed the baits but not many “hook-ups” We still had fun though!

Thanks for sharing it with us
I was wondering how you and HJ were doing. Even the spot only got one hook in it and if it wasn't the wide gap I don't think we would have. It's like they were stunning the bait and then coming back on it later rather than chasing it down hard on the first attack. It seemed to be a day of short and fouled strikes.

Thanks for reading.
 

jocko755

Senior Member
Great write up and pics! Way to go. Just love it when they are busting on top. I find when they follow - to go to a suspending jerkbait works too. Nice fat Spot!
 
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