Well, our quick dash to Alabama for a little fishing has come and gone. My son and I got up at 4 AM on Thursday, got a flight to Birmingham, got down to the farm by noon. Fished afternoon and evening, and from 7:00 am - 11:00 am on Friday. Back to the airport, back home by 6 PM on Friday. Quite a few miles logged for 9 hours of fishing, but it's all worth it. (I fly almost every week for work, so the flight aspect of it doesn't phase me)
Weather was pretty dicey - high winds both days. Tough to control the boat. Also, temps dropped to the 20's the 2 nights before - BRUTALLY cold for southern Alabama. Fish were not very aggressive. Exactly what I was NOT hoping for. I was really hoping for some aggressive bites for Joey. He likes fishing, but doesn't have a lot of patience if the fish aren't biting pretty good. I'm still living down the build up I gave our trip to Canada last year - from Joey AND my brother and Dad. I picked out a great smallmouth lake, booked it for the perfect time, and the weather absolutely killed us. The lake was beautiful, accommodations good, and fishing was awful. I've done these trips a lot, so it didn't phase me, but they had never been on a trip to fish, and there was some disappointment over the results. Joey said a few times before this trip - "It better not be another Canada trip"
The ponds we were fishing are owned by a friend / business associate and are terrific - loaded with bass and brim. Some of the fish are are huge - bass over 13 pounds have been caught with some regularity (my best from here is 10-5) and brim are huge and plentiful, if somewhat difficult to locate certain times of the year. I figured something would bite for Joey.
The total recap for the 9 hours of bass fishing showed 24 largemouth landed by us. Joey also fished a pond where the brim flock to a dock, and he caught around 50 brim in an hour and a half over 2 days. I was more concerned with getting him in position than actually fishing, so while I fished constantly, it wasn't at my usual frenetic pace. The fish we got were mostly on big hard swim baits, and a few on smaller crankbaits. I believe 2 fell for spinnerbaits, and a few for Beetle Spins while prospecting for brim. So - quantities of fish were the least I have ever seen at this property.
BUT - the size was very good. I've been to this property 6 times before. The usual size of the fish is 2-4 pounds, with an occasional 5 or better. I've caught 2 over 7. On this trip, of the 24 bass we caught , at least half were 4 pounds or better - very nice sized LM. The baits of choice were Strike King's King Shad, Strike King Pure Poison, and Lucky Craft RC 2.5. The brim fell for Beetle Spins and 2" Munchie Grubs.
a 6 pound Alabama largemouth
5 pound largemouth
Naturally (and thankfully), Joey had the last laugh, and it couldn't have been choreographed better. We were on the brim dock, he was catching scads of brim, and I told him we needed to go in a few minutes to shower and drive back to the airport. He dropped his grub down and immediately had a bite. The rod bent, and it was obvious this as no brim. I figured it to be a nice 2-3# bass - a real test on an UL rod with 4# test! He fought it like a pro. I cautioned him that it wouldn't be his fault if the bass got back to the dock and wrapped around one of the wooden dock pilings, as they are apt to do. I knew he wouldn't be able to stop it if it did, and it would break off. I didn't want him to think he did something wrong. Well - the fishing gods smiled. the bass went under the dock, but came back out with a little pressure. I was able to lip it on the first opportunity, and Joey had his big bass. It measured 23" and was full of eggs. I didn't have a scale with me, but estimated it between 7 and 8 pounds. When I checked the "Weight Estimators" found online , I feel pretty confident that it was between 7-1/2 and 8 pounds. Our last fish, and his biggest ever (the second largest I've ever seen in person). You can't script them any better than that.
Joey's big bass - betwen 7# and 8#
By the way - before anyone decides to throw a well deserved shot at my BRIGHTLY colored shirts, I found out years ago that they show up better in photos, and often the fish show up better, against the bright backgrounds. I DO have a lot of nice, muted greens and tans , too!