I am going to Alabama with my son in a week to fish a day and a half for largemouth and brim. We'll be fishing on four different 40 -75 acre ponds on the property of a business associate. These ponds can be some of the best fishing in the world - I've had people there who just got back from El Salto, and said the fishing was better in Alabama! My personal best largemouth - a shade over 10 pounds - came from here as well as my best brim. Even when it's tough, it's better than anywhere else I've ever been.
So - the usual game plan is 10" Culprit worms, Culprit Stingers, Lucky Craft LVRs and Staysee's, and spinnerbaits. The LVRs will be good for Joey because he's still not great at hooksetting and a lot of fish hook themselves on these baits. Same with spinnerbaits. Some fish may be on beds, but most should be off and chasing shad. SO - I need to experiment with some new baits. On my experiment agenda are Strike King King Shad, Strike King Wake Shad, and Strike King Shadilicious swimbaits. Also, Yamamoto saltwater swimbaits.
I've re-spooled my reels for this trip (Daiwa Viento, Abu Revo) and Joey's (Stradics) and figured out which rods to take. The tough part is the spinning rods for Joey. The few that I have that are good for jigging / worming - a Kistler Helium and St. Croix Legend Tourn - are really too fast for him. So, I'm going with a Rapala Longcast MH - a really great spinning rod with a soft enough tip to throw smaller baits but enough butt strength that he used it for pike in Canada LY (btw - these rods have been discontinued by Rapala a few years ago. If you ever run across a Rapala Longcast spinnig rod on sale, I'd advise you to buy it . I have 3 and love them all, even compared to rods that cost 3x as much) - and a Shimano Teramar inshore SW rod. I'll take a St. Croix Legend Tourn Carolina Rig rod and a MH Kistler Helium LTX. Of course, I'm sending the rods and the box of tackle ahead, so I don't need to check anything on the flight next week. That way, the trip can't be ruined by lost luggage / tackle.
So - I get to spend the next week falling asleep every night dreaming about big LM busting that Wake Shad as I pull it through a stump flat, and envisioning the face of my son as he says "Dad, I think I'm stuck. No - it's swimming" Can't wait.
[Just how much do I love the planning aspect of trips? Today, On April 3, it's 120 days before Andy and I are back at Athabasca going for monster pike again. We've been counting it down since January]