Here we go, I feel like I've finally been able to put some time in on the water. I've made a bunch of little trips so far this year, but up until this weekend I haven't really gotten to try and dial it in. I still wasn't able to get everything done I wanted to because the weather was brutal. Cold and extremely windy but hey at least the sun was out. One benefit is I did get to drive the boat in some pretty good waves, and I will say having a hydraulic jackplate makes a ton of difference.
The fishing definitely cooled down some with that weather as well. I thought I was going to be done with having a blade bait in my hand (except for some up north fishing), but with the dip in water temperature it worked its way back into rotation and caught my biggest fish of the weekend. The biggest disappointment was most of the fish that were starting to make beds pulled off. It was so windy over the few largemouths that were still in the vicinity of their beds, it wasn't even worth bothering with them. I guess the good thing in all that is I get to keep my sanity for a little longer, because it's all I'll be able to think about once a bunch of them pull up. In the mean time I've been catching them on jerkbaits, darters, swimbaits, blade baits, and Nemesis Baits bullet craws. Pretty much anything in the boat might catch a fish right now. There is definitely some randomness going on with these nasty cold fronts dropping the water almost 10 degrees and how far behind the lakeshore is in general. I will definitely be looking forward to a fishing trip that doesn't involve wearing Gore Tex.
One thing I've spent some time playing with is the Humminbird SOLIX and MEGA imaging. I wasn't really sure at first how huge of a difference MEGA was going to be for finding fish. I didn't think I would be uncovering things that side imaging at 455 or 800 khz wouldn't show me. Let me tell you, I was wrong. There is no question I'm seeing structure way better, but the fish are really standing out to me now. Shadows seem way more apparent than they ever were and it is making me more efficient and putting more fish in the boat. For instance I had no intentions to fish where the smallie pictured was caught, but I was idling by, spotted a pod of them, shut it down, and fired a cast over there. Just like that I put a big one in the boat. That isn't the only time so far this spring that MEGA has uncovered the juice either. Having the combination of MEGA and the FishSens SondeCAM to verify what's down there is going to be dangerous this summer.
You also may have noticed the boat looks a little different, a little more red maybe. I think it turned out really well, we will see how the fish like it once tournament season rolls around. Huge thanks to everyone who made it all come together! Since I'm talking about the Reel n Smoke boat, I want to give a shout out to everyone who has been trying their products lately. It's always a great surprise when someone tags me in their Reel n Smoke BBQ photos, it also makes me want to come over for dinner. Thanks for the support on all levels and remember with every Reel n Smoke purchase a Reel n Smoke snack stick is sent overseas to our troops.
Other than that everything else has been rolling. Doctors appointments for Amanda/the critter have all been good. We are looking forward to our last little getaway with just the two of us (and Hutch) up north in the coming weeks. Hopefully we'll find decent weather and a few big smallmouths while we are up there too.