I am a handicapped fisherman.
I do not know how to use the fancy electronic equipment that all tournament anglers and many weekend anglers rely on.
I have two fancy depth finders, as I call them. They provide me with a lot of information of which I have no clue.
One has a GPS that I don't know how to use. I want them to tell me two things. How deep is the water and what is the water temperature? By not utilizing all the other features, I am handicapped.
I do not care.
So, The Judge, (David E. Durham), being completely retired, is usually able to go fishing whenever he wants and his wife does not have him lifting and carrying big rocks around the yard.
(I have never understood why, since Wilson County is 90% rock, he has to go out in the country and find big rocks to carry home). But anyway, he was free this cloudy and almost calm day to go to Priest with me and try to find fish using just water depth and temperature.
This was after the guy who caught the new lake record hybrid, foolishly told everyone where he caught it.
As a result, boats from kayaks to house boats filled the cove.
We stopped on the point leading in and finding the right depth and temperature, paused just long enough to catch some fish.
Guess what? Every one of the boats we saw, except one, was fishing exactly where the fish were not.
That one other boat was doing just what "The Judge" and I were doing-catching a fish on about every 10 casts.
What the majority of the boats were doing was fishing where their television sets, (electronics), were telling them fish should be.
The other boat, as were Dave and I, were doing the unthinkable. We were fishing in extremely shallow water.
I had the boat sitting in seven feet and we were casting into less than two feet of water.
The bass, both smallmouth and largemouth were up in the shallows, turning over rocks and chasing crawfish and shad.
There were shad schools everywhere and the fish were only chasing them in selected spots.
We were casting Beechie Bugs and GitZits shallow and nailing them.
From daybreak until 10:15, just over four hours, we put a dozen and a half, bass in the boat tops was a 4.25 largemouth. We had an easy limit or more keepers and we lost at least that many right at the boat including one that felt like it had some real shoulders. Mixed in were some off brand fish-crappie, hybrids and stripe. In four hours, we boated an easy 20 fish of varied species.
On a similar day, exactly a week later, we went to Old Hickory. The bass there were on wood and weeds.
Throwing frogs in the weed beds and once again, Beechie Bugs and GitZits at the wood and on the edge of weed beds, we put 20 bass in the boat including a 3.6, a 3.2 and two at 2.5 pound mark. The water temp was 70-72 and the fish were from one to eight feet deep, depending on the structure. Water temperature was the key. Not all weeds or wood had fish.
That is pretty good fishing for couple retired, handicapped guys just out for a morning of relaxation.
Both trips combined, we burned less than half a tank of gas.
When you can catch around 40-bass in under eight hours total, on two different lakes that is decent fishing for two old guys.
Just to put a cap on it, we stopped at Big Al's barbeque on 109 and got us a good bait of pulled pork for lunch.
Being handicapped aint all that bad. Best of all, neither one of was bleeding very bad on either trip.
It sure beats carrying rocks around your wife's yard or painting the foundation.
Contact the author at email@example.com.