I was REALLY early today in order to try and get bait. I was in the water at 4:00am and cruised over to Captain's Quarters. I couldn't see any bait under the light but did notice a flash or two once in a while. So the first throw got about a dozen shad. So OK. The second throw I let sink deeper than the first and pulled up a big load. More bait than I've ever seen. My problems started immediately with shad dying. With later advice I found that I hadn't cleaned my bait tank enough and it was probably contaminated. Seems I had forgotten all the stuff Bob told me about maintaining a bait tank. Shad continued to die. And one gizzard too.
I putted around a little after getting bait but didn't mark anything in the bridge area. So back to the ramp to pick-up Jason. He arrived right on time and off we went. I knew of folks heading to Becky's so I went into Betty's. I always think its good to spread out the scouting. Toward the back of Betty's we ran over a fair size school of fish. After a little more scouting I ran back to the "fish" spot to find they were gone. We did see some marks so I dropped bait. All the while now I'm talking striper fishing with Jason. Telling him as much as he wanted to know about the fish, the fishery, and the Club. So we eased around that area marking fish but not getting bit. I was also casting and jigging as we went. This was the spot I got 5 fish on Tuesday with bait and casting a jig. Finally got a fish to bite but it let go after a few seconds. Bummer. Of course in the middle of this I got a call that fish were biting in Becky's and some even came up on top. Darn. I'm heading to Becky's next time.
By this time all but two of my bait was dead so I emptied the tank and refilled. It actually looked like the two survivors got revived. So after a while, we pulled up and headed to Becky's to look around. All the boats were there in Becky's and we didn't see anyone in Betty. We trolled some crankbaits while searching and did mark some scattered fish but none bit. Still talking fishing to Jason. We trolled out of Becky's and passed over some good fish right there at 20-25ft but nothing was interested. Kept trolling out of Becky's and past the condos seeing nothing. I figured I give Walton and the hump a try almost as a last resort. We ran down the lake and cruised the hump. One or two but nothing worth going after.
So as I start to circle around I started seeing schools of fish. WOW. I made one lap of the creek mouth and saw more fish than I've seen all Spring. There were bunches and bunches and bunches of fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had crankbaits out but nothing was biting. So we tried umbrella rigs for a couple laps. Nothing. FRUSTRATING!!!!! Tried Alabama rigs for a couple laps. NOTHING! It was beyond incredible to see that many fish and work them for 1.5hrs + and not get a single bite. By now it was nearing noon and Jason needed to head back to the office. Since we were in the area and Jason hadn't seen it yet I cruised him past the Osprey nest for a peek at the birds, just a little side point-of-interest. That's it. I got him back to the ramp and then went for the temps. I did so much "fish" talking today that I'm losing my voice. Tomorrow is another big day with Darius Minnis, a winner in the Aspiring Anglers fishing contest sponsored by the Friends of the State Park. I really hope we do better than today. Later Joel ps. Cleaned the bait tank as soon as I got home. It even smells good now.