Ehrler’s Edge: Okeechobee Wrap Up

Power Pole

EhrlerBlogOkeechobee was a tough one for me, I caught a lot of fish, but just didn’t get any size. I guess “no size” is a relative statement.

On day one I was able to put an over 20 pound limit in the boat which I actually thought would be pretty good.  I weighed in early in the first flight and there were already a handful of bags in the mid 20’s before I even got to the scales, so I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. By the time the day shook out I sat in the high 40’s on the leaderboard and knew I’d need to get bigger fish if I was going to move up the leaderboard.  On day 1 we had an hour delay before blast off due to fog and with my early flight it was a short day.  Since I was still able to get a decent 20 pound bag, I had some positive thoughts going into day 2 because it was going to be a longer day on the water for me.

On day 2 I ran to a new area that I though I could get a solid limit from.  I seriously thought I could catch them there, but it never panned out. Overall, on day two I don’t think I fished very smart.  I spent a few hours too many at my first spot before I moved on.  I actually had three spots I wanted to fish and after I left the first spot I ran to the second and found a 6 pounder on a bed. She rushed my bait once, but didn’t take it.  Then she left the bed and hid a few yards away, so I stuck around the area fishing hoping I could go back and get that fish to go and it never panned out.

I started to feel the pressure and I know a big mistake a lot of us make in times like this is to pull the trolling motor and run around.  So I forced myself to leave the trolling motor in the water, turned up high and I instead ran around the same area. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t my best decision.  My day 2 co-angler caught a 5 and lost a 5 and I never caught one much over three pounds.

The baits I used this week were the Yamamoto Swim Senko, which I swam pretty fast around the cover, a Trixie Shark from Reaction Innovations, which I fished like a buzzbait, a regular Yamamoto Senko and awhole host of other baits. One thing I reinforced to myself was how great the Lucky Craft MH Pitchin’ rod is.  It’s the most versatile rod I have ever owned, I fished about 8 different baits on it and its just a solid stick. The soft tip and good backbone make it the perfect combination for precision casts and good hooksets, I’ve used a lot of high end rods over the years and this rod is by far my favorite.

I am on the road right now to Arkansas where I hope to spend a couple days on Beaver to get some pre-practice in.  Only problem is its going to snow and rumor has it that some of Beaver is actually frozen over.  That’ll make practicing pretty tough and probably wouldn’t help a lot even if I do get out on the water.  Ice? Really?  I’ve seen the movie titanic and running across a potentially ice laden pond doesn’t sound to inviting.EhrlerSnow