Power down, slow down and enjoy the water

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 18, 2012

This was a slow weekend to catch fish from some lakes and fair on other waters.

Extremely high barometric pressure with an east wind that kicked up around noon was the culprit.

Those that caught fish had to slow their presentation way down. Of course the high pressure system created a cloudless sky which is another negative factor that made it tough to catch fish this week.

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The water temperature is the best thing we have going. As the water continues to get colder, the white perch and bass fishing just keeps getting better.

Surface water temperatures dropped below 60 degrees during the early morning hours but warmed up quick with all this bright sunshine.

Lake Concordia produced some nice bass during a club tournament held there Saturday. I received several messages from the guys fishing this event, and some are catching bass and some are not.

I was on the lake Friday test driving a couple of boats. The water level is, of course, still extremely low but like I have been saying, low water and cold water is a good thing for fishing.

You can get your lure further back under the pier platforms where bass and perch usually never see a lure. The low water level leaves most of the cypress trees on dry ground or sitting in just inches of water. That leaves the outside cypress that sit in a bit deeper water, and that’s where you will find the fish, sometimes.

The wind has been slack from daylight until about noon. The wind is your friend if you like to catch fish. Wind stirs the water up and turns on the fish.

Boat control may be a bit difficult if you fish from a smaller boat. Many fishermen will target the wind protected banks this fall and winter just to regain boat control and not get so cold, but that’s usually not where the best fishing will be.

Just dress accordingly and always power your boat with a trolling motor that has more pounds of thrust than you think you will ever need.

I have been running an 18 foot aluminum SeaArk bass boat for about a year now. There is an 80-pound thrust MinnKota mounted on the bow which seems like overkill, but it’s not.

No matter how strong the trolling motor is, it won’t do you any good without good batteries. Many people in this area use group 27 Interstate deep cycle batteries. There are cheaper batteries out there, but they are cheap and won’t last as long.

Back when I was running the big, 21-foot fiberglass boats with all the pretty glitter paint powered by 250 horse power, I ran a 101 pound thrust trolling motor powered by three group 31 batteries and packed a fourth battery to power the outboard and accessories. With the price of fuel and oil through the roof, it became very difficult to flip the $55,000 rigs and get a new boat every six months to a year, so I downsized.

That is one of the best moves I ever made. After a year of fishing from this SeaArk, I see no disadvantages other than I can’t run 80 mph anymore. I now see things I have never seen before. When running 70-80 mph on the way to your fishing hole you really can’t see much. Actually you have to watch ahead and scan the water for logs, stumps, ducks and other boats.

I now run 50 mph max speed and have noticed a lot things I never seen in 30 years of tournament fishing. The best deal about running the Suzuki 115 EFI four-stroke is the fuel economy. I went from spending every bit of $100 a weekend to $25 and don’t even burn that fuel out. Add the gas savings to the fact that I no longer have to buy and use two-stroke oil which cost from $30 to $40 a gallon and the savings really kicks in.

There is no way I will ever run another two-stroke outboard. It’s amazing how quiet and efficient the four-stroke EFI outboards are. We have very few mechanical issues with four strokes so that is another big plus. Manufactures are slowly weeding out the two-stroke outboards so it won’t be long before there will be no two-strokes available. That’s a good thing for saving money and cutting back on pollution. two-stoke outboard exhaust contains un-burned oil and that oil has been going in our lakes and rivers for years.


Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at fishingwitheddie@bellsouth.net.