A tale of two fishermen

Nov 12 2021

Stephen Ford


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Reservation Number : 30080
Property Name : The Bluffs of Sandy Shores
Reservation Date : 11/11/2021 All Day -
Total Fish/Sizes : 48 up to 7#
Lures Used : A lot…mostly moving/reaction baits

The stats first.…

Mr. Joshua Massoud & I together caught 48. I must be very clear. Today was not my day, as I did only 25% of the damage.  Josh showed the skills that make a great fisherman.  I'm glad he was able to carry the team on his shoulders. Josh made the best of a tough day following the weather system that moved through the night before. We got a variety of sizes, including a few 3s & 4s. Josh, though, shined by hauling in a 7 and another over 6.

This was my first time at this property. I am impressed and look forward to seeing what I know it can become for the club. Josh & I probably looked like live advertisements for Pond King as I was in my mini pontoon, and Josh took to the water with his UltraSkiff. We also both sported our Pond King hats (completely unplanned).

We started off fishing close, but eventually our trolling motors (and wind) took us in different directions. We both had a concerning slow start, but Josh began to get them to the boat by working a small area with which he was familiar from other trips to the property. Josh stayed on the move.

I took a different approach. I chose to explore a little then anchor every 50 yards or so and work areas that I thought might produce. Anchoring is a better option when the wind takes hold of the light pontoons. I caught a few here and there. 

I had to call it a day earlier than initially planned and headed back to the ramp around 3:30. Josh stayed and landed a few more. 

I am not sure I would say a pattern was established. Some were holding close to shallow dropoffs near deeper pockets. That is typical for this time of year as the baitfish move. 

Together I bet we caught fish on over a dozen different baits. I think I caught mine on 5 or 6 alone. It was a typical tackle shopping list of moving baits…..spinnerbait, lipless crank, squarebills, bladed jig, swim jig, etc, a little topwater mixed in and Josh’s trusty Ned rig when the wind would slow down enough.

This property is certainly unique in how it was built compared to other properties in the club. I like that not all properties are even vaguely similar. The variety allows members to fish what they like and even challenge themselves with circumstances which might not fit current strengths. This one challenged me today, but I know by previous reports that it is a great fishery and will get even better in the coming months and years. 

Nov 12 2021

Joshua Massoud


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Stephen – as it was last time, it was a pleasure to fish with you, I really appreciate the invite, and hope to hit the water when the weather permits soon.  As for any information I have to add:

  1. Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”, and when we first arrived, I couldn’t help but think about that line from Iron Mike.
  2. There was a big thunderstorm the night before, and it looks like this area got hit hard. Bass get very finicky after a large storm with a lot of wind and noise, and it showed today for sure. The high pressure that rolled in along with the steady North wind really influenced the bass.  On top of that, the pond weed was mostly dead so I had to find whatever they might be holding to that wasn’t pond weed (humps, drops offs, isolated timber, and green cattails).
  3. So, despite planning to throw sqbills, rattle traps, etc all day to take advantage of the previously aggressive fish, I immediately switched up my rods and started throwing a ned rig and a jerk bait.
  4. I got a few decent ones on a ned rig and a slew of smaller ones on a jerk bait to put some fish in the boat and gain some confidence. This helped me mentally more than anything as I knew I could boat fish in these conditions.
  5. Charles had fished the week before and success on a ARIG – so I threw it. I immediately got a four pounder, but during the retrieve another, much bigger fish grabbed on, halfway to the boat, the fish broke one of the snaps. It must have been a monster because the snaps were thick, hogfarmer ones. I did manage to get the 4lber in (with another one the same size trailing the ARIG in). I don’t like to fish them, so I started throwing to the same area (a hump in the main lake) with a TRIG and caught some more good fish off that area).
  6. That episode game me information though – the big fish were on sunfish, the smaller ones were on shad.  So I made the adjustment that would make my day. I am not going to catch 100 fish today, but I’m going to catch good fish using bluegill/sunfish patterns.
  7. I used a megabass bluegill type spinner with a really big bluegill trailer casting to isolated bass targets.  This started my run of bigger fish.
  8. First was in the cove off the main lake running towards the starting area – picked up a 4.5, then a 6.3.  I started moving around at this point looking for those same target types around the lake.
  9. Would continually move around and find two fish in a spot – seemed to run in pairs as a previous report had alluded to. 
  10. I went off the main lake to a shallow flat next to some reeds and picked up my largest fish of the day off some reeds with another 4.5 fish next to it.
  11. Rinse and repeat around the lake.  Around 1:30pm, the wind started to die down and the bite started to die down. 
  12. I picked up a few more here and there on rattle traps and sqbills, a few decent ones and left around 5pm. 
  13. A couple of years ago I would have gotten frustrated and started making lazy casts and retrieves and caught very few fish – I was happy that I made some adjustments and listened to what the fish were telling me. 
  14. Side note, I found an otter in the pond before the lake while driving up.  I took pictures and when Milton the manager rolled up, he had said they had added a bunch of big fish to that pond and they can’t find them anymore in the pond.  Now they know why.  Otters can destroy the big fish in a lake in short order – hopefully they trap and kill it before it gets to the main lake. 
  15. Side note 2 – I took a picture of the teeth – again, these bass have them, big and sharp – make sure to retie occassionally!