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Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln

FLASY FISH LURES fishing
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Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln
Executive Summary:

Catchinon and I fished out of Lincoln on March 1st from daylight until dark. Winds were NW at 15 to 20 at dawn then died down and switched to SW at 0-10 from about 9 A.M. on. Water temp ranged from 39 in the morning at the island to 47.6 in the afternoon in 1 FOW. We dragged FLAITS in several forms from 0.3 to 0.8 MPH and spent some time anchored and still fishing. We tried the Lincoln channel, both sides of the island, the first and second springs, and near the slough mouth. Only one white bass was harmed. The water in the Lincoln channel was 2.5 to 2.8 feet deep.

Full story:

It was the first day of the cat contest, we had seen 3 days of about 50 degrees weather and light winds, and we had a forecast for more of the same. With cautious optimism and excess determination we headed to Lincoln, arriving about 6 A.M. Our optimism took a serious hit when we got out of the car and were greeted by NW winds of 15 to 20 MPH. Our determination remained intact. On a midsummer day, those winds might have caused us concern, but on March 1st they were probably the death knell for catfish activity.

After getting the boat launched and tied SECURELY to the dock we tossed some thawed WB chunks out for cats and used the 4th rod to try to get a fresh bait volunteer. The water was a surprising 43 degrees in the harbor. About an hour later it was getting light and the winds had diminished to half of their early fury. We decided to drag the baits out to the jaws and see if the waves were subsiding. About halfway out, the biggest, brightest, noisiest FLAIT I’ve ever built got clobbered. An 11 inch white had impaled itself on the 3/0 hook and we had fresh bait!

We stopped at the bend and still fished until the waves subsided enough that it looked only moderately foolhardy to venture out, so we headed for the springs. I accidently went into the second spring instead of the first. We fished a bit in 3 FOW and when I couldn’t find the deep water. Catchinon told me he was sure this wasn’t the place. We bounced our way over to the right place and fished both jigs and cut bait for 30 minutes or so. While we were prospecting, a friendly guy in a silver pickup drove by on the bank and honked. I couldn’t see if he was laughing or waving, but I assumed the former.

We eased out of the spring area to try the deeper water just to the East. Once we got off the rocky area and hit smooth bottom, we put the baits back in the water. Again we had no takers for half an hour and then Catchinon hooked a snag. He was using one of my rods while he rigged his second cat rod. We circled the snag and he tried several times to free my FLIG, but to no avail. I finally said “It looks like we’ll just have to break it off.” He held the rod out toward me and said: “You want to do it?”

Well, I really didn’t. It was one of my favorite FLIGS, blue back and silver sides and given to me by the master FLIG builder himself, but I went to the bow to try. I slowly increased the pressure on the 14-pound mono and just before I thought it would break the snag moved a few inches. I told Catchinon that it must be one of those famous rock fish.

I started moving the boat closer to the rock in hopes I could lift it and save my FLIG. As I started to lift I felt something different, it felt like another fishing line was pulling lose from the snag and a few seconds later a jointed Rapala appeared! It had been in the lake long enough for the hooks to be completely dissolved away. Just before I could grab the lure, the tip of a heavy white rod broke the surface. At about 7’, it turned out to be our biggest catch of the day. When we inspected it we found the bail screw on the reel had also dissolved, indicating that the only thing that might be salvageable was the rod, if the guides weren't pitted. Catchinon quipped that I seemed to have a thing for catching rods in the lake but I reminded him this was the first ever that I hadn’t put in the lake before I caught itTongue

After no hits in over an hour (except for the sunken rod) we picked up the gear and headed for the Island. When we got there the water had dropped to just under 39 degrees and the visibility was about 0 and 6”. That was why I had chosen the FLAIT that the white had fallen for, but it wasn’t enough. We went an hour or so on the east side, then ran out to a huge raft of birds NW of the island. I thought they were cormorants and might mean bait in the water, but they were mostly diver ducks and alas they flew away laughing at us. Another hour or so there it was almost lunch time. Still we had no inquiries on the catfish or walleye rigs. The wind had died down, the water had quieted warmed to 41, so we thought maybe shallower was worth a try.

Again we picked up the gear and head to the slough mouth. By the time we got to 4 FOW the water temp was up to over 44 degrees. We dragged the same arsenal for over an hour without any actions. I had added a balloon to the big FLAIT to get it farther from the boat in the shallow water and finally it got hit. It stopped and the line pulled from the release. As I was tightening the slack I felt a tug and the balloon lurched to one side. I expected a solid hook set on a decent fish, but I got nothing but air and to add insult to injury, what turned out to be my last balloon, was damaged in the attack. By this time that water had gotten over 45 degrees

At around 3:30 we still had not cats on only the one definite hit. We picked up the gear and went back to the channel. I got a couple of light taps there on a jig under a bobber, but couldn’t hook the fish. We were thinking of hitting the orchards next, but it was getting late and I felt like our only real sign of interested prospects was in the warmer water. We headed back to 1 FOW and anchored off to the side of the inflow from the slough and still fished for about an hour. Then we went back to dragging the same area and again the big FLAIT got hit. This time I felt weight and then the bait pull out of the victim’s mouth and it went free unharmed. In retrospect I don’t think either of the two fish got the bait completely in their mouths. They were still too lethargic today.

As the sun went down we went out into 7 FOW and worked our way back to the harbor. We ended up with only the 1 white bass 2 missed hits and the fishing rod for our efforts. However, the day turned out quite peasant, the company was good and it was an excellent shakedown for the boat and several fishing techniques I hope to employ this season.

It was a valiant effort, but it fell short of the goal. However, it will get warmer!
(This post was edited by Piscophilic on Mar 2, 2019, 11:17 AM)
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Re: [Piscophilic] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Last week we went to Provo Harbor and fished through the ice. We managed to catch some white bass for bait but no catfish came out to play. As we drove out of the park Jim spotted a skunk running off to our side. We joked that he hadn't got us that day. Little did we know that it was actually an omen for our next trip. I didn't even catch a bass and the channels certainly thumbed their noses at us. Not sure if catfish have opposible thumbs or not. I guess I'll have to take a large sample this year to see if they do. Anything for the sake of science.

The funny thing is it was one of the nicest days I have spent on the lake. When the sun shone on us and the wind died down it got downright pleasant. And I did snag a fishing rod, another first.

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"Blessings upon all that hate contention, and love quietness, and virtue, and Angling." - Izaak Walton
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Re: [catchinon] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
I always admire perseverance...and optimism. But I admire common sense more. I can't fault you guys for wanting to get a start on the contest. But I gotta shake my head when I read about the conditions you tried to overcome in order to catch kitties.


Even during warmer months I almost always time my trips to fall on a day before which there have been at least two days of decent weather. My worst trips are always those that don't follow that standard.


Another thing about Lincoln Beach is wind direction. Even when the fish are in a feeding mode, they will often shut down once the wind starts blowing in from the north...or any compass point that includes north. Don't know why, but I have had uncounted trips that started out great...with south or westerly breezes...then abruptly dropped way off or shut down altogether when Mama Nature started huffing from da north.


When early spring conditions are still cold, and water quality is not top notch, it is just plain tougher to find willing fish...of any species. Glad the weather did lay down for you and that you at least got some tugs. Tugs is drugs.

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Re: [Piscophilic] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Nice report Pisco... or was it a bad report?? Ennyhow, you guys got out and got a little exercise in the old casting arms.

The guy that honked and waved at ya was enjoying 73 degree "weather" in the cab of his truck while you guys were fighting the early morning wind. No laughing, just a friendly wave.

You pretty well summed it up when you said "it will only get warmer." Looks like it will be at least a week or so before the weather will stabilize enough to get a little action from the cats. How come the cats are biting at Willard but not UL?? No justice.

Good report and better luck next time.

BLK
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Re: [Boatloadakids] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Thanks for the friendly wave. I thought that was you, but I didn't want to make any unfounded accusationsWink

I was thinking the same thing when I saw the reports from Willard. The water was even colder there. MAybe they didn't have the cool morning "breezes" we had?
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Re: [Piscophilic] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
I applaud your efforts and determination. Maybe things will turn around in the near future when Mother Nature gets over hissy fits. One thing that is a great concern. What happened to One Fish Craig? He always catches at least one. Hope my old buddy is not suffering from acute catfish withdrawal complications.
Ice_sled
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Re: [TubeDude] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Thanks for the words of wisdom. When we saw the surprise wind shift, I almost decided not to even launch the boat. I mentally tossed the coin and it was came up heads, A couple of weeks ago the same thing happened. Two seasonally decent days and another forecast for decent weather on Friday.

Craig and I were going to ice fish at Provo Friday afternoon. When I got up Friday morning the NWS had completely reveresed the forecast. Now it was for NW winds at 15. I went, but told myself it was going to be a skunk day. The NW winds were there and conditions were terrible for staying warm, but between his brother and the two of us we got almost 40 fish, but the kitties didn't play.

I came home thinking the weather didn't seem to affect the whites much at all. At least if they could hide under the ice. Go figure.
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Re: [ice_sled] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Thanks Ice-Sled! I think Craig is going to make it through the withdrawals. I just hope the one fish thing is contagiousWink
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Re: [Piscophilic] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Sorry about the poor showing for the kitties. They pretty much operate on their own schedules, and according to their own whims. Hard to figure out. Kinda like marriage.


But never say never...or always. No matter what earth-shattering discoveries or observations we come up with there always seem to be exceptions. That's why I say that the best time to go fishing is whenever you can get on the water.


I do have my standards/preferences for weather and other conditions. Mostly related to being more subject to adverse conditions in a tube rather than a boat. But over the years I have cancelled trips based upon bad weather forecasts...and the weather turned out nice and other guys cleaned up. I have also gone forth...expecting good weather...and been blown off the water without any rewards.


This early in the year, after a winter of discontent, just getting out and reacquainting yourself with the wonders of nature is a win by itself. Getting some tugs is a bonus.


Looking forward to joining you a time or two this year...if you got room for a crotchety old fudd in your boat.

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Re: [TubeDude] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
I have room! It looks like I will be more consistent about getting out this year and with more weekday opportunities. I'll do my best to see that we can get out a time or two.

When Craig and I were talking I told him the unpredictable is part of the allure for me and that if I had it figured out so that every trips was just what I had planned for I would probably choose another hobby. Don't think that's gonna happen!
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Re: [TubeDude] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Thanks for the Shakespeare allusion. Here is the bit you referred to:

"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried."

Well, I'm ready for the clouds to be buried in the ocean (Utah Lake) and for the sun to come out to play. At the same time I am reminded what a tyrant he gets to be in July and August. In the meantime spring is just around the corner.

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((°> ~ ~ }<((((°> ~ ~ }<((((°> ~ ~ }<((((°> ~ ~ }<((((°>

"Blessings upon all that hate contention, and love quietness, and virtue, and Angling." - Izaak Walton
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Re: [catchinon] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
Whether 'tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous weather, or to just go fishing.


Aye. There's the rub.

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Re: [TubeDude] Cat Contest Opener at Lincoln In reply to
For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye are wise. We may be fools to fish when the enterprise is least likely to bear fruit. But I say unto thee: "Do not be like the cat who wanted a fish but was afraid to get his paws wet."

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((°> ~ ~ }<((((°> ~ ~ }<((((°> ~ ~ }<((((°> ~ ~ }<((((°>

"Blessings upon all that hate contention, and love quietness, and virtue, and Angling." - Izaak Walton