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First Time on the Water in 2017 /GCHS Touchdown Club Tournament

May 5, 2017

By Chris Erwin
Last fall my boat sputtered and died right before I was to start my yearly fishing trip. If you follow this column, you know we toughed it out and still caught some really good fish using only the trolling motor.

Author Chris Erwin holds one of four 20″ plus bass caught this trip.

A couple of weeks ago Phil Roberson one of the owners of Rockdale Boat Mart took my motor down to the lower end and put in more parts than a turned over box of fish hooks. It was a good sound to hear, that old motor purring again.
It took me some time to load my lure-store back in my boat along with enough rods to empty a good-sized closet but I was ready to hit the water. The temperatures had been great and the fishing had been getting better all the time.
Then I checked the weather, rain, temperatures dropping into the low 50s and wind 10 to 15 miles per hour. My excitement was starting to fade. I knew the cold rain was going to change all the reports I had been getting.
However, Scott, (my son) was ready. It never seems to get too cold for him and I wasn’t going to miss this chance to be on the water. I put in the water at Popin Rock and drove the boat around to where my fish camp is, there a fourwheeler was waiting for me to go up to the camp and get unpacked.
Scott and I hit the water about 1 p.m. We started on the flats where we knew some productive reports said lipless crankbaits were catching fish. After fishing two hours, we managed to catch one fish about 17 inches long. The rain and wind were bone chilling but we took a break and ate a snack then tried to develop a new plan.
We tied on a couple of Muskie lures and a deep diving crankbait, one that I make that is about three inches and dives to about 12 feet. We moved to the first break just off the flats. We didn’t go more than 15 feet and Scott had a Muskie blow-up at the boat!
We went another 30 feet and the same thing happened again. Scott had it on for about five seconds as it exploded into what looked like, from my end of the boat, to be a herd of feeding piranha water flying in every direction.

Author’s son Scott Erwin holds his fish, the largest bass caught on the trip measuring 23 1/2 inches.

We crossed over to another point. This time we moved the boat in close to the bank and fished out to the first break trees, throwing past the trees and cranking as close the trees as possible. This time it was my turn as the rod thumped and the line shot off to the side.
When I set the hook, I could tell the fish was heavy; Scott dipped the first 20-inch fish into the boat. In the end after fishing two evenings we caught four bass over 20 inches. Scott had the largest at 23.5 inches. We also caught two muskies, both babies at 28 and 31 inches, and we also had five other fish over 16-inches and six bass in the slot.
Our rainy cold trip didn’t seem so bad once we unlocked the key to catching fish!
GCHS Touchdown Club Tournament: Saturday May the 13
The GCHS Touchdown Club is holding a fishing tournament on Yatesville Lake at Barkers Ramp on Saturday, May 13. Start time is 7 a.m. with weigh-in at 3 p.m. All funds raised will go to provide the needs for all kids to participate in the Greenup County High School program regardless of their financial situation. The tournament will be a $1,000 guaranteed to first place. Second and third places will be determined by the field entries. Entry fees are: $120 per boat with an optional $10 kicker for big bass, and a 100 percent payout on the big bass. Preregistration is accepted, and to get more information Contact Ben Thomas at 606.922.7489.
Chris Erwin is the Author of Camping Kentucky, founder and publisher of Kentucky Angling News an on-line magazine available at www.kentuckyangling.com/magazine Chris can be reached by email chris@ashlandbeacon.com

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