Well, we had such a good day on Aquilla last Thursday, that we just had to go back. But it rained on Friday and Saturday… Well, actually Friday we got up and drove down in a misty rain. There was no one else on the Dairy Hill ramp at 9 a.m. when we arrrived… but, the wind was 12 or 14 mph and the clouds were hanging low… so we turned around and drove back home…. Even if the fish were biting, no need to risk life or the boat… Saturday was colder and more rain.. we didn’t even attempt to make the trip down. Sunday afternoon, as it began to clear up and the sun was beginning to come out, we made another trip… but it was another water haul.. The water temperature had dropped 6 to 8 degrees, the water was muddy and the fish had lock jaw. There was a bunch of folks on the lake and we visited with a couple of them… one said he had caught a 6 pounder on Sunday, but others were like us and found nothing.
And then, there was this one story…. from the guy who said he had caught a 6 lber on Sunday… I didn’t hear him say directly which day he had fished on, but I deduced that it was Thursday afternoon. He said he and his partner had caught 115 black bass, the vast majority over 3 lbs. He said their top five fish weighed about 35 pounds. The biggest was 9 1/2 and the smallest of the 5 was a 6 pounder. That had to be a day. I can’t imagine what it would be like to catch 115 bass in a week, much less one afternoon. Some might doubt his story, but 115 black bass would be such an absurd lie, that no one would believe it, so it has to be true. Actually, I can believe it because the bite had really picked up when The Boss and I left there around 2 p.m. on Thursday and the 6 fish we caught were all over 3 lbs. But, we had had enough and know from experience on Aquilla that the spring spawn is always great… if there is enough water in the lake, though results have not been as good as when there was hydrilla in the lake, back a number of years ago.. those were the days as Archie Bunker was prone to sing.
Today, the stats when we arrived at 10 a.m. were:
- Air Temperature: 57°
- Skies: Mostly sunny
- Wind: 2 to 5 mph from the Southeast
- Water Clarity: muddy to stained for the most parts, but clear in the backs of the creeks and in the grassy flats
- Water Temperature: 60° increasing to 65° by 3 p.m when we left
- Water Level: 537.94 or about 5 1/4 inches above normal
We had picked up several fish on top water lures and always, it is lots of fun. Several people we had talked to had also said they had caught fish on top water lures, as well as spinner baits and buzz baits. We wanted to find some more top water action today. But, we didn’t find it. We did not get one strike on a top water lure today. All of our fish today came on Texas rigged worms… and we only caught 5 fish. We had a couple of other bites, but the action was not at all like what we had experienced on Thursday. For one thing, all the fish we caught on Thursday were larger than 3 pounds. Today, we had 3 fish there were 2 to 2 1/2 pounds and one that was 4 1/4 pounds. Good fish, but not as exciting as the ones we had last Thursday. Here are some photos from today. Please forgive the black and white photos, I made an error in setting the camera.
Here is the 4 1/4.
It was a slow day… tough to get a bite. But, at least it was not a water haul like Sunday was. I am sure that as the water temperature continues to rise, the spawn will continue for another few weeks, maybe a month. Today we caught 5 fish in 5 hours.
The fish are shallow, and where the water is clear, you can see them bedding up. Fish were holding around flooded grass in shallow flats.
We also visited with some folks on the ramp who said that the crappie were biting too.
Being at its normal pool stage, the ramp at Dairy Hill is is in great shape.
We did note that the minimum length for black bass at Aquila was changed at some point. We thought it was still 18 inches, but is the state standard minimum 14 now. However, if you are one of those lucky enough to catch 115 on one day, I don’t think the rule will have much bearing on you… especially if you are boating at 30 pound plus stringer.
There is adequate parking at both the Dairy Hill and the Old School boat ramps. Both have nice sized auxiliary parking lots.
And, just by the way, we did see a Game Warden on the lake today… make sure you have those fishing licenses and wear the life jackets.
There will be lots of folks on the lake… the word is already out and lots of guys are whipping up the water. My guess is that you will have to take a number to get into fish and it will be like ridding a merry-go-round because all of the boats fishing the lake, they will be end to end.