I called a good buddy of mine Joe Haubenreich from TN, and asked him if we could get together for a trip to Lake Barkley, KY. As it turned out Joe was able to free up some time in his busy schedule to spend a full night and half a day of fishing with me. We made the arrangements on a time and place to meet up. I was very happy, to get a chance to fish with a intelligent, experienced, angler, and good friend. Not to mention the president of Secret Weapon Lures, who sponsors me!
When ever Joe and I go fishing, I always learn something, catch some fish and have a great time!
I headed down early before we were to meet to locate some fish, and get a general idea of what the fish were doing. I arrived around 8pm on Wednesday night about an hour and a half before dark. After launching the boat, I dropped the trolling motor, unlatched the rods, and checked the water temp. I found out the water in the shallows was in the upper 80’s, the water was up a half a foot over summer pool. I dropped a lure in the water to measure the water clarity. I found out the water clarity was around 1 1/2 foot visibility. This is common, but I perfer around 3 foot to 3 1/2 foot visibility. As I sat there I noticed with no wind the boat was drifting backwards. I figured the water was being pulled, down to normal level. I later found out this was the case. After this I eyed the area, then the lake looking for any bait fish breaking the surface.
I trolled a bit to an area to start my search for some bitting fish. I started fishing a 7″ Berkley ribbon tail worm around deep rocky bank. In about 5 minutes I landed a 1 1/2 pound fish to start. After that I missed a few and landed some short fish. I started the motor and ran to a shallow area.
Just before dark I started fishing a Secret Weapon Buzzbait in black-n-blue with a #2 gold colorado blade attached to the end of the buzz blade arm. A few moments later I landed a 2.09lb largemouth. I then proceeded to catch some short fish and missed a few. After the top water bite was over, I switched over to a S.W.L. Moonlight Snack in 3/8oz with a single #5 gold colorado blade, and a black 7″ Berkley worm. I took a few hits from the worm, but the next hour and half didn’t produce much.
Between 11:30 and 4:30am I only managed a few smallies and largemouth in the 12-14″ range. Around 4am the 3/4 moon was over the trees shinning bright. I contuned to throw my spinnerbait. I pulled up on a rocky point where the moon was shinning over the water that looked like glass. I threw over the point with the S.W.L. spinnerbait in Moonlight Snack color; retrieved it back about 4 foot and the fish struck it hard. The fight was on. After a lifetime it felt, I netted the fish. I turned on my light and a big smile came across my face. I got out my Normark digital scale, set it to zero and weighted the largemouth at 5.03 lbs. I put it in the live well to take it’s picture in the morning, and let it go later.
After checking my line and re-tied, I started casting again. I decided to fish the point completely from every angle. After doing this for an half hour or so with only a few small bites, I decided to move to the next point.
I stopped on the next rock point and started casting my spinnerbait again. About ten minutes later, I landed a 2.09 lb largemouth. I then moved from point to point until sun rise without much luck.
Just before sun rise I continued to use the spinnerbait and also tried a buzzbait with only a few takers. I moved over to a rocky wall and started throwing a 7″ Black and Red Berkley worm. After several small ones, I finally set the hook in to a 4.0lb largemouth. I put it in the livewell for a picture and I released it later. I continued to fish for another couple of hours with only a few small fish. I decided I was tired out, and drove to the campsite. I asked the owner to take some pictures of the fish I caught. He do so happily.
After some sleep and a meal I headed back out on the water. Not long after returning to the water my buddy Joe called on the cell. I met him at the ramp, and told him how the fishing was over the course of the night and early morning. I asked him if he brought enough Secret Weapon spinnerbaits; knowing his answer. I told him the bass were hitting the spinnerbaits, and worms in the morning.
We started fishing and talking. We fished the buzzbait before dark and caught a few and missed a few. After dark we both switched to a SWL spinnerbait. I fished with the Moonlight Snack with a single #5 gold colorado blade. Joe followed suit, but used a #5 black colorado blade. As we talked for a few hours, the fish didn’t seem to be bitting. I told Joe that the fishing was the same the night before; the good fishing didn’t start until later in the night.
I was ready to catch some fish, but was also enjoying our time together to catchup on things. Around Midnight the bite started. We started fishing rocky banks around docks, and the fish started bitting. We both started catching fish. For the next hour we proceeded to catch many short fish and some decent fish.
We would fish up a bank, and when we came upon a dock there would be a fish or two around either or both corners of the dock. But, when we fished across the point under the moonlight nothing would bite. We soon figured out that fishing around docks was the key to catching them. After this discovery, we started fishing around docks. For the most part catching a lot of fish, but no big ones. On one of the docks, Joe hooked into a nice fish maybe 3 or so pounds. It thrashed on top of the water and proceeded to get off. We were catching many fish or hooking and missing a lot of fish. We started to joke that if we didn’t get bit after a few minutes, we were fishing a dead area and needed to move on.
We came up to an interesting dock that was on a corner of the bank in a pocket. There was a light shinning on the bank (a homemade light house) and it looked very interesting. I made a cast up beside the dock and hooked a nice 2.09 lb largemouth. Joe took a picture of it for me with the spinnerbait in it’s mouth. Joe a little later hooked a nice 2 lb largemouth.
By sun up we had caught over 50 largemouths and a few smallies. I told Joe I wish the night wasn’t over. When the sun came up, I contuned to fish the spinnerbait. Joe switched to the buzzbait and worm. We caught some more fish, but only about every half hour or hour. We were both tired out, but I wasn’t ready to get off the water. Around 12:30 pm I caught a 2 1/2 lb largemouth on a 7″ Redshad Berkley worm. After getting it in, Joe said he had enough. I agreed, we were very tired.
Joe, was kind enough to take me to a steak house and treat me to a good meal. We sat and talked about the fishing. We both figured up we had caught right around 70 fish between us, and missed several others. Although we didn’t catch any large fish, it was a fun trip indeed!
Thanks, Joe for the friendship, fun and memories.
Justin Hires (SWL Justin)