Charlie, Johnny and I ventured out to Grapevine Lake this past Saturday for some bass fishing. Charlie, my neighbor, was kind enough to invite us on his very well kept 21′ 2001 Champion bass boat. We launched at the Katie Woods ramp, which sits right next to the Gaylord Texan Resort. By 6am, the temperature was already close to 90.
We started off fishing a rock pile Charlie knew of and 10 minutes in, the first bass was in the boat. Shad were clearly visible on the water’s surface. Charlie’s a shaky head guy; he actually makes his own with Trokar hooks. We threw a variety of lures all day, from Grande Bass baby rattlesnakes, Yum dingers, tubes, worms and cranks.
The lake was packed with most spots being fished by other anglers. There was an all night tournament the night before, which made fishing slow. We brought in only 3 total fish on the day.
The highlight of the day came about 30 minutes after we launched. Fishing those same rock piles, Charlie threw out a Grand Bass baby rattlesnake on a shaky head. Tap, tap, tap and the hook was set. Ten minutes later, he was still fighting to bring her up to the surface. This definitely wasn’t a bass; she stayed under the whole time. At one point, we thought he was hung up on bottom or had hooked into a large turtle. Charlie’s retrieve was masterful. Carefully managing the drag and careful not to snap the 8 lb test he was throwing. The fish finally surfaced and after a heavy net scoop, there was a 35 lb flathead catfish laying in the boat. Biggest one I’d ever seen caught live. Thirty five lb catfish on 8 lb test line. Craziness.
I skunked on the day but I was able to break in some new gear I picked up last week. I paired my 7′ MH Falcon Bucco with a Lew’s Tournament MG casting reel. I was very impressed with its performance. Extremely smooth and light. I was casting cranks and topwaters to the end of no where. The reel is priced on the low side but it’s loaded with performance and features you would find in more expensive reels. By far one of the smoothest reels I have used. I didn’t have one backlash all day. Gave me a lot of confidence.