Caney Lake hasn’t been this healthy since it was a new lake in the late 1980’s. That’s what a lot of anglers are saying, mainly because the aquatic vegetation is back in the lake and the food chain is strong from one end to the other.
That “other” end on the big side of the food chain is largemouth bass. They are on the move with changing fall temperatures and anglers are taking advantage of it. One angler caught an 11.88 largemouth and another duo caught a five bass stringer that topped 40 pounds.
Jonesboro angler David Walsworth caught and released the 11.88 pounder. He had the special thrill of catching it while several other anglers who had helped him learn to fish were watching from boats nearby.
Dusty Mobley and Brennan Flick recently started their own company and haven’t fished much, but they hit the water on Caney on Saturday, Nov. 6., and also had a trip of a lifetime. They landed five fish that weighed 36.50 pounds and then released them. They went back out a few minutes later and caught another 8 pounder and when they culled the weight of their smallest previous fish, it put the day’s catch at over 40 pounds.
Walsworth, a local pastor, only had one bite on Tuesday, Nov. 9. But it was a bite to remember for a long time. He was fishing a Wahoo Lures Wing Ding Tail Spinner lure on the bottom in 20 feet of water when he felt a slight tap. He set the hook and immediately felt the big fish shake it’s head back and forth.
“I’ve been after one over 10 pounds and I just knew when it shook like that and pulled so hard, I had it,” he said. “But all I could think about was having that big bass on a small lure with one set of small treble hooks in it.”
A Wing Ding is a small piece of fish-shaped lead with a hole through it. The line goes through the lure body and ties into the treble hook.
“When I finally got her up to the top and saw those bug eyes and that huge head, I saw the bait was barely hanging in her mouth,” Walsworth said. “I jumped all over the boat trying to hold the rod in one hand and get the net, which probably kept me from horsing her and maybe losing her. Then when I got the net, I couldn’t get it open. I finally did and she took a dive under the boat. I thought it was over. But it wasn’t. I scooped her up and it was amazing that I was able to share all that with others that are important to me watching from their boats.”
Catch and release
Walsworth plans on getting a replica made of his personal best fish.
“When I released that huge bass back in the lake, I truly understood what fishing is all about,” he said. “That’s a big deal. And a guy I don’t even know told me the good part is that somebody else can now catch her, maybe somebody’s kid. That’s what it’s all about.”
A great day on the water
Mobley and Flick also had a special day. It was a special day for the duo who recently opened up Hooked Up Marine Products in West Monroe where they specialize in electronics, installation and helping others better understand fishing electronics to make them more efficient on the water. Apparently they know what they are talking about.
The duo went to the lake thinking they would go shallow and find bass, but when they got to the lake, the water temperature was 62, so they went to the main lake and used down imaging and side imaging on their electronics to scan the creek channels. They found fish moving up and down the creeks, especially staging in the bends of the creeks. The fish were on the move, but using the electronics to stay with them and the LiveScope when they were on them, they landed more than 40 fish.
“When we realized what was going on we changed tactics and it really paid off,” Flick said “I don’t know if they were moving from deep to shallow or shallow to deep, but they were on the move back and forth. And they were chasing shad and feeding. That’s what made it such an amazing trip.
Another thing that was amazing was they were hitting a variety of lures.
“We caught the fish on Strike King 8XE and 6XE crankbaits in Gizzard and Tennessee Shad colors and also on green pumpkin football jigs,” Mobley said. “We even caught a couple on watermelon swim baits. The electronics definitely made the difference. We haven’t been on the lake in two months and without the depth finders, we wouldn’t have caught a fish.”
They also released their fish back to be caught another day.
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