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Author Topic: Ft Madison Report  (Read 1560 times)

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Ft Madison Report
« on: October 09, 2007, 01:50:29 PM »

I arrived at the Mississippi river on Sunday morning, ready for a solid 4 days of practice.  After seeing the river last year, I was hopeful that i would be able to build on that knowledge and put something together.

On the first day of practice, I put in at New Boston, way up on the north end of pool 18.  I fished from Huron chute all the way north to the dam.  I found 1 area holding fish, although it was not much to go on.  I had 4 good fish in a small area near the end of a no-name chute.  I tried to duplicate this in other areas with no luck. 

The next day I spent on the north end of pool 19.  I fished so much good looking water - but there was a ton of boat traffic.  Everyone was on the same kind of stuff.  With a few hours to go, I went back to Burlington and loaded up and headed north to launch in pool 18.  On my first stop, we caught 3 big ones....all in 1 small area.  I tried to expand and find something more, but only managed 2 more shorts before dark.

The third day of practice I also spent on pool 18.  This was the only place I had found any fish of good size - but they were hard to come by.  I managed to find way back into a maze of chute and islands.  Randomly, we caught 4 fish in 1 small area, and again, nothing around it.  2 fish were big, 2 were shorts.  We worked really hard the remainder of the day and just found small scattered fish, and no real pattern.

The last day of practice I spent in pool 19, checking things that I found last year.  I ran down to the south end of the pool, and started in some pads.  The pads looked better than last year, but I only had 1 big blow up.  I worked my way north, catching quite a few fish off of eel grass, but size was a problem.  I only put 1 keeper in the boat all day.

Tx day number 1:  I decided to run north and lock into pool 18.  When I arrived, the lock doors were open, and we locked up quickly with about 17 other boats.  Much to my surprise, I was the first and only boat in my starting area.  I thought it was gonna be great.  I started in a shallow area with some rock, this was the place we had 3 great big ones really quick and pulled off of them.  In practice, the water was dingy- not muddy, but really cloudy.  When I pulled in tx morning, it was GIN CLEAR!  I thought it was going to be great - this is just like home!  We are gonna rock them!!  Wrong.  Muddy water fish don't like a sudden clearing.  Even the shad were gone.  After 45 min without a bite, we moved on.  My next spot was the area back in the middle of the islands and chutes.  After about 5 casts, my co-angler gets a nice 3 lb fish.  On his next cast he gets a 13 3/4 short fish.  5 minutes later, I get a 3.6 lb fish.  Things are looking better!  But the, the action slows.  I pick up 2 more shorts and a monster drum over the next hour.  We then run further north to take a look at the fish I found earlier in the week.  Not a bite.

I had 1 more area to fish before we locked back down.  I called the lockmaster, and we had a 12:30 lock time, but we had to be there by then due to a small barge followed by a double-lock barge waiting.  On my way down river at 70 mph, I past another tx boat in the main channel with the cowling off and the boater waving his arms.  I shut it down, and swung back to see if we could help.  It turned out that the co-angler in the boat was Dave Matual  - I had drawn him last year at the Grand and he is a super guy.  Anyway, they had munched a lower unit and were dead in the water.  They each had 3 fish.  We tagged our fish, they tagged theirs and threw them in my boat.  We tied his boat to a channel marker and off we went with the 4 of us in my boat.  With the delay, i had no time to fish my last spot, I had to run directly to the lock. 

I had a couple of spots, but nothing really strong in the north end of 19.  The guy that I picked up was sure he had a couple of laydowns that were LOADED with fish and we could all pick up a few more.  Without anything totally solid, off we went.  We pulled in behind burlington island, and began fishing for the last 1.5 hrs of our day.  2 guys on the front, 2 on the back.  We caught 3 shorts.  It must have looked like an invasion to the fish with 4 jigs hammering each log.  They had no chance, but we had no keepers.  It also happened that I was in the 3rd flight, but the boat i picked up was #13 (no kidding) and in the 1st flight.  So, to get them back on time, I checked in 35 min early.

Day 1 results:  bad day, 1 fish for 3-6

Tx day 2:  The co-angler i drew for day 2 zeroed on day 1, so we both had nothing to gain, we were both out of it.  I decided to fish south, and at least catch a lot of fish, and hope for a nice bag.  It would be good for nothing, other than pride.

We ran south and fished various grass beds.  We caught fish all day, but as expected, big ones were hard to find.  I caught 24 short bass, 2 drum, 2 pike, 1 catfish, 1 perch and a white bass.  And only 1 keeper.

Tx result:  6 lbs and a terrible finish

I really struggle on the Ft Madison pool - and although I don't know if I will ever have an event there again, I almost hope I do.  That place has beat me 2 years in a row, and I would really, really like to figgure it out. 

I am pretty much done for the year, not a good way to end the season.  BTW, my Ranger Boat is for sale on the boats for sale page.

Seth V


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Re: Ft Madison Report
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2007, 01:49:42 PM »

VERY GOOD write up Seth. Thanks! You've had a pretty good year from what I remember and I think it is good for people to see your attitude of wanting to go back and figure out and beat the big muddy.

Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.


Re: Ft Madison Report
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2007, 10:23:57 PM »

Hey Seth, How did your dad do on the River.  I know he qualified for the tournament.  Did he get em,
 ??? ???


Re: Ft Madison Report
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2007, 08:26:08 AM »

I didn't go this year. I didn't feel that I had a chance to beat the local river rats and from the way it turned out I think I made a good choice for me. If you don't have the confidence your beat before you even get started and thats where I was.
I'm just proud of how Seth stuck in there and adjusted the second day. If only the bigger fish would have cooperated.
I'm looking forward to next year when we go to Cherokee Lake. That's my kind of water.

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