Posted by Alan Brown on February 20, 2002 at 19:40:05:
In Reply to: Re: Weiss Lake Fishing Report for 2-13-2002 posted by Steve on February 20, 2002 at 16:59:16:
Well, I tell you, Steve should get an award for area promoter of the year. That isn't meant sarcastically either. I dropped by their booth at the Cincinnati boat show last year and this year. I started thinking of this last year and readily planning this trip about two months ago. I admit, I was so excited about this trip and going down to fishing heaven that it is possible I let my "wants" get ahead of my better sense. This little bird inside kept whispering to me with bad feelings about going, but I didn't listen. Now, I've been driving boats and fishing since I was 6 years old (45 now) and I told Steve (after the fact) that when I hear "low water" and "half off prop sales", and then when I read "there was not enough water upriver to get into the coves" that that was directed to the "hurry up get there get outta my way 60 mph Bassbusters" so I relate to experiences I've had in the past with low water levels, and figure that I'll still be able to find places to fish. I'd already been told by another fisherman getting ready to go out that morning that a good place to go was one creek up on the left. When I came out of the no wake zone at Riverside and went about 50 yards and started my left turn it wasn't long before I started chopping sand (mud, dirt, etc.) Of course, you couldn't see bottom, but I was reading 2 ft on the sounder - been there before, no problem; raise the motor up and keep on "easing" on, figuring I'm gonna get in deep water pretty soon. I see nothing but sand bar to my right between me and what I figure is the main channel for as far as I can see up and down the lake wondering "how in the world do you get to the main lake?", fine homes to my left, scratching my head wondering why on earth would anyone put these nice homes on a sand bar. I look at the map figuring I'm where the main channel is - 2'. Now I'm getting concerned that I will have diffuculty getting back. Finally, 30 minutes and about 1/8 to 1/4 mile later it drops off, but I'm still nervous because I watch my depth gage go 2', 15', 5', 16', 2' all within a 30 yard stretch, so, I'm still going slow, and nervous.
We fish for a bit using jigs, figuring we'd get our minnows later since I wanted to get on the water and Riverside wasn't open yet (didn't open till after 10 am) and didn't have any minnows anyway. Figured we'd go check out the lake and get lucky, I mean, this is Crappie Heaven ain't it? We watch a few boats go speeding through we're we'd just come and I ask "how are they doing that?" and I see where they go so we go back that way to go get some minnows cause jig's ain't doin it and I've always had more luck with live bait anyway. Guess what, 2' deep right where those guys had gone and right where the map said the main channel was. Go a bit, hit bottom, go a bit, hit bottom. Now I'm getting frustrated cause I'm scared to go anywhere far from the dock for fear of not getting back feeling like I'm in nothing but a big shallow pond, especially if they start fluctuating the level again. I go back and tell them I'm so frustrated I'm ready to go pack up and leave. The gentleman who came over to talk to me and help me figure out where to go and what to do told me to head over to some big island on the other side of the lake and definately go get minnows. Said go under the power line real slow and I'd be okay. Guess what, 2 "inches" deep, no channel, nothing but sand bar right where he said. So we head West a ways - nothing but sand bar - can't get there from here, and on the scale I was seeing on the map, It would take me all day to get there because I wasn't going to go fast and tear my motor up. Can you sense the frustration yet? I'm figuring the whole dadgone lake is like this and I didn't want to go down lake where it was supposedly really muddy - Steve told me it would be clearing from up lake so that's where I wanted to stay. Maybe I missunderstood. Well, we've got our minnows and chug and chop our way back to the cove where everyone was starting to gather - we'd seen fish on the finder 6-8' down and I was happy I was in deeper water. We fished for about four hours and got one baby Stripe. Then I start paying attention to some of the other boats, rigged for trolling with 6 rods off the boat and not a pole in a hand. I said this is starting to look like the Striper guides at Cumberland, just no downriggers. Now I'm sorry, and I'm not gonna buck the way things are, but I grew up thinking if you're fishing, you have to have a pole in your hand. Heck, that's half the fun of it actually feeling the bite in the first place. And I see the trolling guys pulling in a few fish, with jigs. I just shake my head and figure I'm not going to be successful here if that's the way you have to fish down here and the frustration mounts. After a while I look at my boy and he looks at me and we both agree that we're not having any fun - lets go back up where the lakes are that we know. So, we did.
I'm not upset with Steve. I'm upset with the fact that I drove seven hours and spent over $300 on this trip for five hours of fishing on a lake that I couldn't travel on because I had the impression that I just would not be able to get in all the coves but found that not to be the case and I imagined a beautiful lake where the fishing was easy (when I hear no less than 12 fish, and someone says it's tough as nails, I'm thinking that's not tough, I could be happy with that. Tough fishing to me is fish for three days and don't get a bite). Maybe Lake Weiss is the norm down in Alabama and maybe the West end of the lake is more what I'm used to, but at this point my extreme let down and frustration was not to be swayed and I didn't want to pull out and trailer to the other end of the lake to find what I just left - too much work - and I couldn't get away from that lake fast enough. Yes, I should have called Steve and asked what's up, but I thought he was at a boat show doing promotions and my brain was locked down by this point. I'm not going to beat up on Riverside, because Steve (not the same Steve) and Anita weren't there and left their boy in charge and it's just not worth it and I chose that place because Steve didn't say to "NOT" stay there and the price was reasonable. ;<) Everyone I spoke to was friendly and willing to help but there just wasn't any help for this trip.
I don't know that I will take Steve up on his VERY Generous offer, but its not because I'm still mad. Never was mad at Steve. Steve is going WAY above and beyond the call and is more honorable than I've witnessed in a long time, but I do have a bad taste in my mouth and 400 miles is a long way to go just to find the kind of fishing I can find closer to home. I've learned a lot from this trip and it will take a while to live it down, but I will catch fish again and I will have a good time doing it, and I'm sure there will be other bad trips in my future. I'll say this too, if you're not familiar with Weiss Lake, get a guide, and call Steve. I have no doubt that he will show you a good time.
Good, SAFE fishing to all,
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