Wheeler (Ditto)

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Posted by Kevin Copeland on August 21, 2002 at 15:46:15:

I fished out of Ditto with brother Tuesday. We launched at 12:30 and immediately had our first struggle of the day. The power trim on my brothers Statos (see Andrea Gail) went out. Unfortunately it did not go out at the sweet-spot. So right out of the hole we are porpoising up the river.

We ran almost to the point of Hobbs Island and starting fishing structure along the bank with buzzbaits, Flukes and hard plastic top water baits. The fish seemed to be tight to the shore line with the water up and moving. The fish were all hitting short. We managed 4 dinks until the weather turned.

The humidity was the worst I have ever fished in. I later heard than Satterfield said he knew the storm was going to be bad because the humidity was so high. We kept hearing what we thought was blasting in the distance. It was so continuous it couldn’t be thunder….right? WRONG!

About the time we reached the Whitesburg Marina we knew it was going to get bad. My brother made the call to pull into the Marine and wait it out in lieu of trying to get back to the launch. With the winds really beginning to rip he pulled up the trolling motor and jumped into his seat and turned the key…….nothing, 200XP was dead. All the accessories had power. I quickly tightened the battery cables but still nothing. It was all my brother’s 72# trolling motor was to get us into the Marina and around to the back side of the gas dock.

So we ran up to the covered pavilion to wait it out. It began to rain and blow so hard that we were even getting soaked under the cover. So we slid around to the down wind side of the building (river side), under the roof over hang, to take protection. I will say I have never witnessed that bad of storm from outside in my entire life. The winds picked up so much that we tightened all the straps on our life jackets in case we were blown into the river somehow. It would later hail quarter sized hail for 15-20 straight minutes with the skies booming and cracking all the while. The “Perfect Storm”?

After an hour or so it calmed down enough for me to run back to the boat to turn the bilge pimp on. But when I got to the dock ramp a Pine tree had snapped and fallen across it. I almost turned back but noticed the stern of the boat VERY low in the water. I managed to climb around/over/under the tree to get to the boat to find a foot plus of water…bilge on!

A couple of guys then pulled up in a truck and said that the storm had ripped the roofs off a dozen or more dry storage boat houses there. We went down to check it out and sure enough it demolished some of those storage units ripping off the roofs and pulling up 4x4 posts with concrete and all. Man what a mess.

Back at the boat we managed to find a blown fuse and replace it. So we decided to go ahead and fish to dark. I’m glad we did. Post storm we caught 28 more. However, they wouldn’t hit a top water bait afterwards. Most of those fish came on a C-rig, in-line spinner or a jigging spoon. We probably missed another 25.

All in all the fishing was great. No size to any of them. 4 or 5 would have broken a pound but that is it. The rest were dinks. Totals - 32 bass: 2 SM, 5 or so LM with the rest Spots.


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