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Saturday, May 26, 2018

first campout of the year

Finally! I made it to my camping spot with about an hour of daylight left. A beautiful big rock bar with a couple good smallmouth and hybrid riffles at the top end and a nice big slow eddy at the bottom for some night time action. Camp didn't take long, a small tarp hung boy scout tent fashion between two trees and the rain fly off my buddy Dan's tent that he was pitching spread out underneath for a ground cloth. Then before I did anything else I went down to the slack water and threw in some groundbait to chum up some fish for nighttime. I was pretty proud of my chum. A couple cups of ground venison burger, some dog food, a can of corn and some oats and breadcrumbs all dumped in a bucket. On top of this I'd poured some cooking oil and dumped in a cup each of corn meal and flour. All this was stirred well and sat overnight to blend, soften, and soak up the oil. The idea was the big chunks would lay on the bottom as chum while the flour and cornmeal would disperse in the water spreading scent and also attracting minnows. I then baited one rod with a baitrunner reel and cast this out while I gathered some firewood as dark rapidly approached. I was rigged up with a slipsinker, bead, swivel, and a baitholder hook. I baited up with a nightcrawler and then hooked a PVA bag full of chum on the hook also and cast this out. If you are not familiar with PVA bags they dissolve after about thirty seconds in the water so your bait is lying there with a nice little pile of chum all around it. Dirt cheap too, you can buy like 50 of them for just a couple bucks on Amazon. By the time I'd gathered firewood and arranged camp a bit a channelcat had taken the worm. Dinner! I cleaned the fish, sprinkled on salt, pepper, and some cajun spice then wrapped it in foil. After the fire had burned down to some nice coals I raked some aside and baked the catfish on these for about ten minutes. I don't know if it was the setting or what but I thought it was wonderful.
A swell calm night with the occasional carp or catfish to liven things up till I finally reeled in and climbed under my shelter. I wake up at five thirty every morning for work so I was up and at em at daylight even with just a couple hours sleep. I fished Vic's triple wing buzzbait right below the riffle catching a few nice smallmouth as the sky just started to brighten. The smallmouth in the photo hit with not more than a rod's length of line out which will make sure you are awake. Later as things brightened more I put on the paddletail swimbait I've been catching hybrids on lately and moved right up to the fast water of the riffle catching a few smaller smallmouth and two swell hybrids. I sat on a big rock and had a big muffin for breakfast and then began to break down camp and head home for a nap. What a great trip, if you haven't spent the night by the river watching the fire listening the water you just don't know what you are missing...


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