Pickwick, USA Trip  -  Spring, 2016
Weeks of April 10th, 17th, and 24th
Week One - Bill and Chris Hagedorn, Week Two - Tom Holtz
Week Three  -  Solo   
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The Hagedorns and myself arrived together early afternoon on Sunday, April 10th and I departed April 28th after
fishing 19 days for about 9 hours each day.   Tom Holtz, a newcomer to the Pickwick scene, joined me on the 17th
and stayed through the 24th, and I fished solo the remaining few days.

After enjoying three years of good numbers (25 to 50 a day), things came to a screeching halt this spring where
catching 8 - 15 a day became more the norm. The conditions were perfect. The water levels didn't fluctuate and the
water temps rose steadily from 61 to 71 degrees. The wind was manageable and we only had one day of rain. Most
bass were still pre-spawn and were not in the creeks, on points, or in shallow. We found most of our fish off of rocky
or shale shoreline in 12-18 feet of water. They had a warm stretch mid-March, followed by a two week cold snap that
shut everything down. Water was a bit cloudy, but not that out of the ordinary. The crappie guys were complaining
also - used to catching 25-30 a day, they were lucky to get 6 or 8. The channel cats and drum were doing fine and
kept things interesting.
Since the bite was tough, I kept it small and simple, throwing 3 and 4 inch grubs as they didn't care as much for
my 6 inch lizards which has been my go-to bait down there in the past.

On the other hand the size of the bass we caught this trip far exceeded that which we normally catch, but without a
plethora of the 12 to 17 inch fish, made for long bouts of dead water.

Our big fish was a 5.1 pound largemouth that I caught on a lizard in shallow water. We also caught many in the
3 to 4 pound range deep. Smallmouth were big and beautiful with a lot of 17 to 20 inch fish.

I've booked again for three weeks in 2017 and it will be interesting to see if the quality over quantity status
becomes a trend or if 2016 was an aberration.
  Little Andy's, located just a stone's throw from Pickwick Dam serves as our
home during the duration of our spring fishing trips to Pickwick Lake.

As noted, the smallmouth this spring were Canadian class, which is not always
the case, but this year 20 inchers were common.  

Over the past few years, Chris has out-fished the two old-schoolers about 2 to
1 using finesse baits, but this year, he struggled mightily with his creatures,
being out-fished by the old guys, using a more traditional cast and retrieve
method.

We tried unsuccessfully to chug a few up for Ryan Anderson to no avail.   
These are quality hawg smallmouth, no matter where they are caught.
While we came up short of topping the
6 pound largemouth caught last year,
but the number of quality largemouth
far exceeded to overall size of the fish
that we have caught here on a
consistent basis in the past.

There was one day when Tom Holtz
and I would have had a five fish bag
that would have placed way up there in
any tournament conducted at Pickwick
this spring.

The 5.1 pound largemouth at right was
our big bass of the trip.
We did catch a lot of drum and catfish
to keep things interesting.  
Above is the gap between the two State Line
Islands which produces quality fish.
At left is a 16 inch Pickwick crappie.
The fish lying on the deck of the
boat are pretty typical of the
numbers and size of fish that we
would catch on an average
morning.  While we fish primarily
catch-and-release, Tom wanted
to take a mess home for dinner
that day.
Above is one of the three Buffalo
that I caught while trolling one
afternoon.
No report would be complete
without a silhouette.
Tom Holtz
Click Here To Go To The
2015 Pickwick Report