RB State Rep
Mississippi Riverbassin Revival Recap thread
If you have pics, stories to share, or what have you, post them up here. I figured it would be easiest this way. Thanks to all who put this event together. My report is coming.
RB State Rep
Barret and I left from Baton Rouge at around 6:30 Friday morning en route to Columbus, MS, site of the Miss. Riverbassin Revival. Somewhere between Jackon and Starkville along Hwy 25 we spotted a giant turkey, or a velociraptor, or maybe some sort of hybrid of the two, either way we thought "Only in Mississippi!".
Upon arriving at the campsite we noticed that River Bassin had exhausted its budget in the production of proper signage. Really top notch work guys.
I kid, I kid. The signs were very helpful while driving the maze to the campsite. The campsite was fantastic, situated just upstream of a junction of 2 creeks. Complete with an outdoor kitchen, generator, fire ring, ceiling fans, chairs, firewood, and everything else under the sun. The hosts were generous and demanding that we use their facilities. We did and it was very nice.
Yeah it looked muddy, but it really wasn't. Visibility was 2-3 feet, the water just had a brown color to it. We arrived at mid-day Friday while everyone was out on a long float, so we opted to float down one of the feeders, then paddle up the other to the campsite.
The water in this creek was quite swift, especially for us flatlanders, so where possible we waded the gravel bars in search of fish. Barret noticed one hitting shad near a bank I was standing on so I made a drift or two down to the fish then stripped the crease fly back up, popping it along the way, and soon I was rewarded with a nice Alabama spot.
The creek continued it's path through the cypress and hardwoods and the fishing was pretty slow, except for longears who were very anxious to have their picture taken.
We reached the confluence of the two creeks and made our way upstream past the campsites to hit a crappie hole that the landowner had told us about.
The hole was crappy,as the owner had indicated, but the scenery was gorgeous as we floated back down to the campsite. Barret picked up a few bass on the float back down, one nice one. Perhaps it was a sign that things may be better for tomorrow?
RB State Rep
Saturday, 5 of us floated from the campsite to a take-out some 9 miles away. No big deal to Barret and I who floated maybe 2 miles on Friday, but the others had done a long 10 mile float Friday. These guys are hardcore!
The first 4-5 miles of this section would prove to fish very slow. I picked up 4-5 small bass on a texas rigged 4" watermelon lizard. It was beautiful water, we just weren't catching numbers or size. The fishing would pick up in the latter half of the stream however. The scenery would change too. Bluffs began to line the river and groundwater was seeping in from the sides, along with a number of small waterfalls.
Not long after this bluff I cast into a pocket along the bank and hooked up with a nice bass, a 2-13 alabama spot. This is also when I figured out my scale was messed up. It said this fish was 2-1. It didn't specify the 1 was in oz either. It's a good thing Lance came over to get a proper weight. I put an email into Berkley to see what the deal is. Now I question how big the two 14" crappie I caught last week really were, my scale said that one was 1 and the other 1-1, but they felt much bigger.
I caught back up with Barret, who was pretty far ahead of the group, to see how he was doing. He was finally having some luck on topwater with the fly rod. I watched him get a couple of vicious strikes and decided to put down the conventional tackle and throw the crease. The topwater bite was hot! At times we were picking up bass left and right. We caught so many we lost count. Barret caught 4-5 over 1 lb. I didn't have that kind of luck, but I did catch a bunch. I missed a couple heartbreakers too. Bass that were easily 2+. It was a riot.
At the take-out we found out that the bite had turned on for everyone else as well. Some nice fish were caught. It was really a welcome experience after such a slow morning. It ended up being a great float and a great trip, one I'll never forget. I can't say enough about how hospitable the landowner was for letting us use his land/outdoor kitchen for the Rodeo. Thanks to Lance and everyone who had a hand in putting this thing together. Thanks to Joey for cooking a few excellent meals; backstrap, porkchops, burgers, sausage, shrimp. We feasted like kings! Louisiana has big shoes to fill in terms of throwing a Rodeo.
Great write-up. I'm excited about seeing everyone else's pictures too.
What a weekend!....we all enoyed great company, food, weather, scenery, and RIVER BASSIN! ...the "great" fishing is all relative I guess. As a flat-lander, who manages maybe one Kentucky Spot over 1 pound on a good trip, this river trip was off the chains! My new favorite freshwater fish is the Alabama Spot. On a flyrod tossing topwater, these things are simply amazing. I felt blessed to paddle in such a beautiful place catching more fish than I could handle...even missed fish were awesome because the strikes were so hateful! ...and the best part? The great fishing only contributed a small portion to the overall experience. Meeting such nice and funny people is always a treat. Doing so in a beautiful place with folks who share the same passion for water and fish made this weekend unforgettable. As a flyrodder, I sat back for the first half of the float on day2, only casting a little because I really wanted to spectate and observe the ways of those savvy bassers. Those guys can cast up tight to cover! and can even pull out nice fish. Lance, Joey, Terry, and Jeff: Thank yall for putting on this high calibur event. The bar has been set for rodeos, Taco. We have big shoes to fill! If Joey doesn't cook, then I'm not going!!! well, I'll go, but I'd miss those burgers, shrimp, back-strap, and sausage! ....enough talk...on to the report (I'll try to keep it short)
Like Taco said, day one was spent on a small creek that was super fast. We managed to land enough to keep us occupied when we weren't busy dodging laydowns, hooking trees, and losing sandals! (almost). Here are some of my shots from day one.
The water was different, but still nice..
Here's the biggest from day one. This one was chasing bait and just happened to be in the right place with a poppe. She went 1 lb 08oz.
Day 2 started off really slow. Everyone seemed to pick up a few small ones here and there, but I was only catching bream and longears. I stubborned casted the fly all day, determined to get another Spot. Over halfway through the trip, I finally got one. It was small by riverbassin.com standards, but this small fish revived the life back into me.
Side note: This river has some of the nicest cypress trees...felt like home
RBJ, showing off at the shoals after a quick bite to eat!
After that first fish, the bite was consistent and welcomed
these things are so aggressive
1lb 04 oz think it's a spot...
without further adue: My biggest spot to date: 1lb 11oz .... new record on fly?
1lb 05oz...last fish of the day
all on topwater to boot...I was spoiled rotten out there I tell ya! I look forward to fishing with yall again real soon. Terry sorry our schedules didnt' line up. I'll shoot you a pm when I'm in your area again.
RB State Rep
RIVER BASSIN FLOOD
Ok, so here's the first chance I've had enough time to give my recap. This will be one of my most memorable fishing trips. Good company, good food, perfect location, and good fishing.
After trying to finish my honeydo list till about 11:00 at night wednesday, I finally made it to bed. I could hardly sleep in anticipation. Thursday Joey, Redfish, Redhook, and myself all met up for a caravan to the campsite. After getting setup, we made it in time to do a short float on Thursday. (This was the same float that Barret and Fishtaco did Friday afternoon when they came in). As stated earlier, the water was MOVIN! It made it tough to fish while trying to dodge logjams on this narrow stretch, but a few fish were managed. I believe Terry caught a 2lb 3oz spot that we'll hopefully see soon.
Here's the put in.
Here's two of the fish I boated on this stretch. There were a couple more, but I found myself having to very quickly release the fish to reach for the paddle instead of the camera, in order to dodge logjams
Joey and I paddling back up the smaller creek to the campsite. A good way to start the first day.
Redheron had arrived late Thursday night and was with us this friday morning for our 10+ mile journey this day.
Morning view of campsite before we left to putin
This pic of Redfish today sums up what I love most about river bassin... tranquility.
However this day brought about one of the toughest days of fishing I've ever had on a float. 10.5 miles and 4 fish.
All my fish this day were similar to this one. Thankfully, the scenery and company made up for the fishing.
Joey however, somehow managed to outfish the heck out of everyone that day. I think he boated somewhere around 12+ fish including a 2lb 15oz LM and he also called his shot and nailed his first fish on the first 1/4 mile of water
Here's Joey's 2lb 15oz LM that now takes first on the record board
I believe my camera, fish scale, and pliers are still somewhere buried in the river bottom from 9 months ago when this little stretch whooped me.
I learned my lesson last time, but a couple brave souls still ran it without incident, one of them standing up I think ; )
The rest of us portaged it almost uneventfully. We almost lost Terry to a snake attack. Here's the famous guy posing for the most attention he'll ever receive.
We made it back to camp and meanwhile Barret and Fishtaco had joined the party. We all introduced ourselves and told the stories of our days around some incredible food that night.
Ok, day three (Saturday) brought about another 10+ mile float. Redfish and Redhook had left the building , but we gained Barret and Fishtaco for our next float. The day started much like Friday, mostly fishless. We worked everything from current breaks to this beautiful backwater slough filled with cypress trees and lots of gar.
Riverboatjoe and Redheron
The gar did give some entertainment for awhile even though I never actually hooked any. We continued on our journey in hopes things would change
Everybody pulling over for a lunch break
As we pushed downstream, we finally got a break from the sun as a few clouds moved in, and so did a breeze. With this front moving in, our luck was about to drastically change.
Fishtaco and Barret and Redheron
The fishing just fired up with this front, and for the first time this trip we all were tearing em up.
The sandstone bluffs were beautiful
Here's Fishtaco with his beauty. 2lb 13oz spot
Here's a few more from a little stretch that I could seemingly do no wrong
Didn't really keep track, but I think at one time I caught 3 fish in 3 back to back casts. Also somewhere like 5 fish in 8-10 casts
Then as things settled down a little for myself. I hear Redheron yelling "THATS A HUGE FISH" or something along those lines. This picture is worthy to be posted again. 3lb 12oz spot
That was the last picture on my camera. After that fish, nothing else seemed worthy of a picture that day. We were all pretty exhausted and pretty much ruled out Sunday fishing. We went back to the campfire for some more storytelling, and incredible food. We stayed up a little later tonight knowing that we didn't have another 10 mile float awaiting us at 6:00 am. That was the absolute perfect ending to an awesome trip. Can't wait to do it again.
Last edited by Jump n Fish; 04-20-2010 at 12:21 PM.
RB State Rep
RIVER BASSIN FLOOD
Also, if anybody wants the full resolution of any of my pics, just let me know your email and I'll send them to you.
Always nice when a trip produces multiple record fish!! Next year, I'll be joining you guys for sure!!!
RIVER BASSIN FLOOD
Awesome reports everyone!
RIVER BASSIN FLOOD
Great recaps by all so far...I guess I'll throw mine in.
As was mentioned, Friday was one of the toughest bites I've been on in a while. Joey, JnF, redfish, redhook, Speedfishin(shannon), and myself covered 10.5 miles of meandering swamp river...I think I got 6 bites and boated 4 of them...nothing of any size. After seeing Joey call his shot with a bitsy bug within sight of the put-in, I tied on a jig. It still took me a while to put down my spinnerbait b/c it had been good to me in the past on this river. The buzzbait got several vicious attacks from some juiced-up longears...those little guys are mean; but no hits from bass. I finally started throwing the jig, and pulled in a couple small spots. About midway through the float, I took a side channel that I thought I remembered coming back into the river after about 100 yds. Half a mile later, I'm still in this...
About halfway through this jungle, I hear someone hollering. Sounded like they were a good 1/4 mile away. Sounded like Joey yelling, "Woooooo, ooooh, THAT'S COLD!".
I did come up on a swamp that was draining out and finally caught a couple LM on the spinnerbait in the outflow. Superdinks, but they were fish.
After emerging back on the main stem, I called JnF to get his GPS coordinates. I compared them to mine and realized they were just around the next bend. Technology is great.
Even though the fishing sucked, the company and the scenery were great.
The azaleas, buckeye, and mouse ears(?) were out in force (even though the pictures don't do them justice).
I say the fishing sucked, but Joey had those fish's number. His north MS honeyhole is alot like this river, so I guess he had the advantage. I believe he boated about 12 on the day, including this nice 2-15 LM.
Friday night, Barret and fishtaco joined us for a mean spread cooked up by Joey. We had some awesome deer backstrap steak (think filet mignon), some spicy deer link sausage, pork chops, shrimp, and cream corn. We all chilled out around the campfire and ate like kings in our gracious host's outstanding campsite. He even brought down a cheese/fruit plate for us to snack on while we waited on Joey to finish cooking. Top notch host for sure. Mr. and Mrs. Burwell, if you see this...thank you so much for your hospitality.
Shannon had a lady to attend to in Starkville, so we lost him Friday night.
We awoke Saturday morning and bid our farewells to Redfish and redhook.
The rest of us, JnF, Joey, Barret, fishtaco, and myself set out on another long 9 mile float. The first half of the day felt all too similar to Friday. Bites were few and far between. I was throwing a chartruese fluke in the dingy water and getting the occasional short strike. I missed a fish that was in the 2.5-3lb range, which was heartbreaking on a day like that. I finally connected with this decent LM. I made a cast right up under an overhanging log in a backwater. Fishtaco was behind me, and I think I heard him say something along the lines of "there's gotta be a fish there". So I guess he kinda called my shot.
As we made our way downriver, I came upon a couple amorous arbors...
sorry...your mind wanders when you've only caught 1 fish in 4 hours.
In the afternoon, the winds changed, some clouds moved in, and the bite picked up. Fishtaco caught a very nice 2-13 Bama on a little 4" lizard. I took note and immediately switched to a 6" yum-dinger. I lost tons of fish...mainly to them short-striking my worm and biting the tail off. I also had a weak hook that straighted on the hookset...let that bite me twice before I threw it away and tied on another. I finally boated this nice spot...not long after Barret caught his 1-4 "I think it's a spot" (it's a LM ) out of the same hole. This fish was right up under a waterfall in about 12" of water. I had made several casts to it with no takers, but when I actually cast over the waterfall and let the worm fall down into the river, he nailed it hard.
After many more short strikes, I had started cutting the worm almost in half...so yeah, I was practically fishing with a 3-1/2" straight piece of plastic. This nice LM struck on a quick pitch to a log as I was floating by at a brisk pace....kinda took me off guard.
We were getting into some nice sandstone bluffs and outcrops, and Jeff and Joey started wearing them out.
Joey brought this nice 2-9 Bama to hand...after everybody else had fished through the hole, mind you. This guy can straight bring in some fish!
Having only boated 3 fish, I was beginning to doubt my abilities. We came to an area where a large waterfall came in on river left and small trickle came in on river right. Joey was working the big fall on the left, so I moved to the little trickle to see if anybody was home. The water was deeper and it was in the shade, so I figured it might still hold a fish. I cast up into the trickle like I did when I caught that other spot. It hit bottom...twitch...twitch.......twitch, twitch, twitch. I had started to float past, so I began to reel it back to the boat to reposition and try again. I made two fast cranks of the reel and my rod bowed over like it hasn't done in a long time. I never had the opportunity to set the hook...it was just "fish on!" I just knew I had hooked a big gaspergou, though. When she came up, I saw it was a big spot...I don't think of myself as very verbal when I hook a fish (maybe I am?), but I know I yelled something along the lines of "Goooo....that's a BIG fish!" Anyway, as bad as I want to, I'll refrain from posting that picture agian. Personal best 3-12 Bama.
That night back at camp, again Camp Chef Joey did not disappoint. I had brought some ground deer meat and ground deer sausage, so he mixed them together and grilled up some mighty fine deer burgers. We even had leftover shrimp as appetizers.
Sunday morning, we all packed up and said our goodbyes. Most of the guys had a long trek to make...and after covering almost 20 miles of river in two days, no one seemed too interested in fishing. I only had a 2 hour drive to Florence, AL to my next job, so I decided to check out the Alabama headwaters of one of our rivers that we fished. It has a totally different nature up here...beautiful in that Alabama way. The Mississippi cypress trees and swamps had been born of Alabama rocks and waterfalls.
The gar were still there, though...
The fishing up this way was decent, too. The males were still on the beds guarding eggs, and the water was 5 degrees cooler than it was in MS...not to mention a ton clearer. It was the first time I've ever seen Alabama bass nests. They were not nesting in the current, but among chunk rock in calm areas in about 2' of water. The beds were very hard to see b/c they didn't have the typical "saucer in gravel" look of a LM or bream bed....just a couple clean chunk rocks with eggs stuck to them. I tried not to intentionally catch the males, but I'm sure with most of the ones I caught, I had probably drug through an unseen bed.
I caught about 5 or 6 small Bamas and this nice 2-2 before I packed it up and headed on to Florence.
All in all, a blast of a weekend. Looking forward to next year! Next time, we may have to try it a little later in the year, so the current isn't so fast.
RB State Rep
I thought that kind of looked like a LM. That's another record he picked up this weekend! Dude is on a roll.
Originally Posted by RedHeron
RB State Rep
RIVER BASSIN FLOOD
Man oh man you guys have some pretty water down there, I hope you guys kept Redfish under control.
RB State Rep
RIVER BASSIN FLOOD
Wow, the upper stretches of that river are a totally different animal. Gotta try that place sometime, looks amazing. I was really debating heavily about fishing Sunday as well, but figured that I would be rewarded for coming home early. : )