A little Panhandle freshwater fishing

As Sting mentioned, there's nothing Crabtree will let us catch, so we have to get our fishing fix some other way. A friend and I took a little trip down to the Panhandle and sampled the Jack & Bass fishing. We stayed at a friends place on Compass Lake and made the Chapola River North of the Caverns our first stop. Only able to fish a little over half the day on Wednesday, but still ended up with several Bass and a couple of Jack. Thursday we got an early start on Holmes Creek North of Vernon and ended up with our 2 man limit of Bass and about 6 Jack.On Friday, we went back to Holmes Creek, but went to an area well South of Vernon. We discovered the Jack were more active than the Bass in that stretch, so just a few bass, but a bunch of Jack. ended up with a possession limit of Bass and more Jack than we really wanted to dress. I would have enjoyed the trip for the scenery even if we hadn't caught any fish!
In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams

Replies

  • LilOrangeLilOrange Posts: 1,170 Officer
    Man, what a pile of fish!! Hope you had a sharp fillet knife. :)

    That is pretty scenery & looks like y'all had a good trip.

    What fish are you calling a freshwater "Jack"? Couldn't really tell by the photo. Kinda looks like a Northern Pike.

    Livin' the Dream !
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,733 Captain
    LilOrange wrote: »
    Man, what a pile of fish!! Hope you had a sharp fillet knife. :)

    That is pretty scenery & looks like y'all had a good trip.

    What fish are you calling a freshwater "Jack"? Couldn't really tell by the photo. Kinda looks like a Northern Pike.

    That is about what it is. Jack is what they call the Chain Pickerel. They do have a bunch of sharp teeth & the filet has a bunch of small bones, so you have to gash them like you would a sucker, but one of the best eating fresh water fish IMHO.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • capciofficapcioffi Posts: 808 Officer
    That's a beautiful river. I live in Jacksonville and don't have much knowledge of that area. Which river is that with the spring? I would like to take my 6 year old out that way and do some camping and fishing. Thanks for the report, what did the Jacks eat?
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    Dang! You did get on them. Cool deal.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,733 Captain
    capcioffi wrote: »
    That's a beautiful river. I live in Jacksonville and don't have much knowledge of that area. Which river is that with the spring? I would like to take my 6 year old out that way and do some camping and fishing. Thanks for the report, what did the Jacks eat?

    That spring was on Holmes Creek, which empties into the Choctawhatchee River. There are a number of springs like that on the creek, but that particular spring was a little North of Vernon Florida. We fished mostly with a a chartreuse spinner bait.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • Old DogOld Dog Posts: 541 Officer
    Nice haul Klinger. I like catching the pickerel and always throw them back for another day. They are one of the sportiest fish to catch in freshwater in my opinion. When I fish for bass and pickerel in the places you mention I use the Silver Doctor, or Yellow Sally weighted bass flies. I clip them onto a #4 Hildebrant gold bladed spinner, and attach a 101 spinning pork frog. It has been a deadly combination for over forty years.
    I know all the areas you fished well. Beautiful areas. We wore the bream out on fly rods this year. Maybe all that rain in the early spring was good for the spawn but there were a lot of fish in the late spring and early summer.
    OD
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,733 Captain
    Old Dog wrote: »
    Nice haul Klinger. I like catching the pickerel and always throw them back for another day. They are one of the sportiest fish to catch in freshwater in my opinion. When I fish for bass and pickerel in the places you mention I use the Silver Doctor, or Yellow Sally weighted bass flies. I clip them onto a #4 Hildebrant gold bladed spinner, and attach a 101 spinning pork frog. It has been a deadly combination for over forty years.
    I know all the areas you fished well. Beautiful areas. We wore the bream out on fly rods this year. Maybe all that rain in the early spring was good for the spawn but there were a lot of fish in the late spring and early summer.
    OD

    We noticed bream following our spinner baits on many casts, so we will carry an ultra lite with a few beetle spins or similar on our next outing. The jacks are our most favorite eating fish. A little labor intensive, as they have to be gashed like a sucker, but worth it in my opinion. They freeze well, so we stock up on them in the Fall each year. We also noticed they favor gold blades over silver or copper.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • stingwraystingwray On the creek Ga, Beach house FL.Posts: 747 Officer
    Nice work... :thumbsup just got another freshwater boat on Monday,that makes 3 freshwater boats and 2 saltwater boats wife says no more. Tell her all the time need a boat for every water condition.:wink btw today rigged out new boat so going White Bass :fishing am.
    Catch em up
    Sting aka Capt. Ron
  • Old DogOld Dog Posts: 541 Officer
    Klinger, this the lure I mentioned:

    YellowSally01RS.jpg
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,733 Captain
    OD, a conventional spinner bait with a trailer hook worked very well last week, although we lost more than we boated (both bass & jacks). We also used a homemade plug with spinners that worked well, but was tough to work in and around brush & debris, especially in the shallow sloughs. This week, they seemed to prefer a broke-back repala.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,704 Moderator
    Nice outing and great catch !
    "You'll get your weather"
  • mrl0004mrl0004 Posts: 43 Greenhorn
    Just saw this, how do you target pickerel? I've been wanting to catch one on the fly for some time now.
    On the water or in the woods.......
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,733 Captain
    mrl0004 wrote: »
    Just saw this, how do you target pickerel? I've been wanting to catch one on the fly for some time now.

    They like the same thing Bass like. They were taking yellow spinner baits with gold spinners. We find them most often in pockets around the edge of sloughs that have a little current. We mostly fish clear water creeks & rivers, but they will bite OK with a little stain in the water. On a good day, you may catch as many bass as you do Jacks.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
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