Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bass Fishing, Texas Style, Part 2

Joe's Tank, on the farm!
Last week's post described our first day of bass fishing in Texas on beautiful Lake Fork, East of Dallas.  After our day of fishing we loaded into Matt's truck and headed to Joe Stanfield's farm (or ranch) closer into Dallas, in Farmersville, Texas.  There Joe with his wife Jeanette has about 100 acres of land that has a beautiful house on it, about 38 llama's roaming around, his own grass airstrip for his plane, and a couple of ponds, however I have been corrected, they are called tanks.  No matter, I call them ponds!  The largest on on their land is about 5 - 7 acres in surface acres and is stocked with largemouth bass, crappies, and channel catfish.  Because of the amount of rain they had, it was plump full of water and like the day before, the water was pretty cloudy.  Joe has a pretty nice setup including a quite innovative setup for a guest house up on the hill overlooking the pond.  He poured a slab of concrete then had two 8 x 45 foot steel shipping containers configured to make a nice relaxing place to get away.  The were overlapped at about 25 feet, welded together then had patio doors and window installed.  The inside was spray foamed complete with a bedroom on one end of one, the
One of the few pictures of me with a bass.
bathroom on the end of the other one, and the middle was 16 feet wide so it had a sitting room, kitchen, dining area, and all the things one needed to be comfortable.  We cooked steaks for the evening, and just enjoyed the birds singing and the sunset.  Both Matt and I slept in the "guest house" as I took the bedroom and he took the couch as he was going to leave early in the morning then come back for me as he offered a ride to the APEC conference that was in San Antonio, about 5 hours away.  I woke up about 8:30, Matt had already left so Joe was going to take me fishing.  His equipment was a lot to be desired and although he had some lures, I wasn't that impressed so I decided to use a spinner bait as the water was not clear and felt something that would make some noise in the water would be good.  That was a good decision as I did catch my first bass from Shore as Joe was getting the trolling motor and battery in his small 12 foot Jon boat he keep on the pond.  The rod and reel I had to use looked like it came from Goodwill but it casted good enough.  We worked the shoreline around the pond and I suspect I caught 5 bass on the spinner bait and crappy rod/reel setup. They were all in the one to three pound range, no much different that what we caught the previous day at Lake Fork.  In fact the picture of me on the right is one I got a Lake fork, apparently my friends either didn't take any good pictures of me, or if they did I haven't got them yet!  Never the less the picture is proof that I did get something!!  You can get a good idea of how cloudy the water was and it wasn't much different at Joe's place.  I know one thing, the guide on Saturday had much better equipment.  Matt had gone home to get some stuff done and finally got back about 12:30.  With Matt in front of the Jon boat and I running Joe's new Minnkota trolling motor and battery set up, it was my time to guide him around the tank!  Fortunately I was able to find some adequate fishing line in Joe's pile of stuff and filled his Abu Garcia casting reel with enough line to allow the spool to be thumbed properly and control the backlash.  this was a huge improvement from earlier in the day when my the spool was only about a quarter full.

Matt's nice bass from Joe's Tank
Retracing our route from earlier in the day and with basically the same spinner baits, we did catch a number of bass including this wonderful picture of Matt with probably the largest one of the day.  The bass from Joe's had much more color than the ones on Saturday, I suspect the fish in Lake Fork have spent more time in deeper water than at Joe's.   Joe doesn't fish this much so Lord knows how big they actually get in this Tank, but it was a lot of fun.  Sending this to my friend, the first thing he noticed was an automatic feeder in the background.  The speculation was that Joe was feeding deer however come to find out it's worse...he's feeding the Canadian Geese that live in his tank.  Now up north here we know how messy geese can be and in a small body of water they can be a big nuisance.  I suspect that Joe's wife Jeanette likes them so there ya go!   Me, I'd definitely take that feeder down but that's just me!  The fact that there is catfish and crappies in this tank is interesting and it would have been fun to try and catch some yet time was getting short and we had to leave.  Saying goodbye at around 3 in the afternoon, it would get us into San Antonio by 8:00 that evening.  It was hard to leave Joe's place but all good things eventually come to an end, besides it was a nice drive through Dallas, Waco, Austin and finally arriving at San Antonio.  As well, Joe and Jeannette were coming down for the show anyway as Joe reps for some of the companies that were on exhibit there, apparently those two weren't totally sick of either Matt or myself!

San Antonio is a very nice city and in the first of March the temperatures were perfect.  Downtown is the Riverwalk and it is a very nice place to visit and eat, and eat we did!  It was a good chance to meet all of my colleagues in the business and get reacquainted with all of them.  My flight took me through Atlanta then on to Minneapolis and although I got in late, it worked out pretty good considering all the delays from the East Coast storms.  On Sunday my good friend Mark Applen and I went out to do some ice fishing on some nearby lakes.  The ice is still thick enough to drive but finding the fish was more challenging.  After stopping a Little Jim's in Annandale  , MN we first tried Lake John, a small lake from my past.  We were the only ones on the lake, and after about an hour and a half we only caught 3 perch about 3 inches long each.  Deciding to try something different we went to Little Pulaski in Buffalo, MN and although there were more people, the bite was simply non-existent.  Our depthfinders did mark some fish but they were pretty closed mouth and we left just before dark with nothing to show.  What's next on the calendar, I have to run back to Eau Claire this weekend, and next weekend is both the Minneapolis Sportsman Show and probably the last ice fishing trip of the year with my wife's uncle Andrew and his crew fishing the Birchwood, Wisconsin area northeast of Rice Lake, WI.

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