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I celebrated a birthday this past Friday. 37, and feelin' old! Got a basspro gift card, blue tooth earbud headset, and a book "Down the Wild Cape Fear". My wife asked what I wanted to do this weekend and I replied "go fishing."

I shot Mack a text earlier in the week and asked him to reserve Sunday for an all day excursion. I sent him a few options and we settled on our locale. I asked him to bring the scanoe and a set of his catfish floats to see if we could pick up a few catfish for dinner.

We met up at an Apex gas station and headed off. Launched around 7 am to cool ambient temps and great looking water. Slight stain, up just a hair. Things started a bit slow, a few bream here and there for bait and a couple bass. My first good fish was a nice pickerel on a black buzzbait, pushing 3 lbs. This fish went into the cooler. Shortly after, Mack caught a nice pickerel as well, but I fumbled the landing and lost his fish.



We started trolling for crappie and Mack was on fire. He probably landed 15-20 crappie long lining a small chartreuse roadrunner. Most were small, and I got a few on a yellow curly tail. Since most of the crappie were small, only the largest four landed in the cooler. 3 black, 1 white.

We set some jugs with cut bream, trolled, set some more, then trolled back. We let the jugs soak and ventured on. A few hours later, I proceeded to land my best personal river bass on my light action rod, 6 lb mono, and a 1/4 oz bettlespin. This bass was sitting in 1' of water in a slack eddy pool near flowing water. It appears this big girl was spawned out. We didn't have our measuring devices on us, so we have to guess the size. Mack estimated 7.5 lbs. I know it beats my best riverbass by a good 1 lb and several inches. This bass was very long and had the biggest head and mouth I've held.



Mack landed a nice bass in this same area on a spinnerbait and we headed back to the jugs. From that point on, we caught many bass on spinnerbaits and flukes, about 20 each, including a double. Most were holding tight to wood. I missed at least two more big pickerel on flukes and Mack came through with one of his own on a spinnerbait. This one also landed in the cooler.






Not a single catfish was landed on the 10 jugs we set, but we did manage one medium sized snapping turtle.


We made it back to the launch around 6 pm. A long, but very productive and solid day of catching. Must have been the hats :). We capped it off with a fried fish dinner at Skipper's in Apex and headed home.

I have two nice bags of filets in the freezer, one crappie & gills, the other pickerel. Had a great time Mack.

Last week I caught my PB white bass (17.5"). Next up is a PB Roanoke!
 

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Made sure to get the y bone out of those pickeral filets I hope?

Good day guys I need to catch up with yall one time!

Gene - Red》X《 - Asheboro
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You bet Gene. Although the vid quality is pretty poor, I find this video to be one of the best for how to filet a pickerel. This is how I do it and you end up with 3 long strips of very nice meat. He says it's like grouper, I tend to agree. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjcelLOjh1E

The larger pickerel I kept (one Mack caught) had a nice sized shad inside. The tail was peeking out of the gullet, so my son insisted that we investigate.


 

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I dont recall ever hearing that pickeral were covetted as table fare.
 

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That was a big old bass. Mack always lowballs other peoples fish. Call it 8 easy!

Did you make it all the way down to that spot and back from the usual launch on one battery? That's a long way.
 

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Yes. We had plenty of juice. You know they make this long tool with a wide blade at the end that is good for moving a canoe around in water. :D

Neil, pickerel are a fine fish to eat. If you have the patience to filet them, it's good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
He got me on the jack and crappie, but I scored big on the bass. I think I got him on numbers though :). Oh yeah, I also caught the first fish ... 20 minutes in the gas station parking lot (waiting on you know who) allowed me to prepare a little.
 

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Outfished mack?! Sounds like a good birthday trip to me! :)
yeah he does out fish me 1/2 the time but I was running the motor, sitting in the back etc.....somehow someway he always jumps in the front!.......it is ND who never out fishes me..lol.

It was a good day on the water. 1 big bass caught but lots of 2 lbers caught . That bass is probably equal to a 11 lb lake fish as in a river they have to fight current. A true river monster.
The bass were killing the fluke but we couldn't hook the Jacks on the fluke so we used the spinnerbait a lot . The roadrunner was on fire. No other jigs came close to the RR yesterday.
Jack are a awesome eating fish it is just most people don't know how to clean them. Another way is the make lots of slashes in the body and bake em and the bones dissolve.

Here is my best bass of the day. Guess he left it out on purpose...hahhah
12.jpg
 

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THe ole "Scout" produced my first bass really quick then it drew a blank. A lure Jeff had never seen.

added....midday we took a quick shoreline break to stretch our legs and Jeff found a hole with 3 toads in it, Fowlers toads I think.
1 was dead but 2 were fine but they were 4 feet down this old perk hole? and I managed to lightly hook them and release them.
I then filled in that death trap.

DSCF2538.jpg
 

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Pickeral are fine eating. Very flaky white meat. I prefer them prepared "poor mans lobster" style.

Gene - Red》X《 - Asheboro
 
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