Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April: Reflection and Healing

Sean fishing the Eleven Point River above the cave hole

April 2, 2013: It is this day my son, Sean was pronounced dead at St Mary Medical Center in St Louis after a fall at the Apple Store were he worked. His fall resulted in trauma to the brain, which ruptured an artery in the temple region as seen on CAT scan. He did go to surgery, but there was no procedure or surgery operation to reverse the damage.

He had expressed to be an organ donor by signing his driver license and discussions we had around campfires on outings and fishing trips to the Eleven Point River. His lost of life gave others hope by providing his gifts, so others may have a second chance to a better life due to their disease and organ failures. I will miss my son, fishing buddy and friend. Below is a link to his obituary written by his sister, Jenn.


April 10, 2013: This was to be a scouting outing, with quick looks at Swan Creek, Beaver Creek and access points on Bull Shoals Lake. I made many stops to look over the water looking for signs of fish. Swan Creek there were a few boats below the bluff with low water, possible white bass run after sunset. Beaver Creek was at 3 feet and clear. There were a few spawning white bass in fisherman’s nose, the lake level was near the whistle bridge. I was able to fish and take a few white bass before a thunderstorm that was building in the east. At 5 PM the rain came in and I retreated to the Pot Hole to finish the evening. The lake level was at 653 feet with no generation and no wind. I made a pass wading the gravel bar to the three trees. 
A two foot drum taken on a fly
I caught a few more white bass, a short walleye and a chunky drum. I left at 8:30 PM, due to being cold and wet under the raincoat.

Jim Knight and Leonard Brown at Fisherman's Nose on Beaver Creek

April 11, 2013: I fished with Jim Knight and Leonard Brown from Oklahoma; we have met at their club’s event, the Small-mouth Rendezvous over the years in Tahlequah OK. We started out at 2 PM on Beaver Creek. The stream was up approximately a foot at 3.8 feet, it was dingy from the rain the night before. The sun broke out with the air temperatures in the mid-fifties. We started at the boulder hole. We found a few white bass with some fish moving up stream into the pockets. The ospreys were working the water near by with a bald eagle making his presence known. We stayed until 5 PM and moved to the mud slope near Swan Creek. There were a number of fishermen on the opposite shore. A small Clouser seem to work taking eight whites bass with one large female and one small line bass. We made the final move at 7 PM to the Pot Hole. Rod was already in the water when we arrived and reported no fish. There was no generation with a variable wind. There were more fish moving, especially along the western shore. The lake level was 653 with the gravel bar under water. Jim and Leonard decided to return to Springfield. Rod and I made our way to the gravel bar after seeing some white bass demonstrating some spawning activity over it. I managed two more white bass for the evening of fishing.

Jim and Leonard at the Bluff Hole
April 12, 2013: Jim, Leonard and I returned to Beaver Creek and fished it from 2Pm until 6 PM. We saw an eagle overhead flying just over the treetops. The creek dropped six inches after the foot rise. The white bass I expected to find up stream were not found, with the falling water level and cooler temperatures. My question, did they return to the lake? I did find six white bass below the boulders. Jim and Leonard left to return to Springfield. I fished the mud bank for 1.5 hours with limited success taking five white bass and a small blue gill near the walk in access. With the sun disappearing below the hills, I drove to the Pot Hole to fish until 09:30 PM. I managed one crappie and covered the gravel bar to the three trees. There was activity, especially along the west banks. I need to walk and fish that bank in future trips.

The Mud bank looking at the 76/160 Bridge
April 13, 2013: Rod and I shared a ride and fished Bull Shoals. We drove by Powersite Dam and saw no generation and a few people fishing Swan Creek. There was a number of people bank fishing from the dam to Swan Creek in various locations. We started at the mud bank walking up the lake for some distance before retuning fishing our way back to Swan Creek. We caught a few with the fish scattered on the sandy/mud bottom. We caught ten white bass; two walleye (one was short and the other walleye was eighteen inches) and Rod released a carp.

April 14, 2013: Rod and I returned to the mud bank and fished for several hours. There were a number of fishermen near Swan Creek. We covered the water taking five white bass. After sunset, we moved to the Pot Hole and fished it until 9 PM. We caught three more white bass before calling it a night. We watched the moon in the western sky with Jupiter near by. I plan to move to the Little Sac River in the next couple of days to fish for white bass. The whites should be good until Mother’s day. It will depend on the weather, rainfall and rising water.

Rod fishing behind the three trees with rising water in Bull Shoals Lake
April 21, 2013: Rod Pennington and I drove to Bull Shoals to fish the pothole below the dam. There was water coming over the damn from Taneycomo with Table Rock Lake level at 915 ft. The water level in Bull Shoals tail water had been 653 ft. but on this day approached 657 ft. We were unable to fish the places will a normal pool level.  We fished until sunset before moving to Swan Creek.  We went up stream from Shadow Rock park to find the area where the lake and the stream can together. We were able to find a few white bass. The highlight for the night was the beaver. We had a beaver slap his tail in close proximity, which gave us a scared us fright. …Or a statement, what the hell was that. Swan creek was clear a little high probably got a good place to fish during the daylight

John Prugger and Charlie Erickson on the Little Sac River
April 22, 2013: Charlie Erickson, John Prugger and I drove to the Little Sac River to fish for white bass. The Little Sac River was up a half a foot and from the gage reading was at 3.5 feet, a good flow and colored water. Stockton Lake level was 871 ft., which was up two feet from the previous week.  We were able to get three limits white bass; plenty for the club fish fry (I did get a 17 inch walleye around 3 PM that went out with Charlie and John).
Charlie showing off his stringer of white bass
There was a threat of rain with in frequent thunder late in the afternoon.  John and Charlie left before 6 PM to start cleaning fish. I stayed until 7 PM. I drove back to Charlie’s residence to clean fish with John and Charlie and retrieve my walleye. It was a good day to catch fish.

April 23, 2013: it rain throughout the night with my rain gauge reading half an inch. I watched the rain gauges for the Little Sac River and the James River waiting to see if there would be a stream rise. There was a bump for the Little Sac but not enough to deter us from fishing. Connie and Charlie Erickson and I returned to the Little Sac at 1 PM. The day was cold with the air temperature dropping to the low forties. It rained throughout the entire fish trip. Charlie picked up the first white, with Connie showing us how to catch them for the first hour. Connie and Charlie fished for several hours before calling it a day. I stayed until 6 PM to fill my stringer with a limit. This day was hard for me as I thought of Sean and the many times we fished together on the in these waters.