Fishing goes to the birds

Apr. 06, 2013 @ 08:48 PM

Fishing last weekend went to the birds for me. Literally. 

The fishing started slow Friday at Kerr Lake and I hadn’t gotten a single bite all morning while fishing in the cold rising water down near Nutbush (Neathery’s) Bridge and Satterwhite Point. 

I did however see a beautiful adult bald eagle sitting in a pine tree beside the lake and took some nice photos. Later about a mile away there was a beautiful osprey sitting in the top of a dead tree waiting for a meal to swim by. 

Then I heard turkeys gobbling and got to see a good-sized flock of 10 or so birds scratching around in the woods looking for grubs and stuff to eat. I tried calling them with my version of a turkey call (my lips) and they headed deeper in the woods, probably thinking I was some kind of deranged psycho turkey. 

All in all it was a great day for birding, which would have been wonderful (it actually was) had I been a charter member of the Audubon Society. 

Earlier the week before, on Lake Wylie, I saw an osprey that had gotten hold of a fish so big it was pulling him underwater. I saw the bird dive on the fish, and then watched as it struggled to get airborne with what must have been a good-sized fish.

You could see the fish splashing while the osprey attempted several times to take off. When the bird finally got about 5 feet above the water, the fish wriggled loose and fell back, and the bird rapidly rose after losing all that ballast. 

Friday afternoon, since the fish weren’t active on the south end of the lake, I headed north. This turned out to be a good idea (thanks, Mark) as I eventually landed some nice bass on small crank baits near the house ready for a win.

But that’s where I was wrong, as things went back to the birds in the tournament and I only managed to land two fish weighing around 5 pounds. Tom Wilkinson from Oxford came in first with a nice sack of fish weighing almost 18 pounds, including two that were over 5 pounds. 

Larry Inman took second with over 13 pounds. Clint Daniels from Kittrell also had a good day winding up with almost 13 pounds and third place, despite his boat engine seizing up on him at the start of the day. 

I did have some excitement in the tournament when I tail-hooked a giant 20-pound carp with one minute of fishing left.    

Back to the bird theme, Susan and I were on the way home from the lake Sunday evening when a beautiful male gobbler Turkey with a 10-inch beard walked into the roadway just ahead of the car we were following. He barely missed being hit by that car and by the car going in the opposite direction, and scooted out of the road on the other side just in the nick of time to avoid becoming turkey salad.

Cousin Jim Bowen sends a report from the coast that they have been catching lots of red drum, black Drum and a few trout inshore the past few weeks. These are taking both dead shrimp and live mud minnows.

Offshore, the wahoo have been literally chewing on the bottom of the boat. In late April/early May, the mahi (dolphin) will cruise up our coast and I plan to get down there and catch me some! Jim’s daughter, Ashley, is getting married this Saturday to Henderson golfer, and all-around great guy, Daniel Faulkner.

I am looking forward to the wedding and the pig picking to follow.

Kerr Lake fishing report — Largemouth bass are still confused by the crazy weather we have experienced. It was spring in February, and now it’s winter in April.

Upcoming area tournaments — Next Saturday the Walmart BFL will visit Kerr Lake with contestants blasting off from the new Nutbush ramp. The pretournament meeting will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Charles Boyd Chevrolet on U.S. 158 Bypass right beside Vanco Marine with registration starting at 4:30 p.m. 

Boaters and non-boaters can sign up to compete online or at Boyd Chevrolet Friday before 6.    

Next week’s report — Report from the ABA couples event from on Kerr Lake.

Tips of the week — Depot rod repair is now offered at Vanco Marine. Drop off your rods needing guide replacements or other repairs at Vanco and local rod builder, Lou, from Lou’s rods will pick them up, repair them and you can pick them up in short order. Lou also custom builds fine rods to customer specifications and will be glad to build a nice rod for you, like the drop shot rod he recently built for me.  

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com, on Facebook under Walt Bowen, and on twitter at @WaltBowen.