Sports and Outdoors

 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 321.84 Water Temperature:
73  degrees - top
62
degrees - bottom

 

Flipping to catch hiding bass
Special to The Monitor
Even though the 11-pound bass Bobby Lane caught during a recent Bassmaster® Elite tournament in California hit a swimbait, the Yamaha Pro readily admits his favorite spring fishing technique is flipping shallow, weedy cover, and he adds, it’s just as likely to yield a trophy-class bass as the swimbaits are.
”Flipping allows you to present a lure right into the heart of thick cover where bass like to hide,” Lane explained. He has caught numerous bass in the 10- to 12-pound range with the technique.
Living in Florida, he frequently flips thick, matted hydrilla, but as a full-time tournament pro, he also points his flipping stick at laydowns, standing timber, lily pads and boat docks.
”I flip a little differently in the spring than I do at other times of the year,” Lane noted, “because I’m always thinking about larger fish.
“My basic approach is to generate a reaction bite, rather than a feeding bite, which is what I try for in the summer and fall,” he explained.
”To do that, I rig with a very heavy sinker, usually 1¼-ounce, that pulls my lure to the bottom very fast,” Lane said. “Speed is what triggers most reaction strikes with any type of lure, and to get flipping speed, all you do is use a heavier sinker.”
The rest of Lane’s flipping arsenal includes a heavy-action rod, ranging in length from 7-2 to 7-6 in length, and 65-pound braided line, so he can pull fish out of the cover.
His lures are usually bulky plastic creature baits, or crawfish imitations with extra appendages that wave with more lifelike action in the water.
“The bass you’re going after this time of year is sitting in heavy cover waiting to move shallow to spawn,” Lane said, “so it’s probably not very hungry. That’s why I try to get a reaction strike; the fish just hits purely out of reflex because something just fell right beside it.”
Although he normally likes to fish fast, the Yamaha Pro emphasizes the importance of providing spring bass with repeated opportunities to strike.
Thus, he usually hops his lures up and down several times to create multiple falls once it’s in the cover. Frequently, however, Lane gets a strike the very first time his lure falls.
”The ideal place to flip for big fish this time of year is in weedy vegetation growing in the mouth of a spawning pocket or cove,” he explains. “When bass begin moving shallow to spawn, they do so in stages, stopping at different places while they wait for the right water conditions.
“Vegetation attracts these bass because of the protection it provides, the availability of baitfish, and because the water around the vegetation will usually be a little clearer,” Lane said. ”Not only will other bass move into the same vegetation to replace earlier bass, but fish returning to deep water after spawning will generally stop at the same spot, as well. That’s why vegetation is one of the first things I look for in April and May.”
When he finds them, Lane doesn’t hesitate to fish shallow laydowns and standing timber that also provide cover for bass moving shallow to spawn. Regardless of the type of cover, he still tries to elicit reaction strikes with his fast-falling presentation.
”The more shallow the cover, the further away you need to stay, so you don’t spook any fish using that cover,” Lane said, “but always be prepared for a strike on your very first presentation, because that’s when bass react the best.
“It’s as if they’re taken by surprise, which they are,” he added. “Put your lure into the thickest, heaviest portion of the cover if you can, too.”
The Yamaha Pro also advises anglers who are flipping to concentrate on bright, sunny days, rather than during cloudy weather, because the sun will not only be warming the water, it will also push bass into cover.
”On cloudy days, bass will roam a lot more and flipping becomes much less productive,” he said, “but on a bright, cloudless day, the fish will hold very tight to vegetation and brush, which is exactly what you want for flipping.
”I know swimbaits catch a lot of bass this time of year all over the country, but they’re most effective in open water,” Lane added. “When bass are using cover, I don’t believe there’s a better presentation than flipping.”

 

Tips to avoid used boat buying paperwork pitfalls
Special to The Monitor
ALEXANDRIA, Va.–In recreational boating today, it’s a buyers market, and used boats represent great value.
“Finding your dreamboat is easy,” BoatU.S. vice president of Boat Finance Charm Addington, who heads the association’s Settlement Service, said in a prepared news release.
“It’s harder, however, to walk away from a boat that pulls at your heart strings – but may have skeletons hiding in the closet, such as a cloudy title or other issues,” Addington said. “Transactions between private buyers and sellers are where we see the majority of potentially costly paperwork issues.”
By following these simple seven tips, boat buyers can avoid most of the paperwork pitfalls when buying a pre-owned vessel:
1. Registration. It should be current.
Also, be aware that a boat not located in the state where it is registered is one indicator that it may have tax issues that could haunt a new owner.
2. Title. The information on the title should match the registration.
A title also will usually list any liens on the vessel, such as a bank loan that will need to be paid off in order to transfer the title.
It’s important to include a statement in the purchase agreement that requires the seller to pay off the loan within a very limited amount of time after the sale. Any other liens should be cleared up by the seller before any sale occurs.
3. Hull trace the HIN. Take a pencil and paper to get a rubbing of the boat’s 12-character serial number, known as the HIN (hull identification number) and ensure it matches registration and title. If it does not, the seller should correct the problem.
4. Taxes. It’s advisable to get a statement from the buyer stating any state or local taxes on the vessel have been paid. This can also be easily included in the purchase agreement.
5. Purchase Agreement. It’s smart – and a widely acceptable practice – to include contingencies for the buyer, such as securing financing and receiving an acceptable survey and sea trial.
6. Bill of Sale. Prepare this document with the seller’s name exactly as it appears on the title and registration.
7. Payment. A cashier’s check is the best way to consummate the deal, but the name on the check must match the name on the title and registration.

 

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May 29
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