Falcon lunkers redux

I just got back from another trip to Lake Falcon. My "excuse" was to break in the new Yamaha VMax SHO, and break it in I did. It's fantastic. The first day the new boat was in the water our best five fish went 42 pounds. Putting that much bass slime in the boat is a great way to start off with this new craft. We caught 71 bass in all. My buddy, David Ridley, went along for the ride and scored two new personal bests, a 9-4 and a 9-12 lunker. They were caught within 10 yards of each other. The place they were caught is super-secret. So much so I blindfolded him en route. I took some regular work goggles and spray painted them black. However, my daughter Jamie likes David so she asked if she could decorate them for him. You can see the result. I hope he'll go fishing with me again.

I went through all the hassle with my wrap last week and finally got it the way I want it. The first time I go out, it's already got a few gashes in it. That's just Falcon. It's not like the wrap is coming off or anything, that's just another part of breaking the boat in! I've got to tell you about Zapata, Texas, right now. There are a lot of fishermen from around the U.S. visiting Falcon. A lot of them are fishing it for their first time. Each time we went into town there was always someone who recognized me and came over to say hello or ask for a photo. That was really cool. On two different occasions, we had a group of gentlemen we didn't even know buy our dinner. Yesterday morning, before leaving, we were at the fisherman's hangout and we met two gentlemen from Lancaster, Pa., named Sean and Ray. They bought our breakfast. I want to give a special thanks to those guys. Things like that are very special to me. I've learned it's one of those things that comes from winning the Classic. People do really nice things for you. It's a great feeling.

Now, about the lake. The fish are still deep. That severe cold front has kept them deeper than normal. Even though it's warm and beautiful now (it was in the 80s), the front kept them from coming up. It's a full-on prespawn bite, but a little deeper than normal. Usually prespawn fish are in 6 to 10 feet deep, but now the big fish bite is in 10 to 25 feet. They're also really channel-related, typically clinging to sharp breaks and edges. Any day now, they'll go straight to the bank. They've gravitated away from a crankbait and to Yum Dingers and football jigs. We caught some on crankbaits, but nothing quality. The big ones wanted big Dingers. When we were slaying 'em on crankbaits back when it was warm, the little ones ate a Dinger. It's done a complete 180. That's one of those things you've got to figure out when you go fishing. Conditions are always subject to change without notice on the lake. Once we figured that out, we caught progressively bigger fish. Look at David's 9-12. It's very indicative of the health of the population. They're fat and pretty. The way that thing is built you'd think it was a 13-pounder! That's just the build of the fish in Falcon right now. They're extremely ripe with eggs. On another note, I'll be at Reeves Marine in Shreveport, La. Reeves is the Skeeter dealer for the north Louisiana area, and I'll be there from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. They're having a tournament, and I get to MC it, so I'll get to speak a little bit. If you're in the Shreveport-Bossier area, come on by and we'll talk fishing.

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