Prefishing’s a wash!

Well, I went to make a scouting trip to the Arkansas River yesterday morning. My plan was to fish yesterday afternoon, all day today and tomorrow, and then work my way to West Point Lake in Georgia. But, those of you who have been following the weather know that the Little Rock area has been absolutely hammered by severe weather.

Yesterday we did get out on the river for a little while and caught some fish. Look at the photo of my friend Robert Mills holding a chunky prespawn fish. We were sitting in a restaurant eating supper when the tornado siren went off. First, the restaurant lost power, then they evacuated it and we had some absolutely brutal weather. All of the lights within a large radius around us were out. It was weird being in Little Rock with no lights anywhere.

We ended up trying three different restaurants before we found one that was open to serve us. We even went to a McDonald’s restaurant and were asked if we were there for food or shelter! We said food, and he said they didn’t have any to serve, but if we needed shelter, we could come on in. Now that’s a rough-weather night!

We eventually found a Waffle House about 10 miles away that had power. We had supper there, went back to the hotel, and found out that it had lost power, too. So we had to leave there at 10 o’clock last night to find one that had power. This morning, we got out on the river and had been out for a few hours when we came back to the car to check the weather. While there, the park attendant told us to pull the boat out because they were going to flood the lot! So our options for staying to prefish diminished pretty quickly.

Needless to say, we’re headed home rather than prefishing any more. However, I did learn something today about fishing before weather moves through an area.

We’ve all read about how bass act before a front or storm moves in, but nothing’s ever been said about fishing before a tornado. I’ll tell you what, right after they sounded that tornado siren, the bass were snapping! So, the next time you hear that siren go off, I want you to immediately get out of your cover and launch your boat.

If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. If you actually do that, well, you need to check yourself into the psychological ward because you’re crazy! We got out of there quickly.

Jimmye Sue was going to meet me with the motor home at the Mark’s Outdoors tournament in Birmingham, but with things the way they are, it’s easiest for me to just go back home to help her with the drive.

Like I said, I’ll be there for the Mark’s tournament, and I’m really looking forward to it. This will be my fifth straight year participating in it, and it’s become something I look forward to each season. There will be a huge crowd, with 700-plus people at the tournament. Mark actually draws names out of a hat, and each of those customers drawn will get to fish with one of the 15 or so Elite Series pros in attendance. When that’s over, we’ll head over to West Point to get geared up for the next Elite Series event.

We spent this past Easter in west Texas at Jimmye Sue’s family’s ranch and had a really nice time. It’s sort of become a tradition for us, and it’s always a very restful holiday.