◗ 10:03 a.m. “This big girl hasn’t spawned yet; she doesn’t have a mark on her. She turned on her side when I pulled her in the opposite direction and I managed to get another hook stuck in her.” Wow, that’s a cool trick!
◗ 10:15 a.m. Livesay continues moving around the cove with his topwater arsenal. What’s his take on the day so far? “We’ve got a fairly severe cold front and a strong north wind, and it’s taken these fish a couple hours to get active. That big fish came back and ate the Spook after missing it three times, which is a great sign. Seawalls and docks are the happening thing so far; once they get over their cold front hangover, the topwater bite should get stronger. But even if it doesn’t, I’d rather catch one fish on top than 10 on a worm or jig, so I’ll probably stick with topwater to the bitter end!”
◗ 10:19 a.m. Livesay idles back to the cypress tree where he caught his third keeper and begins reworking the bank with the buzzer and Spook.
◗ 10:25 a.m. He moves to the entrance of another cove and cranks the squarebill down a rock point.
◗ 10:28 a.m. A keeper bass hits the buzzbait, hooks up, then shakes off.
◗ 10:30 a.m. Livesay retires the black-bladed buzzer and replaces it with one with a silver blade and a similar swimbait trailer that he’s trimmed back an inch. “That hook was getting dull after banging it into docks all morning, and that shorter trailer should make it easier for ’em to suck it in.”
◗ 10:34 a.m. It’s warming up rapidly as Livesay moves to the opposite bank of the tributary. Another keeper slaps the buzzbait on a seawall but misses it.
3 HOURS LEFT
◗ 10:50 a.m. Livesay catches keeper number six, 2-9, inside a boathouse on the buzzer.
◗ 10:56 a.m. He moves to the back of a pocket and skips the frog beneath overhanging bushes. “I haven’t had any strikes around bushes or laydowns, mainly just docks and seawalls.”
◗ 11:11 a.m. Livesay blasts to Lake T’s lower end, enters a narrow cove and tries his topwater arsenal.
◗ 11:20 a.m. A small bass hits the Spook but shakes off.
◗ 11:22 a.m. Livesay pitches the craw to a brushy laydown. A bass picks it up, wraps his line around a limb and gets off. “Crap, that was a good one!”
◗ 11:25 a.m. Livesay bags his seventh keeper, 2-12, in a shoreline pocket on the Spook. “I’ve culled my two 1-10s. A couple more big bites would make my day!”
◗ 11:32 a.m. Livesay moves to the extreme back end of the cove and tries the buzzbait.
◗ 11:38 a.m. He switches to the Spook and catches a tiny bass. “I’ve seen anchovies on pizzas bigger than this little guy!”
2 HOURS LEFT
◗ 11:50 a.m. Livesay runs straight across the lake into a short creek arm with a tangle of downed trees at its mouth. He flips the craw to the branches but hauls water. “There can actually be too much wood cover in one spot to hold quality fish. Sparse, isolated cover tends to produce best.”
◗ Noon. A good fish knocks Livesay’s Spook completely out of the water without hooking up! “Amazing! How can they even do that?”
◗ 12:14 a.m. He moves to the back of the creek and runs the buzzbait across shallow submerged stumps. “They’ll spawn around stumps, but I don‘t see a single bed back here.”
◗ 12:21 p.m. Livesay has run uplake and is keying on a row of docks and boathouses with the buzzer and Spook.
◗ 12:27 p.m. He runs the buzzer parallel to a long seawall without a bump. “It’s too shallow here; my trolling motor is churning up mud.”
◗ 12:36 p.m. Livesay moves to a deeper stretch of seawall and tries the buzzer.
◗ 12:42 p.m. He dredges the chartreuse squarebill around a submerged brushpile and catches a short fish.
1 HOUR LEFT
◗ 12:50 p.m. Livesay zips to a big C-shaped cove and begins working scattered wood around the shoreline with the buzzbait and Spook.
◗ 12:57 p.m. He flips the Paca Craw to a laydown.
◗ 1:17 p.m. Now halfway around the cove, Livesay walks the Spook across the end of a submerged tree. “They sure haven’t been on wood cover today.”
◗ 1:22 p.m. Livesay exits the cove and runs to a riprap bank to try the Spook.
◗ 1:26 p.m. A big fish busts a shad on the surface nearby in open water. Livesay fires the squarebill at the fish and bags his eighth keeper, 1-8; it’s no help to his total. “That one I saw break water was way bigger.” He tries the squarebill and Spook in the same area without further success.
◗ 1:31 p.m. Livesay has raced downlake to a seawall and docks he fished earlier. He combs the structures with the buzzer and Spook.
◗ 1:38 p.m. He pitches the craw into a brushpile, gets a tap, slams back his rod and the fish gets off!