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Be courteous and safe when hitting the water

(Jerry Smyly wrote this column for the Demopolis Times.)

Another wet spell is upon us it seems. Last weekends clear waters will likely be stained again from heavy downpours. I was finally able to take advantage of the weather and great water conditions and hit the lake myself. I was after bass, and so were the other 100 or so anglers I saw. There was a tournament going on and I saw numerous anglers catching fish. There appeared to be a shad spawn at first light. I was a tad late getting on the water but the couple boats I saw while launching in Foscue Creek caught two dinks and one solid keeper as I idled past.

From what I could tell those anglers I saw that connected early were tossing a white buzz bait. No doubt attempting to mimic the color and commotion of the shad. Competition for productive water was fierce, it seemed there was a boat or two around every bend. However despite the traffic I still managed boating several fish! I had no luck with the buzz bait, and had a few short strikes at a frog, but my main producer was a swim jig. With the shad activity subsiding I opted for a bluegill pattern to entice strikes. After trying several lures I finally settled solely on the jig and did all of my damage with that lure.

While fishermen flock to the waters I would like to take a moment to salute the gentleman who launched his pontoon as I was trying to take out. He was doing the job solo, which isn’t easy with any boat, launching the large craft with relative ease and was out of my way in a few short minutes.

If you’ve read this column you know that boat ramp etiquette is a pet peeve of mine, and I just wanted to take a moment to commend this gentleman for a job well done! Remember when heading to the water; be safe, be courteous and have fun!

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, April 10 issue of the Demopolis Times.)