By Jason Houchins
Anyone who has read one of my articles or knows me, knows I’m not the best at off shore angling. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely a mindset that I need to change. For whatever reason I need to throw at something. The only time I have had real confidence off shore is while fishing up north for smallmouth or down south for spots. Now, I have no problem throwing at bridge pilings or deep docks over deep water, but “ledge fishing” is for sure my weak link.
Recently a good friend of mine, Kevin Baldwin has really changed my mind with only a few pictures. Kevin and his friend Joe Leonard, spent one day here at Kerr and Kevin texted me to let me know how I needed to get off the bank. I always chuckled at him and let him know I can always catch them shallow buddy. He asked if I had been catching them and what I had been doing in tournaments. I told him that just the other day I won a small open and proudly told him I had almost 14 lbs. Then Kevin laughed and said it must have been a 2 fish tournament, because I had that in 2 fish! Yes, and I’m a multimillionaire who only works to occupy my time. After we had a good laugh about it, the pictures started rolling in. In total disbelief I just knew he was somewhere else, no way he was here. Wrong!
They had a mere 26 lbs. with 5 fish that day. Mid June, Kerr lake, and present year. Just goes to show how arrogant someone like me can become on my home lake. Believing that 15-18 lbs. is a huge bag and can’t be out done this time of year. No way were those fish caught here, impossible if one of us locals didn’t do it. Ah yes, another lesson learned in the life of fishing Kerr. I have become an arrogant complacent fisherman who knows it all, this is a wakeup call I needed. Just when you think you know the answer, the question gets changed or maybe the answer was never right. If I had heard this from anyone other than a close friend that I know, I would have never ever believed it, especially in June.
Well I am rejuvenated at finding something different. I am ready to break through the stubborn hard shell of history, I have to find something more. Just so I’m clear on this, these fish were caught on Kerr June 19, 2014, the pictures are of 4 of the “better” fish caught. Thank you to my good friend Kevin Baldwin and his friend Joe Leonard. Both are Watson’s Marine Pro Staffer with an enormous amount of experience catching off shore bass. Kevin credits Joe with showing him a bunch about off shore bass fishing and I would say the proof is in the pudding. These two have really opened my eyes to things that are right in front of me. I think humble pie is something we all need to eat in order to become better fisherman, and I got a whole pie this past week.