What's the deal with our marketing and sales at retail stores these days? It seems that each year the annual Black Friday bargain shopping sprees are beginning earlier and earlier. I can remember a while back when many major retail chains advertised opening their doors at 7AM, and that seemed extreme. Now, it's customary to kickoff this event at five, four and now three in the morning as each company competes for their piece of the holiday dollar. At this rate, in a few years, the ladies in my family will be gearing up for their yearly expedition as soon as the Cowboy game ends on Thanksgiving Day.
Anyway, the alarm clock went off way too early last Friday as the girls at my house prepared for the shopping adventure. And, as most of you have experienced, it is almost impossible to sleep with the shower going and hair dryers buzzing throughout the house. So, I was up at 3AM with the rest of the fanatical holiday shoppers and began looking for my cold weather gear to combat the cold front that blew in on the previous morning.
There are a couple of positives that go along with Black Friday. First, no one is at home to make any honey-do-lists that, for this time of year, almost always include the dreaded installment of Christmas lights on the house. So, an uninterrupted day of fishing on Lake Texoma is in store for me. Secondly, this is the only day of the year that Academy Sports is open in time to stop by without missing the early morning bite. Therefore it is necessary to stop by to pick up an extra crankbait or gallon of oil for the boat. Tip: make sure to get in and out of Academy before the crazy bargain hunters migrate over from Kohl's.
This year Black Bass Friday was cold, real cold. I believe the marquee sign at the Bank read 25 degrees as I passed by on my way to the boat ramp. After bundling up, launching the boat and turning on my electronics, I was astonished to read that the water temperature had only dropped a few degrees since my last trip on Wednesday. The air temperature had declined sixty degrees but the water had only moved from 62 to 59.
Not wanting to make a run until it got a little warmer, I fished the marina catching a small spotted bass and smallmouth on a Blakemore Roadrunner. Later in the day I motored and marked tons of baitfish but hauled water. I moved on into a creek area only catching fish on main lake rocks throwing a small Bomber crankbait.
Oddly, I found a large number of shad in the back of the creeks, but did not catch any bass in the same areas. Hopefully this will change within the next week as the game fish normally follow the bait as the water temperature cools.
The afternoon bite was better than in the morning. On my way back to the boat ramp I noticed several gulls diving into the water off of a secondary point. Using a Cotton Cordell jigging spoon I managed to catch several nice sandbass, a few stripers and four largemouth. The fish were feeding on shad in 17 to 23 feet of water.
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and survived the holiday shopping scene.