Water levels continue to rise as the summer rains are now hitting with more frequency. Even so, common sense and caution are called for it you are headed to where the fish are. Departure from the ramp and the transition across the Marsh from the cut to the ditch has some rather large stumps, and of course tree tops, so be careful making that run. Once in the east ditch and until you get to the wood in the south end of the Farm there is relatively deep and clear water. Be aware that the wood comes well out from the south levee, so getting off plane is very important.
Over the last week temperatures have been on the rise as a bit of a southerly flow came through the area. Yesterday saw the worst of it although there was a slight breeze to help with the heat. This time of the year there are four items that are extremely important to have on board for your health. First is insect repellant: The mosquito is released by the increase in rain so if you are going to appear at the ramp before daylight expect them and use that repellant. We do have the possibility of some nasty diseases that are passed on by the mosquito bite. Second, and one that is ignored by so many, is adequate sunscreen protection. Of course along with having it with you it is just as important to use it. I see many people that don't apply this when they should and the end result is sun damage to the skin, which as we all know can account for some serious physical problems later in life. The proper usage of sunscreen calls for application prior to the sun getting up, and then the periodic usage throughout the day. Depending on the screening factor of what you are using, reapplication is very important: read the label. Third, and another item of necessity is adequate amounts of liquid to keep you from dehydrating. For most of us, we are very much remiss in keeping the fluid levels in our bodies where it should be when out in the heat. Bring the water and remember to drink it. Fourth on the list, and one that most do bring, is eye protection. Use those sunglasses! Lastly, it is strongly recommended that you bring rain protection. It is kind of nice during the first part of a rain shower to cool down, but after a short while even summer rains get quite uncomfortable. Don't forget the rain gear.
There is lots of discussion around the internet about proper gear for the different lakes in this country. For the Stick Marsh/Farm 13 the proper gear to have is strong gear. Rods should be MH or H! Line should be 1t least 17-20 pounds. Reels should be of adequate size to carry that weight line. This place is loaded with wood folks and if you come with light equipment you are going to leave a good majority of your fish in the water. Getting the fish up and moving is just as important as selecting the correct bait to catch them. It's really quite easy: Stick Marsh/Farm 13 has BIG fish! If you don't wish to see that big fish swim off with your bait then have adequate equipment to get them to the boat.
Over the last week we have seen day after day of mixed top water bite and worm bite. For those that can, working something such as a Bomber Long A around the wood has been producing, but it does take a bit of experience to not leave crank baits in the wood. If wood gets hooked stop tugging and go get the bait. If you persist in trying to remove the bait from a distance you will only embed the hooks further and ensure that it will get left behind.
Our best top water bait has been the venerable Chug Bug: The Storm CB08 has been the color and size.
When the top water bit has dropped off a follow-up of the Yamamoto Senko or the Yamamoto SwimSenko has kept the fish coming to the boat.
The road to the Marsh has been in really good shape this year compared to some the years past. The grading is being done at least a couple of times per week. There is no rush at the ramp as usage has been down. If you want to come water levels are just fine and the fish are biting. See you out there.