Absolutely Incredible...

Jun 07 2020

Ben Steed


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Reservation Number : 24628
Property Name : Leaky Lake: Heartland 10-10 Ranch
Reservation Date : 06/03/2020 PM - 06/04/2020 PM
Total Fish/Sizes : 140
Lures Used : All senkos

8 of us Dads went out to Heartland for a Wed PM Fish (only 4 on this day fished), and all day Thursday (2 left at noon, 2 stayed until 5, and 4 of us fished until dark).  We had incredible results on 3/4 lakes.

4 of us fished Wednesday PM starting on Leaky and had zero luck.  We abandoned ship and moved over to Beaver where things really picked up.  Buddy caught a 6.6, couple over 5, and some culls.  About 10 fish caught all together, but some really good ones in a very short amount of time.

Thursday morning, we all spread out.  4 of us went to Leaky and again had zero luck and moved over to HomePlace around 9:30. 2 were on Hawg and other 2 were on Beaver.  The 2 on Beaver did well and ended up moving over to Homeplace around 10.  This is where the fun began as Homeplace delivered in a really big way.  The 2 on Hawg stayed there all day and did very well also. 

Homeplace is a tougher fishing lake.  Timber is literally everywhere, but once you learn how to fish this lake it becomes simple and a ton of fun.  The trick is starting on the south side of the lake, let the wind drift you through the timber (just turn off the motor) and start catching fish.  There is so much cover that you can literally cast anywhere and have a chance at a LMB.  If you high center on some timber, just fish 360 there for a while, wobble the boat and drift a little futher, basically don't fight it.  When you get to the North end of the lake, motor back around in the clear water near the damn, pick another lane, and do it again.  We did this through about 1, took a break, and went back around 3.  From 3 - 5:30 we caught the bulk of our fish.  And then it just turned straight off only catching a few after that between 4 of us.

The fish:  I have never fished Tiger Bass, so I don't have much to compare to, but these were the hardest fighting bass I have ever seen in my life.  Every fish felt like you hooked onto a monster.  No kidding, the 2 pounders felt like 5 pounders, and so on.  We caught just about every fish on a weightless senko very slowly retrieving.  I caught 2 while fixing a birds nest, which was hilarious as I just reeled on top of the nest and fixed it next cast (literally fish that slow).  I caught 26 LMB on Thursday, all from Homeplace, and all were on a weightless 5" Junebug colored swim senko (think senko with a paddle tail).  Though it seemed other colors worked as well (watermelon red, black with blue speck also worked for others).  Bring plenty with you, as it seemed most of the time you lost your senko from the fight.  The entire time, we did not catch one fish on top water, although we certainly tried.  Sure would have been fun to have done so, but the mornings and evenings were perfectly still waters, pure glass, and just wasn't the right time for top water. 

Rigging:  you will definitely want to use 30-50 pound braided line on any of these lakes, excluding probably Leaky where you don't necessarily need braid.  When you catch these fish, they dive straight down and wrap around some timber almost every time.  Remember, every fish feels like a donkey, so you hesitate to hoss them to the boat, and so the fight begins.  I used 40lb braid with a 17lb fluorocarbon leader (recommend the GT knot) and only had one break off.  The other guys using mono had several break off and experienced a bit of disappointment.  I would use medium and to medium heavy rods with higher gear ratios in attempt to keep the fish up and not dive as deep.

Boats:  boats are already there, they are wide body, very stable, and enough room for 2 guys to "yard sale" all of their stuff in the boats and not trip around anything.  Motors and batteries were all there for you which made for a great time.  Nets were provided in each boat.  Heads up:  as you should all of the time, watch for snakes.  We found several on each lake. 

Highlights:  we caught a lot of fish.  11 were over 5lbs, 2 were over 6lbs, and I caught my PB at 7.7lbs at Homeplace.  My PB was an absolute donkey and wrapped around like a bunch of others did.  Just kept tension, trolled over there, and netted him.  Was incredible!  I actually had a 2 PB day, which is more than I could possibly ask for.  Craig, the owner, is so gracious and attentive to anything that we needed.  As you can imagine with 8 guys and 4 boats, something was surely to go wrong.  Had a bit of boat trouble but Craig was there in a jiffy and made it all good in no time.  Can't say enough about the Owner's Retreat, read my review there if considering staying there.  I highly recommend!  Super easy drive, ranch is amazing, deer everywhere, and we will certainly be coming back to Hearland.