I finally made my first trip to Monticello yesterday with James Caldemeyer, and man what a day it was! I've heard of people catching 30 or so fish in a day and thought that would be pretty fun to do. Well, we ended up catching 50 with the biggest being around 4.5! I'd say our 5 biggest would have been around 18 lbs or so. I was also told by a few guys about how hard the fish fight up there. Several times I thought I had a 4 or 5 lber on, but it was only 1.5 lbs or so. I was like a kid in a candy store with a smile from ear to ear!

Before yesterday I had never thrown a drop shot rig. I've been wanting to learn for a while so I asked James to show me how to rig it, how to fish it, and everything else you could think of. Within about 5 minutes or so I had my first fish on! As we fished it more and more James kept giving me tips on how to increase my hookup rate. He could see what I was doing wrong and didn't hesitate to help out.

The main brand of baits we used yesterday was Grande Bass! I have a whole new outlook towards them after this trip. We were throwing a Grande Stik in Watermelon/Red. The biggest thing I noticed is how durable the baits are. I caught probably 5 or so fish on one worm without it tearing up. When you take the hook out of the worm you can easily put it back on without the hook falling out or going through the other side. The head also didn't tear up. I mainly have been using another plastic bait, but after yesterday I'll be stocking up on some Grande Stiks!

All in all it was one heck of a day. If any of you are looking for a guided trip to Monticello or Fork I highly recommend James Caldemeyer. Not only can he put you on the fish, but he'll take the time to teach you whatever it is you want to learn. He's also a good man. Something that took me by surprise is this. When we were heading out from the ramp he stopped the boat (Ranger Z20!!!) and turned the motor off. I thought we were getting ready to fish. He said, "No, I always like to start the day off with a prayer." This says a lot about him.

Brent Whatley,