I really enjoy sitting on my dock and watching parents and mostly grandparents pulling kids around on tubes. I vicariously do the same as I have no kids to pull. Labor Day has ended that fun as kids are back in school and the lake will be silent for months.

Some say owning a boat is like owning a deep black hole to throw money into.
One requirement to move to Oconee County back when I arrived was to have guns, a Harley, a Truck, and a Bass Boat. They checked you at the county line before you could enter. My lot cost $28K and I got it on a ten year loan.
Ten years later I put up a cabin. That was 18 years ago.

Many snowflakes and snowbirds moved in and those rules have sadly gone away.
The last lot sold on my cove just a few years back went for $428K, but there are some good ones nearby in the $200K range. Crime has been zero in my years here.

I still have guns and a nice Harley. I finally traded my old truck for a nice Jeep. My boat is now 18 years old and is on the 3rd Mercury motor. I really like my boat. It is tiny and beat up, but perfect for fishing. I have replaced the floor and the seats to get rid of carpeting which is disaster on a fishing boat. It looks like hell, but is not for sale as it is perfect for what I do. I searched and bought it on line as none in the many boat yards suited me.

My boat does not look like a typical bass boat and more like a pontoon because it is not typical, and is a pontoon. Unlike most boats on Lake Hartwell, mine has a million fishing hours on it as like I said, "it is old". I don't use it much between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the joy riders are having fun, prefer from Labor Day to Memorial Day when the lake is empty. I went out for a couple hours yesterday, caught 4 Bass and saw just one other boat.

As I am not on the Bass Pro circuit, their rules do not apply to me. I enjoy them on TV and love Bill Dance, but don't fish that way.
My boat is set up to troll. Normally I put out 4 lines and keep another reel handy to cast to places as discovered. Trolling is a good option on Lake Hartwell as the shoreline is 952 miles. I mostly use crank baits and reels with a line counter. I have a 36volt trolling motor that is old and busted some, but just excellent! It will pull me at any speed for not hours but days. I use solar panels to recharge the 3 large deep cycle batteries.

My Pop and my Mom taught me how to fish, as that was a great family outing. As we were cutting edge, did not drive to the river with 10ft poles hanging out the window like most, but had cane poles with screw joints. When I was about eight Pop got me a Zebco 33 from the pawn shop. That changed my life.

Back to the present, I now (for 18 years) have a fishing platform (tiny pontoon) that is comfortable. I get to see more amazing things with it than just sitting on the bank. I have great music installed, decent camera, great binoculars, etc. Even when I don't catch a fish, the lake is fun as I am an avid bird watcher. The lake is a bird watching paradise. Trolling along the shore is exciting. I also catch fish.

After 18 years, it seems logical that I would know where the fish are and what they want to eat. I know better than most as to my area. A fun thing I have learned is that guys put their incredible high power boats (that cost a fortune) in near me and race for a couple hours down or up stream where the fish are. Guys up or down stream put in and race where these guys just left. The deal is to be on the water and not be bothered by things in the real World. Racing up or down river is a huge part of the fun. I believe they have spent their money well.

Bill Dance claims the fish are always biting, you just have to find where they are and what they want. I agree. As I don't have the knowledge, patience, or energy of a Bill Dance, I troll. I put out lures at difference dept and go from there. I understand that "best" is to cast many times with different things in the same area. My counter move to that is to drag a few lures "one time" through many areas. That is 90% less work and you get to observe much, much more. I run along around 2MPH (depending on the water temp) and do catch fish. If not, WTF?

Early on I often lost a lot of expensive lures, now not so much. I switched to 50# braided line. Closing down the trolling and hauling everything in to save a lure got old and resulted in many tangled lines to untangle. It was not worth it, but lures are expensive and some become favorites. You hate to loose one.
Now they pull free or the hook straightens. Replacing a hook is easy, and I anyway prefer red ones. Keep in mind that the record Striped Bass caught just up the river was 56 pounds and catfish here reach 100. (yes you can catch catfish on lures)

Lures are incredible these days. The first lure I caught a fish on with my Zebco 33 was a 'Hula Popper- Hawaiian Wiggler' that came with two skirts. Pop and I were fishing at the Chester State Park. You don't forget a thing like that.
Lures are designed to catch fishermen, not fish. They catch me as I love lures. I have many, and my Bride knows to give me some at Christmas I would never buy for myself.
Bill Dance once said the color of a lure is not important as long as it is blue. I agree, but over the years I believe in green. In Lake Hartwell Bass prefer green. Yesterday I had out all green lures that are proven winners for me and one new one that was reddish-brown. All 4 Bass were caught on the red lure, so WTF?

If you have read all the way through this, were entertained, and maybe want to comment or join our group, PM me or better, email me at yardcrap @ hushmail .com with out the spaces of course.
As you can see on the main YardCrap page, topics are not just fishing but everything.

All YardCrap members who enjoy YardCrap should re-post this "open" thread on their FaceBook, Twitter, etc and send it to all on their email list.

Then post a comment here to this thread to encourage or discourage new potential members depending on your view of YardCrap.