Stolen at Old Hickory
My trip to Old Hickory for the BASS Weekend Series National Championship in Tennessee started with high hopes but I think I did pretty good not to lose it all together. I had been fishing pretty well and making good decisions leading up to the event and I really felt I had a good chance at doing some damage here. The only problem was that it seemed like everything in the world was working against me.
I arrived in Tennessee after an 11 hour drive just before dark. I check into my room to find there’s no refrigerator in my room. I change my room and the new room did not have a refrigerator. I go back to the front desk again and the finally I get a room with a refrigerator. The only problem was that now I did not have a clear view of my boat from the room. A few hours later, I get a call from the front desk saying another guest had reported some strange looking people near my boat.
I run downstairs with my heart thumping to check my boat and all of my fishing rods were gone. The hotel clerk just happened to already have the police at the hotel and as soon as I confirmed my rods were stolen, the cop turned his police lights on and chased the guy they suspected to have stolen my rods. The cop returned about 10 minutes later saying that he had to stop chasing the guy because he was not allowed to go over 80 mph. WTF!
I spent nearly a day rigging line and baits so I could maximize my practice time but now I didn’t have anything ready. The next day I borrowed some rods from my friend Jessie and rigged up some of my spare rods that were in my car and got out on the lake in the afternoon. Needless to say, I did not get a single bite the entire day. Maybe it was the cold front that came in or my head was all out of wack, but it wasn’t happening.
The 2nd day of practice, I started in Bledsoe Creek and caught the heck out of them. I spent nearly half the day mapping out the creek and there were fish everywhere. I start venturing out to some other creeks and my trolling motor goes out. From there, I spend the rest of the day finding a repair shop and getting my trolling motor fixed.
That night I realized that I had never checked in at the scheduled time on day 1 of practice so now I had to wait until 9 AM to check in on the next day. Great… losing more practice time. The third day of practice I found a small backwater area called Saunders which had some nice fish in it.
I attend the meeting and stopped at a red light on the way back an 18 wheeler tries to take a sharp turn and takes out a street light and a fire hydrant. I stop for gas and a car goes head first into a ditch while I’m filling up.
The next morning, I finally convinced myself that I was gonna have a good tournament. I will be getting all new equipment since my insurance covered the theft and I had found some nice fish in practice although I only had about a day and a half. As I’m driving to the boat ramp I notice a deer in the road and swerve right to miss it. I managed to miss it but the stupid thing kept on coming anyway and head butted the side of my car leaving a big dent.
At this point I was ready to just pack up and head back home.
The tournament was pretty uneventful for me. I caught all of my fish in less than 2 feet of water in Bledsoe, Saunders, and Crypress Creek with a bluegill colored chatterbait. A crankbait would have been great but I really didn’t have a rod that was suitable for it so I stuck with the chatterbait and it caught fish.
In the end, I did end up cashing a small check and finishing 39th.
Old Hickory is a tough fishery. I think I did good with the hand that I was dealt. Just like in poker, the cards don’t come to you sometimes. They definitely didn’t come to me here.
I guess my next chance to make the Classic is the BASS Open on Toho. Hopefully I’ve used up all of my bad luck.