Dec 19 2013

Jessie on Camera

My friend Jessie just finished 2nd at the BASS Wild Card at Okeechobee and he’s already hamming it up for the cameras.


Dec 17 2013

Stolen at Old Hickory

DSC0803 300x199 Stolen at Old Hickory

photo from abaproam.com

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.


Nov 13 2013

Lessons from Lake Hartwell

 

2013 SE Regional Lake Hartwell 2 day 005 225x300 Lessons from Lake HartwellFirst of all, I know I’ve been MIA for a while and many apologies. All I can say is things are pretty busy these days.

Anyway, I recently finished 2nd at the Bassmaster Weekend Series Regional at Lake Hartwell doing something I’d never done in a tournament…. video game fishing with a drop shot.

I still don’t like it but now I feel like I can catch the fish I’m seeing on the graph. It’s pretty amazing how effective a drop shot is on spotted bass.

I arrived at Lake Hartwell praying to God that it would be cold enough to push the fish into the creeks, but when I arrived it was still quite warm and the water temperature was still in the mid  70’s.

That didn’t stop me from starting my search in the creeks though. My friend Ben who won the Everstart in Okeechobee earlier this year fished the BFL regional here last year and told me about some creeks that I should check out on the west side of the lake called Gumlog and Paynes.

I spent my first 2 days of practice in those 2 creeks and really had very little success. The water was totally clear and there was no shad to speak of. The best bite I got in those 2 creeks was off a steep rocky point that dropped into 30 ft of water. I saw some fish on the graph and a small spot ate the drop shot right away.

My friend Jessie told me he’s been catching fish off the marked shoals and I had every intention of checking them out on the third day but for some reason I ended up by one of the numerous bridges on Lake Hartwell. Immediately, I remembered being on Smith Lake and how Shawn Shrader caught those spots in a 100 ft of water drop shotting the pilings.

I didn’t feel that up to it so I pulled up to the one closest to the shore in about 30 ft of water and caught a nice largemouth off the first cast with the drop shot.  I still didn’t feel like drop shotting so I began casting the drop shot towards the rip rap on the bank and caught a nice 3 pound largemouth. I didn’t realize at the time that most people don’t cast a drop shot but it seemed to work as I caught a nice limit of largemouth in the first hour of practice.

I finally talked my self into drop shotting the deeper pilings sitting in 1o0 ft of water and caught a few small ones but I just don’t have that much patience. Some bait starting showing up so I began throwing the Tennessee Rig around those same pilings. Wouldn’t you know it, I started catching largemouth after largemouth in 100 ft of water…. that’s retarded. You’d think you’d catch spots but they were all nice sized largemouth. For sure I thought this could be a winning pattern. I ran to the next bridge and caught another largemouth in about 75 ft of water.

The fourth day, I had enough of the drop shot and fished some marked shoals with a white fluke and Chrome Lucky Craft Gunfish and caught the living daylights out of them. Every marked shoal had a nice spotted bass or two on it. About half way through the day, I decided for some reason that this pattern was too obvious and those fish would get hammered the next few days so I got drawn back into the creeks and finally found a creek with a little stained water. There was no shad but I immediately felt more comfortable.

My gut told me there would be resident fish in this creek and they would be near the mouth since the fall migration had not started yet. Ahhh… I was wrong. I didn’t get a sniff until I got about 3/4 of the way back on a dock with about 12 ft in front of it. My green pumpkin jig got swallowed up by a 5 pound largemouth. Now we’re talking. A few docks later another giant ate my jig but it broke me off.

I decided I’ve seen enough and explored a bunch more shallow docks with no fish on them. The docks with flat land next to it tended to be shallower and the docks with steep land were worthless.

The dock pattern was a good one but I just didn’t know if I could catch a limit doing it both days so I began looking offshore on the 5th day of practice. I probably spent 6 hours graphing different spots and drop shotting a few that looked good but I didn’t get a bite. Towards the end of the day, I finally found a nice hump in about 30 ft of water with brush on it. I idled around and found the motherlode. Even I could understand that there was a massive school of fish on this spot. I dropped my drop shot and immediately caught an 18″ spot. I drop in there again and I get a 17″ spot. It was unreal the amount of fish here. You can see my graph in the pic below.

The last day I decided to find some similar humps near the area I found the day before and found another 3 similar places that I caught fish at. I decided to call it a day around noon and start rigging.

I decided I needed to get a limit first on the humps and then go hunt down largemouth so I started the first day of the tournament offshore fishing for spotted bass. My co angler, “Barefoot”, caught the first 2 fish of the day and I thought here we go again. I’m gonna play guide service today. It took about 30 minutes, but I finally got my first bite and the drag was absolutely screaming. It was a giant spot that finally got me in the brush and got off. The second bite was an instant replay of the first fish. That stupid thing got me in the brush again.

Finally, I tightened up the drag a little bit and I started holding the drag so that it wouldn’t slip until I got it away from the brush and landed my first keeper… a fatty 3 lb spot. I then proceeded to land the next 3 spots that were all really good size.

At about 10:30, the bite really tapered off and I wanted to save the spot for the next day so I went hunting on the marked shoals. I hit nearly 20 of them and thought for sure I’d get my 5th fish but to no avail. There were still some fish on the shoals but they were all short.

I ended the first day of the tournament in 10th place with a little over 11 lbs with 4 fish. Not a bad start but not getting my limit would haunt me the 2nd day.

I began the 2nd day on the off shore hump and caught 2 right away but the stripers were invading my territory and giants stripers began schooling all around me. The only problem was that the spots stopped biting. I stayed on the hump for 2 hours and decided it just wasn’t happening.

I run to a nearby marked shoal and absolutely nothing. The only good part is that some fish started schooling nearby on a point and they looked a lot different than the stripers so I ran over there and finished out my limit. I maybe had 7 or 8 lbs but I had a limit and now its time to hunt down some largemouth. I ran into the creek with the dirty water and hit both docks that I had caught big fish on to no avail. I thought that figures, but I kept on going anyway simply because I was developing a migrane from looking at the graph so much and it felt good to have a flippin stick in my hand. About 8 or 9 docks, I get a giant thump on that jig and it was giant that weighed nearly 6 pounds… an absolute giant for Hartwell.

I flipped docks with a jig the rest of the day but not another bite. I was just happy to be flippin.

I ended up with the biggest bag on day 2 of nearly 13 lbs and the biggest fish of the tournament. I was in the lead for most of the weigh in until a local who was in the top 5 the previous day ended up with a pound more than me.

Ouch… sure wish my dumb ass got a limit on the first day. At the very least, I’m now super confident video game fishing drop shots. I looked at the graph so much that it was all I could see when I closed my eyes to go to sleep that night. The only thing I could see was those streaks on the sonar.

I have no idea why I never went to the Alabama Rig fish on the bridge pilings and I probably should’ve made it out there.

The few things I picked up this week is that a tungsten drop shot sinker is way better than lead because of the added sensitivity, the Roboworm Rebarb hook works better than an exposed hook around brush, fish caught out of 30-40 ft of water need to be deflated with a needle or they float upside down in your livewell (thank goodness my co anglers were from a state where they carry such things in their tackle box), the new Gamakatsu Drop Shot rig with the swivels and clip for the tag end saves you a ton of time re tying baits, and that 5 to 6 days is the ideal practice time for me personally. It allows me to cover enough water to get rid of the feeling of being lost out there and not so much time that I’m not dwelling too far in what’s happened in the past. Learned a lot of this week although I didn’t catch the giants I’m used to catching in Florida

At least I made it to the National Championships which was priority number one. Winning was never an objective although it would have been nice. Either way, I ended up with a nice check for 2nd place and big fish of the tournament and added a new technique to my tournament fishing arsenal.

Posts about my Xtreme Championship at Lake Seminole and the Weekend Series National Championship at Old Hickory will be coming soon so stay tuned.

2013 SE Regional Lake Hartwell 2 day 028 1024x768 Lessons from Lake Hartwell

graph Lessons from Lake Hartwell

You See This, You Better Drop


Nov 3 2012

Pro Talk

I noticed these videos about all aspect of pro bass fishing. There’s 14 in all and can be found Here, but here’s a few I thought were the most interesting

How Much Does It Cost?

0 Pro Talk

 

Do Elite Pros Get Expenses Paid For?

0 Pro Talk

 

Can You Make It As A Pro Angler Without Sponsors?

0 Pro Talk

 

How To Become A Bass Pro

0 Pro Talk

 

How Do Pro’s Find Fish

0 Pro Talk

 

Pro’s Sharing Info

0 Pro Talk

 

Pro’s Sharing Info Part 2

0 Pro Talk

 

 


Jul 2 2011

Video of Rojas Breaking Record on Toho

0 Video of Rojas Breaking Record on Toho


Feb 27 2011

Commitment Problems

I fished the Bassmaster Weekend Series event on the Harris Chain this weekend and weighed in just under 9 pounds with 3 fish. I planned on pre fishing all of Friday, but my trolling motor stopped working at about 11 and that was it for practice. I spent the rest of the day finding someone to fix my trolling motor.

I’m not making any excuses. I’ve been spending some time out on the Harris Chain and had plenty of places to go.

I thought the tournament would be won sight fishing, but for some reason the bedding fish were in a foul mood. They were locked on, but wouldn’t touch anything I threw in there. I could knock them in the head and they weren’t moving. I’d just get a look back and end up in a staring contest.

At about noon, I decided to abandon ship and just go fishing.

I guess I have commitment problems. I told myself you’ve got to be willing to zero when you go sight fishing, but I bailed halfway through the day.

I think I made the right decision, but I’m disappointed I didn’t stick to my game plan.

My biggest weakness is that I like to run too many spots. Part of it is that my mind is racing all the time. I gotta figure out how to put the off switch on and just go fishing.

I’ve been catching 2o lbs in each of the 3 tournaments out on Harris the past month, but each time I’ve fished in a different spot and fished a different way.

Did I mention I didn’t cash a check in any of those tournaments? It’s been taking 30 to 35 lbs, but it only took 19 pounds to win this tournament.

Watching the Classic this week makes me want to improve even more. The way some of the guys get kind of jittery and stutter about what’s going on is what I live for. I love feeling that nervous energy. I think it means it matters to you.

Call me a geek, but I get goosebumps when I watch those interviews. Ahhh… maybe someday I’ll know what it’s like fishing the Classic.

I’ll probably need to fix my commitment problems before it happens.

 


Nov 21 2010

A Year of Learning About Fishing Bass Tournaments

lake seminole 300x200 A Year of Learning About Fishing Bass TournamentsI’ve finally recovered from all the fishing in Lake Seminole and all the disappointment she dealt out. For a while, I was feeling like selling my boat and all my fishing equipment and calling it quits. I seriously gave it all I got and nothing to show for it. I pre fished 2 weeks for the BASS Open and fished another week for the Bassmaster Weekend Series Regional but still couldn’t manage a good result.

I had my mind made up before I ever set eyes on the place, that I’d be flipping matted hydrilla. Practice was phenomenal. I had numerous matts that I pulled 20 plus pounds out of and was feeling good about the tournament. The one thing I didn’t realize was how small Lake Seminole fishes. I had plan A, plan B, plan C, and plan D all for flipping matts and planned them according to wind, water level and clarity.

I really thought I factored in everything, except I forgot about fishing pressure. Every matt I found had 6 boats around it.

I ran to my best matts on day one of the Open and there was already someone sitting on a 20 yard matt I planned on fishing. No big deal, I went to some other matts nearby and nothing after 2 hours. At that point, I wasn’t worried since I had plenty of time and plenty of places to go.

I run to my second best place and there’s a bunch of boats on it. I’m like dam, I guess I’ll just jump in line and see what happens. A few pitches later ,I get a 5 pounder and the other boats are on me like flies. Among the boats here was Arnie Lane, who’s an awesome flipper and brother to Chris Lane and Bobbie Lane. I’d see him every time I made a lap around this matt and we’d ask each other how many we got that time around. After 3 laps, I had that lone 5 pounder and he had 2 little dinks. So I decide it’s time to move again.

I hit my plan C and plan D spots and I get nothing. There was at least 5 or 6 boats on each of those spots as well.

After day one, I was thinking I should’ve just stayed in the matt where I caught the 5 pounder and started day 2 there. The first pitch I get a short fish and get a nice keeper no too long afterwards. At this point I’m thinking I’m gonna spend the rest of the day over there but get nothing for another 2 hours and decide to leave. I get to another matt with 5 boats on it and jump in line. I get 4 bites and only get 2 to the boat.

A few more hours and I get fed up fishing around so many boats and run to a spot in Fishpond Drain. There were no matts, no other boats around, and pads everywhere. My co anglers catches two on a frog in the pads and I lose one and catch a small keeper.

We spent the last hour in that area and right when it was time to leave a school of about 200 fish start erupting. I wanted to stay but we had to start heading back to the ramp.

I ended up just outside the top 50 at the Open with 1o pounds, but was feeling pretty good about my chances for the Bassmaster Weekend Series Regional on the same lake.

The guy who won the Open punched matts near where I fished and an area in Fishpond Drain. I saw where he was fishing the last day. I also followed Derek Allen the final day and saw where he was fishing to finish second throwing frogs. Terry Scroggins, Cliff Prince, and JT Kenney finished in the top 5 and fishing within eyeshot of where I fished during the tournament.

The one thing I learned about flippin matts during the tournament was to use 25 lb fluorocarbon. My buddy Walt got paired with JT Kenney during the tournament and according to him, JT uses fluorocarbon to flip matts when there’s a really bad cold front or when there’s a lot of pressure on the fish. He says the sawing noise from braid can be detriment and fluorocarbon makes hardly any noise and also less visible.

I was a little scared trying it out, but that 25 lb fluorocarbon brings fish out just fine from matted hydrilla.

The next week of practice was good again. I learned a little trick for fishing matts in pressured waters and had a few more places to go. I practiced my friend Danny and could pretty much tell him that we were gonna get bit in the matt. I’d tell him we’ll get bit before that pocket or point in the hydrilla and BAM, I’d pull in a 5 pounder and say, “There you go clown boy”.

I also found another awesome spot where I pulled in an 8 pounder and got 5 bites in 10 minutes tucked way in the marsh where you literally have to climb over stumps and chew through numerous matts to get into. I thought I finally found a place to fish matts away from the crowd and thrilled about the Bassmaster Weekend Series Regional.

On day one, I start at one of the matts I fished during the Open and get a fish on the first pitch. I get the fish to top of the matt and it gets off. My co angler says something about bad luck getting a fish the first cast and it played in the mind a little bit.

I run to the schoolers in Fishpond Drain and the schoolers were coming up but they were small schools and they wouldn’t bite.

I start running to the area where the guy finished 2nd at the Open and I notice my boat won’t go over 4,000 rpm’s. I get there and my buddy Ben is already in there with another boat. I take 10 casts and leave. It’s a small area and I learned a thing or two about fishing pressure the past week.

My boat barely gets on plane on the way to the secluded hidden pocket I found. I get in there to surprisingly find 5 other boats in there already. I’m like you’ve got to be kidding me. Anyway, I spend 5 minutes in there and leave but my boat won’t get on plane anymore and I spend the rest of the finding someone to take in my co angler who had 1 fish.

I found out later that my spark plugs were fouled and learned a valuable lesson about how frequently they need to changed.

I finished the day without any fish and without a boat that runs. Thanks to the tournament officials who heard about my situation and gave me a boater on boater pairing for day 2 so I could fish the last day. It was even with my friend Danny who only had 1 fish on day one.

I told him that I guarantee we’ll both come in with a limit and all I got was a look of disbelief. Needless to say, there was lots of doubt in his mind.

We start on the same matt I started at on day one. I make a pitch short of the matt so I wouldn’t be jinxed by the first cast curse and then go on to bring in a nice 2 pounder after about 5 minutes. After about 30 minutes, we run to another matt I get bit but the fish comes off.

Another hour goes by and we run into my top secret matt that everyone knows about and much to my surprise there was no one in there. The other 5 boats that were in there the day before decided to abandon the place.

I was feeling good about this place but only until we flipped matts for an hour without getting a bite. Then I remembered a small school of fish that came in practice in the middle of this pocket. I throw my rattletrap in the middle of the pocket and get a 2 pounder. I get a fish on each of my next 5 casts and had my limit.

At this point, my buddy Danny didn’t have a fish in the boat so I gave him one of my white rattletraps and told him he needed to yo yo it. He ties it on and on the first cast, the trap goes 50 feet in the air and comes straight down and sinks into oblivion. He either tied it wrong or clipped something on the cast but that trap was long gone so I give him another one. A few casts later, he had his first fish and his limit by the end of the day.

We weigh in and I end up with a little over 9 pounds and my buddy Danny ends up with 10 pounds. It was small bag but I thought it would be enough to get us in the National Championship at Guntersville. The cut ended up being 9.5 pounds and I missed out getting in by a few ounces, but my friend Danny got in.

Needless to say, I felt pretty disgusted with fishing in general and probably why I haven’t post in a while. I put in a lot of work and nothing to show for it. My friend Danny probably would have figured something out on his own, but he agreed to go where I wanted and it worked out for him. I was really grateful just to be able to fish day 2 and be able to fish my spots.

It’s been a pretty mediocre year for me. I have much higher expectations for myself and have a tendency to beat myself up. The one thing that I can say is that it’s been a year of learning. Each Open dealt me a lesson this year. Okeechobee showed me that flippin matts is the way to go when there’s a cold front in Florida, Smith Lake taught me how to catch suspended fish in 100 feet of water and to move out with the fish as the water level drops, and Seminole just taught me a bunch of humility.

I wish I had enough money to fish the Opens again in 2011 especially since the opening event is on my home lake, Lake Toho. I’m gonna try to get into this single event, and will have to wait and see if I get in on December 14th.

I’ll probably focus more on the BASS Federation Nation next year. The entry fees are low, payouts are good, and a well run tournament trail. It’s probably the most affordable way to make it to the Classic. Thanks to bassclubnews.com for paying for my BASS Federation entry fees in 2011 and keeping my dreams alive for making the Classic one day.


Aug 19 2010

KVD Bass Fishing Handbook

kvd1 KVD Bass Fishing HandbookI recently noticed a book by KVD about bass strategies circa 1995 on amazon.com for practically nothing and had to buy it. Call it an impulse buy but the cost of the book was less than the $4 shipping.

This book is totally awesome…. totally.

It answers a ton of questions I had about what happens to bass with different conditions…. at least what KVD thinks. It’s like you’re calling the guy up and asking for his advice.

I learned that there’s an old adage that bass bite better with a rising barometer and if it’s above 30. Like all adages, they don’t hold true a lot of times but it can be used effectively as a guage sometimes. I didn’t know about this since I go fishing every chance I get regardless of weather.

If the bass are feeding on crawfish and shore minnows, then they’ll be shallow most of the time. If they’re eating perch, then they’ll be deeper and could be anywhere if they’re eating shad.

Bass prefer milfoil over everything, even hydrilla.

Bass are finicky eaters in Spring and Fall, so it’s critical to match the size and color of your bait during this period.

The baitfish are at their largest size during the pre-spawn and KVD uses big baits during this period. This is probably common knowledge but admit I didn’t know this.

During pre-spawn in a reservoir, KVD says to concentrate on deep structure areas like creek channel drops, ledges/drop offs near large spawning bays and flats. Look for deep water adjacent to areas less than 10 ft deep.

In a river, bass like slack water areas in all stages of spawn. Key on main river banks during summer. In winter, look for the deepest slack water area like a marina.

In tidal water during pre and post spawn, look for deep water out of current but close to the river and adjacent to a spawning flat.

The book also covers cold fronts. KVD believes river fish are the least prone to cold fronts. He says to look for moving water areas in backs of creeks or upper end of the lake in a reservoir.

During the fall, a cold front can be beneficial by activating the fall pattern of shad moving to the backs of creeks. In late fall, the bass will move to a winter pattern where KVD loves channel banks and bluff walls.

He also believes clear water bass roam more and more apt to move upwards to eat. They’re also easier to catch in cold water so he’ll move towards the dam where the water is typically the clearest.

Conversely, muddy water bass tend to stick tight to cover, prefer shallow water and hard objects. He suggests making multiple casts to an objects and use spinnerbaits and buzzbaits when the shad are active and jigs and plastics when they’re inactive.

Muddy water also can activate the shad and move them towards the influx of freshwater typically found in the backs of creeks. This exactly what happened at the 2009 Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship on Lake Dardanelle during the Fall.

Supposedly, bass always migrate with rising and falling water except in the winter when they stay deep. They also become more inactive as water falls and more active as water rises. I noticed this during the BASS Open as Smith Lake. The fish were outright spooky the more they dropped the water.

If I had this book, I would’ve known that the fish I was catching in the flooded bushes moved to the flooded bushes on secondary points in the same creek arm or if it fell a lot, then they were on the main lake points. I would’ve looked for the same depth they were holding in before the water fell in those areas. If they were on grass, then I would’ve known that the inside edge would’ve been key early on in the drawdown.

Supposedly, this is where you’ve got to be careful not move ahead of the fish and the migration associated with water level doesn’t happen immediately.

Conversely, if that tournament was on a river I would’ve known that bass move quickly with water fluctuations and moved to deeper slack water areas such as the mouth of sloughs and deep marinas.

A few other tips I picked up was to lean more towards crankbaits in stained water and jigs/spinnerbaits in muddy water.

KVD also thinks that 2 or 3 hits is enough to assess an area during practice.

There’s obviously tons more knowledge in the book, but these are some of the points that stuck out to me.

Anyway, the book is worth every penny and already a better fisherman because of it.


Aug 5 2010

Lake Seminole Update

spray Lake Seminole UpdateI’ve been pouring over the internet looking for info on Lake Seminole since I’ll be fishing the BASS Open and the BWS Regional in consecutive weeks and found lots of information. I just may have found all that’s available on the net.

The most important info that I’ve found has nothing to do with a fishing spot or lure to use. According to Georgia Outdoor News, they’ve been spraying the hydrilla from Spring Creek to the Hooch. Since I had planned on fishing hydrilla, my plans have changed drastically without me ever stepping foot on this Seminole place.

I hope I can find hydrilla somewhere else, but if I can’t find it then I’ll probably have to resort to crankin and maybe a swim jig.

I’ve also spoken with a few friends who have tournament experience out there and I’ve pretty much got it narrowed down to an area. Hopefully it’ll be good and I can dial it in even more. My buddy Mike Lott’s been a lot of help with map study and shared what he’s figured out at numerous tournaments and guide trips out there. It’s worth a beer at the very least.

I’m ready to go to Lake Seminole right now and start checking out places, but I’ve got to nail down a place to stay which is unglamorous side of fishing out of town.

Stay tuned.


Jul 20 2010

Mid Year Reflections on the Opens

Lake Seminole Map Mid Year Reflections on the Opens

There has not been any big tournaments as of late, so I’ve had some time to reflect on my year so far. There’s no great finishes to speak of besides some small local tournaments.

It’s my first year fishing the BASS Opens and I think I just blew it on the first two. I should’ve been punching matt the majority of the time in Okeechobee and didn’t fish the conditions…. although if it warmed up a little quicker, I’m sure I would’ve caught them. At Smith Lake, I should’ve moved out as they pulled water out but did not adjust to the falling water like I should have.

The one thing I’m learning this year is adjusting. When you find a group of fish, they don’t go very far. They’re somewhere nearby and I need to learn to figure out where they go. I need to look for places where fish might go if conditions change. Usually I’m so worried about finding a stack of fish that I’m not worried about where they might go but I’m thinkin you gotta keep that in mind the entire time.

The last Open is on Lake Seminole in October, and I’m already researching spots and patterns. There’s been so many big tournaments here that there’s a lot of stuff to decipher, but I think I’ve zeroed in what to do. I like to flip and will probably focus on flippin and possibly froggin in the hydrilla. I like to go in with an open mind but it’s one big place and you can’t cover everything. It’ll take a lot of time just figuring out how to run the place without killing yourself.

This is going out on a limb, but I think I’ve had enough learning this year and due for a good finish at Seminole. We’ll see if my premonition is right. As long as it doesn’t rain for a week straight prior to the tournament, I believe I know what the fish are going to be doing.