Timing is Everything!
Welcome to my first blog submission for The Bass Cast. I am going to take you through my travels, tournaments, and shows, and hopefully along the way, I’ll teach you a thing or two. Let’s start with a look back at this past weekend. Seems like a good place to start. We had the Virginia “6 Man” Team Championships. I went to the lake Thursday morning. I had been the weekend before, but I knew it was going to be different because the lake had risen 2.5 feet and there was a cold front the first part of the week. I knew it could be tough, but I really had no idea how tough it would be. The water was in the bushes, lake level had stabilized, and the water temperature was rising quickly. All positives, but the water had risen too fast, and the bass were in a funk. I did manage about 13lbs on Thursday, but noticed a lot of what I caught was out in front of the bushes, which told me they hadn’t adjusted to the new water level. Most of that 13lbs came from 2 different areas, with lots of time in between them.
Friday I took what I thought I had learned and managed to learn almost nothing. I did begin to get some bites at the end of the day, in the bushes. I felt like with a warm night ahead, the fish would keep coming. I was wrong. Saturday was the first day of the tournament and was the worst day I had. I probably flipped 5,000 bushes, gum trees, birch trees, and laydowns, with not much to show for it. I caught a 3lber at the end of the day and ended up with 3 fish for 5.5lbs. All the places where I had gotten bites in practice were barren. It almost seemed as if you had to be there when the fish moved up to feed, or you weren’t going to get a bite. With nothing to lose the second day, I knew I needed a big bag. I again put the Missile Baits D Bomb in my hand and went to work. I started the day in the creek where I had gotten some bites the day before, but nothing. Here again affirming the fact that you had to keep moving until you got into an area they were active. I fished until about 10:30 without a bite, until I finally found THE area. I went into the back of a creek that I know holds good fish, regardless of whether I catch them there in practice or not. I caught some in practice in this creek, but didn’t the first day of the tournament. So, I go to the back and catch a small keeper on a buzzbait. I also missed a nice one on a buzzbait. About 15 minutes later, I pull into a small pocket in the same area, and flip my Missile Baits D Bomb up to a gum tree. My line starts to move, and I set the hook on a 6.19lber. That is a giant in Buggs Island. I fish the rest of the pocket, and nothing. Go to the next pocket, and catch a 5.69lber on the D Bomb. Unbelievable!! Fish the rest of the pocket and nothing. Go to another pocket, and lose a 2lber. By this point, I have fished the entire area, and I don’t go behind myself and flip when I just got finished in that area. I fished the rest of the day without a bite until I pulled into a pocket with 40 minutes until weigh-in. Again, I happened to time it right and found some active fish. I ended up catching 2 out of this pocket, lost 1, and had 3 roll on my spinnerbait and not eat it. When it all shook out, I had 15.68lbs for the day and finished 9th out of 182 people in the tournament. That’s how tough it was! When it was all done, I realized that without the decision to cover water and find active fish, I would have had another miserable day. So…. Listen to the fish. Don’t be afraid to fish somewhere you didn’t even practice if conditions look right, and just because you don’t catch them there the day before, doesn’t mean they aren’t in an area. You may not have timed it wrong and could find yourself with a 6lber and 5lber out of that area the very next day.
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