Sunday, April 14, 2024

A look back at Kerr Lake By Tim Grein



This blog finds itself a few weeks late, but I have been pretty busy the past several weeks. I’ve still been trying to play catch up from being gone to Douglas for a week, and then we took a family vacation to Charleston last week. The week after I returned from Douglas, I had 2 tournaments on Kerr Lake. One Saturday and one Sunday. If there is one thing I have learned over the years at Buggs Island, it is to fish the bushes if the water is in them. The one exception being early in the year, but since it was June, I knew where they would be. The first willow tree I flipped into during practice yielded a bite that I shook off. I fished a few more and got a few other bites, so I decided to look out deep. There were some fish out there too, but I knew that the shallow fish would win.
The first stop I made on Saturday was a little section of bushes where I caught a good one in practice. We immediately put a 3lber in the boat and several shorts. We moved along to the next few bushes and caught a 2.5lber and then another 3.5lber. By 7:30, we were looking pretty good. I ran to a spot that I had a bite in during practice, and I lost another 3.5-4lber. For some reason the night before, I didn’t retie my spook. It was on braid, and I really hadn’t thrown it a lot. The fish bit, and my line broke. That’s a stupid mistake on my part and one that should never happen. I can tell you it won’t happen again. We ended up with our limit, but still had a couple we needed to get rid of. I went to a little rockpile that the fish use when they are moving out, and my partner hooks a good one. Unfortunately, it came up and threw the crankbait back at us. It too was another one about 3.5lbs. Continuing to jump back and forth from shallow to deep, we never were able to cull up a lot. We ended the day with a little over 12 lbs and missed getting a check by 1 spot. With a little luck, we would have had over 15lbs and been in the top 5. Tough to swallow, but that’s the way it goes. You have to forget about what could have been and focus on what’s next.
Sunday began a little slower than Saturday. I started in the same areas I did on Saturday, but we only managed 1 keeper bite. The first deep spot I stopped on, I caught a 2.5lber. I thought maybe the fish had moved out, but it was still hit or miss. The original plan was to go run new water, but when I got that deep bite, I changed my mind. My game plan should have never changed. We continued to jump back and forth from shallow to deep and had a limit of maybe 11lbs. With too little time left, I pulled into some of the new water I was going to flip, and I caught a 3lber. I culled and we had to run to weigh in. We should have never tried to fish behind ourselves. When it comes to flipping, I am VERY thorough, and don’t leave much behind. I feel very confident that had we continued to fish new water, we could have had 15lbs or so. As it stood, we finished 15th out of 175 boats and got a small check. 15lbs would have again been in the top 5.
The moral of the story is, to not fish behind yourself during a 2 day event. Ever wonder why you caught them good the day before the tournament and didn’t during the tournament? Maybe you too were fishing behind yourself. There are of course exceptions to this, like when the fish are out deep, but when the fish are shallow, be careful not to get caught up in fishing the same locations. Fish the same pattern, just in a different location. This is why the guys that spend more time on the lake consistently cash checks. They know hundreds of spots where a pattern will work, while some only know a handful. Next time you go to the lake, go to an area that you don’t normally fish and learn some more about it. You will reap the benefits next time you need to run a lot of water.

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