Wednesday, May 29, 2024

New Waters? No Problem By Tim Grein

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New Waters? No Problem

By Tim Grein

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Due to a couple of poor tournaments, my partner and I decided to fish another tournament in our series in an effort to add to our points total for the year. There was a catch though. The tournament was on a lake we had never been to, and we only had 1 day to practice. Knowing this going in, it was really kind of refreshing. I wasn’t on my home waters where I have literally thousands of waypoints and over 50,000 acres of water to cover. This was a smaller lake that was fairly easy to break down. Here’s how it happened.
We got up early Friday morning and drove an hour and a half to Lake Hickory in Hickory, NC. I had done some homework on my Lowrance Insight Planner before we left, so I had an idea of where we wanted to go. I also knew the fish were done spawning, so that opened up the door for there to be an offshore bite. I figured we would concentrate our efforts offshore on Friday, and if that didn’t pan out, fish docks during the tournament. The way the lake was laid out, they had to be one place or the other. We started running a few places and about the 4-5th stop, we ran across the mother load. There was a little secondary point that dropped from 10’ on top to about 35’. There was bait everywhere and so were the bass. We continued on in our practice and found a half a dozen other places where we got bit. Anywhere from 14’-22’ deep. Not a bad day.
The next morning we ran to the mother load and had to wait for everything to get right. The bait wasn’t there when we showed up, but as soon as the sun started hitting the water, things started happening. Honestly, we really didn’t fish clean that morning. We broke off a 5lber, and had several good ones just miss the gunfish. That being said, we left there with several over 3lbs, and another 2lber. We ran some of our other deep stuff, but it really wasn’t happening. We ran back our starting spot and managed to catch another 2.5lber. We made another pass through our deep spots, and started catching a few. It was a lot slower than the day before, but we were still getting bit. Towards the end of the day, I pulled into a pocket looking for bream beds. This time of year, the bream bed bite can be the way to really catch some good ones. My partner through over beside a log that had some bream beds around it and ended up catching another 3lber that gave us a good cull. That was the last keeper we caught and gave us just under 14lbs and a 6th place finish.
Any time you go to a new body of water, it’s important to understand the stage the fish were in and the various patterns that may be effective. Had we overlooked the bream bed bite, and not made a decision to hit that last spot, we wouldn’t have finished where we did. Have confidence in yourself and the patterns that may be effective. Don’t be afraid to fish the moment. Had we stuck it out deep, we probably wouldn’t have caught that last key fish. The next time you go to a new body of water, have some patterns in mind, have confidence in yourself, and don’t be afraid to switch gears at a moments notice if you have that gut feeling. You just might be surprised what you can find!!

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