Pay Attention By Bruce Callis
The FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on the Harris Chain is now in the history books. John Cox played his shallow water mastery almost too perfect but the bedding bass played out in his area on the last 2 days. Day 3 saw his 6 pound lead drop to just 2 pounds and on Championship Sunday, he slipped into 3rd place.
Rookie FLW Tour pro Bradley Dortch of Atmore, Ala., came charging on day 4, making up almost 3 1/2 pounds to overtake John and JT Kenney who made up a 10 pound defective to take 2nd place. JT had the tournament’s biggest bag on the final day, a whopping 27 pounds 3 ounces.
Paying attention to the movement of the bass is something we fail to notice when we are dialed in on a long term pattern. Most of us don’t fish multiple day events and if we do, it’s at most just for 2 days. But mostly we fish that single day event, not for 4 straight days. We have to be weary of everything that is happening around us.
The spawn is one of those difficult times, when we can get locked into sight fishing and lose tract of the movement off the beds. And if we don’t pay attention and have a backup plan, we can find ourselves on the short end of the stick.
Dortch made that move on day 2, retreating off the beds where he struggled. He headed out to catch those bass that were moving from the beds to their late spring feeding grounds. Cox was predicting the movement of new spawning bass to move up onto the beds, but they never moved up like they should have.
How often do we struggle because we get locked into what we know the bass should be doing and not into what they are actually doing? I’m just as guilty as any weekend warrior. I finally get my day out on the water and I have a preconceived notion of what the bass should be doing. I can be just as hard headed as the bass and the next angler. But what does it get me? Heartache, frustration, and discouraged?
I need to pay closer attention. I need to remember to not put all my eggs in one basket. I need to watch for the signs that the bass give out. I need to see the “We went thataway” sign and go thataway. Pay attention! The signs are there for us, it is up to us to read them.
When you go out this weekend, what will you do? Be stubborn like me at times, fishing from past memories and preconceived notions. Or will you let the fish tell you what they are doing? Pay Attention!