Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Calhoun 10/04/09

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whitefish Tournament Day

My plan was to go after the smallmouth that I knew were in the area. I know if I can just get two or three of them to bite, they would be good ones and all I would need is a couple 2 pound largemouth and I would cash a check. If I could get them and a couple 2.5-3 pound bass, I would have a really good shot to win.

We arrived on our starting spot and began throwing topwater. Conditions were good, it was overcast and a little breeze in the air. I threw a lucky craft sammy for about 25-30 minutes and had no takers. After the wind picked up a little bit, I switched to a all white spinner bait (including blades) and a trailer hook. On about my 10th cast with the spinner bait, something CRUSHED my blade. After a few cranks it soared into the air and my co-angler and I got very excited. After a great battle that lasted a couple minutes I got it into the net. Thank god for the trailer hook, since it was the only hook in the fish. This smallmouth was a solid four pound fish. That's what I needed and it was the first fish of the day. I knew if I could get one more of those it would go a long way. Two four pounder's and three two pounder's would get me 14 pounds and would put me right there. This was going through my head and I may have gotten a little too fired up and after a couple hours, and no more fish in that area, my excitement soon turned into panic. I knew that I couldn't waste this fish by not getting a decent limit.

We left that area and looked for some largemouth's on a weedline that I had caught a bunch of fish on in practice. I didn't catch many big fish, but I knew there was a lot of fish there and I knew if I could catch as many as I did in practice, I would leave there with four two pound fish to go with my four pounder. We worked the area (hindsight too fast) and caught a couple fish that made it to the well, but not nearly the amount I had in practice. My non-boater caught a decent keeper that I "blew" right by with my texas rigged Berkley Power Worm. I caught a ton of fish with this lure in practice and always do. I just think I was working it too fast this time, which I rarely do.

We then headed back towards the launch site to hit a little inside turn on a weedline where I caught a couple nicer fish in practice. On the way I decided to stop by the smallmouth area as we were driving right by it. We spent about 30 minutes there with no luck. The only reason I stopped was the conditions were still right and some time had passed since we were last there.

Pulled up on the inside turn and caught a small weigh fish on the power worm. My non-boater lost a good fish on top of the flat which would of helped either of us. Worked the turn a little longer and had no takers. We then turned around and worked the top of the flat where my non-boater lost that decent fish with spinner baits and shallow running crankbaits. The only thing we could get to bite were a couple smaller bass and a bunch of small pike.

It was now noon and I only had one good fish and a couple small ones and the rain was coming down pretty good. Decided to make a change and go shallower. I went up the river where I found some decent fish in practice the day before and had some follow our Outkast Swim Jigs that I knew were still there. We worked the mouth of the river with no success. As we kept going into the river we had a couple swirls on the swim jigs but no takers yet. I knew the further we went up the river the better the population of fish was. I soon caught a decent 2-2.5# fish on the swim jig and got a little more fired up. However, we did not get any more fish in there and time was getting low.

Once I left the river I went to a shallow reed bed and started throwing a topwater frog. I had a blowup on my third cast but failed to hookup. After another five casts I boated a keeper. Well, I at least had a limit now, but was not impressed by all but the smallmouth. My non-boater was able to get his limit out of this area as well.

With about 30 minutes left until weigh-in we hit a weedline with some good cabbage on it. Fortunately for us the fish were biting really good there. We both upgraded a couple fish, but soon ran out of time. I know we could of upgraded more of our fish there if we had more time. I'm not saying we could of cleaned house in that area, but I really think we both could of added at least another pound to our weight.

I headed to weigh-in with mixed emotions. I knew I did ok, but I also knew I let a great opportunity (4 pound smallmouth) pretty much slip away. All I had to do was get a couple more decent fish and I would of been in the top five. I ended up in 15th place for the tournament. Which, I am pleased with, but I knew what could of been...

Lesson Learned
I actually took a couple things away from this tournament. I made a decision on the final day of practice to not head to an area I knew "should" produce the winning bag. Sure enough, the top two places were out of this area. I thought the lake was too "behind" for weed growth for the fish to be there, but I still should of checked it.

I also realized after the tournament how rushed I was during that day. After I caught that smallmouth I should of taken a few minutes and relaxed. Got my composure back and focused again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Whitefish Practice Day 3

I started the day with the intent of covering water and finding some healthy thick weeds. I started on some humps and caught a few fish on a Outkast Money jig with a Berkley 4" power worm that were actually fairly decent. They were not tournament winners by any means but the average was better than the last couple of days. However, after spending a couple more hours in that lake I cam to realize the weeds were worse than the other lakes and found no substantial coontail growth which is the key on that chain. I made a short run to a couple other areas in a nearby lake that I just wanted to make sure they weren't on. Again, the weed growth was very poor and there were no fish to be found. It was about 11:00 and I had to make a decision, I would either try and find fish here, which is quite a ways away

Whitefish Practice Day 2

I really wanted to check on those smallmouth from day one early so I could see if they were worth going to. I started casting a Lucky Craft Sammy on top of the flat. I had a couple follows but no takers. Not sure if they couldn't find it or what the reason they were not eating it was. I left there knowing there were some fish there and if I could get one or two they would be better than average. I checked a few other spots in that area but had little to no luck finding bigger fish. I could literally catch as many as I wanted to but not what I needed. I then went and checked a flat with a good weedline on it and caught a bunch of fish on a Outkast RT Jig and actually had a couple better fish in the 2.5# range. This gave me some more confidence to go keep fishing the weedlines in hopes that I could find that one spot with good weeds where they would be stacked. However, after fishing the rest of the day and not getting any better bites I started checking shallow on docks and some slop. I was not able to connect with any good fish there either and was getting a little frustrated. I knew though, that all it takes is one good area and I will have 5 good fish. So I went back to the cabin and made some changes in gear and mindset. I needed to start covering water or I would never find those better areas and better weeds. I was heading north to some of the other lakes in the chain on Friday and had confidence that I could find them there.