Traveling the past two weeks, so this blog entry will try to get me all caught up in one shot. I was home last weekend between trips, my buddy Ryan Brant decided to fish the Celebration OUtdoors tournament on Lake Marion kind of last minute. Neither of us had fished Marion since last summer, but we thought it would be fun none the less. We did not get to practice at all, so we had a couple ideas and decided to start on one of our favorite deeps spots. We fished the area pretty good and only had 1 missed bite. We then tried a few shallow areas, we caught a couple shorts and then I got a good bite on my favorite 3/8oz Green Pumpkin/Brown Tru-Tungsten jig using a 3″ Green Pumpkin Chigger craw as a trailer, it ended up being about 3.5lbs. Definitely a good first fish! The next are we fished was a mid-depth area that usually has good coontail clumps, after a few casts I got a decent 2lb fish on my jig and that was the only bite we got there. The next area was shallow again and I popped 3 keepers pretty quick on my jig, nothing special by any means, we would need to cull several of them to contend on Lake Marion. Shorty after that, Ryan caught a nice almost 3lb bass on a frog out of a small clump of pads. Then we jumped to another shallow area and I stuck a another nice 3.5lbs bass. We tried two more deeps areas without a single bite and then made a decision to spend the last two hours dedicated to shallow water. Ryan caught a few more fish on jigs, but none that helped, on my last cast I got broke off by what felt like a good bite on a dock. We though we had around 13-14lbs for 5 fish, which on Lake Marion normally is not that great, but we optimistic to at least make the bottom end of the checks. We were the last boat to weigh-in, and as we watched and watched the small bags, we were in disbelief, with us and one other boat to weigh, the leader was only 12lbs. We knew we had more then that, but the bag just before us ended up being a whopping 21lb plus bag. So we ended up at 13.91lbs and 2nd place, so Ryan and I got a nice $700 check to split and some spiffy little trophies. Not bad for no practice or effort of preparation. Regardless, it was fun fishing a team event with a good buddy!
Here are our 2 biggest from Lake Marion Celebration Tourney
Congrats to Greg Hackney on his Forrest Wood Cup championship on Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers. A great victory for a guy that had traditionally not shown well in season end championships like th FLW Cup and Bassmaster Classics. I also like that fact that he kind of stuck it to FLW a bit, because they would have obviously preferred it if one of their main FLW pros would have won, not a traditional BASS guy. THis is quite evident based on the coverage of the FLW Series East-West fish-off on Lake Falcon, where Hackney destroyed the field and almost broke a 4 day weight record in 3 days, and Hackney got almost no TV coverage when that program aired. Hackney used several baits en route to his win, but he gives credit to a 1/4oz Pro-Model Spinnerbait in Golden Shiner and a Strike Kingd Ocho rigged on a Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker jig to catching many of his key fish.
Watch for a preview to Oneida Fantasy Fishing lineup for next week. Tomorrow night I leave for Escanaba, MI to fish the Federation Nation northern divisional on Lake Michigan. It is a tad intimidating to tackle 120,000 acres of wide open water and at the same time very excited to tackle some big great lake smallmouth bass. Not to mention, this being my 4th Northern Divisional, I am really focused on trying to make it to the Fed Nationals from this tournament.