Well, I did get off work and get out on the water for a couple hours the evening before the tournament. That may have been my biggest mistake. I got there at 3:30pm and it was warm & sunny and the shallows were crawling with life and nice bass all the way around the lake. I threw around some docks and pulled on a few fish and two of them hooked themselves. One on a Baby Ring Fry and the other on a white wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worm . I also spotted several nice fish in a tree that I saw nice fish hanging around last weekend when I was prefishing. So my thinking was, I would start at that tree and then work shallow areas during the tournament, figuring that even though things may be slow during the morning, as the sun rose and everything warmed, things would pick up. It would just be a waiting game of sorts.
Well John & started at the tree, fish around the perimeter and worked our way in making long casts, with no bites. After 20 minutes we slowly trolled up to the tree and there they were, several quality 2-4lb bass just milling around. Never could get them to bite. So we decided we would revisit these fish again later. We then hit a small weed flat with reaction type baits (chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits & lipless cranks) only 1 small bass. We then started to hit pockets of shoreline & docks that I had success yesterday, but all we could manage was a handful of short bass. It was pretty apparent that fish may have pulled back a bit and clouds straited to roll in and wind picked up. So I decided to head for the far east end where there is a small shallow boat channel, the evening before I noticed several nice bass in there. I decided to start on the docks just outside of the channel, figuring the fish may have pulled out on to that structure overnight. We whacked the bass on those docks, on average 2-3 bas per dock, but the largest we landed was about 13 7/8″, and I broke off on one that felt like a quality fish. We then moved into the channel itself while the sun was still shining, and there were no quality biting fish to be found. We then continued to hit wood & docks the rest of the day, bouncing around, we managed one keeper fish each. John got a nice fish on a green-pumpkin Jiggerbait (chatterbait knock-off found on eBay) around some submerged wood and I managed a small keeper off a dock with Fork Secret Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry , I also broke off 2 more times on docks. We hit some wind swept points and cabbage, with no luck.
We then decided to hit that large tree one last time. I made a long cast with a LFT Ring Fry and had a good pick-up and I reared back and the fish bit my worm in half. So I quick re-rigged and tossed back in there, I lifted, felt good weight and broke off on 17lb Gamma. I could not believe it, I had just retied about 10 casts ago. This just was not my day. I rigged up again, fished around the tree, had another good bite and somehow missed that one too. John that got a nice 2.3lb fish on a green pumpkin tube. We only had a few minutes left so we eased up to the tree and sure enough there was still 2-3 nice fish swimming around that we could not get too bite.
It turns out that one guy got 3 keepers fishing a watermelon red flake Fluke on a drop-shot and John was the only other guy to have more than 1 keeper. 3 out of 12 guys came in with zilch. Everyone caught a ton of fish from 1ft to 14ft, but very few keeper bites. I really think if I had not been there the night before, I would have not got hung up on fishing shallow and probably would have finessed some baits though the deep cabbage and probably done a little better. That being said, I believe I had the bites to win, I just did not convert.
On that note, Congrats to Peter T. on his Bassmasters Memorial Major victory and check back tomorrow to see how I got revenge on Wapogasset.
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