Well at the 2011 Oklahoma Bassmaster Tour Open, I basically got schooled. I decided to fish 55 miles down river which means using the river’s locking systems to get down there. That only left me with out 3.5 hrs to fish each day but I knew I found something special in practice. I had three patterns going…
(1) My best fish came punching a 1.5oz Rein’s Tungsten sinker with a Bass Pro Shops Flippin Tube on 50lb Izorline braid. Not many people where punching way back in the heavy shoreline river grass. I used a Powell heaving action punching rod and Revo STX 7.1:1 reel.
(2) I was able to catch a few fish each day with a Lucky Craft LC2.5 square bill in Crack Black color on 15lb Izorline mono and a 695CB Powell rod and Revo Premier Reel.
(3) I also found a rocky point on the main lake with tons of fish on it but didn’t catch any keepers on it in practice nor in the tournament (despite catching over 50 bass on it during the tournament…literally one cast after another). I was drop shotting a Berkley Bold Bluegill 6″ drop shot worm on 8lb XPS Fluorocarbon line and a 703 Powell Spinning Rod and Johnny Morris high speed reel.
Well I got down there on day 1 and only ended up fishing about 1 hour b/c my throttle cable broke on my motor. Wow, never had that happen before. What a fluke deal (?). Just bad luck I guess. That day was totally wasted and I knew I was out of the tournament after that happened. I did punch a 3.5lber and a 2lb before the issue occurred however.
Day 2…I got down there and the water dropped 12-14 inches and muddied up from the wind and I was toast. I didn’t know the lake good enough to run somewhere else and my fish in the grass were gone; I never got a bite in there in that shallow 6″ deep muddy water. I ended up just cranking around and my co-angler and I boated a few keepers and that was it.
People told me afterwards that going back East you just have to have some local help. I’ve never really done that but I’m highly considering it now. When you have 110 miles of river to check in 3-4 practice days, its just hard to find enough fish that will last during a 3 day tournament in all conditions.
Oh well, I’m over it now and on to the next one. One thing I’ve learned in this sport is if you can’t get your butt handed to you a few times then you shouldn’t be out there.
As KVD would say…its all about attitude.