Just got back from Lake Mead near Las Vegas for the WON BASS Pro-AM. Fun event. I was leading the event on day one and finished in third place overall and had big fish of the event.
I never fished on Lake Mead before so I gave myself 2.5 days to practice and learn it. All I knew was there was bushes in the water and 10lbs a day was a top5 finish on this lake historically. So here's how it went...
I didn't find much the first day. Caught about 40 fish but only 1 keepers...everything came on topwater and jigs. I was on to something but I need to change some stuff to get keeper bites. A good friend and a class act guy John Morrow told me at the ramp (on the second morning) to try running my pattern of the east side of the lake. I went out there and search around but only found one school of smallmouth but they were all really nice fish. I still wasn't on anything "special" but I was building on a topwater pattern. Last day of practice (half day) I ran around checking about 50 spots on the lake I marked randomly off Google Maps the night before. I found another 12-14 more schools of smallmouth (mixed with 100s of stripers). I knew I was on something good at that point but I didn't really know exactly how things would unfold during the event. I also switched to a bigger topwater that last day which ultimately was key to getting bigger bites.
I launched in the last flight and ran directly to the schools I found. The bit was wide open in the morning so my plan was to try and hit 15 spots before 9am. First stop produced a nice 2lb smallie on my first cast. By 830am we had a decent limit, all on topwater. By 10am we had 11lbs or so; at that point I decided to lay off my schools and try to save fish for day two while scouting new water.
Around 1pm I found a school of largemouth and caught a 4.22lber on my first cast. That was the biggest fish of the tournament and I knew we'd have a good sack. On the last cast of the day, I caught another 2lb largemouth on topwater and culled again. I lead day 1 by around a pound or so.
I stopped at one spot near the boat ramp (which I found on day 1 in the afternoon) and caught 2 keepers in 3 casts. Ran to my second spot and some desperate angler was sitting right on my spot...it was one of my best spots. This guy had 2 fish on day 1...was out of the tournament...I was in the lead...he didn't fish this spot at all on day 1 but he saw me there...and he was straight up robbing my spot. What a weirdo. I guess he was desperate for any kind of bite...so I left it to him and he sat on it all day long! WOW...nice guy. lol...
I quickly moved to my other schools and instantly boated our best fish of the day, a 2.5lb smallie on the next stop. I moved around a lot but my other fish had moved. They must have moved far too because I search but couldn't relocate them at all. The wind really picked up on day 2 and all my best stuff was getting blown out. Those schools of smallies must have followed some shad schools out of my areas and setup somewhere else; which is pretty common out West.
I wormed around the rest of the day and salvaged the day w/ an 8.5lb bag or so. It was a better than average bag, but not a good bag. I knew I lost the tournament once I couldn't relocate my fish.
I finished in 3rd place and w/ the tournament's biggest fish.
Not a bad way to begin closing out my year (only 2 tournaments left). I was glad to be fishing against some of the West's best pro's including Mike Folkstad, Justin Kerr, Tim Klinger, Roy Hawk, Dean Rojas, etc. These are all guys I grew up idolizing while in the Northwest. I was fortunate to have been able to hold my own against those guys and that's something to build on going forward.
Thanks for reading.
- "Its all about attitude" – KVD
Key Gear Used
Powell 723 c – Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Series Reel - 15lb Izorline Platinum (super low stretch)
Lucky Craft Gunfish 95 – Gunmetal Shad
Catching suspended smallmouth that suspended outside the striper schools off main lake flat points. Points had to have ditches or drains running through the flat points.