With a strong start to the Elite Series season at Seminole and the St. Johns, I headed into our tournament at Table Rock feeling good about my chances. I’ve fished there quite a bit at this time of year and I’m pretty good at both the jerkbait and Wiggle Wart bites that tend to dominate, but I’m also comfortable switching up my tactics as needed. The lake is very productive right now and I knew that the key would be not just catching fish, but finding a way to add a kicker or two each day, adjusting as the weather changed.
In any tournament on a lake where you have a lot of experience, one key factor is to integrate your history into your game plan without relying on it entirely. If you’re inflexible, that’s when you tend to stumble. I’m comfortable with Table Rock and knew that I wasn’t going to get stressed out, but my history almost got me into trouble.
I spent the first day of practice on the lower end of the lake in the clearer water. It was a dark and cloudy day and the water temperature hovered around 48 degrees, absolutely perfect for the jerkbait bite and I did pretty well with it. There was going to be a warming trend, though, so I knew I’d have to expand upon things on the next day.
On the second day, against my better judgment, I went up the White River into the dirtier water. I knew that there would be huge numbers of fish up there, and I was filming a Pro Patterns segment and wanted to give them plenty of action. The area didn’t disappoint – I probably caught 75 fish cranking a Wiggle Wart – but my best five were probably only 12 pounds or so. I was afraid to make that long run when I wasn’t sure if there were any big fish biting up that way.
I decided to stay down in the clear water most of the third practice day and the results were less than inspiring. Eventually I worked my way up into the dirtier water in Long Creek and that’s when I started getting bit real well, including some big bites. I figured that if it blew on tournament day I could spend my time in the clearer water and use the Long Creek fish, which weren’t far away, as my fallback spot. read more…
Check it out
- This one feels like a milestone… -
- You Tube -
- Classic Article -
- BASS Times -
Checkout the latest issue.
- Bassmaster.com -
- Joe Balog – Bass War Blog -
Great perspective from Joe bassfan.com
- Great Podcast withTerry Brown -
- New Podcast with Bass East -
- Thanks for the coverage www.bassfan.com -
- Open House -
Join me at Leisure Time Outdoors for Open House on 4/19/14. Seminars at 11 & 2. Great discounts & give-always! 2415 N. Illinois, Swansea IL.
- Still at the Rock -
It has been a long several months on the road with tournaments pretty much back to back. Deb and I are taking a few days to get regrouped and reorganized before heading to Toledo Bend TX.
- On to Day 3 -
I think everyone on Table Rock heard me yell when I caught that 6-pounder today. What a relief to bring in a kicker fish. I made up a lot of ground and hope I can wrestle a few more out of the lake tomorrow. Day 3 weigh-in Branson Landing.