|Waiting to Blast Off|
Conditions: Cool in the morning (54 degrees) getting to 82 degrees, very little wind, and hazy sunshine for most of the day.
I think my sleep schedule was messed up for this tournament. I either woke up super early or didn't get any sleep at all. I ended up arriving at the ramp in Jones Bay at least an hour before sunrise. I was the first one there, but not by as much as I thought I would be. My boater for this one was Roger Ubl who has many years of experience on Pelican Lake. Unfortunately I was unable to get out to pre-fish with him. He told me he wasn't getting a lot of bites, but the one's he were getting were nice one's.
The Day: I brought my Ipod to wear during the run, set to my Tournament Playlist I had been listing to all morning. As the picture shows it was a beautiful morning. We blasted off at around 6:50am. The run North listening to tunes as the guys raced up the lake was one of my highlights of the year. We went to a hump or maybe humps quite a ways off the SE of Gooseberry Island.
On the way North I saw fish breaking on top and conditions were perfect for topwater, so I started by throwing a Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg in chrome sexy shad. Sure enough within my first 10 casts I had a quality fish come up and blast it. Unfortunately, after being hooked briefly it jumped way out of the water and flipped me off. I'd say it was at least 18 inches. A few casts later I hooked and caught a 14.75" largie. Unfortunately that was it for my topwater bites for the day despite the fact we were around fish busting on the surface for most of the morning and for the last hour of the day as well. I think Roger got a couple on some kind of plastic and I got a 16.5" on a Blue Bruiser Lake Fork Craw Tube. Roger was really disappointed with the size of the fish we got here.
After about an hour to hour and a half we left and went off the western tip of Gooseberry Is. Dang breaking fish that were either out of range or wouldn't hit what I was throwing. Roger managed a few on the worm he was throwing. I managed to get a small hammer handle on small Bomber Fat-Free Shad and a 17.25" bass on a breen Chigger Craw. We went to a weedline off the SW side of Gooseberry and I got another 17.25" on the Chigger Craw. That was it for my fish for the day.
We ended up going and fishing some cabbage beds, going back to our starting spot, and some deep weedlines. I tried every rod in the boat including a Carolina Rig, which is something I rarely throw. I had some bites from sunfish but that was it. Roger managed to get a respectable limit by the end of the day.
Results: My 4 fish weighed 10lbs 1oz, which put me in 21st Place out of 26 anglers. My lunker went 3lbs even. Rogers 6 weighed just under 14lbs, which only put him in 15th Place; I guess the quality fish were snapping this day. The winner was Chuck Steinbauer with 19/1 and his son Nate got "Lunker" at 4/10.
My Thoughts: Getting that first bass in the boat would have been nice. I was really wiped out by the end of this one, but I didn't really let it effect my fishing. I felt like I fished strong for most of the day. I just don't think we ever found a good school of fish. The weights were way up from the tournament we had back in 2009 when I took 4th Place with 14lbs even. If I had it to do over again I wouldn't have thrown a Carolina Rig and a lot less topwater. Fishing with Roger and hearing his stories is always enjoyable.