|"Sweet Revenge" color Mad Maxx frog|
The Day: We were a bit surprised to have the whole SW slop bay to ourselves in the morning. We spent all day there fishing the shallow rice and pads with Tru-Tungsten Mad Maxx Frogs. My boater Roger and I both mostly threw "Sweet Revenge", but I threw "Big Sexy" in the afternoon as well hoping it might get me a big bite. Only 3 other boats came in there the whole day and they didn't stay long. The fish bit throughout the day with only one about an hour long dry spell from about 9-10AM. I got the first bite of the morning about 5 minutes in, but it was a pike. There was a lot of baitfish activity right away in the morning before the wind came up. Roger was up two to nothing when I got my biggest bass of the day, a 16.25" about half an hour in. As we were drifting across the flat Roger asked me if we should drift closer to shore. I told him I thought the fish could be anywhere. About 5 minutes later I herd a whooosh. A big bass had annihilated Rogers frog. I turned my head and informed Roger about the situation as he was watching my frog at the time. Roger got it in and it was 4lb 5oz and to tied "Lunker of the Tournament." Roger had his limit before I got another fish. I just wasn't getting hit. Roger had his limit in the first hour and a half. We had to use my push pole a couple of times. Roger had culled two times when I got on a hot streak and landed 5 fish to Rogers none (14", 14.75", 13.5", 15.25, and 15.9"). Roger was getting bites, but missing them. I had my limit by 11AM. I got a 15.5 to cull out the 13.5" and then caught a couple more pike, five 12inch fish, and 14.5", which I culled out for 14.75" fish. We had lots of short strikes and a few bad hooksets cost me some fish I probably should of had. I had three bites on the Havoc Pit Boss but I missed all of them. I also fished the Fluke and Horny Toad but didn't get a bite on either one of those.
Results: My six fish weighed 11lbs 7ozs and put me in 15th Place out of 27 fishing. Roger's fish were 16lbs and netted him 3rd Place, with the 4lb 5oz Lunker. The winner was Guy Henkensiefken with 16-8 edging out Keith Tuma by three ounces, two of which were for a dead fish penalty.
Thoughts: Frustrating, but fun day. Here's my theory on why Roger kicked my butt. I believe the decision to switch out my Team Daiwa-S103 with a 6:1 ratio the day before for the 9:1 ratio Revo Rocket was a critical mistake. I couldn't slow down enough with the Rocket to give the frog the look they wanted. I was trying to match Roger's retrieve, but it just wasn't happening for me when I did that. Roger had quite a few more bites than me, but we caught about the same amount of fish. I definitely caught more 12" fish than Roger. That and Roger was just lucky to land casts next to bigger fish that were able to take the frog well enough to be hooked.
It really would have helped if Roger would have had a small anchor to put down when we were drifting through good water. That would have saved Roger some frustration of dealing with the rice as well.
How much can a guy complain on a day where he caught 17 fish and set the hook on at least that many more. The fish bit all day and I fished one of my favorite ways. Amazingly I didn't get a single hit while walking my frog when I had the opportunities to do that in holes in the weeds.
I saw one 5lb dogfish and an 8lb carp.
Next Tournament: Woman Lake July 18th