Monday, April 26, 2010

Alum Creek Tourney 4/24

Leo fell out of bed at 3:30 in the morning. He came into our room saying that his head hurt bad. We let him crawl in bed with us. My plans to wake up at 4:00 were ruined thanks to me not remembering to plug in the three bank charger again after I had pulled the boat out of the garage the night before to work on the rear livewell and the depth finder transom.

I had charged the batteries for a few hours the night before and hoped that an additional hour would get me through the day if I didn't find a partner to fish the tournament with.

At the gas station I grabbed a couple sandwiches and proceded to the counter. A guy standing at the counter did not see me come in and when he looked at me he started laughing hysterically. I had my new frogg togg suspenders on and my Ranger hoodie with my wore out K-state hat. He must have thought I came straight out of redneckville. It didn't bother me, it actually cheered me up seeing somebody laugh like that.

On route to the lake I came close to hitting a deer. Luckily, with no traffic on the road that early on a Saturday morning I was able to kick the high beams in just in time to see it and slow down.

I arrived to the lake and there were quite a few boats already there. Mostly from the bass club members starting to set up. Mike, a member of the club, was the first person I talked to. He asked if I was fishing the tournament and mentioned that he did not have a partner. I asked if he wanted to fish together. He said yes and I felt extatic. I was going to get to fish the tournament after all. It was even more exciting that I was going to get to fish out of his new boat fresh off the factory floor 3 weeks ago. It was a Ranger Camanche loaded with options including a power pole and 2 Hummingbirds with the side viewing sonar.

The weather forcast was for rainy all day and lightning storms rolling in around 2:00. It was supposed to be fairly warm with a high in the upper 60's. It had quit raining during the check in and 21 boats ended up showing for the tournament.

Mike said that he was unfamiliar with the lake so I took him to some of my favorite spots. We caught 11 bass total. There were only 3 keepers out of that and they were pretty small. We even hit a double as both of us cast to the same spot on a tree with different presentations. We both set the hook at the same time and got the bass in the boat at the same time. Both bass were less than a quarter inch of being a keeper. That would have been awesome to fill our limit for the day with a double.

I started the tournament with a spinnerbait and ended up switching to a 10" powerbait worm pretty quick when I saw that the spinnerbait bite did not seem to be what was needed. I felt a light tick and set the hook on my first keeper. Mike had gotten one shortly before that in the same cove. We fished some other shoreline and kept picking up non-keepers. We tried some riprap that I had seen smallmouth come off of before. I picked up a non-keeper smallmouth on a beetle spin. Mike caught a small keeper smallmouth not too much after that.

Mike also picked up this large Musky on a worm in the middle of the tournament.

We tried some different areas and picked up more non-keepers. I missed a lot of light bites on my 10" powerbait so I switched to a 6" brown curltail worm that I have had some success with on the lake. I caught some more fish but missed a lot of really light bites. They would not hold on to my worm very long, even the powerbait. I saw that a lot last year in the spring.

I was able to feel a lot more bites thanks to my Berkley Amp rod that I recently picked up. I could feel everything with it matched with Berkley Flourocarbon line. My hookup ratio improved quite a bit this year as well since I switched my hooks to Bass Pro BPS hooks. They seem sharper than the Eagle Claw brand that I had been using. Equipment does make a big difference.

We finished the tournament in 8th place out of 21 boats with 3.19 pounds. 1st place had a little over 12 pounds. They also got big fish with a 4.14 pounder. It was the best day bass fishing I have had in Ohio yet. We just didn't get the bigger fish. I have no doubt that we were doing the right things and fishing in the right places. We just got the smaller bass. The rain did not seem to hurt the bite at all. In fact it might have improved it. I will have to fish in the rain more often now that I have my Frogg Toggs.

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