Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Indian Lake FLW BFL event

I made it to the lake as the rain started to pour down. The last 2 nights I had not slept well due to dreams of not catching bass. After catching so may fish at Lake Erie the weekend before I should have been having dreams of whacking them. I felt that I could get them on Indian.

Once at the registration I sat in the car for about an hour while the wind and rain pushed through. The rain slowed so I got registered.

I had plans to stay at my friend Chad's house while fishing the tournament but he had to leave town last minute so I decided to sleep in my car in his driveway.

Around 12:30 AM I awoke to a pickup driving by slowly. They came around again this time stopping behind my car. I had my driver's seat leaned all the way back. My fishing rods were in the back window. I was dazed, half awake, half asleep when I heard 2 guys walking up beside my car getting really close, then trying to open the doors that were locked. I banged on the window really hard. They ran back to the truck, jumped in and took off. I'm sure if I would have been sleeping in the house I would have came back out with busted windows and my fishing rods gone.

Needless to say, I did not sleep the rest of the night. It was starting to look like Grand Lake in a lot of ways. Rain at the pretournament meeting, no sleep the night before. Dreams of bass fishing. The bad thing was these dreams were of not catching bass.

At the tournament we started out in a good area that was filled with bass. My boater boxed a limit within an hour. I had fish follow my bait but not hit. I was casting a blue and black monsoor swim jig with a pacu chunk trailer. I also used a senko weightless and caught a short bass right away with it.

After the first pass throught the channel I switched to the finesse worm whacky rigged on a 1/16th oz hook. Finally I cast next to a laydown and felt a bite. I pulled back on the rod but did not set the hook well. He came to the surface in slow motion and opened his mouth also in slow motion. I could see he was about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. My hook came out of his mouth in slow motion, then the world sped up. A little ways down the bank I hooked into a large catfish, then a short bass. I also missed several fish.

I felt uncomfortable fishing behind my boater. Not that I didn't enjoy fishing with him, I did. I could tell he was judging what I was using and my confidence was going to crap. He made several comments throughout the day about my lure choices.

I usually take criticism as a learning experience but this guy was knocking everything I have had any luck on in Ohio last year and this year. He wasn't harsh about it at all but had me questioning every decision I have made in bass fishing to date. He was doing good and I wasn't. I was missing being in my own boat catching bass. He did re-inforce the original thought that I had going into the tournament. I knew I needed to throw a craw and I didn't try it long enough. Toward the end of the tournament he said, "There were only 2 baits that you threw all day that made any sense to me, that was the chigger craw and the swim jig, and you only threw them for 5 minutes." I just didn't think I had the right craws with me so I didn't throw them that much. Maybe I didn't have the right craws, but I should have gave the ones I had a good effort. I know they work there.

Somewhere in the middle to later part of the day I caught another short bass. Then I brought one to the boat that looked close. He measured a squeek over 12". If he didn't get any shorter in the livewell I would save my points. I really think the boater took me to that area so I could catch a quick keeper fish. As soon as I got him in we went back across the lake to try to get him some upgrade fish. If the boater did go there so I could get a quick keeper, that was awesome of him. That fish got me 110 points for 90th place and kept me in the top 40. I wouldn't have gotten any points without weighing a fish. I am 31st in standings now.

The boater I was with also gave me some advise after the tournament to try to help me get better hookups using the finesse worm whacky style since I love fishing it so much that I cannot put it down. I appreciate all of his advice now that I am off the water and had a chance to see how much I can learn from him from that 1 day on the water.

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