Sunday, August 29, 2010

Griggs club tourney

Our lake for this weekends tournament was Griggs Reservoir in Columbus. It was nice to be able to get up a little later for a tournament. I still did not sleep last night. I have been pumped for this tournament since we prefished it last Sunday. The fish were biting the way I like to catch them and we had caught a couple large for around here sized bass.

This morning we started out where Gene and I had picked up the 2 decent bass last week. I was using a green finesse worm whacky rigged as we had used last week. I would twitch it along the bottom. All I could get this morning was bluegill though and I had a ton of them hitting. I did have one tiny bass to the boat on a beatle spin but it fell off as I was lifting it in.

Scott went out with me again and he brought in the first keeper smallmouth of the day on a crankbait.

Later in the morning I started switching up colors on my whacky rig to see if I could get the right match for the day. I had 2 purple cabelas 4 inch finesse worms left. I had a couple hits and lost them right away. I had some 4 inch cabelas brand senko style in a similar purple so I gave them a try. I cast it into a bunch of sticks next to a log and had a hit. I set the hook and had my first keeper bass. We fished that shoreline for a while longer with no success so we decided to move down the lake a ways to another stretch of shoreline I had luck on last week.

I cast under a willow tree and caught a squeeker largemouth, just enough to keep. Then about 100 yards down the shoreline I hooked into a smallmouth. Both were on the purple with gold glitter senko style baits.

I caught all 3 fish between 11:15 and 12:30. We fished for a while longer with no bites then I feel a fish and set the hook. This fish was a fighter. I had it up close to the boat and it took a dive. As it did the hook pulled free and I lost it.

Christina, Leo, Gavin, and Gene showed up to the weigh in. I ended up with 3 fish for 3.15 pounds good enough for 2nd place and a little cash for the pocket.

First place had 3 fish for almost 4 pounds. He also had a big fish break him off.

It was a tough day. We seem to hit a lot of those in our club tournaments. A lake will be on fire 2 weeks before we hit it. I can't complain though. I had a game plan and used it to catch the 3 fish I could get. It feels good to finally place in the money at one of these club tournaments.

After the tournament I took Leo, Gene and his girlfriend back out to fish some more. Leo schooled us on fishing and brought in the only bass of the evening. He was reeling in and felt a fish. He yells out, "It's a sweet bass!!" We had been fishing for panfish. He got it in and sure enough it was a "sweet bass". I guess I'm going to have to get used to being outfished by my kids. He's just 4 though, I thought I'd have a little longer.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ohio River Buckeye Division BFL

This weekend was the 4th tournament in the Buckeye Division BFL out of Carrollton, KY on the Ohio River.

I was ready for revenge on the Ohio River after not even getting bit out of Maysville. I had vacation scheduled for Friday but had just taken vacation time the previous Friday for the wedding and that didn't work out to well without having any type of coverage. I decided to just leave work early Friday and leave myself time to get to registration on time.

Everything came up at work and I didn't get to leave until about 4:00. The GPS said I would arrive at 7:09, nine minutes late. Usually that's not a problem as I make it where I'm going sooner than GPS time. This time however, I was traveling through Dayton and Cincinati during rush hour. For the first time that I can remember I purposely sped when I could to make up time.

I made Cincinati in good time but it was stop and go the whole way through the city. Just as I was about to have a panic attack we made it across the Ohio river and I was flying again.

I made it to the registration site with 3 minutes left to register and by the time I got signed in I had 1 minute left. Talk about cutting it close. I found out later you can call in to register then show up to the pretournament meeting for pairings.

I met Jim a guy I had been talking to at the other tournaments and he said that he had an extra bed again at the super 8. I had been planning on camping near there but a hotel is much easier.

We went out to eat at an awesome Mexican place then went back to the hotel. The next morning we had Waffle House and headed to the ramp.

We locked through to go North and ended up having only a few hours to fish up there before we started to head back. I caught my only bass right before we moved back South. It was raining by the time we started fishing and the bass did not want to cooperate. I only had 1 good bite that I missed right after I caught my first fish.

At weigh in I had 1 bass for 1 pound 3 ounces. Only 30 co-anglers brought in fish so I placed in 25th. I also moved from 46th to a tie for 24th in the standings.

Sunday I pre-fished Griggs for this weekends club tournament. I only had a few hours but had some fantastic fishing in the afternoon. Gene went with me and caught a 2 1/2 pounder. I got one around 2 pounds and a couple smaller fish. I also felt a lot of fish hit and figured out a good pattern if it holds.

I would have a nice picture of a decent bass but as we were leaving I pulled up to the boat dock with the trolling motor. By the time I got it raised and went to step out we had floated a ways from the dock. I tried to make the jump as it didn't look that far. It turned out that with the boat swinging as I pushed off and the distance I had to make it were just to much. My feet made it on the dock but my whole body was leaning over the water and my toes were not strong enough to hold me up. My cell phone was in my pocket and there was quite an audience. I felt like a smuck after that one.


Wow, it's been forever since I have posted. I have been really busy with work and traveling for fun and fishing. I have also been playing a lot of online poker as that will be my hobby over the winter while I will not be fishing.

The weekend after the clear fork tournament Christina and I traveled back to Kansas City for Mizike and Kimber's wedding. I was the best man and the wedding turned out great. Except for black tuxes with black shirts in 104 degree heat with a limo that had no A/C taking pictures outdoors all day then an outdoor wedding. I'm not going to complain about that though. The wedding was really cool. They had it in the rose garden in Kansas City and afterwards had the reception and dance at the 4 diamond Hotel Phillips in downtown Kansas City. Kansas City is also a lot more architectural than I thought it would be. There is a lot to see and do in the inner city. I thought it was a lot dirtier and ran down. They must have done a lot to clean it up. I wouldn't mind spending a week there.

It was pretty neat spending the weekend downtown, using cabs or limo's to get around and vallet to park our vehicle. We had a bar downstairs and our rooms were right there while we were at the reception. It was a nice little vacation from reality.

We picked up Leo and Gavin on Sunday after not seeing them for 3 weeks. I think I changed in that 3 weeks. I felt like I had to start being Dad all over again. They had fun back in Kansas. They spent the 1st week with Charity and Kelly's with Bella and David. The second week they spent with my parents and the third week they spent with Cherish and Todd and their 8 cousins. They traveled from Ohio to Eastern Missouri to South Central Kansas to Southwest Kansas and back to Ohio.

They came back with all kinds of stories and memories and Leo even had a black tipped nose from all the scratches caused by running into a tree on a bike.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Clear Fork Tournament

This Sunday we fished a Twin Rivers Bassmasters club tournament at Clear Lake. It was a pleasant change from most of the lakes that we fish as the lake had a lot of vegetation.

The weights were down this weekend for a couple of reasons. The water clarity is not as well as it was a couple weeks ago. Also, there were 2 club tournaments going out on the same day. The Columbus Bassmasters were out there as well.

This was the first time I had fished the lake, but have heard good things about it. I didn't prefish it as it is over an hour and a half from the house.

At the start of the day I did not know where to fish. I was going to fish along the South bank near the boat ramp or around the islands. We drew 2nd to last boat out and the other club had taken off by the time we got started so the South bank and islands were covered with boats.

We went North and found a nice spot that dropped to 9 foot close to shore. It had grass and lily pads. Everything looked good. I made a mistake and went to shore. I am out of practice fishing vegetation. The fish even showed themselves a lot out deep. There were quite a few closer to shore as well but the larger fish were deeper.

We worked topwater for a while with no success and I changed to rubber. About an hour after I started working the shoreline I decided to head out in the middle of a cove to try for the suspended bass that kept working the surface. Dave pulled a 2 1/2 pounder out pretty quickly. As soon as he did the fish quit working the surface and we didn't get another bite there.

We moved to the South shore and I picked up a 1 3/4 pounder pretty quick followed by a 12 1/2 incher. I had caught a few more shorts in the process. As soon as I caught the 12 1/2 incher the bite died considerably.

The rest of the day I pulled out an occasional short fish. Finally around 1:00 I landed another 12 1/2 incher. That would be the last keeper for us.

At the weigh in we heard that most of the boats had their limits by 9:00 and barely caught fish the rest of the day as well. If I was to go back again next week I am sure I could get a quick limit and have a shot.

My 3 fish weighed 3.53 pounds. I finished near the bottom. First place had over 7 pounds and second and third had over 6 pounds.

I will prefish Griggs for our upcoming club tournament. I have to have a few productive spots figured out or I risk not catching a fish. The fish here seem to only feed for a couple hours in the morning. After that it is nearly impossible to catch a keeper.

Monday, August 2, 2010

O'Shaughnessy Club Tournament and Weekend Update

This weekend went fast. I guess they all do anymore.

Friday night was spent playing online poker. I was up around 30.00 when I finished playing.

Saturday Christina and I went to Cedar Point to ride the coasters. We rode a lot of them. The picture below is of Christina standing in line at the Top Thrill Dragster. It was our second coaster of the day. I wasn't too nervous getting on. I should have been. The whole ride lasts 17 seconds. Your body is rocketed to unbelievable speeds in no time. Definately a thrill!

Christina made friends with a couple of 15 year olds on one of the rides in the middle of the day and we rode rides with them the rest of the day. They were a couple of good kids but I am unsure of why they wanted to hang out with people twice their age.

We didn't get back to Columbus until after midnight. I had drank a monster on the way home to stay focused. It stuck with me and I had a really hard time getting to sleep.

A couple hours later I was up getting the boat out of the garage and ready for our club tournament on O'Shaughnessy.

I got to the lake and met Scott who was riding with me at the tournament. I was ready for redemption on the lake.

We started out close to the ramp. Knowing the lakes around here you have to get your fish early and the more time you spend casting the better chance you have of getting in on the early bite.

I caught a bluegill then a keeper pretty quick working down the bank. He was about 13 1/2 inches. We didn't have anymore bites on that bank so we moved up the lake a little to a bridge. It was a little deeper water. I caught a keeper bass right away about the same size as the first. We worked back and forth down the bridge a bit without any more fish. I could see some more working in that area but couldn't get them to bite.

We worked our way out to the shallow point and worked a weed line. As we were pulling out to move Scott was getting a bite so we pulled back in to work the line a little more. No luck.

We moved the opposit direction toward the dam. It was starting to get warmer and the sun was getting above the trees.

We stopped at a cove where I had a few fish break me off last year. I caught a few short bass out of there and a couple more bluegill. The short bass were fat.

I changed out the water in the livewell and noticed that there were a lot of crayfish pieces in the water. I stuck with my finesse worm since it had been working. I'm not sure if that was the right decision.

We worked back along a weed line to another small cove. We came across some sparse weeds and Scott had a couple nice fish hit his bait but get off before he could get them all the way to the boat. He was thinking it was the pole he was using. It didn't have much sensitivity and he wasn't feeling the bite until the fish already had the bait and then he couldn't get a good hook set.

I could have hooked up what he was using as it was starting to show signs of productivity. Yet again I stuck with what I was using. Probably not the best decision even though I still caught a few more short bass and a couple more bluegill.

We fished another larger cove with no luck. The good thing about fishing it is what I learned from it.

The whole cove was filled with 1 inch shad and I saw later that the rest of the lake had an abundance of them as well. When they flashed sideways it looked like the finesse worm I was using when I twitched it. In the main lake the shad were more balled up and not spread as far apart. The fish were feeding on them in the main lake.

The reason I said not switching baits throughout the day was not the best decision was due to the different structures we were fishing. The more I fish with the finesse worm the more I learn about it and realize that it is best for specific uses but not for every lake or structure.

It works great for rock banks. Especially smaller rock. Even better where the water drops quickly. It also works better where the water is cleaner.

Thinking back on the day. I should have used a ribbontail or twist tail worm texas rigged in the weeds. On the shallow banks I should have used a craw. I also wish I would have had a small topwater bait tied on.

I weighed in 2 bass for 2.11 pounds. I finally caught a keeper bass out of O'Shaughnessy. I didn't catch all the weights but think I finished around 6th. There were a lot of 1 or 2 fish catches. Only 2 people had 3 fish. There were also a few people that didn't catch any keepers.