Monday, September 20, 2010

Pleasant Hill Club Tournament

Our final club tournament before the fish off was this Sunday. There were 6 of us in contention of winning 20% of the fish off money for being weekend angler series points leader. I was 1 point back from the leader and had to take a top 3 in order to tie and a top 2 to move ahead if none of the others got a higher place than me or a top 3.

The morning started out great. It was overcast and cool with a little rain coming down. Giant smallmouth were slamming shad on the surface all around us. The forecast said overcast all day. How could it get any better.

Twenty minutes later the fish stopped hitting the surface and we had not figured out how to catch a single one. One of those behemoth smallmouth would have been a tournament breaker and there were tons of them. It was frustrating but we couldn't get them to hit topwater, crankbaits, worms, spoons or anything we threw.

We moved a little and I caught a barely keeper smallmouth next to a grass bed on a twister tail and jig head. I caught another short smallmouth the next cast and thought we were onto something. We worked for another half hour without a bite, then decided to move.

We went to the shallow end of the lake and I caught a largemouth pretty quickly off a rocky shoreline. A little ways down from there I caught another largemouth. Then the sun burned through our overcast day. The bite turned off again.

I missed quite a few other bites throughout the day on a 10" power worm. I would switch to something smaller and not get bit and switch back and get bit again. I would set the hook and my worm would come back all balled up on the hook without a fish. It was very frustrating. We were still having a lot of fun.

I ended up catching another short smallmouth off a point in the deeper part of the lake while Mike was taking a just barely short largemouth off his hook. Again we thought we were onto something but cast away at that point without any success. It became overcast again and a breeze picked up. Conditions seemed favorable for an afternoon bite.

We decided to try our original spot again for 30 minutes then burned the last hour in the shallow end of the lake. Mike had a huge blowup on a buzzbait coming over a log. It sounded like a toilet flushing. I missed a few more solid bites.

It just wasn't my day. I weighed in 3 fish for 3.38 pounds good enough for 4th in the club. Andy took a third with 4 fish and won the WAS points lead and 20% of the fish off money. It was awesome that the last tournament was so close that 6 of us had a shot at it. Andy has been with the club for 20 years and I can't think of anybody more deserving.

We vote on the fish off lakes Sept 30th. I'm torn on the lake I will vote for. We have fished some lakes that would be great that time of the year. The only lake I really don't have a chance at is Lake Erie. You need a lot of experience there to do good, I think. On top of that, I'm scared of the lake in my boat. The waves from the other boats alone are enough to scare me. If it gets windy I think I would stay ashore and concede my season. If it's an inland lake I think we all have an equal opportunity.

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