Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kentucky Lake BFL Regionals

The last tournament of the year for me is now over. I fished the BFL Regional at Kentucky lake this last weekend. The conditions were tough. Going down there I thought there was no way you could not catch fish in that lake. I was partly right as I caught quite a few short bass but the keeper size was harder to catch.

Christina and the kids came down with me to go on some adventures of their own while I was fishing.

Day 1: I drew a great partner that said the fishing was tough and every bite counts. He couldn't have been more right. We started out fishing a cove with a sandy flat. He had one fish blow up on a topwater and miss it. I didn't have any bites. We moved to a marina break wall and I caught 1 short fish on a roboworm. Then we moved to a feeding flat and he caught 3 keepers. I caught 1 fish on a chatterbait. He was only 14 inches but must have weighed well over 2 pounds it was sad putting him back.

We moved to some other areas and I ended up catching a keeper pulling a bomber past the edge of a boat dock in about 8 foot of water. He slammed the bomber and headed straight to wrap me around a post. I pulled him back out from under the docks and got him in the livewell. In a spot close to there we were fishing some bridge rocks. I had a good bite and set the hook with a 10" powerworm. The fish didn't have the hook in its mouth but took half my worm. My boater said he usually only pulls giants off those rocks so that was a little devastating. My boater also had a huge fish pull free from his hook on the same rocks. Shortly after we moved back to the feeding flat where I continued to catch short fish after short fish. It was fun but would have been a blast if they would have been keepers.

At weigh in I had 1 fish for 2 pounds even. I was around 50th place after day 1 with a good shot to move up the next day.

Christina and the kids went to land between the lakes and did some hiking/sight seeing. I took the kids fishing inside the marina break wall once I got back from weigh in. I had spoken to the tournament director's to ensure it would be o.k. to let them fish. They said it was o.k. since it was not tournament waters inside the break wall.

We went out to eat at Oasis Southwest Grill afterwards. I got the surf and turf and Christina go the chicken fried chicken. The steak was cooked perfectly and was of generous size. The pacific shrimp were huge. It also came with 2 sides and rolls for appetizers. Christina's chicken fried chicken was tender and delicious. We had ate there several times last year and we both love the chicken fried chicken.

Once we got back to the lodge I tied on a few lures then went to bed.

Day 2: I drew another great partner for day 2. Unlike several of the other boaters he had located a lot of fish in practice. He had only caught 1 the day before but said he was getting 20 pound bags during practice. We decided to go South to swing for the fences where he knew some good bass were.

We swung and swung until my arm was cramping then swung some more. I caught a lot of bass but no keepers. He said he couldn't believe how many short fish were eating that 10" worm. He caught 1 keeper and I didn't have anything to weigh in.

It was a long ride back North knowing I had nothing to weigh in. Christina and the kids were at weigh in and I really wanted to bring in some fish. My boater offered to let Leo and Gavin carry his fish up to weigh in from the boat. That was pretty awesome of him and the boys really enjoyed that.

Christina, Leo and Gavin did some more hiking on a trail that had a lot of signs with details of the area. Leo was really excited telling me about it. They also went to a safari like area and saw buffalo, fox, owls and some other animals that had sustained injuries and would not be able to survive in the wild.

When I got back to the room, I decided I wanted to drink later and put beers on ice. Then I took the boys down to fish of the courtesy dock at the lodge. I caught a shell cracker and put it on Gavin's line and cast it out so he could reel it in. He got off when I cast it though. We didn't catch any more fish but a couple guys at the end of the dock caught a nice catfish and let Leo and Gavin admire it.

We went out to eat Chinese buffet after that. We got back to the room at a decent time but I was wiped out and went straight to bed instead of drinking any beer.

The next morning we got up and packed the van so we could go get some breakfast. I wanted a nice restaurant breakfast but didn't find a restaurant on the route home so the kids won and we ate McDonald's.

On the way home we drove by Fort Knox and stopped at Patton's museum. It was really informative and free. From there we booked it home. I was feeling pretty bad the whole way home about placing 95th out of 151. Four more pounds and I would have been in the top 12 cut and in the money.

It was still a fun tournament and I learned a ton. I now know how 20 pound bags can be caught even though we didn't do it this tournament. I think all the conditions at the time of the tournament collided and made it tougher than it ever should have been. There was a full moon, so the fish could have been feeding at night. There was a cold front, no moving water, the lake had just been drawn down 6 inches, we had bluebird skies and no wind. I'm sure there were other variables in play.

Somebody will always figure it out though, and I was happy to see Jacob Wheeler figured out enough to get him a check and make it into the All American next year.

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