Thursday, July 26, 2012

Arkansas River BFL

Friday morning I had some work to do before I left for the tournament at Muskogee, OK on the Arkansas River.  I quickly packed everything and headed to work.  The boys started getting all crazy when I told them they weren't going with me.  They hate when I pack my poles and not theirs. 

After working for about an hour I took off on my 4 1/2 hour drive to Muskogee.  About an hour down the road I realized I had forgotten my tackle out of the boat.  I had grabbed my tournament bag but had forgotten that on Memorial weekend I had been Walleye and Crappie fishing and had switched my boxes out.  All of my terminal tackle and crankbaits were in the boat.

If I turned around I would be pushing it to get to Muskogee.  Especially since I didn't know where the pairing meeting was to be held and it did not pull up on mapquest or my GPS.  I needed time to drive around if need be.

I passed through Broken Arrow on the way and stopped at the Bass Pro to stock up on some necessity's as well as a quite a few other things.  Forgetting my stuff was a $70.00 mistake.  Not really.  I picked up a lot of cool things that should help out in the future and I restocked all of my hooks, jig heads, and bullet weights as well as added some new goodness to my arsenol.

When I got to Muskogee I checked into Days Inn.  It was nice for the price of the room.  They told me how to get to the marina and where Walmart was located.

I drew a great boater and an early position, which was good.  It was going to be hot the next day, 106 degrees, and I wanted to get them early.

The next morning I missed my turn to the marina and showed up a little bit late to meet my partner.  We still had time to help out another boater get their boat in the water. 

We took off at 6:00 AM and made a huge run down the river.  A couple hours later we were fishing.  My boater quickly pulled in 2 keepers, then a third. 

I was getting bit, but it was light and when I set the hook my bait was wadded up on the hook but no fish.  My boater finally told me I was setting the hook too late.  I needed to set the hook as soon as I felt the fish. 

We fished in about 1/2  a foot of water most of the day.  This, again, as in every tournament this year was new to me.  I caught one fish that touched 14 inches when I measured it but when my boater measured it was about an 1/8th of an inch short.  I hated to throw it back but 1/8 of an inch will cost you dearly.

My boater rounded out his limit but had his big one die due to how he had hooked it under the tongue.  Before we left my boater said lets go hit some rocks.  I was excited, this was my chance.  I love deeper water.  I started out with my regular rock bait.  My boater said that he has luck there with crankbaits.  I switched to a crankbait and right away got hit by a 15 1/2 incher. 

That would be it for the day.  We had a long run back and the wind had picked up.  It was a rough ride back.  We couldn't slow down as we had to get back in time to lock through.  We were in the air more than on the water for quite a while.  It was a little fun but my back paid the price.

I caught a couple of rock bass in the river on the way back to the ramp but no bass.

My bass weighed in at just under 2 pounds and was good for 45th place out of 90.  It moved me up in points from 34th to 23rd for the year with the Grand Lake tournament remaining.  The cutoff for Regionals is 40th place.  If I catch 1 keeper at Grand Lake I should make it to the regionals.  I would like to better than that though.  This will be my 1st tournament with some previous experience on the body of water we are fishing. 

After the tournament I drove to Oklahoma City to visit Mizike.  We went out to the casino for a couple hours that evening for something to do.  I ended up leaving with an extra 250.00 thanks to my favorite slot machine.

The next day we ate at Toby Keith's restaraunt.  The chicken fried steak was huge.  It was the size of 2 or 3 regular chicken fried steaks.  I at the whole thing and all of my sides.  Dang you, Man vs. Food.  I was miserable.  We checked out the museum of osteology after that.  Then I headed home. 

It was a great weekend.  I learned some new fishing techniques, and had a load of fun.

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