I woke up for day 2 around 4:00. The bed was extremely comfortable and I did not want to get out of up. It was chilly outside, around 42 degrees.
I loaded up everything out of the room and took off for the launch ramp to meet up with my partner. We were both there really early, considering we were in the last flight. It was nice to get out on the water before the rest of the competition arrived. I would much rather sit out on the water and have the truck parked, than wait forever in a line then fight for a parking spot.
My partner for day 2 was a ways back after day 1 too, so he said we were going to swing for the fences and fish all day for bigger bass. We punched mats of hyacinths and flipped reeds. It was a slow tedious process and by noon I still had not had a bite, besides a few short fish I caught doing something else every once in a while.
My partner had 3 decent sized bass so I knew we were in the right area. He even set the hook one time and had hooked an alligator. The gator was covered with grass so my boater didn't see what he had. He still thought he had the tournament winning bass. I said, "Don't reach your hand down there, that's a gator." He saw his tail then. My partner then said, "I'm getting my hook back." He got it back. I'm just glad he did with the gator outside the boat.
With no previous experience punching, I wasn't having any luck. I decided to try something a little different than my partner was doing. I grabbed a heavy shaky head and flipped it into the reeds. Quite a few flips later I saw my line move a little and I set the hook. I had my first keeper around 12:30.
Over the next couple hours I ended up catching 3 more keepers this way. My partner hadn't caught any during this time. He did hook into big snakehead and thought he had the tournament winning fish again, but was disappointed as he swung the fish towards the boat. All of my fish were a little smaller around 13 to 14 inches. We were starting to put a good pattern together but were running out of time.
My partner got his final 2 fish, then I saw my line move. I set the hook. Snap. The fish didn't move towards me much like the others had when I set the hook. That was with 30 minutes left in the tournament. We had to make a run back towards the ramp then.
I had timed the ride out, so I knew we would have a few minutes to fish a little closer to the ramp. He pulled off to some rocks that he said he knew some keepers were at. He caught one and was able to cull a little. Then I felt the tap tap and set the hook. Snap. I was really snapping the rod back but my line should not be breaking from that.
We pulled into weigh in with 1 minute remaining. We were the last boat to arrive. My partner really wanted me to get that last bass. I weighed in my 4 fish for 4 pounds 15 oz. to finish 77th place overall. There were 143 boats so I finished smack in the middle of the pack.
I drew 2 of the best partners for fishing this trip. I had a lot of fun fishing with them. They showed me some new ways to fish, made sure I was able to cast to some good spots, and were super nice guys. I hope I run into them again some day.
I took off for home after the tournament and drove a different route so I could bypass Dallas. That evening I left Louisiana, drove through Arkansas, Texas and got half way through Oklahoma. I almost hit a deer at 80 mph on turnpike. That scared the heeby jeebies out of me so I stopped a the first hotel I saw and got a room for the night after being up for 20 hours and driving for 7.
The next day I had 4 hours drive to get the rest of the way home. That section is a drive I make often so it seemed like another 7 hours.
Son of a ****** - Even though it was after 8PM and fast getting dark I made the decision to try going fishing in the snow. I turned onto the Grumpy Old Man Hole road at Ric...
3 days ago