Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lots of Fishing Little Catching

Last weekend I went to the FLW BFL tournament at the Arkansas River out of Muskogee.  I went down early to pre-fish Friday before the tournament.  It was cold that morning and I could not warm up even though I had layers of cloths on. 
I didn't catch anything pre-fishing, but the guy I was with caught 2 barely keepers.  Everybody we talked to said they did not catch them.  It was looking like it was going to be a rough tournament.
That evening at the pretournament meeting I was talking with a guy, we introduced ourselves, talked a little more, then I went on about my business.  Crazy thing is I drew him as my boater. 
On tournament day we went to an area that looked completely awesome.  The whole river looked awesome, but this place really stuck out as a bass hole.  We didn't catch any fish, but saw a couple caught out of there.  We made a move to another area and started to fish it.  It looked great too, a lot like a spot I used to fish back home in similar weather conditions. 
My boater caught his first fish and I missed one.  I got my worm back to the boat and the tail had been curled around and re-hooked on the point of the hook.  Nothing I could have done about that missed fish other than possibly to set the hook harder.
We fished that area some more and my boater picked up one more fish.  Then we made a move a little further.  This would be our final move as my boater got on a pattern here.  I tried to mimic what he was doing, and even tied on the exact same lure.  I tried everything else I could think of.  He was getting his bites on the first pass over small grassy patches in shallow water.  After he tried them they didn't want my stuff.
I did have 2 bites in a laydown where my boater pulled 2 good fish out of.  I missed the hook set on both of them.  They weren't hanging on to the bait at all.
On the way back to weigh in my boater spoted a boat in need of help and turned around to see what he could do to help.  They were in the same flight as us and had boat problems and needed to get back to weigh in.  The co-angler had a good bag and a shot at a decent check.  My boater told them to hurry and we would take them to the weigh in. 
We checked in with only a few minutes left.  The co-angler that we picked up won the tournament and had big bass.  My boater continued to help out the other boater well after the weigh in. 
This was the first tournament where my boater did really good and I skunked.  It was pretty disappointing.  I would still go out to fish with my boater any day of the week.  He was a super guy.  He tried to get me some fish, he was just too thorough at picking apart pockets.  It was kind of awesome to see somebody fish the way he did and grind out a limit when lots of others struggled to even catch one bass.
I probably learned more this tournament, than I have in any one tournament the last 3 years.
When I got home I got all of my tackle out and started reorganizing for the new boat.  I will be going from one little tournament bag to a whole boat full of tackle.  Most of the time I will use the same things I always use, but I will have more choices of colors or variations.  It will be nice to have a few more options if I need them.
I was looking for tournaments to do with a buddy of mine from Oklahoma City.  As I was looking I found a series that I can fish with my 9 year old son.  This weekend will be our first tournament.  All of the tournaments are on Eufaula lake.  I looked at the weights from last year and there are some major sticks fishing this trail.  We will need around 19 to 20 pounds or more to win one of these.  My biggest sack ever is not even close to that.  Oh well, we are going to get out there and try anyway.
I tried hitting the walleye spawn a couple of times the week before.  I went to Canton lake and the walleye spawn was almost over.  Then that weekend we were 4 hours north at my wife's Mom's and the walleye were just getting started.  I saw them swimming around the rocks at both locations but did not come across an aggressive one that would bite my lure.
I have been fishing a lot the last month, but I have been doing very little catching.  I'm coming off a cold streak and now I've got to run the boat and try to find the bass.  I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The New Boat

I have been thinking about it and commenting for quite a while that I wanted to buy a different boat.  A bass boat to be precise.  In my last post, last fall, I mentioned what I was looking for in a boat.  I have been looking since then and came across this one finally.  I had to make some sacrifices to keep the cost down. 
I was getting ready for my first tournament of the year at Grand lake and saw this boat a few days before I was leaving to fish as a co-angler.  I decided to go out of my way on the day of the tournament registration to check it out and possibly trade in my Nitro Fish and Ski. 
I got to the boat dealer and saw the boat parked out front.  It looked nice from a distance, but as I got closer I saw some imperfections.  The carpet was tore in a couple of spots.  There were some stress cracks, and there was a spot on the back corner of the boat where the previous owner had apparently hit a dock and starred the fiberglass. 
This about deterred me from purchasing the boat.  Reselling it could be tough in a couple of years.  It was also only 1 year newer than my current boat.  I was wanting something a little newer than a '99. 
After hem hawing around most of the morning, the salesman said that we should take it out for a test drive.  The motor fired right over.  The boat ran good and glided through the 2 foot waves without banging.  It felt solid.  Then we stopped and put down the trolling motor.  I ran along a bank for a while adjusting the speed and staying in a perfect line with the bank even thought the wind was blowing hard and waves were crashing into us.  I was sold.
This boat may be a little beat up, but it will fish great, I won't have to worry about banging it up, and the price was right for a bigger boat.
They didn't offer half of what my Nitro booked at low value from what I had checked the night before, so I decided to keep it for a family boat.  This way we can still ski and fish and all be in the boat together. 
I don't have the boat yet.  The dealership is doing a couple of small things to get it ready for me first.  I have another tournament in the meantime, that I will fish as a co-angler.  After that, I may continue as a co-angler in the BFL's this year, and fish some other tournaments out of my new boat. 
Last tournament I didn't catch a bass.  There were 220 boats and out of those only 75 co-anglers caught a bass.  It was tough fishing.  Some people found them though, just like always.  The winning weight on the boater side was 29 pounds.  That's a giant sack for Grand Lake.  I didn't even catch a short.  I did catch a big crappie.  It was disappointing when I got it to the boat and realized it wasn't a bass. 
Tonight I am going down to Canton lake in Oklahoma for the Walleye spawn.  It's fishing season once again.  This year I am going to fish any chance I get.