Anglers in Action Team
Iíve been looking forward to this tournament for some time but I wasnít sure just what to expect or how the fish would be setting up for it. Weíve had a pretty mild winter and I hoped that would mean the fish would be ahead of schedule. By schedule I mean getting my butt kicked by the main
Typically there is a window when the water just starts to warm where the best option is a jerkbait on main lake points. The new
jerkbait. The shad are still in their winter mode and havenít moved to the creeks yet. They are on the verge and the first productive locations are main lake points.
This is usually the last part of February and first part of March. Then usually the first big rain of the season happens and all of this seems to change. The fish seem to move over night and I can start to catch jig fish in the creek arms on rocky points, channel swings and shallow dirty water. Well, it didnít happen yet and we fished a little ahead of where the fish were truly at. And when the fish are on the main lake, the jerkbait guys can catch huge bags, 20 lbs plus. They proved it again.
I didnít prefish for the event except for being on the water two weeks ago. Last weekend I went to LOZ for the AiA Solo Pro. Two weeks ago I found the main lake water temperature to be 43 degrees at
were out in the middle of the main lake. I didnít locate any productive structure holding shad, the little devils were out in the middle of open water. I wrote it off as uncatchable, at least for me. The main lake with cold water isnít my strong suit. I found one little area with slightly warmer water and caught a couple of solid fish on a jig. I knew that I wouldnít catch a big bag there but hoped to finish a limit with decent fish. Maybe a 17-18 lb bag would be possible if we got a good fish on the main lake to bite. That should be good enough to get a check.
Our game plan was to fish some historical spots on the main lake and then work our way up lake to finish up. We were boat number 48 and that is a double edged sword. We were late to the party and couldnít get on our first two locations. Usually getting to fish longer is worth it as the later bite is generally better in the spring. Last
week it helped, this week it didnít. Thatís fishing.
So after settling on our third choice, Jason and I went to work. Jason worked up a couple short fish on a jerkbait on a channel swing in a cove on the lower end of the
lake. I landed our first keeper on an
We moved to some stained water that was slightly warmer. We made a pass throughout little area and I managed to add three keepers to the livewell. One was a decent fish between 4 and 5 lbs. These came on a 3/8 oz Eiron Breaker Hid-N-Eye jig, black and blue with a blue Zoom super chunk trailer. There was a bit of wind and I added our limit fish on the next pass on a rattle trap. That fish ate it completely
and had one hook in a gill. We had to do surgery and hoped the fish would be ok.
Hereís a tip to stop a fish from bleeding. Once you get the hooks out, pour some type of Sprite or Mt Dew in the fishís mouth. I guess the citric acid stops the bleeding.
Then pour some powdered livewell additive (Please Release Me is what we
had) in their mouth also before putting in the livewell. This worked well. The fish stopped bleeding and was swimming fine.
A Black and Blue jig put the majority of our fish in the box.
We moved to give the spot a break, caught a couple of shorts and went back for another pass. This time all we got were shorts. It was 1 pm and we had a decision to make. Stick around and work the area harder or toss it and move to the main lake? We gambled and moved to the main lake after burning a good chunk of gas.
We had about 1 Ĺ hours left to fish. I was able to boat another keeper on an A-rig
to cull up a touch. Jason hooked up with a largemouth that culled another fish on a
needed was one good clear water kicker but it just didnít happen. I did bag a nice walleye on the A-rig also. Jason had a tasty fish dinner with that one. Thatís what I get for leaving it in his livewell, LOL.
I wouldnít say it was a bad day, it just wasnít good enough. We weighed 14.88 lbs and were the first team out of the money at 13th place. We caught a number of fish but our plan was just a little out of whack. I missed a couple of bites also but you just never know if one of those would have been a good fish. All of the top 5 teams caught main lake fish, which was the place to be. We tried to slip in the back door with another pattern to get enough for a check but it didnít work. We did get a
nice grab bag of boat cleaner, some line and lures so it wasnít all bad. I thought the weather made the bite tough with high, bright skies but that didnít hurt the guys who brought in more than 20 lbs. Over 28.5 lbs was an amazing bag of fish that won the tournament. I guess I need to fish the main lake and figure out that pattern no matter how much it isnít what I do. When the conditions are right, you better be doing what is necessary instead of what is good enough to get fish in the boat.
Jason and I are in 4th place in the overall Division standings so that isnít bad, just 8 points out. Iíd like to try to move up and keep up the steady performance. The next tournament is in early May and the fish will either be spawning or just done. Hopefully the water level will be up and we can break out the flipping gear. I canít wait!