Rain is not pleasant to fish in. It’s even more unpleasant when you’re trying to sight fish, and the ripples on the water prevent you from seeing the fish.
Sunday was my very first non-club fishing tournament. The AIM Sunday Series is a small local event that is fished by some of the top anglers in the county. And seeing how it was my first non-club event, I wasn’t too concerned with how I did, just that I was able to have fun fishing with the lady.
It was a tough day of fishing to say the least. I started out throwing a Lucky Craft Hardbaits – Staysee 90 SP for about an hour, with the lady throwing a drop shot worm. After an hour the rain started to pick up and with no bites, I resorted to plan ‘c’. I noticed a point that I had been advised to fish was open, so we strapped our gear down, bundled up, and took off for the point. When we got to the point it was nice and open. The woman wanted to take a nap since she had completed an 8 hour adventure race the day before and was exhausted. So while she napped, I tossed a 4” Baby Brushed Hog across beds. I did see quite a few small beds in the area, but I didn’t notice any fish around, and got zero reaction from the hog being dragged across them. Then after about 15 minutes, I saw quite a large bed in the tulles. I pitched the hog past it, and just before I was threw the nest, in darted Mr. Greenback. After a quick hook set, and swing into the boat, he was mine. The lady awoke, jumped up and grabbed the net, and then realized the fish was already on board, opened the live well. She quickly went back to sleep.
After another few minutes I saw my next large bed, which I again dragged the same Spring Fling Baby Brushed Hog (BBH) across. I got hit again real quick, however this time he short stroked it, and ripped a tail off. So I picked up a crawdaddy colored flappin craw, which he didn’t mess around with at all. 2 fish in the boat, and a pattern coming together. I was excited, it was my first tournament that wasn’t run by the club, and I was catching fish (have I mentioned I’ve only been fishing since late 2006, not long at all), AND I was using colors that I know no one else on the lake had (because I poured them specifically for myself, and hadn’t sold any but to one person). After another 30 minutes or so, and not finding any other beds I choose to run to a spot I remember seeing people bed fish the day before.
After the run through the rain, we got to our spot, and it was wide open. We worked back into the tulles and I noticed another bed. It was a bit deeper then the other at the previous spot, so I switched up and added a Tru-Tungsten Flippin’ Weight
, and tried the pitching craw again. After another good short hit, I had to replace the bait. These guys are either devouring the entire thing, or trying to pick it up as little as possible, but when they grab a small peace of it, they don’t let it go. So I went back to the BBH, and managed to catch him. I was happy. The woman was straight out sleeping, she was far past a nap, and I had 3 fish in the boat with a strong pattern. Then came that one fish.
You know the fish. The one big one that you can see but cant get to bite. Yeah, she had two smaller males around her, and I remember hearing a pro recently say that if you catch the male, the female won’t bite, but if you catch the female, you can still get the male. So I made sure to target the big girl. I know if I landed her I would at least be in some money. She was at least twice the size of the first three I caught, so I figure at least 3 pounds (not giant, but good size for a fourth fish). Long story short, I threw every color and type of bait I could at her, and I just couldn’t get her. ARGH. We missed a check by about a pound, and had it been 3 lbs, we would have needed up in top 10. Lesson learned?? Listen to people when they tell you not to let one fish take all of your attention, at least until you have a limit.