Yesterday I fished the Volunteer Bass Club tournament out of Fate Sanders. Fishing with BCGS, Kevin Patin, we had a great day finishing in 2nd place.
The tournament started at 5:30am…..nice and early for the morning feeding frenzy!
We launched and headed straight to the first cut through stopping at the base of the long sandy point in the back left corner. We pulled out a Heddon spook in shad color and a shaky head with orange/brown Big Bite Craw. The air was cool around 50 degrees and the water temperature was 69 with less than a foot clarity. While sitting in 5ft we started fan casting to the bank and 20 yards to the right on top of the sandy point. Quickly we got out first bite…1.6lb keeper! 20 minutes later I caught another keeper 2.2lbs! We fished out to the end of the point where the big boulder drop off is and Kevin had a good fish on a jig that came to the surface when it threw the hook. Over the next 30 minutes we fished around the back side of the point and made cast towards Fate Sanders. We had 3 fish over there, another 2,2lb keeper and I lost a 3lb near the boat when it came and jumped. Then the shad started back at the end of the point and we hurried over and started casting spooks and poppers. We picked up another 2 keepers there around 2lbs each and then fished around the entire point for 30 minutes longer without a bite. There was a little shade left on the other side of the cut through near the laydown trees so I idled over and we started casting into 1ft around the wood. Kevin quickly picked up our 5th keeper, another 2lb. It was 7:30am and we had a small limit for around 10lbs. A boat moved onto the point we were fishing so we moved out to the big ledge at the beginning of the cut through and started casting our 1/2oz swing heads with a craw and a Zoom Magnum plum trick worm. While sitting in 14ft we cast into 8ft and dragged down the ledge. After a few minutes Kevin hooked into a HOG and I netted a 5.35lb!!! Now we had around 14lbs! After 30 minutes on the ledge without another bite we moved back over to the point we started on fished in thoroughly again, catching a couple short fish and another little keeper.
After the bite slowed down and the cold wind picked up tremendously we moved to the Weakley lane bridge and scanned a few fish on the ledge on the left 50 yards before the bridge. We put the boat in 13ft-15ft and cast into 8ft dragging our lures back slowly. After 30 minutes without a bite we pulled up the trolling motor and strapped down our rods.
We scanned the left and right point at the mouth of Lamar Hill cove and found a lot of fish on both points. Starting on the left point with the boat in 14ft we cast out craws and magnum worm into 6ft…..BOOM! I had a good bite, but missed the fish. Seconds later Kevin had a good bite on his worm and he missed his fish too. We fished the point for 20 minutes without another bite and then moved over to the right point near the PVC pole. There were a lot of fish on the ledge in 6ft-10ft so we backed off into the channel and make long cast. Moments later I had a solid bite, felt the fish pulling on my line and set the hook. I yelled “biggun” and Kevin reached for the next. I fought the fish for a couple seconds and then it got stuck all of a sudden. The fish must have wrapped me up in a stump because I was now hung and lost the fish. We fished the point fighting the wind for awhile without another bite and then went back over to the left point. This time we fished the entire ledge up to the flat near the Fate Sanders Rec boat ramp. Along the ledge we caught 2 short fish and then I set the hook on another solid fish in 6ft on top for the sandy point. I brought the fish to the surface and a 3lb+ jumped out and threw the hook!!!! Knowing we have lost 2-3lbs of culled fish we tried to shake it off and stay focused. Never getting another bite we decided to make a move.
Back at the first cut through we caught a couple short fish on top of the point while trying to fight the crazy wind. Once we reached the tip of the point out in the middle I caught a keeper bass that culled one of our 2lbs. Moments later Kevin set the big and yelled “biggun”! I grabbed the net and landed a 4+lb and we culled one of our smaller bass!!! We figured we had around 16lbs and had a chance at winning even though we lost a few good fish earlier. We fished there for awhile and then made a move out of the wind.
Over at the long left point at Jones Mills Cove we sat in 12ft-25ft and cast our craw and trick worm on top for an hour only catching one short bass.
Our time was almost up so we moved to the hump in front of Fate Sanders in between the 2 red channel buoys. With the boat in 13ft-15ft we cast with the wind on top of the rock hump in 8ft. In 2o minutes we caught 1 short bass and then headed in to the weigh in.
We ended up with 16.06lbs and was leading with big fish for a few bags before a 16.47lb bag was weighed with a 6.06lb big largemouth. We moved to 2nd and held on until all the bags were weighed in. We were excited about second place and another great finish. I could not help but think about the few quality fish that got off, but knew one of the giants could have gotten off too and we would have had maybe 13lbs. So, all in all….GREAT DAY! The cool part about this tournament was that it only had 11 boat and first place won almost $1,000 and second place got $400! Big fish was $100 and second big fish was $40!!!! I have never fished a tournament that paid that much. It was $140 a boat with 100% payback. The Volunteer Bass tournament are GREAT to fish!
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