Saturday 24 1st place
Yesterday was one for the books! I fished the Bassmaster Weekend Series, one of the biggest tournaments on Priest each year and was able to walk away with the win! I always say you can’t have just a good day and win one of these tournaments…..you have to have a great day! Things have to work out your way execute perfectly.
Yesterday I was boat 56 out of 75 I think. I knew with the clouds, rain, and water temperature in the 50s what I was going to do before the event. So although I had eight rods tied up I only used my favorite topwater, Heddon spook Jr and white and red and a 1/4ounce jig head with a 4in Zoom white/silver swimbait. I only fished two spots most of the day.
I planned on starting right in front of the Jefferson Springs boat ramp where there’s a spring pumping out water. The day before I caught 2-3 fish early and then left it alone only to later find a guy on it catching fish. When I got there the morning of the tournament there was already another boat there so I drove right past. I went under Jefferson Pike Bridge took a left around the big bend went all the way down until the channel makes a right in the bend and then took one more right and stopped on the flat on the left with all the stumps and two PVC poles. The water temperature was 55 degrees with 1.5ft visibility…. perfect. I started “walking the dog” around every stump and did not get a bite on the stumps I have been catching them on. Luckily the stumps that I weren’t catching them on turn on. The last four stumps I caught a 2.3, 5.5, and a 2.3 pound keeper! After finishing the flat I went back down it again and caught one more keeper at 2lb even. I was only an hour into the tournament and had almost 12 pounds. I was focused with adrenaline from there on oit. After fishing it twice more I went down the river 300 yards and fished the next point on the left where there’s a few stumps and a sandy bank with rock bluff transition. Quickly my co-angler thought he was stuck and reeled a 4.5 pounder to the boat. We watched him jump just out of reach from the net and swim away! His fish came on a white chatterbait with a white trailer. I had a few blow ups on my spook, but none of them were giants and none of them hooked up. I went back to my first flat, but did not have any luck the third time around. I knew it was time to make a move so I headed to Fall Creek.
I could tell there was only one boat in there as I started idling back across from the boat ramp. I decided to fish the super shallow water instead of idling across. I stopped and started fishing the exposed stumps in one foot. On the third stump I caught a 1.3oz keeper which gave me my limit. I knew I had about 13-14 pounds, but definitely needed bigger fish. I continued to the back of Fall Creek while the other boat was coming out. I fishes for 30 minutes around my favorite stumps and never got to bite. Once I got to the very end I had a 4 pounder swallow my spook. I was able to get a good hook set and land him. This 4lb culled out my 1.13oz keeper. I went back and forth two timea without any action. I turned around and picked up my swimbait and started throwing it to the rocks on the right where everybody bank fishes. I let my swimbait sink down 6 to 8 feet and retrieved it very slowly. After several cast I got a good bite set the hook and fought him to the surface…we netted another 4 pound largemouth! Now I had about 16lbs and was super excited. I figured if I could just get another big bite or two I could win. Also, this time it was 11:30 and I didn’t weigh in until 3:30, so I had plenty of time and felt the win was within my grasp. I stayed in Fall Creek for another hour without bite and decide to move. Back there the water was 55 degrees with 2ft visibility. I motored out and headed back up to my first row of stumps I started on.
I went down the entire stretch and then at one of the last stumps, just like in the morning I had a big blow up. I set the hook and fought in a 3.6 pound largemouth. I knew I was up to 19+lbs and figured I needed another big fish to push me over that 20-21lb bag. After 45 minutes and only 2 hours left and decide to go back to Fall Creek.
I hope the bite was a timing thing and I had to be there when they started feeding. I went back and fished everything again. I watched one bass blow up on the flat trying to eat a shad (which was a great sign that things were about to light up), but I could never get another bite!
We left Fall Creek again and headed to Stewarts Creek with one hour left.
In Srewarts Creek the water temperature was 57 degrees and it was still cloudy……my style of fishing was still in line with catching a big fish. Idling back slowly made me nervous with how much time I was spending. I had to get in and out and be back at 3:30 on time. When we got back I started casting my spook to the stumps on the right just before the back boat ramp. I had four or five blow-ups out of 10 stumps and caught one that was 2.12oz to culled out my 2.3oz. That gave me an extra half a pound which really did help. I missed one or two good fish that I felt could have given me an extra pound.
When I got to the scales there was a guy weighing in before that had 19.02lbs, but I figured I had at least 19 and a half pounds because I weighed all my fish as I put them in the livewell. I put them on the scale and had 20.07oz! I was ecstatic, excited, and blessed that everything worked out! There are so many good fisherman on the lake and things really have to go your way to win ……today they just did for me.
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