Medicine Head, Global Warming, & Unlucky 13
For all three of my loyal followers, I apologize that it's been a few months since I updated my blog. My Audiology business has been very busy this spring and I've been fishing tournaments every weekend. Last week I flew to Boston for a business meeting. During the two hour flight from Chicago to Boston, I was sandwiched between a hairy-armed, armrest hog, and a man having a coughing fit. It was not a fun two hours. I tried to hold my breath, but I just couldn't make it the whole flight. To make things worse, my flight back from Boston was delayed two hours, I missed my connection, and didn't make it home for my tournament on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon the coughing started. Monday I felt bad all day at work and by Tuesday morning, I had a 104 degree fever. The good news is I feel a little better today and have some time to catch up on my blog, the bad news is I'm not sure if I can write an intelligent sentence through the cold medicine-induced fog in my head.
This weather is just stupid. In Tennessee it's the first week of April, the dogwoods have already bloomed, I have had to mow my grass 29 times, and the water temperature in our lakes is in the 70's. I pride myself on keeping pretty good fishing records with time of year, stage of the spawn, water temp, etc., so that I can have a clue before I head to the lake. I can just throw the 'ole log book out the window this year (or flip ahead a month). What has been happening the last two weeks is a month ahead of an average year. Normally, we see the bass spawning in mid-late April to early May. This year, the spawn started in mid March. Not that I am complaining about the weather. I love wearing flip-flops and shorts, but I just can't help but wonder what is going to happen in the next month. As long as I have been fishing in Tennessee, I've never seen things happen this early. Will the fish be in a summertime pattern by the end of April this year? Will there be an extended post-spawn funk? Who knows, maybe this will play right into my hands. I love off-shore structure fishing. Maybe we'll have six months of ledge fishing this year. That's one of the things I love about this sport. As soon as we think we have it all figured out, everything changes.
In 2011, my tournament season started off pretty strong. I cashed a check in my first five events and had a first, second, and third place in those first five tournaments. In a time of year where I usually struggle, I was pleased with a solid start to the year. 2012, not so much. I've fished four tournaments and have 14th, 18th, 10th, and 19th place finishes to boast about. What's strange is I feel like I am fishing well. I am catching them every week, I just can't find the better fish. It's starting to be a running joke at every tournament. Before the tournament starts, you can go ahead and write 13 pounds 6 ounces by my name. OK, I know what you are thinking, "Go look for bigger fish dummy. If you are catching little ones, you need to do something different."
If you know me at all you know that my one goal for every tournament I enter, is to win. I'm not a limit guy. I want to win. Especially with all the bonus money available now, winning is my only goal. I practice looking for winning fish.
The first tournament I fished on KY Lake this spring I didn't find anything good in practice, so I spent my whole tournament day fishing new water trying to find a school of big ones. I'll bet I pulled up that Motorguide 100 times. I caught lots of fish, probably had 15 keepers, but ended the day with 13 pounds. Next, it was off to Center Hill Lake. I practiced on Friday and could catch fish, but once again, no big ones. Game day, I once again pretty well scrapped practice, caught plenty of fish, didn't lose any, and weighed in 13 pounds. The next week it was back to KY Lake. I was so psyched to find those big fish on Friday. My first bite was a 4.5 pounder, finally! I found some pretty good bedding fish and a pattern where I got 4 big bites. I didn't set the hook on any of them. That night when my head hit the pillow, I felt pretty confident that I could break out of the 13 pound slump. I fished hard on Saturday. I fished clean. I didn't lose any fish. I just never got a single good bite. I culled several times and ended the day with (do I even need to say it?) 13 pounds.
Between missing my flight last week and being sick this week, I'm gonna take a couple weeks off from the tournament scene. Who knows, maybe this medicine I'm on will also cure my 13 pound disease!
Until next time,
Keep chunkin' and windin',
BoatUS ANGLER ProStaff
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