Triton Owners Tournament Recap, Part 1
Last week I fished in one of my favorite tournaments of the year: the Triton Owner’s Tournament out of Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake. I guess I’ve participated in seven or eight of these. They are well run, fun events that draw Triton owners from all over the country. This year was no exception, with 331 boats packed into the marina at Paris Landing State Park. If you’ve read any of my blogs in the past, you know that KY Lake is where I spend most of my time on the water. May had been very good to me so far with two wins in the Weekend Series and Wounded Warrior Tournaments, and a ninth place finish in a tournament the Saturday prior to the TOT. I got to spend a day and a half practicing for the two-day Owner’s Tournament.
I arrived early Wednesday morning with my good friend JD Coleman. We put in a 14 hour day, and found 11 schools of bass. I idled so much staring at the Humminbird that several times I had to wake JD up and we both left with sunburned thighs. The bass we found were tightly grouped-up and when we found them, they were easy to catch. We caught a few good ones, but most were in the 2-3 pound range. Our best five for the day would’ve been around 20 pounds. Not bad, but definitely not what I was looking for.
Thursday the wind decided to start blowing. It blew with gusts up to the mid 30’s straight out of the south. If you’ve spent any time on KY Lake, you know what that did to the fishing. I found four schools of fish that morning before it got to the point that I couldn’t even idle without driving through and under four footers. I did find one promising little jewel. As I bounced over waves staring at my Humminbird I saw three fish. That’s it. Three. I decided to stand up and fire at them. Either I caught all three of them, or there were a few more than I saw, because I caught three on three casts, all 2.5 pounders. I decided to fish on and after another 50 yards of casting, I caught another one, only this one was 3.5. My next cast landed a 4.5 and my third cast one close to 6 pounds. Found em!
About 2:00, I had had enough. I couldn’t idle anymore. I couldn’t run anywhere. So, I rigged my rods and headed to the pre-tournament meeting to work the Weigh-to-Win booth with my friends from Boat US. We shared the Weigh-to-Win program with tournament participants and signed up a bunch of people for roadside and on-the-water assistance. For the help when you need it and the tournament bonuses, this program is a no-brainer!
As we sat through the rules meeting, I checked the weather on my phone: South winds 10-20 for the next two days. Although nobody looks forward to running around KY Lake in 3 footers, I felt like this really played into our hands. If people don’t or can’t run around a lot and if some of the field stays off of the main lake, we have a better shot at a big bag.
My partner Jason Sain and I were boat 70 in the 331 boat field. We were in the second flight and took off around 6:15 Friday morning. Not only was the wind blowing, but it was pouring rain. At times the rain was pelting my hood so hard I couldn’t hear Jason on the back of the boat. We arrived on the spot where I caught the good ones the day before to find it vacant. I fired my crankbait out started winding and it loaded up on the first cast. It was a 2.75 pound keeper. On the third cast, I caught a four pounder. We were right on schedule. However, under the rainy, windy conditions, the fish just didn’t seem to be schooling up. We spent several hours moving back and forth on this spot and hitting some a few places close. We would catch one or two about every fifteen minutes. About every hour, one of them would be a four plus. Around 11:00AM the rain gave us a slight break. Jason set the hook on a fish and his rod bowed at his knuckles. “Bigun,” he grunted as I looked out to see a six pounder airborne. That was her- the one we needed. This fish was going to push our weight way up. Jason fought her to the boat she made another leap about 10 feet out and the line went slack. We were sick. That fish would’ve given us a shot at a 23-25 pound bag, but she was gone. Long-story short, by weigh-in time we had five that were all about the same size and our limit weighed 21.27 pounds, good for 6th place.
The weights for the day were a little lower than I expected. 24 was leading and there were 13 or 14 bags over 20 pounds. I think the wind and rain kept the fishermen from running around, and the fish from getting really grouped up. Jason and I headed back to the cabin and rigged up for Saturday. I felt pretty good about our chances. We caught a bunch of fish in the 3.5-4 pound range, were it not for the lost six pounder, we would’ve had a great day. I felt like if we just didn’t make any mistakes we had a shot at a 23-24 pound bag and maybe even a chance to win.
I'll leave you hanging til next week...
Keep chunkin' and windin',
Boat US Angler ProStaff
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