Alabama River - B.A.S.S. Elite Series #5
The conclusion of the West Point Event was the mark of the halfway point of the BASS Elite Events. I had cashed 2 events, bombed one event and just missed a check in another. Not a fantastic start but pretty consistent. I looked forward to the Alabama River because I was excited to catch some of those big Coosa Spots! I had visited the Alabama River once before that same year I went to West Point… yes, 8 years ago. No pre-practice but continuing to ride some momentum from cashing in the last event… I was ready to rock!
May 9 – May 12 Alabama River - B.A.S.S. Elite Series #5
The river was high and the current was running fast. I decided to target spotted bass for this tournament and wouldn’t even look at the backwaters for the largemouth. Sometimes I feel you must commit to something and try to do the best you can at it instead of spreading yourself too thin in the practice period looking for other options. Spotted bass were my commitment!
Almost immediately after I launched my boat and headed up river I was scorching them!From my past experience I knew that some of the bigger fish would sit right in the current and that is what I focused on. Within the first 4 hours I boated about 18-19 lbs of spotted bass including my biggest ever a - 4 lb. 2 oz stud! I felt I was ready for the event to start already! My key weapon was a ¾ oz jig with a big chunk as a trailer. I felt the bigger bait was getting the bigger bites. On Day 2 of practice I decided to switch to the other end of the river and below the lock to see how the bite was in that direction. I didn’t get near the bites I did up river but managed a new personal best spotted bass that day a 4 lb, 7 oz brute! I really liked catching those spotted bass! The final day of practice I went back up river to try and fine tune some areas and get ready to fish that section of the river during the competition days.
Event Day 1: 5 Bass / 12 lbs 3 oz – 54th place of 100
At launch I was relaxed but ready to get this tourney going! Like I mention, just after practice began I was ready for the tournament to start. I immediately went to my first area with lots of current and caught a 3+ lb-er to start the day. Then I caught a few 2 lb-ers and lost a couple of key 2.5-3 lb fish. I was dumbfounded as to why they came unbuttoned but I guess I just didn’t keep enough pressure on the fish. I believe I was ‘playing’ them too much instead of just ripping them into the boat with the heavy 20 lb ‘Toray’ line I was using. I never have to worry about breaking off with that ‘Toray’ line. I managed several other keepers throughout the day and downsized to a Missile Baits D-Bomb to get most of those bites. I was in the hunt after Day 1 but needed to step it up on Day 2 and land all the bites I could get!
Event Day 2: 3 Bass / 5 lbs – 88st place of 100
Day 2 started off terrible. I have no idea what happened to the locations I had been fishing but I never got a bite until after 11am. I may have gotten caught up fishing the areas that had produced in practice and on Day 1. I should have known that with the high current in the river the fish would be moving a lot. I basically didn’t fish with an open mind and it cost me. I managed to get one bite flipping and a couple bites near the launch ramp on a spinnerbait at the end of the day. I felt like I was in a tail-spin the whole day and ended up with 3 little fish. Not good. I much prefer having this type of day on the 3rd Day and not the 2nd. I need to make these occurrences much fewer in the future.
Mentally, I tried to move on quickly after this tournament because the next week I have a B.A.S.S. Southern Open Event at Lake Logan Martin, AL. No need to bring the bad mojo along with me. Mr. Coosa Spot… I’ll be back!
Event Total - 8 Bass / 17lbs 3oz / 88th place of 100.
Next blog... Bassmaster Southern Open #3, Lake Logan Martin May 16-18
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