My first tourney of the season was this past Saturday; with the super high water this spring and all the travel I have been doing, there wasn't much time for practice. I did get out for about 3 hours the Wednesday evening prior, but all that was accomplished was looking at new water that wasn't productive, checking water levels and falling out of boat reaching for trolling motor right before heading home and losing my favorite sandals in the mucky bottom of a backwater. But watch for a blog post on how to dry a cell phone out in the near future.
That being said, I and my partner had a game plan for tournament day, we were dedicating our entire day to two backwater areas targeting primarily largemouth. We started on a rip rap bank where I caught a nice 15.5" smallmouth on an Ima Shaker crankbait in Bluegil color and 2 more keepers on a black tube. Shortly after, Steve caught a small largemouth keeper on a white swim jig.
We then spent the rest of the day in a larger backwater area largely flipping tubes, jigs & beavers to shallow wooden cover on rocky banks. My primary baits came down to a 3/8oz Tungsten jig and a black 4" tube on a 3/16oz weight fished on 17-20lb fluorocarbon on heavy action Dobyns Rods.
All in all i caught about 12 keepers throughout the day, because its catch and release, we did a paper tourney, my best 5 fish measured/weighed 15.44lbs (18", 17.5", 17.25", 16.5" 16"). My partner got 4 keepers and had his 5th fish on several times. I also lost one kicker fish, stupid mistake rushing her and trying to swing her in, she hit on the edge of the gunnel and flopped the wrong way.
18" = 3.64lbs Bass shown above
In the end, I ended up 4th out of 26 anglers, very solid, but I always want to win and stings when you drop a difference maker fish on a dumb decision. I feel that most of these fish were trying to spawn as the water was around 63-64 degrees and were a few days past the full moon. So fishing slow and deliberate around key areas seem to be the ticket.
Also of note, my Akinetix Moisture wicking Polo and under shirt were a perfect combo for this rainy day, it dried in just a few moments, so no matter if your rain suit fails or you get caught without it, you fish comfortably!
But no time to worry about spilled milk, had to get home get the batteries charged and ready for tournament #2 on Sunday out of Red Wing and haven't been there in a year.....
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