Ask anyone who fished Lay Lake this past week, and they will tell you the fishing was tough. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one who unlocked the secret to making Lay’s bass bite. Here’s how I caught my fish during the Bassmaster Classic:
On day one I planned on fishing in Beeswax Creek just about a half mile from take-off. As the 2009 AOY, Kevin got to launch first. I watched him, expecting him to make that turn out to the main lake, but instead he turned the other direction towards the back of Beeswax, where I was planning on fishing…my heart sunk! Staying positive, however, is crucial. I headed on back there and stuck to my guns, even though I had to share my fish with what seemed like everyone else in the field. My day one limit-catching baits were a ½ oz. red-eye shad, a wiggle wart, and a finesse jig fished near the bridge pilings. My bigger fish that day came on a ¾ oz. Excalibur one-knocker bait retrieved just ticking the top of the grass.
On day two the conditions totally changed. There were high bluebird skies, and the fishing got even tougher. I caught my limit that day on the red-eye shad, even though throughout the day my intuition was telling me to throw a smaller, subtler crank. I just passed that idea off, and kept on chunking and winding the bait that caught fish the day before. To make the day hurt even more, I lost a decent fish on that red-eye shad.
On day three I started on the bridge before Kevin’s spectators had a chance to get over top of the fish. I caught my first keeper there on a wiggle wart. After that I went back to fishing the grass with the red-eye shad. After the first pass with the red-eye shad yielded no fish, I remembered my thought from the day before about that smaller crank bait. I tied on a rapala DT6, and almost immediately caught my biggest fish of the week! This bass went about 4lbs, and absolutely choked that crank! I kept on working my area with that DT6 and on the first pass with that bait I caught about 14lbs. When the wind and clouds moved in I switched back to the big one-knocker and caught a 3lber on my first cast to a point that Kevin Wirth had just got done fishing! I really wished I would have camped out on that point for the tournament, because every time I hit it, I caught a fish. Day three was my best day of the entire tournament.
So, that’s my classic in a nutshell, and it is one that I will definitely not forget anytime soon. Now we are in Dallas spending time with family. We thought we could get away from the snowy weather, but we thought wrong. I think this stuff follows us around! While we are here in Texas, I will be working at the Bass Pro Shops Spring classic in both the Dallas/Ft. Worth store and the Bossier City store. So, this week will be nice to catch some rest and relaxation with family, and spend some time with my wife and kids because I hardly got to see them last week. And come Monday, it is back on the road we go, as we are headed to California for the first event of the 2010 Elite season on the Delta. We are keeping our fingers crossed about having to deal with any bad weather!
I want to thank everyone for all of their support during the Classic. I really appreciate it, and it’s good to know that there are that many people watching and caring about me. In talking with some of you, I found out how disappointed you were in my lack of TV airtime. Believe me, I was disappointed too. I didn’t expect to get a ton of TV time with a fifth place finish, but I was hoping for some, especially for my sponsor’s sake! Please, if any of you feel strongly enough about this, send a comment to Bassmaster’s Customer Service, the e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. This was without a doubt the best Classic I have ever competed in, and I can only hope that the momentum and the confidence I gained during this past weekend will translate into success during the 2010 Elite season. Thanks again everyone!