Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pickwick Preparation

We had a lot of fun on Kentucky Lake this past week. Had a blast fishing with my Dad and my son. It was so great to get out on the lake with them, without the usual pressures of a tournament situation. Hopefully our fun fishing will help me to better determine where I plan to fish come tournament time. While we were in Paris, we got to attend the World’s Largest Fish Fry, where we saw lots of interesting people (I think we met Joe Dirt’s brother out there!) It was still a cool experience, and the kids really enjoyed the carnival that they had.

We arrived in Florence Alabama a couple days early, and got to enjoy a little bit of time off. It was pretty relaxing, except for the tornado dodging we had to do. Being from Kansas (the heart of tornado alley) you would think that we would see more tornados at home, but I have come across more tornadoes in Alabama and Tennessee than good ol’ Kansas!

On to the fishing! My practice on Pickwick was not really frustrating, but stressful because I didn’t really know what to expect. There are so many fish of all sizes in this lake, and that made it tough to try and get dialed in on what a realistic tournament weight could be. Typically in practice we don’t like to hook our fish, but out here I was getting so many bites that I started sticking my fish just so I could determine the quality of fish in a given area. The cool thing about practice was that it was totally pattern. Every spot that looked like it should hold a fish actually did. And every piece of wood yielded at least one bite. In practice I determined that my best bet to catch quality fish was to just keep the jig rod in my hand and hammer out every piece of wood cover I saw. This way I could actually focus on the bigger bites.

One observation I made while we have been down here on the Tennessee River chain is that the lakes are all quite a bit lower and slower than they were last year when we were here. Last year the river had flooded, and there was a ton more current in the lakes. This year it is the complete opposite. I would love to be down here when the lake was up and there was some current, but the fact that the conditions are tough and Pickwick is still giving ’em up like this is just a testament to the great fishery it is.

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