Friday, April 22, 2011


I guess the best way to sum it up is to say that Toledo was a lot like Pickwick for me. I really feel like I left early down there, and should have been in it on day 3. We camped out right by the launch ramp, and it was really kind of a heart-breaker to hear all of the names called, and hear all of the guys take off and not be out there. Just like in any tournament though, I did learn a lot. Toledo Bend really is a great fishery, and I think its vastness really kind of did me in.

On day 1 I felt like I fished pretty good, and did everything to my best ability to catch the fish that I caught. I went to my starting area confident that it would produce for me, because I had some good bites in there in practice. It was a bay that was fairly protected from the wind, and I was getting bit over the top of some grass on crankbaits. I figured I would be culling an hour into the first day, that is how good this spot could have been. But, on day 1, I only had 1 fish at 10a.m. So, I bailed, and went to my back up spot. Got in there, and promptly put together 14 pounds, and lost a couple of nice fish. Looking back, I feel like those fish really probably cost me a check, and a chance to fish on the 3rd day.

On day 2, I went straight to the spot that I caught my bag the previous day. This bay was pretty large, and I literally was able to fish for 4 hours down a bank without ever having to turn around. I put my nose down, and caught fish every now and then, and was confident that sooner or later I would boat some nice fish. However, it just never happened. I got too relaxed in there, and should have made some adjustments to get the bigger bites that I needed. It was a really disappointing day for me, and it took me a couple of days to get over it, and put it behind me.

In hindsight, there is some positives to the Toledo Bend event. I got some decent AOY points, and didn't fall too far from where I was going in to the event. This same time last year, I was much worse off in the points, so that is a little comforting.

During my time off back home I am getting out and doing some turkey hunting. I have already been out once, without any luck. But hopefully this weekend out on the farm we will be able to find some cooperative birds. Next Tuesday we are leaving for West Point, but before we get there we are stopping in Birmingham Alabama for the Mark's Outdoors Tournament on Lay Lake. I have been a part of this event for many years now, and it is always a great time and a good opportunity to promote my sponsors and promote the sport of bass fishing. Camaraderie and good times with the Marks Outdoors Tournament and the fact that West Point is going to set-up to be my kind of fishing makes me really excited to get the 2nd half of the Elite season underway!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bassin on the Bend

Last week on Pickwick was frustrating, to say the least. I really wish I could have day 1 to do all over again. For some reason I just got too relaxed out there, and never kicked it into high gear. I kept flipping along, and just expected the big ones to show up, when what I should have done was flipped up a limit and then made a move or adjusted my presentation to catch a couple of kickers. I was focused on day 2, and my performance proves it, however it wasn't enough to overcome my day 1. At least it was only a 55th place finish, and not any worse. I barely missed a check, which stings a bit, but in the long run it isn't going to hurt me too bad in the AOY standings. At Pickwick I stuck with what I have been doing all season. I flipped my 3" tightlines UV Blue Beaver in thick cover.

Now we are at Toledo Bend, and it feels good to be back down here. This will be my fourth tournament on the Bend (the last time I was here was in 2003). The lake is low, and it is really dangerous. Many of the boat lanes aren't even safe, we are really kind of running the lake "at our own risk." The most difficult part about this place is the sheer size of it. Toledo Bend is huge! Even the map is intimidating! I have managed to find an area I want to focus on, and there are some decent fish there. I just need to dial them in a little bit, and maybe expand just a little bit. One thing I can say about this tournament for sure is that it is going to take some weight. I am expecting the Bend to put out weights that could possibly exceed what was done at Pickwick. So, this is going to be a good one, and I really am hopeful that I will have a good shot, and the Bend will treat me well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pickwick: Pre-Spawn Pandemonium

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, so I have a lot of catching up to do. We had our own little spring break in between St. John's and Pickwick, and got to do a lot of fun family stuff during this time. We went to Disney World, and visited my parents in Tampa. Mikayla has learned how to ride a bike all by herself, without the training wheels, and I am very proud! Mason went with me and my Dad on a charter fishing trip on a big charter boat, and did great! I am a very proud Father!

Unfortunately during our break we lost my Grandmother. We knew it was coming soon, and I am just glad that I got to see her not too long ago. I feel awful, but with my hectic travel schedule, we weren't even able to go to the funeral. I know that she understands though.

During the break I had the opportunity to go check out West Point Lake. I drove around quite a bit, and feel like it could really set up well for me. It seems like my kind of lake, which I am really excited for!

Now here we are at Pickwick, and once again we have some interesting weather going on. On day 2 of practice I was off the water at 2 in the afternoon to avoid a storm. I know some guys didn't get off in time, and they got beat up pretty bad out there. Now with this rain, and the fact that the lake is already above pool, I am afraid that they will pull the water down too much. If they pull the water down just a foot or so, it will position those fish better for us. Too much though, and they will be forced to evacuate the shallows. If they don't pull it too much down, this is going to set up to be a really great tournament. All of the fish are totally pre-spawn, and they are big, fat and football shaped!

Last year Pickwick was a really good event for me, and this year it is looking like it is going to be another tournament that I will be able to excel at. I am excited to get it started and finally be able to set the hook on all of my bites!