I didn't win at Little Rock, but it felt almost as good! I worked hard, and I am real happy with a 14th place finish. I have my sights set on doing that again this week at Wheeler! I am feeling good, and my head is in the right place. I just need to let this momentum carry me to another solid finish.
On the Arkansas River, I locked through to pool 5 each day. The first 2 days I caught my biggest fish of the day before I locked through flipping a UV beaver to laydowns on riprap near the lock. My spot was essentially a mile and a half stretch of riprap that I had all to myself. I caught all of my fish on various shallow diving crankbaits along the rocks. The third morning when I went to my first spot before I locked through, it was like no one was home. I tried, but couldn't get a bite in the laydowns. I had to lock through with an empty livewell, and I was a fish short when the end of the day came. Had I caught one more fish, I would have been in the final day. But, it is what it is, and I have nothing to complain about looking back on Little Rock. In fact, I am thankful that I ended up where I did.
Now, we start the Wheeler tournament tomorrow, and it is tough out there! Definitely not the same Wheeler I remember. There is no grass anywhere, and it has obviously had a negative impact on the bass. It will definitely fish slower and tougher than it has in years past. In practice I tried fishing down on the lower end near the dam, and found absolutely nothing. So, on the next day I put in on the upper end by that dam, and found more of the same thing. I have literally covered the lake from end to end, and while it was a grind everywhere I went, I can say that the mid-lake area seems to be where there is the most action. I feel good about what I have found there in practice, but am just worried about having to share it. With the lake being as unproductive as it is, the spots that are holding fish are probably going to be crowded.
I am feeling confident, and am just going to keep my faith and keep my fingers crossed for this one. If there is one thing I know, it is that someone is going to catch them. And if there is one hope that I have, it is that I am the person who is catching them! I am no longer fishing with a monkey on my back, and I just have to keep reminding myself that I have gone from no chance to having a chance.