I was looking forward to this tournament as much as any this season. Cherokee was largely unknown by most of the field. The very first tournament I ever fished was on Cherokee, so I know it pretty well.
Practice: The first day my brother and I were on the water sinking brush at 12:30 am. After a long night we went fishing. It was pretty slow to say the least. My brother caught 2 keepers and a few shorts. I didn’t catch but one small one. The next day I found some fish shallow but they weren’t easy to catch. After one more day of practice up the lake, I had very few good places and no pattern going.
Day 1: I decide to start on the lower end. I have my primary area to myself. However I can’t get it going. I beat out two keepers here by noon and decide its time to leave. I make a long run up the lake and the first stop I lose a keeper, then miss another. I run to the one good point that I found up the lake and there is a boat on it. As I idle away he catches a 2 1/2 pounder. This was the story of my day! I have two for 3 1/2 pounds.
Day 2: I fish the middle of the lake to start the day. I catch a few shorts, then decide to fish near the release area. On my first cast I catch a keeper smallmouth, then shortly after that a decent largemouth. After another hour I haven’t had any more bites. I try some stuff up the lake and miss some real good bites on a Berkley Power Jerk Shad and a Spro frog. I wind up with two again for 5 1/2 and end the tournament in 49th.
This was very dissappointing for me because Cherokee is my favorite local lake. I just didn’t practice or fish the tournament very well. Oh well, maybe next time!