I had never fished a tournament here before. I did spend a day of pre-practice here in January looking at the lakes. I had heard it was a lower weight place compared to other FL lakes.
Practice: The first day I stayed pretty close to the take-off. I fished some main lake stuff and some canals. The canals were the most productive for sure, I caught about 7 keepers and had some other bites. Only one of these were on the main lake. I saw a few bedding fish as well. The second day of practice was not as good. I moved around a lot and fished some of the other lakes. I only had 3 bites this day, so I eliminated a lot of water! On the last day I fished until about noon. I decided to see if I could get a lake bite going to have a backup plan. I had 10 bites flipping, so I was happy.
Day 1: It was a down at take-off, a wet way to start the day! I started in the lake and caught a keeper right a way. Since it was still raining a little I picked up a topwater. I caught one about 3lbs real quick. I finished my limit sight fishing. I culled once with another fish about 2.5lbs. With about an hour and half left, I needed to change so I left this area and went to the lakes. I fished my 3 best stretches and caught 4 or 5 good keepers and culled up to 14lbs. I started my first elite in 18th place!
Day 2: I started in the lake again but didn’t do any good. At almost 9:00 I didn’t have a fish. It was a lot tougher in the canals as well. I did catch a decent fish flipping some pads and a few more keepers. I also caught a few sight fishing as well. I did finish my limit and went looking for a bigger fish. I was going down a stretch I had fished several times and saw a big one. I put my power-poles down and she bit on the first pitch! I swung her in the boat and culled a 13 incher with a 6.5 pounder! This fish gave me 14.2 and I made the top 50 cut in 14th place!
Day 3: Well I was very happy to be in the top 50 in my first elite ever! I went straight to the canals to start my day. It was a slow morning again. I was able to catch a few small keepers flipping. I saw a few small one that were on the bed as well. They were tough to catch but I finally did. I also caught some keepers swimming a jig. I saw a giant fish in the afternoon but was not able to catch it. I did go to an area at the end of the day and culled with the largest fish of the day, a 2.5 pounder. I had 7-15 and ended up 20th.
Added Edge: The new Berkley Havoc Pit Boss! It was my number 1 bait all around. It was best for bed fishing bass. I used the Okeechobee Craw color. This is a bait that will be very good all year.