I had only been to Murray once before and that was for the Forrest Wood Cup in August of 2008. I had a decent finish of 25th. I liked the lake but the thought of the herring spawn was a little intimidating. I had never fished an event during a true herring spawn and wasn’t exactly sure how it would work out.
Practice: I was a little tired after driving in from West Point but I got out there pretty early. The very first point I stopped on I saw some fish busting and had a few bites. I found 3 points that fish were schooling on before 9 o’clock. After this it gets pretty tough. I would spend my mornings running points and the rest of the day trying to find a back up afternoon pattern. I did catch some good fish up the river one day as well. Some of these fish were still spawning.
Day 1: One of the points was close to the takeoff so I went there first. I caught a limit in less than 30 minutes which was pretty nice. I moved around hitting several more points before 10 o’clock, culling a few times. Most of my fish came on a soft jerkbait and a couple on a jig. My day was over by 11. I didn’t catch any more fish that helped after that. I ended with 14 and was in the top 20.
Day 2: I made the same run of points today but it was a lot slower day. I caught a couple on my first stop then it was a grind. I resorted to throwing a shaky head and drop shot to finish my limit. I missed a couple of good fish and never got it going. I ended the day with 6 pounds and barely made the top 50 cut in 48th.
Day 3: There was only one way to go from my previous day’s standing. I tied on a big topwater and went fishing. I caught some decent fish on the points that produced the first day. I went over near the ramp to try a new area. The fish came up busting on the other side of the point I was on. I made a long cast with topwater and a big one ate it. I fought this fish in and was happy to have it. This was about a 4 pound fish and really helped the cause. I moved a little later to another point that was close by. The soft jerkbait was hot here. I caught several fish culling up each time; however the bite ended by 11 o’clock. I ended with another 14 pounds moving up to 28th.
Added edge: Trilene 100% Flourocarbon. Using this line in clear water is the difference between doing well and not. The water was very clear and these fish have been pressured a lot. Having line that is invisible helps get a few more bites a day and makes a difference at the end of the event.