One real nice thing about this event was that I could stay at home! We live about 45 minutes from the ramp where the tournament goes out of. I had fished Loudoun before the cut-off and it was not very good to me then. I was hoping this event would be better.
Practice: The first day I decided to spend on Tellico. I don’t know it as well as Loudoun but it can be very good in the spring. I also had some help over there during the winter so I was looking forward to being off of Loudoun. I fished some good areas and spend an entire day over there and if I would have boated all of my bites, I would have had a real good bag. The problem was that I only had 6 keeper bites. Three were brown bass, one good green and a couple other keepers. Some of the brown fish were caught on a Berkley Beast on a shaky head. This is a great bait for small mouth when they are close to or are spawning. I also only saw one spawning fish that was not real big.
The next day I decided to spend in my favorite part of the two lakes, up the rivers in Knoxville. The day started off good getting several bites pretty quick on the shaky head- Berkley Beast combo. After the sun got up a little I looked around and found some brown fish spawning. It is hard to tell for sure about some fish that are close to 18″ but some are REALLY big and obviously keepers. I found a few of these definitely keeper browns and some that were close. There are some areas that are good for Large mouth and I was able to find one four pounder and some more three pounders. I was very happy about this because I had this all to myself.
The last day I wanted to spend a little time down the lake and the rest of the day up looking for more spawners. I found a few fish cranking and thought that it would be a good way to start to catch some keepers. After fishing my way up I didn’t find many more ways to catch fish so most of my game was in the sight fishing plan.
Day 1: I started down the lake cranking and after about 5 places and only a couple of shorts a make the long run up the lake. I start on a small mouth and catch it on the second cast. The next fish that I run to is the four pounder. Now I had shown my wife were it was and about the time I would be there so that they could come watch me. This was almost pretty awesome! I pull in there, on the second cast it bites and I miss it. I re-rig and nothing, next cast bonk! I set the hook move it out then it comes up, jumps and throws it! After a few more casts and no bites I start fishing my way out and catch a two pounder. I go on up the lake and catch some little ones, then come back to this area. I had another smallmouth on the bed and it only takes about five minutes to catch it. After catching it I move back to the big one and catch it pretty quick. I fish around and catch some more wacky worming with 8# Berkley 100% Flouro that help my creel. I catch one more small mouth on top water right before I leave to go in that helps just a little. I would up catching 8 keepers for 16-1 and end in 6th place.
Day 2: I run straight to the river today and it is very slow in the morning. The weather got pretty chilly and cooled the water off. I finally catch a two pounder on the wacky worm. I get some bites that are good fish that just don’t eat the bait. I finally decide to abandon the river and move back down around Louisville. The first pocket I pull in I catch two keepers. These are the last fish I catch today. I have 3 fish for 5-13 and fall to 21st.
Day 3: I have a short day today so I decide to stay in the middle of the lake. I catch a two pounder out of a culvert flipping. Then a couple of pockets up I find a three pounder on the bed. It almost bites my Crazy Leg Chigger Craw but doesn’t. I throw my wacky worm in there and it bites the worm off. Back to the Chigger Craw, no good. Throw the worm back in there and it bites. I hook it and it jumps off! I pull up my Power Poles and fish around the pocket and back to it. It doesn’t take long to get it to bite again and in the net it goes! I fish some more in this area but no good. I move down the lake some and find another keeper bedding. It only takes a few minutes to get it to bite. I get it in for number three. No more the rest of the day ending with 3 for 7-0 and finish the event 28th.
Added edge: I had just gotten my Power Poles installed at Bass Pro Shops before this event. They are such a great tool anytime you are fishing less than 8 feet deep. Not only bed fishing but all shallow fishing. Also if it was not for the great folks at BPS Sevierville I would not have had these on or my boat in optimum shape for this event! Big THANKS to BPS!!!!