To start off with I’ll tell about my Pickwick Stren Championship Event. Some nice things about Pickwick is that it’s not far from home, it is Tennessee River waters, and I’ve fished it some recently. Actually the very first Stren Championship I qualified for was there in ’05. The lake was not very good then and was not good for me.
My Dad got to come to this tournament with me and practice the three days also. I always like him around for practicing because I can tell him what I feel like is going on he will keep my head on straight. The first day of practice was about what I was expecting it to be like; a lot of bass but not any big ones. The next day was very slow and interrupted by mechanical problems. After getting this fixed we re-launched on Wilson to check some waters that were good to Team National Coal in the PAA Corporate Cup last fall. The fish were still there but were not cooperating. The last practice day was spent in Wilson and not much else to show for it.
After looking back I obviously decided to go to Pickwick where we spent the first day. After the fog lifted, there were 6 boats in this small area! I don’t like fishing in a crowd, especially when I’m not catching them. After 3 small ones in 4 hours I finally decided to leave. Without having a lot else to go on I just went fishing. This was the decision that made my tournament and where I was very blessed to have made good decisions. The only place I knew to go was the Wilson Dam tailrace. Within 30 minutes, I finished my limit and culled once. No big ones but better than the first 4 hours. Eventually I started flipping a 5/8 ounce jig and got some real good bites. I lost more fish that afternoon flipping than I have in a long time. Two in particular really hurt. Finished with 12-13 and in the 30s. The next morning we had a fog delay and I started out flipping and caught 3 early, 2 good ones, then I hit a long dry spell. Finally I started cranking and caught number 4 then number 5 was a 4 1/2. After a few more culls I had 18+. That qualified me in 5th for the top ten. The last morning was a flurry to say the least, no big ones but a limit in 11 minutes after takeoff. That was all cranking a small homemade plug. After this I went back to flipping. It was a long time before I got a bite but it was a good 3 pounder. It was like this until about noon and the number of bites got better the rest of the day. I ended with 16-1 and 3rd place