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Thanks Bob

I managed to achieve one of my goals last week, the one about enjoying each day of fishing. I enjoyed it because I got to catch lots of bass using my favorite techniques in shallow water. Unfortunately, they were uniformly too small to make a big hit at weigh-in. You would think a jig and spinnerbait in the flooded bushes would produce at least one big bass during competition instead of just during practice.

After an event like that, it is helpful to recall the details of an event that produced a better result. The better result that comes to mind this week is the 1991 Bassmaster Classic that was conducted on the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, MD. That’s the one I won, of course and as usual, there is an amazing chain of events that led to the win.

There was a pre-fish period about 30 days before the event and I spent several days running around and fishing the Bay. I identified two potentially effective patterns for the competition. One was targeting laydowns in a tributary creek in the upper bay. This worked best on low tide. The other potential pattern involved the submerged vegetation in the upper Susquehanna flats. This seemed the more reliable pattern because it appeared to be less dependent on the tide level.

Read more: Thanks Bob

The Good, the Bad and the Future?

I had to write this on Saturday at Dardanelle while the feelings are raw and fresh, because I know they will change over the next couple of days.

After two of the last eight Elite Series Tournaments in my career, I have experienced feelings at or near both ends of the spectrum. Neither of them are exactly the best nor worst of feelings, but samples of both to. It could be better, but also could be worse.

I left Amistad feeling pretty good due to my ability to adjust and make something positive happen in spite of a poor opening day start. I made big changes in my fishing attack and it re-affirmed one of the best reasons I love this sport so much. It’s the feeling of solving the puzzle at every turn and surprise. Not the top of the feelings pile, but still a reminder of what it feels like to effect a positive outcome.

Read more: The Good, the Bad and the Future?

Dardanelle Memories

The first time I ever heard of Dardanelle Reservoir was when my uncle, Lee Baker, moved here. He was one of my favorite uncles because he fished, for bass even. I was about 14 years old when he showed my brother, Keith, and me how to fillet fish. This was before Ray Scott even thought of Catch and Release of course, and we ate most of the fish we caught. I had heard of this method of cleaning fish, but most of the ones we caught were more like “pan sized” anyway so there was little need to filet them. As a matter of fact most were fried with just the head and guts removed and they fit easily into a pan, usually a rather small one at that.

Read more: Dardanelle Memories

PB&J and Marshals

I don’t consider myself a superstitious person, but I don’t really believe in coincidences either. I do pay attention to the timing of happenings, especially good happenings. At Amistad last week, I noticed a set of circumstances that has me planning to add another trick to my arsenal.

Here’s the deal. Tammy, being the good wife and all, made me a PB&J sandwich for a mid-day pick-me-up. Crunchy and peach jam on whole wheat to be exact, which are at least two of my favorite food things. No, I’m not scared by the “peanut butter scare”. The thing is, I had a really tough time figuring out how to catch those bass after that cold front scared my shallow water fish out of the area.

Read more: PB&J and Marshals

Return to Amistad

We just arrived at Lake Amistad to start the 2009 Elite Series Tour. Tammy, Ali and I stopped off at Choke Canyon Reservoir for a few days “on the way” down here. We left temperatures with daytime highs of around 35 to arrive in daytime temps of 85. A nice change if I do say so.

It’s March in Texas, so the wind is pumping out of the Southeast; like 30 mph pumping. That’s kind of normal for this part of the world. It did make the new Tru-Tungsten wrap on my Triton take a little beating in the trees at Choke though. Oh well, nothing is new forever.

It was definitely worth the effort because we spanked the bass. Not a lot of big-uns, but lots of nice chunky 3 pounders. Tammy jerked a 6 on a Rapala DT Fat. That made her pretty happy. The best part was working out some of the winter kinks from the joints and checking out some new lures from Rapala and Berkley. The worst was remembering how to remove a hook from the old self after one of those fun 3 pounders stuck a treble deeply into my finger. Ouch!

Read more: Return to Amistad

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