Saturday, July 14, 2012

A new lake for me

My bass club here in Marshalltown had an event this past weekend at Belva Deer Lake near Sigourney, Iowa.  I planned on fishing this event since the start of the year, for one reason, to check out a new lake.  I had never seen the lake before, only read comments and posts on the Internet about it.  It appeared to be a good bass lake, and I couldn't help myself, I "had" to enter.
I decided to practice for the event on Friday, the day before competition, which can be tricky, because you don't want to catch too many bass the day before the tournament.
A foggy tournament morning on Belva Deer Lake
I hit the lake with partner for the weekend, Eric.  We haven't fished together for 3 or 4 years, so it was nice to share my boat with him again.  We were on the lake about 5am Friday and I immediately went into my game plan for the day.  At the end of the day, some of my assumptions were correct, while others were simply all wrong.  I guess that is what practice is for!  We were off the lake about 1:30pm and headed back to the motel for a break and to get our rod and reels ready for the tournament.
Practice day on Friday turned out to be the
key to a top three finish.
Tournament day, up and on the lake at 5am once again.  My plan for the day was to use topwater baits early in the morning in some shallow areas that we found holding fish on Friday.  This worked out very well.  We caught about 25 bass using Pop-r baits.  I had a limit of 3 bass in less than an hour and my partner had a nice keeper too.  We then moved to some timber, which this lake is full of!  We had certain sections picked out to fish, but nothing came in the boat long enough to help us.  Onto the the next step, Carolina-rigging sunken islands.  This is a technique that can be deadly in the summer time.  Bass move up and down the water column looking for food, and this rig can cover a lot of water and offer a bait very slowly to a bass.  I was able to add some heavier fish to the my livewell with this technique, and my partner caught two keepers too.  He informed me that this was his first ever limit in a tournament, so hats off to him for that!  We spent the majority of the day Carolina-Rigging, however at the end of the day I made a move, which turned out to move me right to the top of the standings.  I was sitting with a little over 7 pounds with my three keepers.  My last move was to flip Hot Rod Baits tubes into trees standing in 6-11 feet of water.  This was by far our best depth of water on Friday.  It paid off, I caught my second biggest bass of the day with only 20 minutes remaining in the tournament.  I was able to upgrade to 7.70#, good enough for a 2nd place finish. 
Working hard on practice day led us to a great game plan on Saturday.  My plan worked out, and most importantly I learned a new lake to I needed any more lakes to occupy my time.

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