Friday, October 4, 2013

September Club tournament #5

Last weekend I made my way up to Pool 9 for the next-to-last tournament of the 2013 fishing season.  Trent Beier and I were once again going to tussle with the boys from the Cedar Valley Bass Club.
The water has been pretty normal on Pool 9 all year long, but we knew the water temperatures were unusually high.  Our practice day on Saturday showed us water in the mid-sixties all day long.  Things were NOT normal for the last weekend of September, so the hunt was on for some keeper bass.  I spent about 10 hours on the water probing every area that I could think of that would help us get a limit, which we knew would be like gold on this weekend.  We had found one area early in the morning, and while we dissected it we started to get ideas on what the fish were doing.  I continued the hunt in the northern part of Pool 9 and found numerous fish holding in current and weeds.  While the fish were biting, so was Mother Nature, I was stuck in the rain for about 5 hours on this day.  Not a lot of fun, but at least I was catching bass.  It was important to learn as much as I could about the conditions and placement of the bass.  Current was key for us on this weekend, not too much, and not too little, the bass were definitely holding in specific areas.
With our pre-fishing day behind us, we had a plan to hit the major two areas and haul as much as we could from them.  I had located a few other spots that had some keepers too, but much more scarce than our two primary areas.  At the end of the day, we were feeling pretty good about things.
Tournament morning was say the least.
The "WALL" that you see is the fog as we moved into our first fishing area

Weeds were once again key to our success
We were let go about 7am, and had until 3pm to find 5 keeper bass.  The talk from other anglers before loading the boats knew that we had something going, as many anglers were not very confident in what they found the previous day.  The first area turned out great, the water was still clean, and the bass were biting.  We had a limit and culled a keeper or two in the first 3 hours.  We decided to head north and try the second area.  I knew fairly quickly that things were about to turn sour, and they did.  The water was much dirtier than the day before, and the bait that was jumping were simply gone.  I don't know for sure, but I am thinking the rainstorm and 40-degree temperatures had the bait scattered and the bass too.  We didn't stay long, and we headed back to our first area.  We upgraded a couple more times and ended up with 11.17#, good enough for 2nd Place.  Between the two of us, hundreds of casts were made covering vast areas of weed beds.  Not once did our Quantum Rods/Reels let us down.  We caught our keepers on swimjigs, Optimum Baits Swim Baits, and when things slowed down we turned to Hot Rod Baits.  Big Craws and tubes caught their fair share too.  It was a great weekend of bass fishing, and spending time with a good friend. Our top finish has us tied for 1st place for Team of the Year, with one event left to go, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin later this month.

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