February Tournament At West Point

Last Saturday,24 members of the Potato Creek Bassmasters fished our February tournament at West Point. After eight hours of casting, we brought 68 keeper bass weighing about 104 pounds to the scales. There were nine five-fish limits and six members did not land a keeper.

Buddy Laster won with five weighing 11.54 pounds and his 4.01 pound largemouth was big fish. Michael
Cox was second with five at 8.51 pounds, Doug Acree placed third with five at 8.27 pounds and Dan Dupree came in fourth with five at 8.10 pounds.

I had fun catching them most bass I have caught in months although the day did not start that way. We put in at Pyne Park where tournaments are held every weekend. Since released fish restock that area constantly, I started fishing near the ramp.

A short spot hit my crankbait soon after starting and I got two more bites on it I missed, so I felt I was using the right bait. But then I got a bite on a shaky head worm and my line broke near may reel when I set the hook.

That I a stupid mistake. Using a baitcast reel, if you get a loop in your line and don’t get it out, the next cast will cause the line to burn against the reel and weaken it. I am sure that is what happened. I lost so much line I had to sit down and respool that reel, filling it with 14-pound test line.

Soon after that I caught a keeper spot on the crankbait but at 11:00, after fishing several places near the ramp, I had not caught another fish. I decided to go to another creek where I had found a small drop with rocks on it that usually hold fish.

As I entered the creek, I saw a boat fishing near it so changed to my next stop, a rocky point in another creek. But there was a boat fishing there, too. I am glad that happened. I went to my third choice, another rocky point in another creek.

On a rock ridge that runs off it I quickly started catching bass. They were all small and mostly just keeper spots, not weighing much but fun to catch. I stayed on it for over two hours and landed 14 bass, including a keeper largemouth and several short fish. But I had my limit.

I probably stayed on it too long having fun, but I did catch two decent size fish and kept hoping bigger ones would move up as the sun warmed the water. And I was having fun. The most frustrating thing was I broke my line setting the hook three times. I tried to check it after every cast since I knew the head bumping the rocks would fray it, but I was not careful enough.

The worst was when I pitched the shaky head to a stump barely visible under the water. A fish picked it up without a hard thump and started swimming toward the boat, often a sign of a bigger bass. I didn’t have much line out and when I set the hook the fish did not move, but then my line popped. I will never know how big it was.

With a little over an hour left I decided to try something else and with just 15 minutes left I caught my biggest fish of the day, a largemouth weighing just over two pounds. It hit on a small rocky point back in a cove. I ended up with 7.76 pounds, fifth place but not quite enough.