It was a busy three weeks in early October. I left home with my boat and camper on October 1st and stayed at Blanton Creek Park at Bartletts Ferry until Monday for the Sportsman Club Classic on Sunday.
On Monday I drove from there to Wind Creek State Park and camped for the three club tournament that weekend. Monday after the tournament Linda joined me and we fished until Thursday October 15th.
I was on the water every day but two while gone!
In the club classic, 11 of us qualified by finishing in the top eight for the year in points or fishing at least eight of the 12 tournaments last year. We landed 41 12-inch keepers weighing about 45 pounds in eight hours of casting, There were four five-bass limits and no one zeroed.
Raymond English won the classic with five bass weighing 7.55 pounds. My five at 6.63 pounds was second and I had big fish with a 2.24 pound largemouth. Wayne Teal was third with 5 at 5.92 pounds, Kwong Yu was fourth with five weighing 5.72 pounds and Jay Gerson came in fifth with five at 4.92 pounds.
At Martin we pay back each day like two one day tournaments. The first day in ten hours of fishing the 26 of us had 22 five bass limits and no one zeroed. Lee Hancock won with five weighingg 11.07 pounds and Tom Tanner was second with a limit weighing 9.92 pounds. My five at 9.84 pounds was third and I had a 3.74 pound spot for big fish. Zane Fleck plaaced fourth with five at 8.04 pounds.
On Sunday we fished for seven hours in the wind and rain, again. We had 21 limits and no one zeroed again. that’s why we love Lake Martin in October. We catch a lot if bass even if they aren’t big. Martin has millions of hungry 13 inch spotted bass!
Tom Tanner won, the only one to place in the top four both days, with five weighing 9.74 pounds. He is consistent! Don Gober came in second with five at 8.38 pounds, Raymond English placed third with five weighing 7.71 pounds and Shay Smith placed fourth with five at 7.64 pounds. JR Proctor had big fish woith a 3.45 pound largemouth.
I should have done better with all that practice!
On Friday at Bartletts Ferry I went up the river and caught five bass on four different baits in five different kinda of placees. A largemouth hit a weightless Trick worm under a dock. Then a nice spot hit a topwater plug three times on a bluff rock bank berore I hooked it. My third fish hit a spinnerbait on some wood then another largemouth hit a Senko on a sandy point. The fifth fish hit the Trick worm around grass.
Although they were all keepers there was no pattern at all that would give me confidence in the tournament.
I tried a variety of things down the lake without a bite Saturday. At 11:00 I went to a point with some brush on it I found a few years ago and caught a four pound largemouth on a shaky head. I started riding points looking for cover 15 feet deep, the depth the largemouth hit. The next one I found had stumps at the right depth and I caught a 14 inch spot on the shaky head. A third point with stumps at the right depth showed a lot of fish and I caught a small spot on a drop shot worm.
Those fish gave me some hope in that pattern, especilly he four pounder.
Sunday morning I tried some shallow points early then went to the brush on the point at 8:00 and didn’t get a bite. Hoping it was too early, I went to a dock with some brush and caught a keeper spot. A few more docks didn’t produce, so back to the point at 10:00. I immediately caugt the two pound largemouth and another keeper spot.
The next point with stumps produced two keeper spots. I had my limit by 11:00.
Although I rotated around those points the rest of the day I didn’t catch another keeper Sommething big hit my shaky head about 1:00 but it got into a stump and broke my line.
Martin is a big lake with two long arms, the Tallapoosa River and Kowaliga Creek. Wind Creek Park is way up the river. That area seems full of one pound fish and I have fished that area for 46 years so I know some good places. But a few years ago blueback herring got started in Kowaliga Creek and the fish there seem a little bigger and fatter, based on what I caught when I started fishng it a little three years ago.
I went over there the first three days of practice and found many brush piles in 25 feet of water that were covered in fish. But everything I caught were small spots. Friday morning I fished my favorite creek near the park and caugt 13 keepers in three hours. There is a shallow point in Kowaliga Creek where big bass usually feed, but it is a 25 minute run at 60 mph. And the bite ends at sunrise so I have only about 20 minutes to fish it.
The wind and rain almost made me stay near our takeoff point but at the last minute I decided to go there on Saturday. As I made the rough wet ride in the dark, watching lights on docks and danger buoys and my GPS, I kept thinking about the millions of bass I rode past. It was worth it I guess. In 20 minutes I landed six keepers including the big one on topwater.
Edward Fouker fished with me on Sunday and we made the long run. And caught nine keepers in 20 minutes. But none much over a pound Not worth the three quarters tank of gas that day!
I’m already thinking about that run next year!