Sunday, February 10 only three members of the Flint River Bass Club and one guest showed up to fish our February tournament at Lake Sinclair on a cold, damp day. In eight hours of casting, we managed to land eight bass weighing about 11 pounds. There were no limits, but everyone did catch at least one keeper.
Niles Murray continued his winning ways with three bass weighing 3.78 pounds, my two weighing 3.09 was second, Brent Drake placed third with two at 3.07 pounds and guest Mark Hawkins, fishing with Niles, was fourth and had big fish with a 1.92 pounder.
Compare that to a tournament the day before. It took five bass weighing more than 19 pounds to win and more than 12 pounds to finish in the top ten. That is amazing. The same lake only one day earlier produced that kind of weights, but we did terrible. There are lots of excuses and I have plenty of them.
In the Potato Creek tournament last month on Sinclair I didn’t do well but caught two good keepers and lost one the last hour on one point, so I headed there at 7:30 when we started Sunday. Within a few minutes I landed my biggest keeper on the same crankbait I caught my fish on last month, so I was encouraged. But two hours later, after fishing five different baits there, I had not had another bite.
Next, I went to a point that turns into a big flat just off the channel. It has a small patch of hard clay on it where I have won several winter tournaments in the past but got no bites there. I fished another place that usually holds a bass or two around docks, rocks and brush but got no bites there, either.
I had checked the Solunar Feeding times on my phone before we started. At times bass seem to get more active on them, and a minor feeding period, the only one during our fishing hours, was starting, so I went back to the point where I caught my first fish. I just knew I would catch something there but was wrong. After more than an hour fishing it nothing hit.
I decided to change tactics and went out on the main lake. The first place I stopped I realized the current was running strong down the river, something that often makes the fish feed. I fished that place, a brush pile on a dock, but nothing hit.
Current moving on riprap is a good thing, and the bridge in Little River has a lot of released fish on it from tournaments at the marina that restock it every weekend, so I decided to try it. When I stopped, I saw the river current was so strong it was pushing water upstream in Little River, with current going up and under the bridge. It doesn’t matter to the fish which way the current moves, but they do set up and feed in different positions, so I adjusted the way I fished and almost immediately caught my second keeper.
Since I had more than three hours left to fish I just knew I could catch some more, but after trying everything I thought might work, I got no bites. That makes for a frustrating day. Everything seem right to catch fish but I either fished the wrong places, used the wrong baits or fished too fast, or too slow. Some days are like that.