Frustrating End to Tournament Year

Largemouth I caught while fishing with Michael Ward

Well that didn’t go as planned and hoped!  All three bass clubs ended our tournament years at
Jackson last weekend.  The Potato Creek Bassmasters fished our December tournament on Saturday and the Spalding County Sportsman Club and Flint River Bass Club fished a two-club tournament on Sunday.

    On Saturday 20 of us fished for eight cold hours to land 30 bass weighing about 53 pounds. There were two five-bass limits and seven people didn’t catch a 12 inch keeper.

    Raymond English blew us all away again with a limit weighing 12.01 pounds and his 5.03 pound largemouth was big fish. Kwong Yu placed second with five bass weighing 7.60 pounds, third was Trent Granger with three bass weighing 6.49 pounds and Shay Smith came in fourth with for bass weighing 6.43 pounds.

    Raymond said he caught the big one on a crankbait and Kwong caught a limit in the first hour we fished.  Others said they caught fish on spinnerbaits, Carolina rigs and shaky heads.  It seems if you found a hungry fish and got a bait near it, it might hit anything that looked like food to it.

    I tried a little of everything, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and shaky heads. I could often see fish that acted like bass in their positions and movements on my Garmin Panoptix but could not get them to hit in the stained 55-degree water.  And I fished from shallow brush and rocks to deep brush and rocks and everything in between.

    At 10:20 AM I was fishing a deep point with rock piles on it and missed a hit on my jig. I picked up a shaky head and cast back to the same place and caught a 14-inch keeper spotted bass. Since I got two quick bites and could see other fish around the rocks, I stayed there an hour trying to make them bite everything I had tied on, but never got another bite.

    Finally at 2:15 I cast my shaky head to some shallow rocks on another point, got a hit and landed a three pound spot.  That was it, I had two weighing 4.35 pounds and placed fifth.  It was a very frustrating day!

    On Sunday 19 members of the two clubs fished eight hours to land 38 bass weighing about 41 pounds.  There were three five-fish limits and eight people zeroed. 

    Travis Weatherly won with five bass weighing 7.10 pounds and his 2.39 pounder was big fish.  Jay Gerson came in second with five weighing 6.66 pounds, Russell Prevatt was third with five at 6.07 pounds and Kwong Yu had three weighing 3.68 pounds for fourth.

    Jay said he caught his fish on a floating worm early. Others said they caught their fish on a variety of baits on a variety of types of cover and structure. Like the day before, it seemed you had to put your bait right in front of the right bass at the right time to get a bite.

    At blast off I went straight to the point where I caught my first keeper the day before. There were fish all over it with no sun on it yet, so I had high hopes. I could see what looked like bass suspended, some on the bottom and baitfish everywhere. It looked perfect. I never got a bite.

    After a frustrating hour of trying to make fish that I could see bite a variety of baits, I left that point.  For the next six hours I tried everything I could think of to catch a fish. I had one bite on a shaky head on a deep rocky point but missed it.  That really frustrated me.

    At 2:30, with one hour left to fish, I cast a shaky head to a shady seawall. I though I felt a tap but could not see my line.  I took off my sunglasses and saw my line was already back under the boat.  When I set the hook, a small keeper spot came over the side of the boat.

    That was the only fish I caught all day, a 12.5-inch spot weighing .85 pounds. I came in last place of the people that caught fish.

    All three clubs start our new year with tournaments in January.  That would be a good time to join us for a lot of fun, and maybe a little frustration. 

    The Flint River club meets the first Tuesday each month and fish our tournament the following Sunday.  Dues are $20 a year and tournament entry fee is $25, with optional big fish pots each tournament as well as two other optional annual pots.

    The Potato Creek club meets the Monday after the first Tuesday and fish our tournaments the following Saturday.  Dues are $50 and entry fee is $30, with optional big fish pots for each tournament and for the year.

    The Sportsman Club meets the third Tuesday each month and fish our monthly tournaments the following

Sunday. Dues are $50 and entry fee is $25 with optional big fish pots.

    All three clubs have or will have club classics that members qualify for by fishing at least eight tournaments a year or placing in the top eight for the year in the points standings.  All three clubs meet at Panda Bear restaurant.

    Think about joining one club, or all three!