Last Sunday 12 members of the Spalding County Sportsman Club fished our February tournament at West Point Lake. The day started cold and clear but warmed up before noon. We landed 52 bass weighing about 78 pounds. There were six five-fish limits an everyone caught at least one fish. There were only 11 largemouth more than 14 inches long and 41 spotted bass more than 12 inches long weighed in.
Kwong Yu won it all with five bass weighing an impressive 14.44 pounds and had big fish with a nice 6.40 pound largemouth. Sam Smith was a close second with five weighing 13.12 pounds. I came in a distant third with five at 7.01 pounds and Javin English came out of hibernation to place fourth with five at 6.83 pounds.
With the cold front that came through Saturday I expected fishing to be worse that it was. Cold and clear with bright sunlight is the worst kind of conditions this time of year to me, but the 59 to 61-degree stained water helped a good bit.
I had a feeling that if I went to this one point in a creek about five miles from where we took off I would catch a bass. I get that feeling rarely so I try to pay attention to it. That is what the pros do often, get a sixth sense about catching fish. It happens to me just a few times a year. Part of my feeling last Sunday was from catching some fish there the weekend before in a Potato Creek tournament.
Sam the tournament director let us go at 6:58. It was a perfect day for running fast if you were dressed for the cold and I saw 71.9 MPH on my GPS as I ran down the lake. When I stopped on the point I picked up a rattle bait and on about my third cast a keeper spot hit it. I put him in the livewell at 7:04 AM!
At 8:30 I put my fifth keeper in the livewell, filling my limit with four spots and one largemouth. But they were all just barely big enough to keep and all five probably did not weigh five pounds total. So I switched from a jig had worm and crankbaits for keeper fish to a big jig and pig for bigger fish. It didn’t work!
I kept switching back to the jig head worm just to catch something, and kept catching small fish. I wanted to keep some spots to eat so I was putting everything legal in the livewell. At 11:00 I stopped to check and had 11 keepers, one above the legal limit, so I let the two smallest go.
I kept trying to catch bigger fish, even moving out to brush in deep water, but still kept catching small spots. I put one of the biggest in the livewell but threw several back without even measuring them. Somehow at the end of the day I ended up bringing 13 spots home to eat. I caught at least 16 and maybe more.
Years ago I heard Roland Martin, one of the top pros at the time, say bass would not hit a spinnerbait on bright sunny days, so I have always had a mental problem fishing one under those conditions. Imagine my surprise when Kwong said the six pounder and another four pound largemouth hit a spinnerbait and Sam said most of his fish hit a spinnerbait, too. He had a 4.34 pound largemouth and another one over three pound.
It seems my “feeling” went only so far. I needed the feeling to throw a spinnerbait more. Maybe I would have caught something over two pounds since Kwong and Sam had the only fish over two pounds in the tournament I think!