Monday, August 8, 2011

Day four of COTR

     My intent on the morning of day four was to fish a few main channel points to see if the size of the fish were bigger than the 1-1/2lb to 2lb fish I'd found over the last 36 hours. My partner for the tournament had spent the first hour of his pre-fishing week on Wednesday drilling 2-1/2lb to 3lb fish so I felt obligated to change things up a bit. As I dropped the boat down on a main channel point, I new instantly that the trolling motor was going to drain quickly if I fished this much current all day. I picked up one of my crankbait rods and started throwing a KVD 1.5 shad colored crankbait above the point and pulling it through the break. The second cast produced a 10" bass, followed by another 10" bass, followed by another 10" bass. In 20+ casts I'd caught a dozen clones of the first tiny largemouth. I could see the small minnows in the current break and assumed these where what the bass where feeding on and was convinced there were larger fish in the vicinity. I switched to an RC Tackle Brown and Tan camo pattern 4" Beaver and continued to catch only small fish. But by now, I had a bass boat drop down behind me about 100 yards and start fishing his way up to me. As he politely held his distance, I continued to catch fish but couldn't get anything above a 12" fish. I worked my way up above the point and the bite quickly dropped off. It was apparent the fish were below the point, but I had no interest in dropping back down and continuing to catch fish that wouldn't help our team come Saturday. So, I packed up and headed to a few more main channel spots with limited success, and decided to try and find some secondary current.
     Winding my way through a secondary cut, I noticed a small dead end cut that was chocked up with slop but had cattails at the very end. As I began to fish the wood on my way into the cut, a few fish began busting the surface trying to feed on a group of shad. I threw a white and blue tinsel double willow blade Stanely spinner bait at the disturbance, but couldn't get bit as I pulled it through the ball of shad. The second cast made it clear the Northern Pike were making a meal out of the school of shad. I tossed back the fish and continued to cast out the cove without a bass. The cove left me a little confused because there was 4'-5' of water, large lilly pads, wood, and bait fish. But, that's why we pre-fish, to eliminate water as well as find good water.
     Up stream and around the next bend was a giant log jam that I'd fished in previous seasons. It had current and depth but this time with the high water, the trees directly behind the log jam were flooded with 3'-4' of slightly moving water. Coupled with a weed bed just down from the log jam, this situation looked promising so I began fishing down stream from the log jams current break and made my way up slowly. Two larger trees that were usually out of the water made another secondary current break and as my spinner bait made it's way by the first tree, Wham!, a solid 2lb largemouth came springing out of the water just after I set the hook. The fight lasted seconds and I began repeatedly throwing the Stanley spinner bait by all the standing timber I could reach. After having another hook up but having the fish come unbuttoned, I switched to flipping a beaver at the cover. After about a dozen casts, I had the line swim off toward the main current and I set the hook, turned the fish initially, but had the hook come out. I decided this was a spot I would check the following day so I packed up and headed up river to cover more water.
     The rest of my day was very uneventful, and honestly, quiet boring. As the week went on, I was experiencing more and more bites, but the size of the fish I was catching was not improving. This was a concern as there was only one more day of pre-fishing before tournament day and I had not found quality fish on a consistent basis, and my partner had a few spots with only one yielding tournament quality fish.

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