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Bassmaster Southern Open #1 in the Books

Posted by stephen on January 19, 2015

Running on Toho SB Shaye Baker.JPG

(Photo: Shaye Baker)

It’s yet another Toho winter event and an all too familiar result.  The fishing this past week was tough.  A cold front in Florida is about the worst situation you can run into in tournament bass fishing.  It was a strange event overall.  As I mentioned, it was cold, but I can’t really blame it all on that because my practice overall was tough too.  I practiced a total of five days and had two days during the tournament and never felt like I had a quality bite in that whole stretch (5-6+ lb fish).  I changed my strategy a bit in practice. I really tried not to stick many fish in the hopes that if I could find some areas with some biting fish that I could go back and fill out a decent limit come tournament time.  This strategy was good in theory, but didn’t seem to help too much in the tournament.

Day one, the bite was real funky.  I had around 14-15 bites, but with the way they were biting wasn’t able to get a good hook into them.  What would happen when I was flipping in to the spot I wanted, the line would move a few inches to the side and I would set the hook on them with limited success.

Day two, I basically scrapped what I had been doing and just went fishing. As I mentioned before the event, my plan was to stick around Toho to maximize my time and to eliminate a potential problem with locking.  With that, I’m happy about my decision despite not having a stellar day overall.  If any of you followed the event you probably know about the incident with Keith and Ish.  To be honest, I’m surprised things like that don’t happen more often in our sport with how competitive things are.  The locking situation there is probably the worst you can get caught in with only about twelve boats being able to go through at a time.  Tempers definitely get the best of some guys and I can attest to the fact that your boat will get bumped around in there.

Although things didn’t go so well, I feel like I did learn a very valuable lesson.  I really feel if you want to succeed in this event you must commit 100% to either Toho or Kissimmee in practice and the event.  Next time I fish there, I will commit 100% to Toho.  Giants live there and with all of the tournaments run out of there, the population of fish has got to be there as well.

As for the next month, I’ll be preparing for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell.  Right now Hartwell is off limits until mid-February, right before the event.  We’ll have about four days for actual practice which I think should be plenty of time.  In the meantime, there are a lot of lake’s around me that fish a lot like Hartwell, so I’ll be getting my practice in around home.  It’s all about the Classic from this point on! -SB