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Climbing Back into AOY Post Season Contention

Posted by stephen on July 6, 2016

 Cayuga SB.jpg

(Photo: James Overstreet)

We’re back in Hot Springs after a few weeks on the road that ended well at Cayuga.  The past few days I’ve been running around like a mad man trying to get everything back together while still enjoying some time with the family.  I hope everyone had a great 4th.  The wife and I met up with some couples we hang out with and played some golf which was a good time.  We also spent some time over the weekend dobbing and bobbing around on the lake near home.  Hot Springs becomes a mad house around the 4th so we try to stay away at the most crowded times.

We started out our road trip at Lake Texoma.  If you were following the event you probably heard talk of the abnormally high waters and flow for that time of year.  Going into the event I was watching the water levels, I really thought it would stabilize some.  Unfortunately, that never materialized.  The first day of practice it took me going to three or four different ramps before I finally found one I could launch at.

For me, the biggest mistake I made in the event was bait selection.  I had been getting a lot of bites with soft plastics and stuck with those.  While you got more bites, the overall quality was not exceptional.  The guys who caught those better quality fish were probably getting less bites, but they were the right ones.  A spinnerbait and a jig were the primary players.  I don’t think it was as much about the area as it was sticking with those baits.

After Texoma, we high tailed it north to Cayuga Lake.  I’ve always enjoyed fishing Cayuga and was looking forward to fishing there at a new time of year.  It was a solid event for me, but it was one where I flew by the seat of my pants.  It took me a little while in practice to narrow down where I wanted to fish.  I spent a lot of time in the middle portion of the lake and just couldn’t make it happen there.  Once I settled into that northern section I started to put some things together.

Day one of the event was a good one.  I caught three around four pounds all from one little stretch.  None of the three were on beds, I caught them by dragging a weightless stickworm around.  This ended up being my primary pattern and it worked pretty well for the next two days.  Days two and three I did mix in some bedding fish, but that was basically a last ditch effort when my areas weren’t producing.  I never felt dialed into one specific thing, however, as fish were in all stages when we were there.  The smallmouth were a much bigger factor than they had been in years past and that was a new dynamic.

I know we’ll be going back in the near future.  We had great crowds and the weights were tremendous.  I think last time it took twenty eight pounds for two days to make the cut.  This year I had nineteen pounds day one and was in twentieth place!  I do feel like I learned a lot at Cayuga and at least have a starting place to go from if and when we return. 

I managed to bump back up into the top fifty in points after Cayuga with two events remaining.  We haven’t been to the Potomac in a while, but I enjoy going there.  I’ve heard the grass has rebounded after a couple down years and the fishing is setting up to be pretty good.  I’ve had success there in the past with a couple top ten’s and some checks so I am looking forward to it.

In the meantime, next up on the plate is ICast in Orlando.  ICast kicks off next week so I’ll be running down there to check out some new goodies and help out some sponsors.  It’s one of those functions that you have to experience if you are into bass fishing.  It’s where a lot of these companies unveil new and exciting products and I know some of my sponsors have some great new products set to reveal.  After ICast I’ll be coming home to spend some more time with the family and get ready to head down to the Potomac.  -SB