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Family Time, AOY, and Fall Fishing

Posted by stephen on September 24, 2014

Team Arkansas.jpg

I’m currently at a Lew’s writer’s conference on the powerhouse Tennessee River lake, Chickamauga.  It’s always fun to get out with the writer’s and hopefully catch a few big ones so they have something to work with.  Luckily, at Chickamauga that’s not usually an issue.

I’ve been busy following the last time I’ve posted from the Bassmaster Central Open at the Arkansas River, in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  We’ll talk about how that tournament was, but let’s start with what’s been going on in between now and then.


After a long season on the road, I’ve had the treat of being dad for awhile.  I got to get in some hunting with my son Beau in Kansas which was a great experience.  He never had the opportunity for that big buck, but it was a good time nonetheless.  Most recently Beau and his fellow teammates from Team Arkansas competed in the PGA Junior Regional in Oklahoma City.  They had a great showing and fell just a bit short of making the Nationals in Atlanta which was heartbreaking for them.  Still, it was a great treat to be able to root them on and be there to support Beau.

Now, let’s take a look back to the Arkansas River event.  Going into this event in the lead for Angler of the Year weighed heavily on my mind.  I’d been close before and although you don’t win anything tangible for it, it’s always something you strive for as an angler.  It probably consumed me to a fault for the second part of my Elite season.  But, the positive out of it all is that I was able to do well enough to win the points in the Bassmaster Central Opens after finishing 16th in the final event in Muskogee.

I had a solid practice and felt I could have a chance to do well and possibly win the thing.  From Monday through Wednesday of practice I shook off every bite and had enough fish hold on to it long enough to see they were in the 3 pound class.  During the tournament the first day bite was tough, but I managed to stick around in the top 20 in the area I thought I would light them up in after practice.  Day two I came in one short of a limit, but had a good number of bites and fish.  Unfortunately, a lot of those bites happened to be non keepers (14” is the size minimum there).

It was disappointing just missing out on the cut, but there is always positive to be had from a situation.  Anytime we come to the same place for a few years around the same time of year you always feel like you figure out little things that help you put together the puzzle for the next time.  I learned a lot about how the wind and fishing pressure affect those fish and may employ a little different strategy next time Bassmaster decides to head there.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to this fall.  There are a lot of things to keep me busy.  I’m heading up to visit with Live Target in October to talk about some new product ideas.  I’ve sold my boat and am waiting for my new one to come in.  And a new episode of Project Z, from Z-Man is in the works so I’m sure we’ll be doing that sometime this fall.  It’s an exciting time of the year in the fishing industry, but not only that, it’s one of my favorite times of year to hit the water.  Fall fishing can be incredible with less fishing pressure as many angler’s hit the woods for hunting season.  For now, I’m going to back to looking for some big Tennessee River bass. -SB