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Getting Out of that Fishing Funk

Posted by stephen on September 20, 2017

Stephen and Beau.jpg

It still feels like its summertime here in Arkansas with temperatures still in the nineties.  I’ve been spending time in the woods lately, getting my deer stands up in preparations for the start of our season here which opens this weekend.  Honestly, it’s been kind of difficult to do anything with this little heat wave coming through.  I have been chasing Beau around as he and his high school golf team are playing all around the southern part of Arkansas.   We’ve also been getting out a bit around the house and hitting the water while waiting on some cool weather to come on through.


Triton called me up the other day looking to get my order in for my next boat which has helped get me out of that fishing funk.  If I’ve had a tough year, there’s something about ordering that new boat for the next season that gets that mojo going.  It’s time for a drastic change and after talking to some of my buddies, I’ve decided to move up to a twenty two foot model with a Mercury Verado next season. 

There are a couple reasons for the change.  One is obviously to change things up and start fresh.  Another is the ease of use with the four stroke engine.  It will eliminate the need to carry extra oil with me and will help streamline the entire packing process.  As far as the boat goes, it sits up a little higher in the water which I believe will help a lot in things like bed fishing and making underhand casts.  After talking to Jeff Kriet who has been running the longer boat for a while, I’m really looking forward to the Cadillac type ride and handling in the rougher water.  Plus, now that I’ve got a little gray in my hair, speed isn’t quite as important.  I want to keep what hair I have left from blowing off my head.

We’ve got one more event coming up for the Central Opens at Grand Lake in Oklahoma.  I’ve been there a few times before for regional events back in the day as well as a few BASS events in the last ten years or so.  It’s a good lake and I do enjoy fishing it.  It’s a lake that fishes similar to a few smaller ones around the house.  With the way the weather has been, I’m changing my plans of when to go prefish there.  With the temperatures so hot, I don’t really feel like it’s worth going until the cool down because things will change so much.

There are a handful of big team trail championships going on there the next few weekends so it’ll be interesting to see what the weights are like, especially as it begins to cool down next week.  This weekend there is a Nichol’s Marine Trail (Triton dealer) championship that’ll probably draw two hundred boats and the following weekend about a hundred boat event.  It’s generally pretty tough this time of year as it’ll take about thirteen to fifteen pounds a day to win I would imagine.  They relate to shad mostly this time of year and will be on the move as the weather transitions so keeping up with them will be key.

I’ve been looking at next year’s schedule some and am liking the first few events. Martin is a neat lake that I’ve actually fished around the same time of year before.  The thing I like most about it is the fact that the weights will be fairly low.  It’s not a very big lake, but it’s got plenty of docks and shoreline that I like to fish.  Then the Sabine should be a good one that has similar weights.  I don’t know what all this hurricane will do, but I would guess the influx of freshwater from all the rains should help prevent a big fish kill.

The Central Opens schedule for next year looks real good as well.  I like a lot of the changes that were made like them adding an extra event and a championship.  I also like the fact that the championship will be a smaller field.  The only thing I would like to see is for them to put in some kind of off limits period like we have in the Elites.

One of the other cool things about the Opens next year is that my son Beau will be traveling with me and fishing on the co-angler side along with one of his buddies.  It should be a good time and I think it’ll help me having his coming along too.  It’s some extra motivation to do well and teach him the ropes.

The final event of the Elite Series at St. Clair didn’t go quite as I would have hoped.  It was kind of a weird one for me.  I couldn’t seem to figure anything out that second day after catching plenty of fish that first day, but never running into much size.  After talking to a buddy of mine that lives up there after the event, he told me there are basically two types of fish there.  The first is the kind that hangs around structure and things like sand spots.  The other is the kind that just roam around and follow the bait.  He said I got a little lucky that first day that my fish didn’t move and that was what happened on day two.

It was a frustrating day on day two.  There was nothing going on at my first day spot and I bounced around some before running into a five and a half pounder towards the end of the day and just needed one more decent bite to get a check and end on a good note.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for me. 

There was some positive though.  I feel like every time I go there, I learn something new.  I had fished on the Canadian side last time right by Faircloth (who won that event) and feel comfortable over there.  In practice, I had trouble finding them as one day I probably only caught two keepers.  I just kept moving knowing that I was in a good area.  I wasn’t able to find them this time, but I know about three of the guys in the top twelve were in that area.

Coming up after Grand, I’ll be heading down to Rayburn to do a little deal for Bob Sealy before the Big Bass Splash.  Every year he invites some of us pros down there to compete against each other in a separate little deal.  It’ll be good to see everyone again before the holidays.  It should be fun as grass lakes like Rayburn don’t have quite as bad of a funk as some of these other impoundments do.  Beau will be fishing on the co-side in that one too.  It should be interesting.  He’s already beating me on the golf course, but I can’t have him beating me on the pond too.  I may need to take up another profession if that’s the case (just joking ).  -SB