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Righting the Ship at the Rock

Posted by stephen on April 5, 2014


(Photo: Darren Jacobson)

After having a lackluster tournament at the St. John’s River, it sure feels good to have made the cut at Table Rock Lake.  The weather was cold, the fish were behind, and the tournament set up perfectly for putting your head down and chucking and winding.  Jerkbaits, cranks, and jigs were all significant players in this event, but the most important one for me was the new LiveTarget Hunt for Center Crawfish Crank.  It’s a mid-depth crank with a nice wobble and hunting action that is always important in the Ozark region.

When I arrived at Table Rock for practice, I was greeted with 46 deg water temps.  With the unseasonably cold temperatures the fish were way behind on their spawning cycle, with most fish just starting to push up towards the banks.  The first couple days of practice were difficult for me, but I was able to eliminate a lot of water.  Once the tournament rolled around I had a couple areas to go, but was only able to coral four keepers on day one, but was able to get the ever important big bite that you need at tournaments where the weights are as close as they are.

Day two I decided to just go fishing and never fished anywhere that I wet a line in practice and it paid off with a limit that went 14-12 and put me right back into the game.  The big bite again was key to jumping back in just as it kept me in it day one.  Today I was again blessed with a limit, but just wasn’t able to make up enough ground.  I ended up catching my fish from an area I hit day one that never produced a keeper bite.  It just goes to show you that fishing conditions can really pay off and I think that’s what a lot of the guys in the top 12 did right all three days, so kudos to them.  I’m happy to have turned it around after day one and righted the ship leading into the next part of the Elite season.  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting back to the Red River and hopefully, finding some of that magic from 2013 that helped me to a victory and a Bassmaster Classic berth.  -SB