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Shallow and Muddy Sounds Good to Me

Posted by stephen on March 16, 2015

Stephen the Rez with Fish.jpg 

(Photos: James Overstreet)

Ross Barnett was just as tough as advertised.  To a lot of people that has a negative meaning, but to me, I love these kinds of events.  Shallow muddy water, changing conditions, and only a handful of bites a day sounds like heaven to me.

My practice went much like the rest of the field in the sense that it was a grind.  It’s not how you start though that matters.  By the last practice day I had five bites with two of them being the right quality in the same general area.  Needless to say, I was excited.  Of course with the tough conditions, there was a lot of complaining leading up to the event, but like always there were plenty of fish that came to the scales.

Day one of the event was a grind just as expected.  I had four fish and was in desperate need of a fourth towards the end of the day.  I’ve got to give a shout out to one of the guys that I stayed with, Matt Delaney for telling me to put on a lizard and drag it around to get a bite.  Sure enough I put number five in the boat and started off within striking distance.

Stephen the Rez 2.jpg

The second day I was able to squeak into that day three cut in 12th place.  That’s exactly what I wanted to do in this event and every tough one like this.  In a three day event it’s all about consistency and staying in the mix, especially when it’s a grind it out type deal like it was.  I always feel good about my chances anytime I make a day three.  I was able to jump up some on day three and ended up with a solid 5th place finish.  I was really impressed by what the local boy, Gene Bishop did.  After starting off the event with only about nine pounds and then coming back with back to back 20 lb sacks, my hats off to him.

I fished the same area that Gene and a lot of guys that made the final day fished.  Whenever you are around the winning fish you are definitely doing something right.  The majority of my fish during the event came on a Chatterbait with a black and chartreuse skirt that I put on to help in the extra muddy water.  The other bait that produced well for me during the event was a junebug Z-Man Elaztech Lizardz with a 1/8 oz weight around the lilly pad stems.  Whenever I’d find a mix of a little bit of hydrilla or milfoil around the pad stems, that was the ticket.

Coming out of the event with a $11,000 check and some great momentum going into the Sabine River has definitely made me happy.  From one tough, shallow water event to the next, I’m right in my comfort zone.  Let’s hope I can put myself in a position to fish another final day at the Sabine. -SB