Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Road to the Championship " blog 5: Changes

Change is soon as you think you've figured it out it'll change...never fails.

The past couple of weeks the weather hasn't been pleasant...It's been cold, windy and wet. Believe it or not for a fisherman there is one thing that was positive about it...the weather and the water temperature were consistent. The fish had to eat and once I found them, they were there everyday in the same area, doing the same thing. Although I was freezing my tail off, soaking wet and beat down by the wind, I was catching fish. Something I chalk up as a minor success towards my preparation for the KBF tournament.

  I have fished a particular lake for the past 5 days and I covered days 1,2 and 3 in the last blog but day 4 a friend of mine from Atlanta came up to fish the morning with me. We went out to where I'd caught a couple of good fish and set up shop. After  a few of hours and about 4 dinks (dinks are very small Bass) I caught a 22" largemouth that exceeded 6 pounds. On our way back to shore my friend picked up a nice 5lb fish...but this fish was a good bit shallower than any of the rest I had caught through the week....Was this a hint as to a change in pattern or was she just shallower for no good reason? These are the questions I and I assume  other fishermen ask themselves when trying to pattern a lake. On that particular day the sun was out and the fish was caught on the windward side of the lake...water temp was about 2 degrees more at 46 -47°. The fish was in 4' of water and every fish I'd caught previously were located 100 yards away in the 8-10 foot range, they all hit the same bait though.  The problem and it is a big problem...I only started wondering about the why's and where's of that fish today...because I only caught dinks today in the 8-10' water... I have to be proactive and ask myself these questions on the fly.

This morning I fished all over the lake's 8-10' sections and completely ruled out that water. Today's conditions were warmer, cloudy with a good wind but the water temp was 50 and in some places 51. Is that a big enough difference in conditions to change the pattern? I believe so. I can't fish tomorrow as a matter of fact,  it'll be Friday before I'm on the water again but if I were going tomorrow I'd throw a spinner bait or small swim bait in the shallower 3-6' sections of water.
In the past two weeks (10 days fishing) I've caught 6 fish weighing from 5-8lbs. Not bad and to be honest the best string of bass fishing that I've ever had but isn't good enough because...
• although I'm having fun...I'm preparing for a tournament. The biggest tournament I've ever had a chance to compete in and only on one of those days did I have a respectable limit.
• I could've caught more if I would've thought quicker and noticed a few subtle or not so subtle clues.
• I found that a lot of today I was making blind casts on covered ground.
Why?...things changed and I didn't.

  So, here is the scenario... I get up to Kentucky lake and find fish early in the week but a cold front moves in and changes everything  causing thevfish to leave or change their feeding habits on day 1 of the tournament. What do i do?...The easy answer is to scrap the plan I had and go to deeper or different water. The problem is my confidence level that I had gained from the hypothetical fish I'd caught earlier in the week is now a hindrance. Confidence is a great thing to have most of the time but when it's in a plan that was once working but no longer is will definitely lead to disaster if I handle it like I did today. I would've spent most of, if not all of the day trying to salvage what I had confidence in. The end result would be the age old excuse...they weren't biting. Although sometimes, they really aren't biting, I can not be sentimental when it comes to my confidence. To use some age old adages, I have to read the writing on the wall and I can't beat a dead horse. I'm seeing more now, than ever before that this is a game of patterns...that will end, changes that will happen... when you least expect it and patience, that single characteristic that all good fishermen must'll have to throw out the window sometimes so you can make something happen.

Easy as pie...sometimes it's like I'm playing chess while the fish are over there playing Scrabble.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I'd really love to read your thoughts about my blog, your general location and any suggestions. Peace