Live and learn...
I fished the last four days after working 3rd shift. The first day I fished some backwaters of the Coosa River named Brushy Branch. The morning was cold and cloudy with rain in the forecast. The water temperature was 44° and the air was 38°...the fish weren't interested in anything I had to offer. I managed a dink off of a 3" Keitech paddle tail on an under spin. There were lots of calories burned for that little fish and not much was learned in ways of lessons except the fish weren't biting.
Day 2: I fished a small public lake in my city. A little history on this lake...it's loaded with shad and motorized boats are prohibited. It doesn't look "fishy" because of lack of structure but I am convinced that there is a monster bass swimming around this lake. The obvious place to target is the earthen dam because of the exposed rocks on it but after 4 hours of fishing a handful of different lures thrown at different angles along the dam I'd not had a single bite. As I sat there brainstorming, I noticed a few shad flipping on the surface in the middle of the lake so I paddled over and tossed a plastic worm out and on the third cast had a fish hit it on the fall...a solid 5 pounder. I was extremely happy but also wondered if it was a fluke...pure luck. I'd see if I could work a pattern out of that one fish the next day. I had to go get some sleep.
Day 3: I launched after work at 9am and headed to the spot my big one hit the day before. I had a plastic worm on but decided to throw a 5" swim bait too. The wind was brutal and made it impossible to stay in one place so I paddled towards the bank and got a rock to use as an anchor...back out to the middle and I set up shop. I caught several dinks on the worm but I had 3 good fish throw the hook on the swimbait...I had a pattern, an understanding of what these fish were doing and yes, I'd be back in the morning with a more refined approach.
Day 4: I downsized the swimbait and stuck with it. The weather was nice, the wind light and the little fish were hungry. After catching and releasing 6 dinks I made a cast and started that slow slow retrieve only speeding it up to keep it off the bottom then I felt that pressure...it's not a hit it's commonly described by Bass fishermen as "loading up". I set the hook and I knew it was a good one...22 3/4" and 8lbs worth of big ol fat fish. Exactly what I went to catch and the night before I had jokingly made a Facebook post that I was pointing to the fence like Babe Ruth, knowing it would be a good day. All jokes aside, I'm learning this patterning little by little... It'll take more than one like that hawg to win the KBF. I'll be back in the morning. Peace