Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Less than a week away

I just returned from a pre-practice trip to Table Rock Lake near Branson, MO.  This will be the site of our final PAA Tour event.  Based on what I saw during my pre-practice, this will be a tough event.  I need to have a pretty decent finish if I am going to move up above the cut line for the Texas Toyota Bass Classic, Lord willing I'll accomplish that.  Table Rock is a couple of feet high, after reaching nearly five feet high a few weeks ago, the Army Corps of engineers has lowered to the lake level to approximately two feet above normal pool.  Which should make for some good shallow water fishing, provided they don't lower the water level any further.  Of course this is all speculation, I didn't spend any time up shallow, due to the fact at any minute they could begin letting water out of the lake and that would have erased anything i might have found, but I believe in a half-day or for sure in a full day, I can find out if the shallow bite is working.  Like I said, Lord willing I'll figure em out and have a decent tournament. 
God Bless,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And then there was one...

Well two actually.  I currently compete in two different circuits, the Bass Fishing League (BFL) which is operated by FLW Outdoors, and the PAA Tour, ran by the Professional Anglers Association.  In both circuits, we are down to the final event.  In a couple weeks I will head to Table Rock lake near Branson, MO to compete in the 3rd event of the PAA tour, after this event the points will be tallied to see who has qualified for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) to be held in Conroe, TX in early October.  Currently I am 32 points off the cut for making the TTBC, I believe with a decent finish at Table Rock I can erase that deficit and qualify for the Conroe event.

At the end of September I will travel to Shelbyville, IL to compete in the final regular season event for the Illini division of the BFL.  I am currently in third place in the points race, well above the cut-off for qualifying for the regional (the top 40 qualify).  This year our regional will be held at Kentucky Lake, a lake I truly love, but one that normally gives me fits in the fall.  Hopefully, provided I catch one keeper at Shelbyville in September, I can have a good tournament on Kentucky and qualify for my second All-American.  Well that's it for now, I'll keep you updated as the weeks progress and Lord Willing I'll be blogging about a couple of good tournament finishes!
Until then God Bless,

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A little catch-up...

Well, once again I'm behind on my blogging.  So, I'll give you a run-down of what has taken place over the last several months:
Currently in the BFLs (a Saturday only circuit operated by FLW Outdoors) I'm currently in third place in the points for my division, having fished three of the five regular season events. I have two very good tournaments and one decent finish.

On the Professional Anglers Association Tour (PAA Tour) I'm 27th in the points, currently 32 points of the qualification mark for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic.  I've had two pretty decent tournaments, not spectacular, but decent.

Our high school team has had two of their three qualifying tournaments, with number three scheduled for this Saturday.  It's looking like we've got a good crop of young anglers this year.  That'll make for some exciting tournaments this fall and next spring.

Lord willing I'm headed to the Ohio River at Golconda this Friday, to do a little pre-practicing for my upcoming BFL on August 10th.  After that it will be off to Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO for the third stop of the PAA tour, the tournament dates are September 2-7th.  Lord willing the next 40 days will be prosperous ones.  A good finish at Table Rock should qualify me for the 2013 TTBC.

I appreciate everyone's patience as they stop by to read my blog and realize it hasn't been updated.  I promise to do a better job of that in the upcoming weeks.
God Bless,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hiding from the sun...

To read the title, one might think I'm referring to my absence from the blogging world.  Although that could be the case (as I'm way behind on keeping up with my blog) , the title actually refers to keeping yourself protected from the effects of sun exposure. 
It seems that in today's fishing world, it has become vogue to wear anything and everything under the sun (pun intended) to protect yourself from its harmful rays.  It is well known that UV rays are very damaging to your skin, but what is an angler supposed to do when it's 95 degrees outside with 90% humidity?  As difficult as it may seem to believe, long sleeved shirts, wide brim hats, gloves and long pants are truly the answer.  So now you're thinking those harmful UV rays have went right through my ball cap and affected my brain, right?  Well, the answer is no.  Now I wouldn't recommend sporting your favorite long sleeved button down flannel to the pond this weekend, but I would recommend some of the best sun protection outdoor apparel available.  Simply go to Columbia Sportswear's website ( www.columbia.com) select the appropriate gender, then click on their "long-sleeved shirts" tab and take a look around.  Another possibly easier way is to initially click on their Omni-shade collection.  This will cover all of their items developed to help protect you from the sun.  Shirts, hats, gloves, and pants are available in lightweight breathable materials that not only protect you from the sun's harmful effects, they are also very comfortable to wear on hot humid days. 
I'll leave you with this, a shot of me on a hot July day complete with a long-sleeved shirt and my favorite wide-brimmed hat.  Stay Protected and stay out there.  You can be effective as a fisherman if you're in the house nursing a sunburn!
God Bless,

Don't let yourself get burned, cover up and stay cool!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

PAA Tour Recap Douglas Lake

Polar opposites might be the best term to use when describing my day one of the PAA Tour event on Douglas lake to my day two.  Without a doubt they lie on opposite ends of the spectrum.  Why you may ask?  It all boils down to one simple answer: decision making.  I experienced a very difficult practice, in three days of practice I had six bites.  I'd like to say that I had no idea that other anglers were struggling in this event, but that wouldn't be true.  After running into several anglers on the water, it was apparent that Douglas lake was being pretty stingy during practice. 
I'll stop right here and explain that this very issue, speaking with other anglers that were also struggling to generate bites, laid a foundation for my decision making as to how I would fish the event.  The anglers I spoke with are: 1. Very successful anglers and 2. I know them to be straightforward and truthful, two very important facts to remember. This action alone led me to believe that I was potentially "on to something" with my practice.  here's why I thought that: I had caught several fish cranking a shad rap on light line and a Strike King 3XD around channel swing  banks in or near the back of the creeks (creek arms).  Feeling that I could continue to do that if I just ran enough of that type of water, allowed me to change my practice and start searching for other ways of catching them.  In my mind I felt like a 10-12lb limit would be a good bag in this event. 
The second "game changing" event happened late on day two of practice.  My roommate for the week, caught them very well on an umbrella rig, so much so, that he insisted I spend the last practice day throwing it to gain some confidence in this method of fishing.  I spent the final day of practice slinging "the-rig" and had one bite to show for my efforts, a 3.5lb largemouth.  Once again solidifying the fact that I thought I could do better than this by cranking.  All of the above mentioned events led to my decision to throw a crankbait on day one of the tournament, little did I know at the time, that decision would be my downfall. 
I spent the first day of the tournament doing just what I planned, throwing a crankbait.  I struggled to generate bites, at 10 am I only had one keeper.  With the success of my roommate in my mind, I threw an umbrella rig for several hours, again with no success. Back to cranking I went. I ended the day with 2 fish for 2.74 lbs, mired deep in the standings in 84th place (outta 99).  With no other options left for day two, I picked up my umbrella rig and never put it down (BTW...the other anglers in this event absolutely wrecked 'em! Throwing umbrella rigs).  I had sixteen bites on day two, weighed in a limit of fish foir 21.45lbs, all on an umbrella rig! 
Needless to say I made a grave error in decision making for this event, but I was fortunate enough to not completely ruin my chances for qualifying for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic in the first event.  That in itself is a blessing!  Sometimes being hard-headed is a valuable trait, other times it's a recipe for disaster.  I lacked a lot of confidence in the umbrella rig fishing method, it caused me to look for a reason not to throw it.  When I only had one bite on it in six hours fishing it during practice, that made my mind up.  After seeing the astronomical weights that were brought in on day one, by anglers throwing "the rig", I realized I couldn't compete in this event without it.  I was blessed to get a few bites early on day two that helped me realize how the fish were positioned, and what rate of retrieve worked best.  I'm grateful for that.  I'll post more about how I caught 'em, what baits, and what patterned I used to catch them, and also what didn't work. 'Til next time, keep your hooks sharp and your line wet!
God Bless,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Douglas Lake PAA practice report

I think its spring...I know I heard someone say it was, but apparently no one told the area around Douglas lake.  For the first two days of practice we have endured 20+ mph winds (gusting over 30), near non-stop snow/sleet/snow, with numerous white-out conditions reducing visibility to under 200yds.  How's the fishing you ask?  T-O-U-G-H!  Or at least it has been for me.  That's not a sour grapes statement, just a statement of fact.  I still have tomorrow to try and get some work done, but unless something changes, this one is shaping up as a tough one!  Lord willing, I'll get a few things figured out tomorrow. Only time will tell.  If nothing else, at least the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow, that'll be a welcome sight!
God Bless,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It all starts tomorrow...

Official practice starts tomorrow for the first event of the 2013 PAA Tour on Douglas Lake in Dandridge, TN.  It's going to be an interesting day for sure, after raining nearly all day today, the weatherman is calling for rain, sleet and snow with temperatures topping out in the mid 30s!  Doesn't that sound like some awesome fishing weather! lol.  All I can say is thank the Lord for Gore-Tex clothing.  By judging the surrounding terrain, a lot of trees have budded out since I was here two weeks ago, so apparently they have had some warm weather.  Hopefully that has warmed the water temps up a little bit.  Tomorrow will tell the story that's for sure. Check back, I'll try to update as the week goes on.
God Bless,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 PAA Tour Kicks off Next Week

Douglas Lake will play host to the inaugural event of the 2013 PAA Tour.  Competition is set for March 28-30th.  Results can be found at www.fishpaa.com   Results will be updated daily!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finally on the water...

I spent Friday and Saturday on the water, and I've got to admit that it felt darn good.  The PAA Tour is getting ready to start, so I did a little riding around on Douglas Lake in east Tennessee.  Having never been there before, I spent the majority of my time just looking.  I fished a little bit on Friday, and a little more on Saturday, but most importantly I managed to get a handle on how the lake lays out.  It's definitely going to be an interesting tournament.  It looks like the weather is going to play an important role in how this derby shapes up.  Lord willing when I get back over there, I'll be able to get 'em figured out.  Regardless, it will be interesting to see how this one pans out.  I'll keep ya posted!
God Bless,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Bassmaster Classic

The name almost says it all...for competitive fishing enthusiasts it is often labeled the as the pinnacle of the sport.  If you're not familiar with the Bassmaster Classic it is the fishing equivalent to Nascar's Daytona 500, football's Super Bowl, and horse racing's Kentucky Derby.  To a fishing fan or competitor it is as the well worn cliche' goes..."The Greatest Show on Earth".  I spent last week at the Bassmaster Classic working for Phoenix Boats. Working?? Yes working, as some know, alongside the whole competition aspect of the Bassmaster Classic there is an outdoors expo, loaded with anything and everything imaginable that can be related to the fishing world.  It is a fisherman's dream, or nightmare depending on the current balance of your credit card!  I was able to snap a few pictures of our booth as we put on the finishing touches, and a pic or two when we had a minute to breathe.  Did I mention that at times we were overrun with visitors to the booth? That's not a bad thing, it's an opportunity to meet some great people who share a common passion...FISHING!  I've attached a couple pictures below, unfortunately I wasn't able to get very many and being in a hurry didn't help the picture quality, but I'm sure you understand.  We were busy, due to the fact that apparently there are a lot of Phoenix Boats fans out there! 
God Bless,

Adding the finishing touches right before the show opens

In a brief moment where I got to exhale, I snapped a quick pic of the booth and a couple visitors