Thursday, September 29, 2011

Can't shake the bait buying bug...

I have to admit, I think I'm an addict.  Yes, it's true, I'm sure I have an addiction.  To what? You might ask, buying fishing tackle.  I'm an absolute sucker for a good looking shallow crankbait or topwater plug.  You throw the words "custom painted" or "handmade" into the description and it's as good as bought.  I'm not sure if there is a 12 step program for this or not, if there is, I may have to go twice.  lol, all kidding aside, I just picked up some sweet 3/8 oz Aruka Shad lipless crankbaits.  I almost drooled when I saw them.  I'm thinking they'll get put to use at my BFL regional, I hope anyway.  For now, though, I am going to have to get off of the internet, I fell the urge to go to Bass Tackle Depot and look around.  That's definitely not a good idea.
God Bless,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shelbyville does it again...

When it comes to writing about a tournament recap for Lake Shelbyville, I beleive I could just save one in Microsoft word and then keep re-using it every time I go there.  Minus two good finishes, I hve had my brains beaten out on this waterhole too many times to count.  I used to go there, have terrible practices, and even worse tournaments.  But now, the lake has decided to start messing with me.  By that I mean I have a good practice, establish what I believe is a decent pattern, you guessed it, in a performance that resembles Lucy jerking the ball out from in front of Charlie Brown when he goes to kick it, my pattern disappears and I struggle during the event to get enough bites to build another pattern on the fly.  I'm going to have to remedy this, I think a fair portion of what takes place is in my head, I get a little too dialed in and try to force a two day old pattern that may have changed with existing conditions and I don't adjust with them.  We'll get it fixed though.  With that being said, all was not lost, I finished in 38th place and qualified for the regional.  I ended the year in 20th place in the points, and only fished four of the five events in the division, so that's not too bad.  Regardless of last Saturday's finish, I accomplished my goal of making the regional and now my focus turns towards Barren River Lake in Kentucky.  From the looks of the lake, I'm looking forward to this one.  Thanks for stopping by, I may get a chance to go the Barren River prior to the off-limits, if I do, I'll be sure to post a few pics.  Also, if you're on Twitter, look me up @Duke_Jenkel follow along, if you'd like.
God Bless,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Got my last BFL in the crosshairs...

Lord willing I'll be leaving for Shelbyville Lake in the morning.  It's the site of the last Illini Division BFL.  I'm pretty excited about hitting the lake, I have a fairly well chronicled love/hate relationship with this lake.  I'll admit, it's mostly hate...well, a strong dislike anyway.  I've got a couple of days to beat around the pond, so come Saturday afternoon, we'll know what I was able to muster up.  Lord willing it'll be a good report.  I believe the recent turn of the weather should have 'em biting.  We will see, Check back Monday.
God Bless,

Friday, September 9, 2011

Neely Henry Baits and Patterns

Neely henry is a lake that I'm beginning to really like.  It just seems to be one of those bodies of water that you feel comfortable with, despite the fact that I have spent a grand total of eleven days fishing there.  My last trip as you know was the final stop on the 2011 Bass Pro Shops PAA Tour.  I was fortunate to make the final day cut, a blessing indeed.  So let's dig in to the patterns and baits I used in route to a 17th place finish.

I actually discovered the main pattern that I fished on the first day of practice at 5pm.  I had been on the water since daylight and had concentrated on areas near the main river, mostly on wood and grass and had failed miserably in figuring anything out.  What I initially thought was act of desperation turned out to be one of the best moves I could make all week.  I was in a major creek arm and noticed a long stretch of rip-rap at the back-end of the creek.  Out of frustration I ran to the back of the creek to make a pass down the rip-rap.  I hadn't been to the backs of any of the creeks, and I hadn't fished any rocks as of yet, but when I arrived I realized how many bait fish had migrated to the back of this creek.  In my intitial pass, I caught 3 keepers, two were what I would call "good ole big-uns" a 19"er and a 20"er.  I truly believe the 20 inch fish was pushing 5lbs.  With only an hour or so of daylight left I got out my map and looked for similar situations, found several and the first one I fished, within three casts I caught a nice 2.5lber.  I immediately stopped and felt confident this was a pattern I could run all over the lake.  Day two of practive I spent up the river above Gadsden, AL I managed a pretty decent limit, but no big fish, but I also was able to establish a pretty decent pattern for those fish upriver.  Day three I spent back down lake looking for more stretches of rip-rap that had all the right ingredients.  I found several more areas.  I quit at noon to work on tackle and get ready for the tournament.

The Derby...
I started the tournament downriver towards the dam, by 10:30 I had cobbled together a pretty small limit.  Fearing, I had made a bad decision, I ran 40 miles from where I was to the areas upriver where I had caught them on day two of practice.  I managed to cull four or five times, but never had a quality bite. My day one total was 8.17
On day two of the tournament I ran back downstream in hopes of catching those bigger spots I had found.  I decided that I would spend all of my time on the lower end, slowing down to see if I could locate and catch these fish.  I knew I needed a pretty decent limit to make the cut, I felt like the lower end had the ptoential to produce bigger bites for me.  Day two ended, I had a limit that went 10.09lbs, landing me as the last man in the cut...Halelujah!...Payday!
Day three was pretty uneventful.  The fishing got tough, I managed another limit, and moved up two more places to finsish 17th.  Overall it was a great tournament, I never did connect with any of the big fish I had found in practice. Undoubtedly, I was in the right areas to do well, I just never got a big bite. I'm thankful for what I did catch.  Below are some pictures of the baits I used during the tournament. Until the next tournament,
God Bless,

I initially found the fish on the rip-rap with this Original Little John crankbait in Citrus Shad color. 
I used a Powell 703cb glass rod and 10lb maxima monofilament with this bait.

This is a Lunker Lure Shakee Head in 1/8th ounce. I used a Zoom trick worm in Red Bug Color on 8lb Seaguar fluorocarbon and a Powell 733 mef spinning rod.

In the tournament, the fish seemed to shy away from my Lunker Lure Buzzbait, but it helped me locate several areas holding fish.  This is a 3/8 oz white on white buzzer, I fished it on a Powell 704 cef rod with 20lb Maxima monofilament line

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Twitter....Do ya Tweet?

If you are a 'Tweeter" (is that a word?)  or should I say if you use twitter, look me up, I just set up an account.  I'm thinking it's a better way to be up to the minute, with your group of friends/followers.  I believe it will be pretty neat.  Who knows, maybe it won't, guess we'll find out.  At any rate it seems worth trying, so if you're on Twitter, look for Duke_Jenkel and click on the follow button.  It should be an interesting ride.
God Bless,