Sunday, October 30, 2011

Barren River Lake BFL Regional...Patterns and baits

Here is a quick recap of the baits and pattern I used for the Barren River Lake BFL regional last week.  I started the week of practice fishing shallow in the backs of the creeks, and had a pretty decent day doing that, a rough estimate on weight would have been around 12 lbs. 
I started day two of practice looking for some deeper fish, as they were dropping the lake approx 6-8 inches per day (the winter drawdown had begun).  I spent 6 or 7 hours fishing deep and managed only a few bites, no decent keepers, so with a few hours of daylight left I went shallow and caught 3 nice keepers on a trap. 
Day 3 began still trying to force the deep bite, after a few hours of fishing and only two bites, I began to fish shallow again and immediately caught two keepers.  It was at this point I ran into my travel partner and we discussed the shallow bite and agreed that everytime we went up shallow we caught better fish.  We then decided to work together and we ran the upper half of the lake looking for specific areas that matched the type of areas we were catching them in shallow.  In the next few hours we had approximately ten keeper bites between us, which only solidified our decision to stay shallow during the tournament.
I fished the entire tournament running flat shallow pockets on the main lake, upriver and in Skaggs creek.  I abandoned fishing in the backs of the pockets, there was too much fishing pressure in these areas.  You could run the lake and identify the areas by sight that matched the pattern I was running, which in turn allowed me to run and gun all day, never fishing anything twice, trying to cover as much water as possible each day.  My day one weight was four fish for 8lbs 5oz, I lost a three pounder on a buzzbait that would've given me my limit.  My co-angler had a limit weighing 13lbs 2 oz.  I was in 30th, he was in 2nd. 
Day two of the tournament switched from cloudy skies and wind to high blue skies, little to no wind.  I believe that fishing pressure and weather conditions combined to change the fish I was catching.  It seemed that the fish pulled up tighter to cover on day 2.  I switched from topwater baits to a squarebill crankbait, a lipless crankbait and a tube to catch a limit weighing 9lbs 8oz, which moved me up eighteen places into 12th, the last man in the cut.
Day three started with a two hour fog delay, I was about two pounds out of 6th place (the top 6 anglers qualify for the All-American), so I knew I needed to have a decent day.  I again caught my fish early on a squarebill and a tube, but late in the day I began to run shady pockets throwing my spook, with 25 minutes to go I caught a 2.75lb fish on my spook.  I ended the day with 5lbs 13oz and moved up 7 spots to 5th place, qualifying for the BFL All-American next May on the Potomac River. 
Despite the falling water levels this week, I caught all of my fish this week in water that was less than 3 feet deep, and often in less than a foot of water.  I found the majority of my good fish, and I identified the pattern I ran by throwing a Zara Super Spook jr and a Lunker Lure buzzbait.  When weather conditions changed I had to adjust, the topwater baits found them, on day two the squarebill caught them, but ultimately it was one last bight on the Spook that put me in the All-American.  Below are some pictures of the rod/bait combos I threw this week.
I'd like to take the opportunity to praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for providing exactly what it took to to qualify, despite what seemed like not enough weight to make the All-American.

God Bless,

Powell 704CB rod - Super Spook jr  on 30lb Power Pro Braid

Powell 705cex rod - 1/2 oz Lunker Lure Original Buzzbait on 20lb Fluorocarbon

Powell 703CB glass rod - 1/4oz Lucky Craft LVR mini on 10lb Maxima Monofilament

Powell 766 Flipping Stick - 3/16oz weight, Gamakatsu Heavy cover Flipping hook - 20lb Fluorocarbon

Powell 703CB Glass - Lucky Craft 1.5 - Maxima 15lb monofilament

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My 2011 BFL Regional is in the books...

It's done, it's over, and miraculously enough, I did well.  At what? The Barren River Lake BFL Regional last week.  I managed to finish in 5th place and qualify for the 2012 BFL All-American, and I'm absolutely stoked!   I had a decent practice and an ok tournament.  I never really whacked them any of the three days, but I just managed to stay somewhat consistent and on a tough fishery that'll do ya real well.  I owe a thanks to my roommate Aaron McManaway, who I worked together with to figure out what these fish were doing.  He also made the final day cut, but fell just two pounds short of making the All-American.  It would have been pretty awesome if both of us would have made it!  I'll post more info about the baits and patterns shortly, right now I'm a little tired and a nap sounds like a good idea.
God Bless,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BFL Regional is right around the corner

Other than a few local events, my last out of town tournament will take place next week at Barren River Lake in Glasgow, KY.  I spent two days there late last week, prior to the off-limits period, and it seems to be a pretty decent little lake.  It's not a real big lake, you can travel from one end to the other in less than 30 minutes, but I think it will fish fairly big, I'm hoping anyway.  Regardless, I feel like a couple of days there riding around and fishing a little have been a big help.  I did manage to catch a few fish, even a couple nice ones, we'll see if I can expand on what I learned when I get there later this week, Lord willing I will be able to that. Here's a pic of one of the nicer ones I caught.
God Bless,

Five of these a day would be SWEET!!!