Friday, May 25, 2012

PAA Event on Old Hickory

The PAA Tour (Professional Anglers Association) held their first Pro-Am event of 2012 earlier this month on Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, TN.  I was looking forward to this event, having spent a couple of days on the lake in early April, it looked to be a promising event. 
Day one of practice turned out to be quite the opposite of what I expected.  I struggled to generate very many bites at all, much less bites from fish long enough to meet the 14" minimum length requirement.  There were several interesting things taking place on the lake at the time we visited. One, there was a massive shad spawn going on, one of the best I've ever seen.  But I found very few fish relating to them.  This was very puzzling to me, I couldn't understand why the fish weren't wholly committed to the shad spawn.  Secondly, due to the warmer than average spring weather that most of the country has had, the fish had moved off-shore quicker than expected (this would be the beginning of my demise).
On practice day two, I stopped and took a phone call from the outdoors writer from my local newspaper. It was during this phone call that I made a discovery that I ultimately felt would make this event change from a tough one, to a great one.  I'll explain, as I spoke on the phone, I drifted into a cove and up to bank.  When I had finished talking, I got up to start fishing again, and as I did, I saw numerous bluegill beds.  A great summertime pattern can be targeting bass around these beds.  So, I stopped tied on a bait notorious for being successful in this situation, and in minutes began catching quality keeper fish.  Over the next few hours, with my hooks removed from the bait, I generated quality bite after quality bite.  It was mind boggling the number of quality fish that would attack my bait.  Problem solved...this tournament is going to be awesome!  Day three of practice saw much of the same success that day two held, so I left the water at 11 am and headed back to the house to prepare my tackle. 
The Tournament
Other than a change in the weather, conditions for this event stayed about the same as practice.  A cold front came through and dropped morning temps pretty significantly during the competition days, but that seemed to be the only big change.
Day One: Started very slow, so much so that I had to abandon my bedding bluegill pattern, dig out my flipping stick and scrounge up a limit. I tried later in the day to revive the bluegill pattern from practice, but to no avail.  I ended the day in 35th place with 9.14lbs
Day Two: Began much slower than day one, I didn't think that was possible.  I had started in a different area, came up empty, moved further upriver and continued to struggle.  I switched over to fishing a Lunker Lure Shakee Head on 8lb line and managed to generate a couple of keeper bites by the end of the day.  total weight for day two was 4lbs and change.
I finished the event in 50th or 52nd place, obviously not what I expected, nor what I had hoped for, especially after getting dialed in on them so well during the last half pf practice.  But as one my good friends continues to tell me: Work hard, honor God and let him take care of the details.  So, I'll leave this finish and all of my others in God's hands and keep digging!
God Bless,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

PAA Tour kicks off next week in Nashville, TN

Next Thursday will mark the start of the 2012 PAA Tour on Old Hickory Lake in Nashville, TN.  It looks to be another great year on the PAA Tour.  After the first stop at Old Hickory, the tour will once again swing through Gadsden, AL to stop at Neely Henry Lake, stopping for the last event on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, OK.  I believe it is going to be an exceptional year.  Lord willing, it will be a successful year.  Check back, as next week approaches, I'll keep updating with how practice is going.  you can also follow the action on Twitter, just look for me under the name @Duke_Jenkel .  Stay tuned!
God Bless,