Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kindling Fires and Building Memories

On very rare occasion do you get the opportunity to witness a first.  I'm not talking about winning a tournament, I'm talking about witnessing something happen for the first time, specifically watching something happen for the first time through someone else's eyes.  I got that opportunity this week and I gotta say I had a blast doing it!  A group of my friends from high school got together to eat dinner the other evening, and through conversation, one mentioned that their youngest daughter loved to fish, but had never fished from a boat and I believe she had never caught a bass.  So we planned a trip.  Results: Boat Ride-check, Bass caught-check, Ear to Ear smile-check!  We had an absolute blast! Watching her eyes when we took off and ran down the lake was absolutely priceless.  She caught quite a few fish, she's a drop shotting machine!
Needless to say, it's always a great time watching some one experience their firsts! I have to believe there were some memories made yesterday!

Here's a few pictures from our trip:

This was her biggest of the day!

My job was taking them off of the hook...she can catch 'em!

PAA Event at Neely Henry

Monday will start the official practice period for the 2012 PAA event on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, AL.  I'm looking forward to this event, this will be the third time we've visited Neely Henry on the PAA Tour.  I've been blessed to have finished well the first two times we were here, so I'm definitely a little bit excited to be going back.  How will it turn out? I cant answer that one for sure, but I do know this, typically summer weights are not as high as the weights in the spring, so it makes for a tougher tournament.  Which in turn means that if an angler is able to find one little subtle difference that can generate a couple extra bites, or maybe help you catch fish of a little better quality you can beat the majority of the competitors.  Lord willing, I'll recognize some of those subtleties and play that into another great finish!  I'll be sure to make a post or two during practice, if you have a Twitter account you can follow me under the Twitter name of @Duke_Jenkel .  I update my progress on there as well.  Hopefully it will be a good report, See ya on the water!
God Bless,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ohio River Recap

Mediocrity, the Webster-Merriam dictionary defines it as the quality or state of being mediocre.  In other words: ordinary, so-so, or just plain average.  I believe that is the exact description of my Ohio river tournament last Saturday.  Did I catch a limit?  Did I cull out some of my smaller fish for bigger ones?  Yes on both accounts, but overall weight was the issue.  But I was not alone, in fact I feel like I did as absolutely good as I could've done, considering the number of bites I generated.  Here's what I mean: I locked out of Smithland Pool (the part of the Ohio where Golconda, IL is located) and ran up the Cumberland river almost to Barkley Dam, probably a 51-52 mile trip one way.  Much to my dismay, when I arrived, the fish in the Cumberland were not biting very well.  I thought it was just me, but after running into several other anglers who were shaking their heads at the reduced number of bites they were getting, it became evident that  the bite was definitely off.  There were approximately 26 boats that locked through to fish either the Cumberland or the Tennessee rivers.  7 boats went to the Tennessee, leaving 18 boats  to go into the Cumberland, and only two boats caught enough fish to cash a check out of those 18.  That is not a good average.  I managed a limit that weighed 8lbs 10oz good enough for 20th place.  Just short of a paycheck, but it did move me up 35 places in the points standings, and that is spectacular.  If I had it to do all over again, I'd still make the run to the Cumberland.  The number of quality fish (3lbs+) that were biting in the Cumberland far surpassed anything I could find in Smithland Pool.  To win an event, you have to put yourself in a position to do so, based on my practice I couldn't catch anything heavier than an 7or 8lb limit in Smithland so there was really only one decision to make, fuel up and run fifty plus miles to the Cumberland.  Although it didn't work out as well as I had hoped, I did have a decent finish (for which I feel very blessed to have got) and moved up a ton in the points standings.  That's the important thing to remember, winning tournaments at any level is tough, being consistent and qualifying for end of the year regional/championship is always the goal at the beginning of the year.  Considering I missed the first event of the year, I gave everyone a pretty decent head start, and right now I'm seven places out of the cut for regional qualification (even though I'm fishing pretty poorly) and that keeps me fired up for the next one.
I've posted some pics of the tackle I used in the Cumberland, and will probably use again the next time we go there.
Til next time!
God Bless,

That's a SPRO Little John in Citrus Shad(it's a warrior bait, look at the scars) on a Powell 703CB Glass rod (probably the best all-around cranking rod I've ever used) thrown on 10lb Maxima Ultragreen monofilament

Black Neon tube (a river staple) on a 4/0 Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Flippin Hook paired with a 3/8ths oz  weight on 20lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon line. That's a Powell Endurance Series 775CEF  rod, lightweight, sensitive with a lot of power.

This is a Reaction Innovations 6.95 Flirt worm in Sprayed Grass color, on a 1/8ths oz  Lunker Lure Shakee Head, 8lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon line. Thrown on a Powell 703 MEF spinning rod

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Giving Back

Have you ever? Gave back? No, I'm not talking about the ugly Christmas sweater you got from your great aunt, I'm talking about reinvesting, in the future.
I'd like to tell ya I give back all of the time, truth is, I don't give back nearly as much as I should. But, I've found an avenue to do so, high school bass fishing. There is something very rewarding to watch a young angler's eyes light up when you take them to the lake and put into practice something that you've discussed with them, it's an investment, in their future.  Is it life altering?  Probably not much, but to some degree it is.   Will they get a better job, have better health, no not necessarily, but they will possess something that they too can reinvest...knowledge.  Fishing is a great sport, it knows no boundaries.  No age limitations, no size requirements, no minimum investment, it truly is an opportunity for most.  Whether you're on the bank of a farm pond, or navigating 5 foot swells on Lake Erie, you're still searching for the same thing, the pull of a fish that you convinced to bite. It doesn't matter where you are, who you are, or where you came from, fishing transcends all age groups, it touches all walks of life.
Take some time, reinvest. I chose to do so through our high school fishing team, that's just one of many ways that you too can share some fishing knowledge with the next generation.  Go ahead, speed up their learning curve, give 'em a little help and sit back and watch the smiles show up when something they've only heard or read about happens before their very eyes.  In a world where we way too often get caught up in worrying or fretting about the fine details, take step back and look at the big picture, devote a little time to giving back, you won't regret it. Until next time...
God Bless,

There is a pretty neat deal located on it is called the anglers legacy...check it out it might just be for you.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Take me to the river!

The Ohio river that is.  Saturday July 14th will be the third event of the FLW Outdoors Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division.  We will launch from Golconda, IL on the Ohio river and are allowed to travel as far as we wish in search of the ever elusive largemouth bass.  Actually, an angler can lock down one pool and travel up the Cumberland river or the Tennessee river and catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass.  This event has quickly become one of my favorites, with so many options available an angler can often times find an out of the way area and have it to themselves. If you do decide to lock down to the Tennessee or the Cumberland, it can get a little crowded down there, but otherwise this is a wide open event.  I spent yesterday and today on the river and found a few things that I would say I liked, Lord willing it'll hold together for next week's derby.  I'll post the results.
God Bless,