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,

1 comment:

Deer Passion said...

I definitely understand being stubborn, especially when it comes to personal strengths and weaknesses. You kept an open-mind and a willingness to learn from those around you... I think that's the success in this story and it'll definitely keep you progressing. Looking forward to more updates!!