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Sunday, May 17, 2009


It's been awhile since I've been able to post anything, so here is an update of the fishing on Fort Loudon and our tournament results.
The forecasters were calling for some bad weather on 5/9/09, the same day our 3rd USA Bassin' was to be held. We loaded up Brandon's boat since mine was still in the shop and headed to the lake. Only us and the tournament director showed up! Since we made the effort to chance the weather, get up at 4:00 am, and head to the lake we decided to go ahead and fish the tournament. If nothing else, it would separate us in points from the rest of the group. So, we fished and I caught 7 keepers on one of my homemade jigs and we won with 5 largemouth that weighed 8.41 lbs and lunker of 2.12 lbs. This qualified us for the Regional tournament on Douglas Lake in September.
On May 5, we fished Tuesday Night Thunder and our plan for the evening backfired, completely! We ended up with 1 largemouth that weighed 1.4 lb. I think that put us around 15th or 20th place.
The next Tuesday, May 12, we tried again. On a hunch, we decided to try a different area that we hadn't fished all year. A short stretch of that area yielded 3 largemouth that weighed 6.12 lbs and we caught about 16 or 17 fish. We wasted alot of time on unproductive stretches of that area, but at least we learned something. If I had it to do over, I would double back over the productive stretches and fill our limit, but it didn't occur to me at the time. We were using my jigs and several different types of big plastic worms, with the worms being the better "keeper" lure for the afternoon. We ended up in 9th place out of 36 boats.
Yesterday, I got my boat back out of the shop. It now has a new lower unit, gears, impeller, propeller hub, and gaskets with a one year warranty. I can't wait to get it back out on the water. Brandon's boat has been running great and we've had no problems, but I just don't like tournament fishing in a fish and ski because the windshield is always in the way! But, at least we had a backup!
To sum it all up, we've not had our best days in recent tournaments, but we always learn something new each time we fish. Even if you don't catch anything, you learn something....the lure you were using don't work under the conditions you were fishing. I strongly believe the big females are no longer in the shallows. All our quality fish have been close to the main channel and the mouths of coves. The fish are moving into their summer patterns. Thanks to all the rain we've had and the TVA leaving the lake levels up, I think the results of this year's spawn will be a huge success. The smallmouth are getting much harder to find. We only saw one weighed in last week. Have a great time on the water and introduce someone to the sport!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Good Night, Bad Night

On Tuesday, April, 28, Brandon and I fished in the Tuesday Night Thunder tournament again. When we took off we ran about 300 yards and the motor made a funny noise, then everything died. When I tried to restart it, all the electronics powered off. So, to say the least, I was fuming! I had a new powerhead installed 2 years ago and have been through 3 lower units in the last year. I'm not hard on the boat at all, though. I always run it under the recommended RPMs, keep it well maintained, and continuously check my gauges for water pressure.
So, we dropped the trolling motor and headed toward another ramp that we launched from that night. About ten minutes into our 5-6 mile troll, Brandon lands a 5.18 lb largemouth on a deep diving crankbait. Well, now we had to weigh in thinking we might win lunker. We kept going and I managed to pick up 3 more keepers in the 2-3 lb range. One on my homemade jig, 2 on plastic worms.
We still had 2 hours left at this point, but no way to get back to the ramp the tournament launched from. So, we called one of the tournament directors on his cell phone and he and his partner came to our rescue. We put our fish in their livewell and Brandon rode to the weigh-in in their boat and I trolled to our ramp and loaded up to go meet him.
We ended up with 4 keepers that weighed 11.6 lb, which is our best weight of the year. It earned us 3rd place out of 35 boats and we also won lunker largemouth.
Our year to date placings in the money are 2 wins, 2 3rd places, and 3 lunkers. So far, so good. We've won more than we've paid and for once I don't feel like a donater every week. I believe all the studying, reading and learning new techniques has made the difference.
As for the boat......I wish it knew how close it came to being at the bottom of the lake! It's now in the shop waiting on a verdict and I hope it isn't too bad. If it is, it will have to stay parked for awhile until I can find a new motor. I refuse to pay thousands of dollars to fix a motor that lists for $1200.00 in NADA.
I wish you all the best and hope your boats run well and you catch a bunch of big 'uns!