Berryessa – October 10, 2009

The season is finally over for a seven tournament season it always seems to take forever to get to the last tournament probably because I’m always trying to make the classic so every tournament season seems to drag out until I have qualified. Now I’ve qualified season over. So I started the season at berryessa with a 54th place finish ended the season at berryessa with a 31st place finish what happened in the middle was enough to make the classic and a shot at a new boat.

I was only able to pre fish for this tournament two weeks before the event it was the last day of the high heat but it was still fall and the water temps had been dropping the lake was low my normal hot spots were out of the water but hey that’s what tournament fishing is all about overcoming adversity and catching fish anyway. I started out running up to the aquarium and trying top water with spooks and lunker punkers did this for about thirty minutes with not even one blow up so I headed to big island to find some deeper water with access to flats as we pulled up there was some surface activity mostly carp then some bass action started so I threw a rip bait and spinner bait with no takers finally got one fish to go on a margarita mutilator drop shot in around ten feet of water worked around the cove then when I got to the other side of the mouth my partner and I picked up a double. Large mouths that were cookie cutters around two pounds then when down the bank with one small fish and then about fifty yards from me the surface came to life again this time I went over and tied a half ounce spoon on and started casting and jerking back to the boat bam three pounder then bam two pounder all the way up to five pounds while I was reeling that fish In we looked down to see nine other bass in the same class or bigger we fished for them a little bit but not wanting to educate them I drove to a new spot and tried the same technique no takers but by this time it was getting really hot so  we made a decision to get off the water.

I heard from others that the spoon bite was not a secret knowing this I went to the best spot I had first thing in the morning the cove behind big island. Started with Sammy’s first thing in the morning had two good blow ups and one hook up. Decent keeper then went around the points found the fish in around forty feet started spooning caught two good ones then moved in a little further into the cove and picked up another keeper on a drop shot lost two more on spoons then caught a limit fish on a spoon then we decided to go look for pockets with wind blowing in went up putah creek second turn in the river we found the perfect spot pulled in the screen lit up with bait and fish started spooning culled three times caught five then hit the next cove culled up again but not getting the size I needed for the win but I knew the pattern was solid with the potential for a kicker on any cast. I just never got that kicker and ended the tournament in thirty first place with 9.02 pounds not bad but definitely not good enough.

The classic is on New Melones reservoir not a lake that I have much confidence in but hey I didn’t do that bad last time I was there and this time there’s even more motivation a new ranger’ on the line. But I’m going to approach this tournament like all others put my head down fish hard and try to listen to what the fish are telling me not other anglers. If there is one thing that I have learned in my time of fishing it’s don’t listen to dock talk, go out on the water and fish just let your instincts take over if you think or feel like you should try something try it! Let yourself get out of your own way, fish; do what you like to do let the fish tell you they don’t like it or how they want the bait presented always pay attention to your surroundings when you catch a fish ask yourself if there was something specific that you did to trigger the strike, did you twitch your rod on a spinner bait retrieve did you shake your rod or jerk a jig loose anything that you did different from the norm might be the key to catching fish or not. Notice what kind of structure you’re fishing did that bite just come off the point or the side of the point off a stump or what size rock you may have been drawn to an area for one reason but find that the fish are using it differently so be aware and don’t let anything get in your head accept the knowledge you gain and you can’t go wrong you may not win but all the fish in your livewell will be your fish and that’s something to be proud of win or lose! See you on the water…