New Melones (Classic) – November 9, 2009

Champions aren’t born, they are made…or so I’m told. Well, guess I have more work to do because I’m not a champion, yet!

The future pro tour classic was this weekend to fish it you had to fish all season and finish in the top forty five out of over a thousand teams that fished this season so to say the least this is a privilege and an honor not to mention a huge accomplishment to get to compete in this prestigious event.

I have tried all year to qualify for this event so even though the easiest way to qualify would be to win every event we all know that probably isn’t possible. There is strategy involved and over the coarse of the year I have discussed my strategies so I definitely went into this event with a purpose but it was not what I think some would consider conventional instead of going out and pre-fishing for two days and beating up my water I chose to get my head right first then make a plan of attack. So I took Thursday off from fishing and just got the boat ready the rods cleaned, lubed, new line and sharp hooks then rested my mind and body. Then when Friday, Saturday and Sunday came about I was prepared.

Not being familiar with a lake can be an advantage some times other times it’s a major hindrance for me I still am not sure which was which at this particular event the lake was fishing very tough and even those who knew the lake were having a difficult time. I chose areas that I felt I could get big bites on they had what I considered all the right elements deep water access, structure, food source just not fish that had read the same books that I have. So I took some past knowledge of mine and went a different direction I chose banks that are what we call do nothing banks there on the main body of the lake and if you drive over them the screen is usually blank but what these areas offer is a variation of depth if you find a depth that the fish are using to target bait then you have vast areas to work with and in this scenario using a lure that really mimics the bait is very critical. In this case a drop shoted soft plastic like a Berkley power shad was the right bait also a pro worm leech in morning dawn was a good choice. This gave me a technique that I felt I could fill a limit if I needed to. So with some nice big fish areas in mind and a secondary pattern in place it was time for the big show.

Day One: Ran to a spot up the Stanislaus river an island with lots of structure and plenty of deep water access not a single bite then across the cove to a steep bank with standing timber worked worms around the base of the trees and picked up four or five fish but only two keepers the rest of the day I spent trying to find that big bite that might keep us in the tournament but just never got it the last hour of the day I went to a do nothing bank and caught a few more fish but only two keepers and finished the day with 4 fish for 4.85 pounds good enough for 51st place.

Day Two: This was a make or break day the leader had 14.95 pounds but had a 9lb kicker so the door wasn’t shut but it was closing quickly so it was time to cover some water with the Huddleston and try for a few kickers this time I started on a straight cliff wall and had five big spots follow my bait back to the boat so I stayed there for a few hours trying to get just a couple big bites got one but she didn’t get hooked so time to go look for a different area but for some reason I just couldn’t get that big fish to sacrifice its stay in the lake for a ride in my boat but we picked up five fish for 6.85 and maybe a moral victory on some level knowing that we weren’t shut out by this lake and stayed in contention till the end well kind of. There’s always next year goes in this spot.


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