Day on the Lake with Confidence

A few weeks off and time away from bass fishing is just what the doctor ordered. I suffered my longest and toughest slump since the Kerr Divisional but have finally gotten back on track. It’s safe to say that Kerr definitely got the best of me…

A few weeks off and time away from fishing is just what the doctor ordered. I suffered my longest and toughest slump since the Kerr Divisional but have finally gotten back on track. It’s safe to say that Kerr definitely got the best of me, and I think that mentally, I was a bit burned out from the fishing, logistics, and club/federation stuff, that I just couldn’t focus on having fun. Well that is passed…

On Sunday we kicked off our 2009 Eastern Shore Bassmasters club tournament schedule with our first at Lums Pond in Bear, Delaware. Our club is just over a year old and this is already our 3rd time fishing at Lums. The prior two times were each called early due to lightning storms. The first back in July of 2007 was cancelled after just three hours of fishing in where we had only two guys boat fish to weigh-in. The last tournament there had a number of guys catch some really good bags of fish, but the rain set in and lightning soon followed to bring an early end to the day.

On Sunday however, the skies were blue, the air temps hit lows of about 48 overnight and warmed to a nice 72 in the mid-day, and all was good. Our club has taken in a number of new members this year and we are seeing our membership grow by a couple of good guys every year. We had 7 boats launch at Lums on Sunday morning, and everyone was excited to kick off the new season.

I started the day trolling over to the stump field closest to the ramp and just started fan casting a white Booyah 3/8oz spinnerbait and trailer. After reading about the Alewife population on Lums in place of Shad I thought the bass would be chasing baitfish by this time of year, large ones. Within 5 casts upon the point of stumps and submerged wood I had a nice fish take the spinnerbait nearly at the boat. You wouldn’t believe the confidence this one fish gave me. I’ve finally boated my first “keeper” fish since maybe late August. Yeah, it’s October! With that said, I quickly hurled him into the livewell, and attacked the pond with a vengeance.

I continued with the spinnerbait in the stump field for a good hour, tossing a jig and t-rigged craw to stumps and laydowns here and there, but to no avail, I couldn’t muster another bite. I worked my way around to the south shore, heavily wooded, and across the pond from the boat rental docks. This place is normally pretty good about giving up some decent fish on the wood, but I wasn’t having any such luck. During this time I noticed a large Osprey, for the second time, slam the water at the mouth of the cove over by the boat rentals. Each time he came out with a good sized fish, that I can only assume was a large baitfish, Alewife I presume. I didn’t need to be told a third time and quickly trolled over there.

As I got to just the outside edge of the mouth of the creek, the pod of baitfish was boiling and with a quick toss of the Yo-Zuri Rattlin’ Vibe in Baby Bass, I had a decent bass pick me up. There was no fight to this fish and as I drag him across the surface for the last 6 feet or so, notice the small trebles just dangling from the fleshy part of the corner of his jaw. I was lucky to get him in. I continued fan casting the area, snagging stumps as I could hardly keep the bait off the bottom. Between here and there I was getting hit pretty hard. The fish were smacking the bait, but not quite committing to it. I managed two quick hook ups, but they were off in mere seconds.

I continued working the creek mouth and came to the point east of the cove and a huge bass, probably 4-5 pound class slammed my bait. I was able to get him almost within netting range when he took one last shake of the head and he was gone. What a beautiful fish! I finished working the area from the cove over to the beach. Head down and cranking hard for a good hour. The fish were there, but a bit funky, or moody.

As the sun started to get up in the sky, I reverted to throwing to shaded objects, specifically boat docks. It wasn’t long before I had a solid hook set on a nice bass. My smallest of the day and he went 2-5, caught on a green pumpkin senko under the boat dock, no. 1 to be exact. I worked the boat docks pretty well but couldn’t manage more than the one fish there.

I trolled up to the next creek mouth up the left leg of the pond, fan casting the Yo-Zuri trying to get bit, but the water was getting shallow. No takers at the creek mouth and I decided to head over to the south side in the shaded areas flipping a jig to anything wooded. I had watched pretty much everyone in the club including some other boats out there “fun fishing” that were hammering this spot throughout the morning. I don’t care, I have no problem with following up behind someone while fishing. It wasn’t long either before I laid into my 4th and last fish of the day. I tossed the ½ oz Explosive Tackle football jig in purple/chartreuse, one of my own creations thanks to Ryan! I flipped the jig into a pretty thick cluster of limbs and twigs and the bass hit it immediately. A good hook set, and a good fish, my largest of the day…a 3-3 kicker. On the initial hook set, he got me tangled up, so I gave him pressure and he eventually untangled himself, and with the pressure on the fish…he came flying out of there.

Obviously I was not only happy to put some things together and get some fish, but its always rewarding to catch them on my favorite technique, pitching a jig. With just an hour left to go in the tournament I just knew I had it wrapped up for the win. I had heard that one guy had a five pounder, and also that one of our younger guys in the club was doing well and had some good fish. But it wasn’t enough for them. I finished the day in 1st place for the win with 4 beauties weighing just under 11 pounds.

I watched guys fishing that south shore all day long, but knew I was on a good spot while the fish were keying in on baitfish at the creek mouth. I didn’t panic when it was slow, and I kept my thoughts under control. Enough to consider myself the only competition out there and it worked. The fish just hadn’t moved into the wood and shade until later in the day, and the guys fishing there before me just had the timing off. Boy am I glad they did…

Eastern Shore Bassmasters

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