Winter Haven Chain Results:
Well, let’s just get this out of the way: http://www.bayareabassmasters.com/2014-schedule-and-results/9-uncategorised/110-january-2014-lake-shipp.html
The first thing you’ll notice is that we finished in 20th place out of the 32 teams that showed up to fish the tournament…
If this was any other tournament, I’d probably be a little upset with myself about that poor result. Normally, with that sort of result, I’d have already spent the last 24 analyzing what we could have done differently – I.e. different baits, areas, techniques that we could have employed. You know, the ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ stuff.
This particular chain is very ‘new’ to us. I had very little success to build upon during the few hours I got to pre-fish these lakes. I honestly just feel sort of ‘meh‘ about our result… I thought that there was a good chance to have easily come out of this deal with zero fish. I didn’t say that aloud to Brian before the tournament, but when was I pre-fishing the lakes on this chain, I had damn near zero bites. I tried a little bit of everything. I even solicited advice from the fellas over on the Bass Boat Central forums – which to their credit, they offered up a bunch of promising suggestions (Thanks!). Alas, none of it really amounted to much during the actual hours of the tournament (What works one day, may not work the next). We also have to take into account the fact that we had some pretty wild weather fluctuations the two weeks leading up to this tournament. So, that we caught any fish at all was a relief, let alone putting 3 of them into the livewell was of great relief. We missed two more bites, so, in theory, we could have had a limit. All in all, I’d say we did much better than I expected we’d do, and I think I’m OK with that.
In fact, looking at our results from a more positive slant, we put in a better first tournament performance than we did last year – where we placed 33rd out of 36 spots. It is important to point out that last year was our rookie year for tournament fishing of any kind.
How We Caught Them:
Our two largest fish were caught in the canals between Lake Summit and Lake Eloise. We caught two fish there on back to back casts up against the canal walls of the little island (The larger of the two islands in the canal). Wind was blowing NNW into lake Summit – blowing straight through the canal area. We were using Skinny Dippers (Dirty Sanchez and Magic Craw Swirl) on 6 ‘aught Owner or Gamakatsu swim bait hooks. We also had a few smaller bites in the lily pads over on Lake May – using the same swimbaits and colors.
Our Next Tournament:
Our next tournament will be at Rodman Reservoir, launching from the Kenwood Boat Ramp. Last year, our club held an ‘Open’ tournament there, where we placed 16th with a 5 fish limit weighing 9.84 pounds. Obviously our main goal will be to better that weight and result for this year’s Rodman tournament on February 8th.I do have some video that we shot with the new blogging tool (GoPro Hero 3+). I still need to edit it a bit, then I’ll post it as a new blog entry. Stay tuned.