Archive for March, 2010

Fern Ridge and Duel on the Delta Videos

Check out these videos made by fellow OBT member Carter Troughton aka Cbass. The first is a recent outing at Fern Ridge Reservoir just west of Eugene, Oregon. Fellow OBT members Carter Troughton and Cody Herman accompanied me on my boat as we sought to learn the lake better and prefish for an upcoming tournament in April.

The second is a recap of the Bassmasters on the CA Delta, filmed by Carter Troughton, a local Discovery Bay resident and OBT member.

Fern Ridge, OR

Fellow OBT members Cody Herman, Carter Troughton and I went fishing on Fern Ridge reservoir just west of Eugene, Oregon yesterday. It was the first time bass fishing for us on the reservoir and one of the first of many trips on my new boat. We were forewarned about low water levels and prevalent stumps throughout the lake, but man was it intense! We focused on two northern arms, with creek beds running through them. When we could not find a creek bed to idle through we were running in as shallow as two feet of water. Without a GPS unit, we found the best way to find the creek beds, was to pull up a map of the lake on my iPhone, which clearly showed the creek beds due to a satellite image of the lake when it was at its lowest. By doing so we were able to find a deep water channel running 12-13 feet deep. After four hours of no fish, we focused on a wind blown stretch of rip rap just off the deep channel. In eight minutes, we had three bites on spinnerbaits, landing three fish for a total of 14lbs. We assumed we had found our pattern and tried similar areas throughout the day, but with no success. We learned a lot about the lake, and plan to fish the Fern Ridge Open, on April 24th.

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Prefish Day 3

We finished our last day of prefishing today before our official prefish day on April 9th for the FLW College Fishing National Championship. On day two we were able to get over twenty fish into the boat. The weather was a little colder then the last couple days, with overcast skies and mild rain. The fishing slowed down a little, but we were still able to locate some and learn the lake. Thank you Joel! We had a fun three days on the water, and will keep our eyes on the weather hoping it warms up a little. Here are a couple pictures.

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Pre-fish Day One

My partner and I went prefishing for our first day on Fort Loudon in preparation for the FLW College Fishing National Championship. It was a beautiful day, supposedly the hottest TN has seen all year. Bluebird skies made for a little tougher fishing, but we were still able to catch 15-20 fish, with a handful keepers. Mostly learning and running around the lake today.. Tomorrow we will get on the water a little earlier and do some more fishing. Pictures to come tomorrow!

Fort Loudon Prefish

My partner Ross Richards and I off to Knoxville, TN today to prefish Fort Loudon for the upcoming FLW College Fishing National Championship. We will be prefishing the 19th, 20th and 21st. Will keep you updated on how we do!

Preparation

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

I just came across this quote and it struck me just how relevant it is to bass fishing. The most controllable aspect of bass fishing is without a doubt preparation. As a college angler, we are often unable to pre-fish due to limitations such as the inability to pack up and leave school for a week and the thinness of our wallets. Not being able to physically fish the area leading up to the tournament certainly has major disadvantages, and makes preparation that much more important. In the weeks leading up to every tournament there are several questions I will ask myself, and I will often lay awake thinking about the answers and what they might imply. Firstly, I will make sure I have a good topographic map of the lake or river system. Second, I will do as much research as I can on the current water level, and how exactly it has changed the dynamics of the lake. What part of the lake is no longer fishable, and does my map reflect this? What is the primary forage?

As a young angler, I have not had the opportunities to fish every lake I set out to compete in. I will be competing in over three national level tournaments this season, in states I have not even stepped foot in. For each tournament I have already begun asking myself, who do I know that lives in the area? Who do I know that has fished the lakes previously or has had success? Networking is an important aspect of tournament fishing, and while many people surely keep their best secrets to themselves, a majority of anglers will quickly help. I met an angler at a local club meeting just last week, that had fished Fort Loudon, TN (the lake of my next upcoming major tournament) for the last time in what he believed was the year 1996. I listened with open ears as he tried to remember every detail of his outings. His recollection of the lake amazed me as he described some of the same features I had been studying on my maps and plan to pre-fish in the upcoming week. Do I expect his same patterns to hold up? No.. but I will soak up every bit of information I can.

Preparation leads to confidence, and the combination of the two is just as deadly as any “secret” lure, and with a little bit of luck it can be the difference in earning the success we yearn for.

FLW Collegiate National Championship

The inaugural FLW Collegiate National Championship on Fort Loudon is just over a month away, and I can’t wait! My partner Ross Richards and I just finished making plans to pre-fish Fort Loudon during our spring break March 19th-21st. We had a meeting with Jay Yelas, and got some pointers on preparing for the tournament. Thanks Jay! I just received my first order of baits I plan to use during the championship, and I’m sure it will not be the last. You always seem to need one more thing right before tournament time. Will post some pictures of some of my tackle shortly.