Over the 2010 season I had the privilege of fishing tournaments on nine different bodies of water in five different states
In California, I fished tournaments on Lake Shasta in January, CA Delta in June, and Folsom Lake in October.
In Oregon I fished the Willamette River in October as well as local Cottage Grove and Fern Ridge several times throughout the year.
For the FLW College Fishing National Championship I traveled all the way to Tennessee to fish Fort Loudon, part of the Tennessee River system.
FLW Also brought me to Lake Mead in Nevada, and Lake Roosevelt in Arizona.
So what were my top five favorite bodies of water to fish?
1. CA Delta:
It would be very hard for me not to pick the CA Delta as my favorite fishery of the season. It was my only top 5 of the season, and my partner and I have been able to finish in the money all three times in the FLW College circuit. While success certainly plays a big role in my enjoyment of this body of water, it’s simply a ton of fun to fish. The tides force you to make adjustments throughout the day, keeping it interesting. The cheese is always green and ready to be frogged, with any cast being your next PB.
2. Willamette River:
I fished my second tournament on the Willamette out of Newberg, OR this year. Not only is it incredibly scenic (once you get past forcing your line through the many leaves floating with the current), the smallmouth fishing can be exhilarating. We were able to get our pattern together early, catching a limit just under 2 hours into the tourney. We had multiple series where we were able to land four keeper smallmouth on consecutive casts.
3. Loudon Lake:
While Loudon Lake proved to be a painful painful tournament for me and my partner due to a poor finish and inability to catch anything close to a limit, I really enjoyed exploring and fishing it. There’s a wide variety of structure and cover on this lake, making it very diverse and captivating. There are some huge smallmouth to be caught, and like the Delta there is an unlimited amount of water to explore.
4. Lake Roosevelt:
I’m not sure how Roosevelt slides into my fourth spot, as I can’t even answer If i enjoy fishing it or not, but there’s something that keeps me wanting to go back for more. Maybe it’s finishing just out of the money both times, or because it’s incredibly hot and sunny when I can’t walk around my house in Oregon without a blanket. The submerged trees and clear water seem to draw me in, as I work my dropshot through the branches, waiting to get whacked by a waiting fish.
5. Cottage Grove:
The home lake slides into my fifth spot. A short twenty minute drive from my driveway, Cottage Grove is a blast to fish throughout the year. The fish are healthy and size is always great. While it’s a small lake, there’s always a number of different bites going on. Oh and it’s also the site of the first fish on my boat, and the infamous “Its a salmon!!!!!!” video above