I got in my second day of pre-fishing yesterday.  I went with a friend, DJ Morrison.  I have to say, it was a little bit of a frustrating day, but it was productive enough.  Yesterday the goal was to try and find a back up plan if my pattern I found my first day of pre-fishing didn’t hold up next week.  I was actually really hoping to find an area with some murkier water to be able to fall back on if I needed to in the tournament, but I had no such luck.  There were a few areas of the lake that I had recalled seeing murkier water earlier in the year, but that just wasn’t the case yesterday.  I ended up catching a lot of fish, but none of them were keepers…so I really didn’t find anything that would help me out as a back-up plan.  However, that does make me feel somewhat good knowing that I found one of the few successful patterns going on out there right now.  I suspect that a lot of guys will struggle in this tournament.  We’ll see what happens though I guess.  The best part of the day though was that I brought home some Guadalupe Bass and one big bonus Striped Bass that I caught (about a 24 incher).  On the way home I got the bright idea to put them in the bath tub and let May-May jump in and chase them around.  It was pretty hilarious.  I took a video that I will try to post later, but my computer seems to be having problems recognizing my phone when I plug it in.

The other thing was that it was a frustrating day because of my trolling motor.  It’s been having problems for several months now, but it’s just getting worse and worse and I just can’t deal with it anymore.  It has now decided to only start running at like half its normal speed and power.  The wind barely picked up yesterday and I got blown all over.  If I don’t get it fixed before the tournament, and that wind picks up at all, I could be screwed.  Hopefully I can figure something out before this weekend.


Lake Travis Pre-fishing

13 November 2009

I fished Lake Travis today in preparation for my ATX tournament there on the 22nd of this month.  It went fairly well.  I’ve established a pretty good pattern that I feel confident will still be there come tournament day.  Actually, I’ve been fishing the same basic pattern at all the lakes I’ve been fishing since the Fishing For Freedom tournament at Belton.  It’s a pretty classic autumn pattern, and I’m actually really surprised that there are very few guys who have got it figured out.  Everyone else seems to be talking about how tough the fishing is at Travis right now.  Only problem today was I didn’t really get any big fish.  All the keepers I caught were between 1-2lbs.  I think I only had about seven pounds for my limit today.  I’ve got to believe that this pattern can produce bigger fish though if I hit enough spots in the tournament.  I learned from the Fishing For Freedom tournament.  I’ve got a pattern established and I know exactly where the fish are positioned.  I plan on moving pretty fast and covering a lot of water.  I’ll be headed out again tomorrow to try and establish some possible back up patterns.

Happy Halloween!

12 November 2009

The Hamburglar

Halloween Fishing

I planned to go fishing on Halloween this year with a guy from my bass club on Lake Travis.  The primary purpose for the trip though wasn’t necessarily to fish.  I had to try and get my livewells operating since they were experiencing problems at the last tournament.  I figured if I had the boat in the water then I might as well let someone else spend some time fishing out of the front of the boat.  The fact that I was going to be fishing on Halloween didn’t really hit me though until the night before as I was looking at my Halloween costume.  I then knew what I had to do.  Little did anyone know that The Hamburglar is an excellent fisherman.


I’ll make a quick post about how my last club tournament went on Lake LBJ back on October 25th.  Long story short, I got third, won a little cash, and gained some major ground in the point standings for the season.  Here’s the breakdown:

Pre-fishing: Generally speaking I like to give myself three days of pre-fishing before I fish any tournament.  I’ve always felt like if I can have three days of fishing, I can get the bass figured out.  Often times I will get them figured out faster than that, but sometimes I don’t quite catch on to what the fish are trying to tell me until that third day.  However, this month was different.  All of the gas money that I spent on pre-fishing for the Fishing for Freedom tournament pretty much drained my budget for fishing money for the month.  Because of that, I was going to have to survive with only one day of pre-fishing for Lake LBJ, a lake that I have never seen before in my life.  I lucked out and got a pattern dialed in quickly.  This time of the year is fairly predictable.  The weather is cooling, so the shad are migrating to the shallows with the bass hot on their tails.  I happened to find a decent topwater bite first thing in the morning along the dam for some bigger fish, but the main pattern was very similar to what I was doing at Lake Belton recently.  They seemed to be in shallow, muddy pockets of water that were loaded with shad.

Tournament Day: Now, I must mention that in these club tournaments, there is an off-limits period for one week prior to the tournament date, and none of the participating anglers are allowed to fish on the tournament waters.  A lot can change in a week.  Well, we received some very heavy rain the days just prior to this tournament causing the lake level to rise a bit, the water to muddy, and lots of floating debris throughout the whole lake.  Much different conditions than what I faced a week earlier pre-fishing.  Upon seeing how muddy the water was, I had a pretty good idea that my topwater bite on the dam would be over, but I decided to start there anyways just in case.  Just as I expected, that pattern died.  After fishing half the length of the dam with no strikes, I ran down to the other end of the dam where there was a shallow pocket of water with some shallow weeds in it to try really quick.  That’s where I put my first keeper in the boat and then decided to target shallow pockets for the rest of the day.  On my pre-fishing day, I had found one pocket in particular at the back of a slough where I had gotten lots of bites and a couple of decent fish, so that’s where I ran next.  Unfortunately, as I got there, I could see one boat already in the back of the slough fishing, and one right at the mouth of it waiting for his turn to fish back in there.  I maintained my distance, fished a few nearby docks, and carefully watched the other anglers fish the slough and back pocket.  Both boats fished the slough quickly and came back out without catching any fish.  My turn.  As I made my way back in, there was a small pocket off to the side of the slough where I landed my next small keeper.  I ended up spending the next few hours fishing the pocket at the back of the slough nice and slow and managed to catch the rest of my limit out of there by 11:00.  That was pretty much the end of my day as far as catching fish went.  After that I moved to go fish some more shallow pockets, but as I arrived at my next location, I opened my livewell to see two of my bass floating belly up.  Something had clogged my livewell lines preventing fresh water from being pumped in.  From that point on, my day was pretty well shot with just trying to keep fresh water flowing into the livewell to keep my fish alive for weigh-in.  Kind of a bummer, but at least I ended up in third place on a lake I’d only fished once before.  As a result, I stayed in the number four spot in the point standings, but I drastically cut the ten point gap the top three guys had on me to just one point.  After last month, I had all but given up on being able to actually catch the guy who is in the #1 spot.  He still has a pretty decent lead, but there is definitely at least hope of catching him now.  If he stumbles in one of the next two tournaments, I have a shot at catching up.