Monday, June 6, 2011

MFC Tournament #6, Guntersville Lake 5/28/11

We (the MFC) are finally in the back half of the season which includes fishing more lakes and tactics that I *usually* feel comfortable with. This tournament was out of Seibold, which Dad and I fish all the time. But, I hadn't been on the Big G in some time and  I was a LITTLE nervous about it since I had heard the fish were moving out deeper to ledges. I started to get in the groove of ledge fishing last year, but Dad has little to no experience in fishing ledges. But since my friend Jon had been catching them by the dozens in the shallows early in the day, I hoped that we could load the boat early and coast the rest of the day. I had a few spots that we could hit early and pick off the active fish, pick up the trolling motor, and run to the next spot.

As usual, I spent Friday afternoon organizing and cleaning. Gotta make sure everything is in order! Even washed the boat for first time in a year!

Dad and I arrived fairly late, and I started the motor as soon as we slipped into the water. It cut off a few minutes later and wouldn't start. I surmise that it sucked up a bunch of grass and started to overheat. It took literally to blast off before we could get it to start. Even then, as we floored it, it was in "limp home mode", which keeps it from operating above a certain RPM. It's so aggravating when it will run just enough...but not enough to get on plane.
HEre is where we fished...although you will notice that I am not marking it up a lot, since we didn't exactly wear the fish out:

So, that shot my idea of milk running.....Seibold is a great area, but it gets heavily fished and when it's off...its off. It really doesn't offer a lot of variation either, so if the pattern isn't just have to run a good bit to find it. Well, when you can't run, it makes it difficult!

I started out throwing a combination of Lucky Craft Sammy, my custom swimbait, and a Spro frog without any takers....strange! I mean, I couldn't BUY a hit. Dad managed to catch a couple of keepers and several shorts on Zoom lizards, mostly in natural colors.

My first solid hook up on the day was around 7am on a Spro frog, one of the new Rojas editions I bought at Gander Mountain. Good fish too! I really like the new series, although they are selling to the fisherman and not the fish!
I had a great blow up...I waited for a second and Let the fish have it...HAZAAAHH!!!! Jerked him up on the grass and started burning the reel home, but after about half a turn, the Citica LOCKED UP!I don't mean that it got hard to flat locked up. I kept pressure on the fish as I hit the release button, tried to get the reel to take in line. The fish stayed put for several seconds until it finally shook off. I don't normally curse. I certainly don't do it around my dad, but that was an exception.

The day didn't get much better for me. We idled to a few different places that we have always had luck with, without many takers. As I said early, in Seibold, it is a whole lot of the same old thing and the terrain seems to go on forever, unchanging. We idled over to an area of seibold that has good stumps. It's where I caught several 7s earlier this year. I even did something I NEVER do! I pitched plastics! I NEVER throw plastics, but I thought that this was a pattern that even stubborn fish would like. I would find the pockets in the grass where the stump were, toss the Ol Monster down there, pop it a few times...without the first bite.

With an hour left to go, we headed over to an area of condos close to the ramp. We had 1 keeper in the boat at this point and that poor fish has been there for 7 hours. But, I take care of my fish. I am a good host! I had given up an everything but the swim bait. I felt like, if anything was going to work, the swim bait would. And it did! The silverminnow with cast in rattle, started getting some big hits!

But, insult to injury, I couldn't keep them buttoned up! I lost two or three fish on consecutive casts, and not the "Oh, I had a hit" misses. The kind where you fight the fish half way to the boat and he gets on his comlink and says "Beam me up, Scotty" and disappears!

I even had a MONSTER come out of the grass next to the boat, and I mean, he hit the boat coming after my lure! I was finishing up a cast and was about to pull the bait out of the water, and this fish comes out from underneath the boat and hits it! Although we might not have won the tournament with him, it would have put us in the money for sure, as it would have culled a very short fish and added 4 pounds at least.

It was enough to put me over the edge. I was fishing mad. Fishing isn't supposed to make you angry or stress you out, but it did that day! But dad and I plugged along the last 15 minutes, and in a sort of miracle, filled out a sack in that last few minutes! I was just happy to have boated a couple of fish, although dad put me to shame! It wasn't worth writing home about, for sure! (although the irony isn't lost on me that I AM writing about it!)

we finished in next to last place with 11 pounds, while it took 20 pounds to win and a big fish of 6.81! That beat the rest of the field by 5 pounds! Best of all, only one fish died out of the 9 boats.

The good new is, that I left there and flew to Miami to pick up my new, to me, car! 1998 Camaro Z/28 hardtop 6 speed.
Now I just have to get the boat running!