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Yeah, I know it was the last day of deer season, but I can't fit any more deer in my freezer if I WANTED to. That's my excuse for deciding to fish instead of hunting.
But, that really isn't the REAL reason. The REAL reason was this:
That picture was taken at The Bait Tackle and Grill at Goosepond on Friday. A few hours later, another fish, slightly LARGER than this one popped up on Facebook...weighed in at Goosepond.
With the following day the unofficial start to fishing season (it's a joke...as in....the day after deer season closes, everyone goes back to fishing), two coworkers and I were sold on the idea of getting out there.
Truth be told, the first of February represents the calm before the storm that is big time tournament season on Guntersville. And, once again, I am ready to be a donor. After all, we have never cashed a check in a big tournament, namely because some of the best bass fishermen in the world make hay this month and next. But, I thought that I made huge strides last year. We didn't win any tournaments, but we got on big fish, which you can read about here:
We had one spot that was REALLY producing big fish. However, because we are considerate and respectful folk, we only managed to catch 3 fish each day on that spot before being bullied out of the way by the bent pole pattern. But, that's a story for another day.
So, we put in at Goosepond around 9:30 since we didn't want to fight the Heartland or Goosepond Wildcat tournaments that blasted off earlier that morning.
We first tried a spot I had won a few tournaments off of a few years ago, just above the barrage overhang up river from Goosepond. You can read about it and see the pictures here.
I threw a combination of a swimming jig backed by a PTL Swinging Hammer and a PTL jig backed by a PTL Diesel Craw. I had some good success on these two weeks ago while fishing Guntersville, which you can read about here.
Alas, to no avail.
So, we headed into Roseberry to the spot that Josh and I had found some monsters in the aforementioned tournaments in 2014.
We found around 4 boats in the area, which we tried to respectfully avoid. Naturally, everyone is convinced you are trying to take their spot, so we were jockeyed around in a set of trolling motor wars. Eventually, we found ourselves in an area I hadn't fished, adjacent to where I really wanted to be. It paid off quickly, as we had several consecutive bites leading to a small fish that was boated and a 4 pounder that flipped off at the boat.
One by one the boats cleared out, headed to happier hunting grounds, I suppose. The last one to leave was the very guy who had caught that monster the day before. While I hadn't (and wouldn't) had a bite all day, it was nice to know that I was in the very area he had undoubtedly caught that monster yesterday. What made me smile even more was that we were sitting exactly where Josh had lost the biggest fish of 2014 when an 8 pounder chased a swimbait all the way to the boat before turning tail.
That's the combination of late January and Guntersville for you. I found this out back in 2013. You can go 4 trips without a bite before finding them. And when you find them, you can load the boat...and do it for a week. That wasn't' going to be our luck that day. However, even though we didn't catch many fish, we gathered some great intel. We saw where a monster had been caught just the day before. Additionally, we struck up conversation with 2 other boats and found out that we had missed the active period. Early that morning, both boats had caught over 10 fish in that small pocket. While we were all snug in our bed, those guys were fighting ice in their guides and boating fish. Guess that's the way it goes.
We did watch the weigh in. Here are the results, as posted by The Bait Tackle and Grill:
Goose Pond Wildcat tournament results for Jan. 31, 2015
1st place was Michael Seeley and Hunter Seeley with 25.88 lbs
2nd place was Joey Shelton with 21.78 lbs
3rd place was Mark Brean and Jeff Hamilton with 18.74 lbs
4th place was Jamie Shay and Dakota McBride with 18.02 lbs
Big Bass 1st place was Michael Seeley and Hunter Seeley with a 7.78 lber
Big Bass 2nd place was Ty Traylor and Nathan Owen with a 7.22 lber
Big Bass honorable mention goes to Brent Turner and Sam Long with a 7.10 lber