Read about all of my Fishing Adventures!
A few week's ago, my oldest son's baseball coach approached me about a benefit tournament coming up. He works at Phoenix bass boats in Tullahoma and one of his co-workers was diagnosed with cancer. They (Phoenix) were putting on a tournament called Tina's Tournament on Tim's Ford lake in a few weeks and he asked if I was interested.
Initially, I wasn't. I don't know anything about Tim's Ford. Other than fishing for hybrid's in the 80s, I know virtually nothing other than it is a really clear and deep lake on the Elk river.
But, it was for a good cause and my wife had been hinting that we needed to go fishing. When I began looking at who had signed up, it was obvious that many other men were thinking the same thing. So, I paypal'd my money. $50 ain't much, especially considering the door prizes and raffles.
Of course, it would be smart of me to know something about the lake before I decided to fish it during a tournament. Even though it is for a cause and I am happy to donate my money, I am still a very, very competitive person.
I had heard that Tim's had turned on the last few years, specifically for smallmouth. Hey, smallmouth are my specialty!
Well, let me back up. Smallmouth seem to be about all I can catch these days.
So, I decided to go check it out. Turns out, Tim's is the closest lake to my house, discounting the upper end of Wheeler, which is about as dead as can be right now. I used the Tim's Ford Bass Club ramp which is just outside of Winchester. You can find it on Google Maps. This is where the tournament will be held. unfortunately, I missed the very best part of the day, thanks to this gas shortage. I had to stop at four different stations in Fayetteville before finding one with gas in the tank, That set me back about 30 critical minutes.
Just a hundred yards to one side is a bridge with rip rap down it. There was a lot of action going on and I figured, what better way to learn a lake than to drop the trolling motor and just start fishing.
Ok, truth is, my map card doesn't have Tim's Ford on it.
Turns out, that was a good choice. Throwing a Strike King Series 3, I picked up bites on virtually every cast. I caught several small smallmouth and a few short largemouth. Within 15 minutes, I was hooked up with a four pound smallie.
Then the smallie threw the crank. Ok. That sucks. But, it happens.
Three casts in a row and the fish threw the hooks. I kept telling myself "one more and I will swap hooks." One more turned into three missed fish.
By that time I had covered the length of the bridge and another trip down it resulted in no bites.
So, I moved to the first point. With the boat in 14 feet and making short casts parallel to the bank, I missed three smallies and boated one. I finally sat down and changed hooks on the crank. First two casts, caught fish.
Moving out to the end of the point where it dropped from 18 feet into God-knows-what, I picked up the PTL 7" Tickler on a magnum shakey head. Tossed it out, let it drop vertically, and began working it back to the boat. A few hops in and I caught the best fish of the day. It wasn't huge, but it was a decent fish.
I texted my wife, exclaiming that this lake was a cake walk. It was about time I fished a lake that wasn't pounded to death and would give up an easy day!
The sun came up about that time and I didn't get another bite for the rest of the day.
In all, I boated five to seven, but I had more hits from small fish than I care to admit to. One thing is for certain, there is no shortage of smallies in that lake!