Read about all of my Fishing Adventures!
A few months ago, my son had to change parks to play fall baseball because the local park didn't have a tam for his age. Thus, I met an entire new group of ball parents. One of those, his coach, works at Phoenix boats. In talking with him, he told me about how one of their employees had been diagnosed with cancer. They would be holding a benefit tournament on Tim's Ford for her. There would be great prizes and a good paycheck on the line. Of course I was happy to participate but I had never bass fished on Tim's Ford.
Turns out, Tim's is actually the closest lake (discounting the stretch of Wheeler from Tirana to Ditto, which is easily the worst section of the Tennessee River). So, a few weeks ago, I took my first trip to Tim's. It was really easy early in the morning as I caught fish after fish for the first 45 minutes. And then the sun came up and the bite died.
On my next trip, things were even tougher. Sadly, this was just a day before the tournament and with the conditions worsening, I had to admit to my partner that I didn't know what I was doing. That was especially tough since my partner was my wife. To be fair, I did shake off a fish that would have won big fish of the tournament and I did catch another decent largemouth. But, the bites were nonexistent. I fished shallow. I fished 14-18. I fished deeper. I fished creeks. I fished main lakes. Nothing. I couldn't even find bait.
That morning, we made our way to the Tim's Ford Bass Club Ramp. The event was terrific as it kicked off with fresh cooked sausage biscuits. We were about to put the boat in the water among the 140 other boat field when I couldn't find my plug. Understand that my plug has lived in my boat since I have bought it. Magically, it was gone. No problem, I made me one out of some baits and some electrical tape!
The tournament didn't kick off until 7AM and though I was boat 19, I had a feeling that the late start would really hurt my chances of catching fish early. And, more importantly, without that early bite, I had NO hope for finding fish.
Ironically, I caught a short fish on my first cast of the day. That turned out to be the only bite we had all day long.
I felt really bad about it. We've always done well together and I felt like a failed fisherman. I mean, I knew it was the worst conditions possible. It's a very clear lake and very high skies. I couldn't even approach bait fish without them skittering away.
Turns out, everyone else struggled as well. 137 boats. There were four five-fish-limits. It took 16 pounds to win, which is strong. But, 12 and 11 for second and third. It was very, very down hill from there.
I do recognize that conditions were pitiful and that I shouldn't judge too harshly. Yet, I haven't really seen anything yet to make me excited about Tim's. I'll keep trying. After all, it's supposedly a great smallmouth lake, even if the techniques to catch them are beyond me. Hey, if you want to grow as a fisherman, that's how you have to do it.
In talking about the tournament, I have to say: It was a terrifically run tournament. Everyone got shirts and door prizes. The items that were raffled off were incredible, even if I didn't win any. There were plenty of cold drinks and the atmosphere was great. I hope for the best for Tina and I hope they continue to put this tournament on!