There are a lot of great things about fishing the Bassmaster Opens but I think what I like best is the chances that we have to fish so many diverse fisheries. We started the season at the shallow water, weed filled waters of Toho, where swim baits, punching and bed fishing were the primary patterns. Then we was off to Lake Lewisville in Texas, where water temps in the 40’s made jerkbaits fished slow enough that you could check your email between twitches. From there, back across the Southeast to Lake Norman in NC, where docks and bed fish ruled the day.
This month, I’m at Table Rock outside of Branson, Missouri. I haven’t been here since the late 90s, so most of the details of the lake are just vague memories, so I’m basically starting from scratch. If you haven’t been here you’re missing a pretty good trip. First of all, it’s a beautiful lake, with crystal clear water, rock bluffs and docks everywhere. Add the fact that the lake is full of all three species of bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted), and you’ve got a tournament venue that is hard to beat.
I only got here about 10 this Saturday morning and some severe thunderstorms kept me from getting more than about 4 hours fishing in today. But looking back through my notes from the day back here at the motel, I’m amazed how it went. I had 17 bites, some on topwater, some on bottom and a couple of crankbait bites. The biggest was this 6 pound largemouth, but I also caught a smallmouth and a couple of spots, so it looks like it’ll be a fun week if it ever quits raining.
Tournaments like this one is shaping up to be are sometimes very hard to fish. You can catch fish pretty much any way you want to, so you have to keep telling yourself to concentrate on catching bigger fish and to leave groups of smaller fish, no matter how much fun it is to catch them. I’ve got 4 more days of pre-fishing, so I’m looking forward to trying to find some areas with the bigger fish in them. Tonight will be all about re-spooling all my rods and prepping for tomorrow. After all, fishing is a tough job but someone has to do it. I’m glad it’s me!
Thanks to the sponsors who make this all possible: Scoutlookweather.com, Lowrance Electronics, Phoenix Bass Boats, Mercury Motors, Motorguide Trolling Motors, Costa del Mar Sunglasses, Bass Angler Magazine and Mississippi Van Lines. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.