The best thing about being a tournament fisherman is that you get to fish some of the finest bass lakes in the country. If I didn’t fish the B.A.S.S. Opens, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to go to such diverse lakes such as Amistad, Thousand Islands, Potomac River, Santee-Cooper, Norman and Toho. But the fact that lakes are selected by the tournament organization also leads to one of the primary disadvantages of tournament fishing.
Inevitably, every few years, they will go somewhere that you really hate to fish. For me, that lake is Lewisville, located outside of Dallas, TX. We went there last season for the opener on the Central Division and for the first time in 15 seasons with B.A.S.S., I failed to catch a keeper in any of the tournament days.
I wasn’t the only one. In fact, 31 Pros failed to catch a keeper in two days and it only took 9.9 pounds to get a check on the Pro side. So when I saw Lewisville back on the schedule for this season, I seriously considered not fishing the Central Division because of it.
After much soul searching (and deciding my only other option was to fish the Northerns which would involve about 6 days more driving time), I decided that I was looking at it all wrong. Instead of dreading the lake and wishing I was fishing somewhere else, I’d look at it as an opportunity for revenge on the one lake that has, to this point defeated me. After all, I can approach this tournament with a clean slate. There’s no memories of places that I’ve caught them before to tempt me and I’ve certainly can’t do anything but improve on last year’s results.
So as I head out tomorrow for Texas, I’ll spend the drive time trying to adjust me attitude. Lewisville should fish completely different this time around. The lake has been about 6 feet low for a long time but the recent rains have it almost back to full pool, so there should be a lot of brush that’s now in the lake. We’ve also had a milder winter than last year, so the water temps should be in the high 50’s instead of the high 40’s from last year. And I have to remember that the lake does have some really good fish in it. Kevin VanDam caught an 11.13 pound bass there to set the lake record (later broken) during a tournament, so you never know what could happen.
I’m going to go in with a good attitude and pretend that I’ve never been there before. I’ll do what I normally do and hope to put something together that works and that will hold up over the three competition days. After all, I’ve got nowhere to go but up.
Thanks to the sponsors who make this all possible: Scoutlookweather.com, Lowrance Electronics, Phoenix Bass Boats, Costa del Mar Sunglasses, Bass Angler Magazine and Mississippi Van Lines. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.