Another 2010 BFL Gator Division tournament is in the books, and once again I was really fortunate and had everything going my way. I finished 3rd Place today on Lake Okeechobee and am now leading the Co-Angler Division for AOY Points. I ended up weighing almost exactly what I weighed three weeks ago and had 14lbs 5oz (really it was 15-12, but I had 3 dead fish...ouch!)
Just like I predicted the other day, it was a speedworm day. I caught fish on other things like a fluke, senko, and a Punch Skirt, but all of the keepers came on my favorite worm. One fish was close to six pounds, another was five, and I had three two pounders to go with them. What an awesome day!
It started off pretty slow and uneventful. We were boat #122, dead last and when we got to our first stop there wasn't a boat to be found. We fished hard and at 10:00 I had one and my boater had none. We decided to make a move and talked about how tournament fishing is all about making the right decisions. As we approached out next area there were boats everywhere. I counted over 25 in sight. They were all there because the fish were in there pretty good. I started catching some small ones and then caught two keepers and was feeling much better. Then I had one slam my bait and start peeling drag, this was a no doubt big fish. After that fish I was shaking I was so excited.
It slowed down after that and I finally caught another keeper around 12:30 to fill out my limit. At around 1:30, I noticed two of my fish weren't doing too good. I knew they were getting close to dying and it made me nervous. For one thing, I hate killing any bass, and second each one that dies is a 8 oz penalty. That can drop you weight in a hurry. We decided to start heading closer to the ramp. We stopped at one more spot and I started catching non-keepers and small keepers pretty often, but none would help. Then I hooked into a five pounder and we decided to get back in so no more fish would die due to the extreme heat and high water temps. We actually came in about 45 minutes before we had to be in, my partner for the day was great and really wanted to make sure I did well. Unfortunately, one more fish died while we were waiting for the weigh-in bags. Sad, but at least the two biggest ones were still very alive and were released to be caught again some day.
Tanya had a great day as well, and learned alot from John Bitter (from Bitter's Bait and Tackle) about how to flip, something she has been trying to work on lately. She also had the chance to fish with some of his new Naked Swimmer Swimbaits. These things are awesome and she says they are better than the "other brand". I'll post a review of them once I get to see them for myself.
Today I had fun, got a nice check, and moved to #1 in Points. All in all it was a great day. Now I just have to wait until September to fish again and try to win Angler of the Year.