May 30, 2010

Lake Istokpoga TBF Qualifier - 16th Place

This weekend I fished a Florida Bass Federation (TBF) tournament on Lake Istokpoga.  The lake is pretty close to home, only about 90 mins away, so I am pretty familiar with the lake.  I went into this tournament hoping to catch some fish and qualify for the State Championship which will be on Istokpoga in October.  I ended up doing pretty well and cashed a check and also learned some new ways to fish this lake.

Day 1 started off slow like alot of my recent tournaments.  I had one small fish at around 11, but I didn't panic because I know the fish can turn on quick if conditions change.  My partner for the day was catching fish here and there on a spinnerbait in the hydrilla so I decided to try out the Death Shimmer spinnerbait I got in a few days ago.  I have never fished this lake during a summertime so I have never fished the offshore hydrilla beds.  I started using the bait  and caught a small one right away but then it really slowed down.  I started fishing with a ten inch Gambler worm and finally caught my third fish (the lake limit is three fish).  I had a limit weighing maybe four pounds at noon, but at least it was a limit.  Around this time the clouds started building and the rain came along with some crazy lightning!  This is when the fishing got good.  I caught a four pound fish and one close to six on the 1/2 White Death Shimmer.  I was feeling pretty good about my limit and tried hard to get rid of that 1lb 11oz fish but it never happened.  I ended with 11.79 for 3 fish....not bad...but 16+ was leading.

Today on Day 2 I drew a partner who was willing to go where I wanted and do what I wanted to do but the fish didn't cooperate on the spinnerbait.  We ended up fishing shallow and pitching Senkos to the reeds.  I must have caught 25 fish but never got a big one.  My three fish weighed 5.24 lbs, giving me a two day total of 17.02 lbs for 6 fish.  I ended up 16th and got a check and also qualified for the State Championship in November.  I was amazed at how many big fish were brought in at this tournament.  Lake Istokpoga  is definitely one of the best lakes in the state.
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