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.