October 18, 2011

My Okeechobee Weekend - TBF State Championship Report

I'm usually pretty quick to post my reports after a long weekend on Okeechobee, usually it is because I have some great stories and big fish pictures to share.  This weekend was definitely full of stories, but no big fish pictures. I fished the big lake three days, one for pre-fish and two for the TBF State Championship.  The result? I caught fish, but not quite the finish I was looking for.  I ended up with close to nine pounds on the first day and 9.75 on Day 2.  I caught my limit each day but really struggled to find a kicker.

Going into the weekend, I knew I was going to fish my strengths and fish the grass with a Ultravibe Speedworm and that's what I did.  In practice I located some good fish about thirty minutes from the ramp in the hydrilla.  We caught two nice fish and had several other bites we didn't land.  After seeing the 5+ my partner caught down there, I knew the area had the big fish I was looking for.

The first day was pretty windy and it took me thirty mins to get down to my area, but close to an hour coming back.  The wind was nasty and I was glad to be in my Legend Alpha 199.  I know people always brag about how well their boat rides, but this was pretty awesome.  My partner for the day told me before we left that he has major back issues and has even shattered his back.  When we stopped and he said the boat rode great, I knew he was being honest.  I struggled all day and only caught five keepers, catching two right before we had to make the trip back.

Day 2 was a different story.  It was just as windy, if not more windy and I chose not to make the long run.  I stayed closer and fished an area I hadn't fished in a year or so and it turned out much better.  First thing in the morning, my co-angler caught one that weighed 5.6 pounds.  I knew the good ones were there and we stayed there all day.  I only weighed in 9.75 pounds, but I definitely had my chances as I missed some huge fish in the heavy cover.  I hooked two and lost them in the grass and had some monster blowups I missed.  That's fishing.  I wish I could have that day back as I would love to have a second chance on those fish.

Overall the weekend was great, I had a limit both days, had two great partners and fished my strengths the whole time without trying to change anything.  The water level continues to rise and the temperature is starting to slowly drop.  That means the spawn is right around the corner.  I even heard some guys say they saw them on beds already.  It's going to be a great winter!
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