The July tournament for the Spokane Bass Club was held last Sunday on the Pend Oreille River in Idaho. This is a special place for me and my wife since we got married on this same stretch of river and have fished it many times. It has great fishing and really has something for everyone: largemouth or smallmouth, deep or shallow, grass or rocks. Basically you can fish how you want. One thing that played into my strategy was the fact that you can only have two largemouth (over 16 inches) per person. With that rule I knew the smallmouth would make the difference.
My partner for the day went up with me the week before and and we found a perfect largemouth area and caught some good ones and saw some others in the area. During the event, we were first boat out and were first to the spot. I caught my first keeper largemouth on a 1/2 oz Eco Pro Tungsten Heavyweight Flipping Jig, he then caught a keeper on a buzzbait and not too long after I caught one on a Megabass Dog-X Jr. So after about thirty minutes I had my max of largemouth and he had one and we went smallmouth fishing.
I also fished the day before the event and found the perfect smallmouth spot, a big point with rocks and boulders and access to shallow water mixed with some grass. I couldn't have made a better spot...the only problem was it was also the biggest party spot on the lake. People were swimming, swinging off a rope swing, jumping off cliffs, picnicking, you name it. We went there early during the tournament and one of my first casts I caught a 2.75lb smallmouth and then we left after it slowed down. When we came back, I caught another nice one right away and then filled out my limit and caught a few that didn't help. My partner also caught a nice smallmouth and lost another one at the boat. I was drop-shotting a 4.5" Roboworm in a few different colors.
I ended up with 11.16lb and got the win. I really thought it would take more because the river is full of big fish, but after hearing how tough it was for the guys who pre-fished I was happy with my weight heading in.