The 2014 season has started in the Northwest and the fish are biting. The Spokane Bass Club's first tournament of the year was held on Newman Lake near Spokane. This is one of my favorite local lakes just because there are so many quality fish swimming in the lake. I was fortunate to get 2nd place with four fish for 12.27lbs including the big bass of the tournament at 4.88lbs.
I spent Saturday on Newman Lake and covered pretty much the whole lake and didn't get a bite until close to 11:00 as the water was still in the low to mid 40's. I had 16 rods rigged up and used every one of them in practice, but only got bit on the drop-shot and the swimjig. We found one area that had water that was 47 to 48 degrees but only 2 to 3 feet deep. Even with the cold water, the fish were very active here in the emergent lily pads between 2 to 3 feet of water. My partner was getting bit twice as much as me during practice and I think it was the trailer on his swimjig, a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss. I took notice and switched it for the tournament day.
I knew exactly where I wanted to go first thing in the morning and on my first cast of the day I caught my biggest bass with a 3/16oz black and blue RC Tackle Swim Jig with a black and blue Havoc Pit Chunk as my trailer. I really like this particular swim jig because it has a very stout hook and the Pit Chunk is the perfect size for a trailer and still has the nice action from the four appendages. When I hooked the big one, I didn't think the fish was that big so I just boat flipped it with 12lb Seaguar AbrazX. Looking back, it was probably not smart to do that with a fish that ended up being the biggest of the tournament and was worth a decent check. It all worked out and sometimes I would just rather take my chances when they are that close instead of waiting for the net and chance for them to get off that way. I caught a small keeper about five minutes later and then it slowed down.
Then we ran to my smallmouth spot and I caught one on a drop-shot with a Berkley Powerbait Twitchtail Minnow. I had a bite in the exact same spot the day before and I believe it was the same fish. After some time without any bites we ran back to the first spot and I caught another one right away. That was it for me for the day and I never got another bite, but my partner did pick up two later on in the day on the swim jig.
Overall it was a fun tournament and much better than our club's first event last year where only two fish were caught. This one took over 14lbs to win and there were several 3 and 4lb fish brought to the scales. I only had four bites all day and caught every one of them so I can't complain.
|Two of my fish from the day|