July 3, 2014

Lake Washington TBF Recap

Last weekend I spent three days on Lake Washington, right in Seattle. It is a cool place because it is an urban setting complete with multi-million dollar yachts, floating houses, the Seahawks training facilities and plenty of smallmouth bass. According to locals, this time of year is the absolute worst time of the year to be fishing there, but the TBF tournament was scheduled so we were there.

I headed over there with fellow Spokane Bass Club member Anthony on Thursday night and we rolled in around midnight. We were up before 4:00 and on the water as the sun came up around 5:00. I had been there one time in 2007 so I kind of had a general idea of what it looked like and I had talked to a friend who gave me two "community holes" to try. Overall the day was pretty awful, I ended up catching a limit's worth for about 11lbs, but that was fishing hard from 5:00 in the morning until 5:00 that evening. We ran all over the place and even got a warning for speeding in a 8mph zone. I didn't realize those whole areas were no wake! At least the police were cool about it. Overall I felt decent about my chances going into the event. I had caught all of the fish in different areas and on three different baits so that gave me some hope that I could expand on those areas. A drop-shot, a wacky-rigged 4" Yamamoto Senko and Megabass Pop X were the key baits during practice.

My best fish from practice
The nice police officer had pity on the out of town bass angler.
One of the areas I found with my Navionics Plus card in my Lowrance proved to be very good as it produced several fish in the tournament. It was a slight underwater point that dropped into deep water. The shallow side had a nice grassline and the fish seemed to be right along the contour lines that were the flattest.

Standard Nav Charts
SonarCharts showed a deeper detail of underwater point

Day 1
The first day started off good as I caught a small keeper fairly right away on a drop-shot. After that it really slowed down and all of the spots I went to had a boat right on them. It was about 8:00, really windy and I was already out of ideas...not the best way to start the day. I switched it up and fished some new areas and was lucky to catch three more keepers, bringing me to just over 6lbs for the day which put me in 14th. I caught them all on a Roboworm straight tail on a dropshot. I fished weights ranging from 3/16 all the way up to 1/2 and would switch them based on the wind, depth I was fishing and also the cover. The big weight saved my day when I was fishing over 25 feet of water in those white caps in a rocking boat, proving I will drop-shot in any weather.

Day 2
After the first day and my low weight, I knew I had to make a big change. Since all of my spots were getting pounded I decided to make a long run into Lake Union. While it really isn't "long" in terms of distance, it is in time spent getting there. A run there takes around 15 or 20 minutes and then an idle time of around 30 mins. So 45 mins, on a day when we had to weigh-in at 1:00 was a risk, but it was well worth it. I had some spots there, but my non-boater knew it very well. With his help, I was able to catch around ten keepers and had 10.71lbs, moving me all the way up to 4th place. All of the fish came on the Roboworm again and it was just a great all around day and gave me some great points for the season.

The whole trip was awesome, complete with a high finish (and check), a police encounter and a messed up transmission on my truck! It was fun driving almost 300 miles home going 55mph the whole way, but we made it back.

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