The Columbia River nearly got the best of me last weekend. It was the final Washington TBF tournament and I was in 3rd place in the points going in. The Top 7 for the year makes the State Team as a boater and 8-14 become non-boaters. I was pretty safely inside the Top 7, but I made it way too close.
|Pre-fish bass selfie|
I went down and practiced two weeks prior and found some good fish. Each time I returned to this stretch I would catch one good one. I went back multiple times at different times of the day to gauge if one was better than the other. It didn't seem to matter and I always caught one in the general area. Everywhere else I went I caught 12 inchers or non-keepers. Since that was my only solid place I had to put all my eggs in that basket.
When the tournament came around the forecast was for 25-35mph winds. That was not good as I was out in the middle of the river in a notoriously rough section. I went anyways and had about an hour before we got blown off of the spot. My co-angler caught two 3lbers, but I couldn't get a bite. I scrambled and caught a tiny limit fishing bridge pilings. I used a Dry Creek Tube, Aaron's Magic Roboworm and a Reins Bubbling Shaker to get my fish.
Day 2 was nicer and I went again to my area and only caught one small fish. Then leaving my next spot I lost my lower unit. Turns out I had a gear go bad and it blew up the whole thing. Instead of getting mad, I got on the trolling motor and headed to the closest bank and caught one right away on the tube. My partner and I made a plan to get back and with the help of other competitor's, we had a plan to pick him up around 12 and get him back to the weigh-in with our fish in time for the 1:00 weigh-in. That gave me less than two hours to grind out a limit. Obviously I couldn't go far, so I made the best of the area. I did it. I got a limit and caught a walleye in the process on the tube. My last fish came with about 15 minutes to go and was the difference maker, the season maker really.
I finished in 7th place by two points, the last spot to be a boater. I was so thankful to have filled out my limit and glad I kept going for it. The tube saved me and so did all of the people who helped me get my co-angler and fish back. I also had some great friends who helped to get my truck to the ramp that was 20 minutes from the launch site.
|Me on my 90 minute trolling motor run to the closest ramp|
|Here is the State Team pic (minus me) while I was stuck downriver|
Another cool thing about my pre-fish and tournament was how much I was able to map the river with SonarChart Live. I did it throughout and that should really improve the map here. Here is a cool example of one spot that has already been updated. It was a blank canvas and now it has some contours!