Old Hickory Lake, TN
Air temp: 60
Water Temp: 49
Conditions: Cloudy with scattered light rain
I was sitting around and watching the weather and trying to decide if it was done raining or what and decided screw it, I needed to go fishing. It was about 60 degrees and cloudy with little wind. So I headed 15 minutes down the road to Old Hickory and put the boat in. Started right up after not being out for a while! Made a real short run and decided to try throwing a crankbait along a decent bank with several docks on it. I went about 100 yards and BAM!!! My first fish of 2009. I was a little disappointed because #1 was a "yellow belly" stripe about 6 inches long. Oh well it was a fish. I continued down the bank alternating between a small unnamed crankbait, a #5 shad Rap and a suspending jerkbait. Didn't really throw the jerk much, the water was a little stained and I tend to do better on a jerk in clearer water. I didn't have another bite that rest of the way down the bank.
I noticed a large group of seagulls diving on shad across the creek from me so I idled over there and threw a Strike King Red Eye shad around all the baitfish that were up on a flat 6'-7' deep. I'd just chunk it out and reel it slowly back. That's when I caught #2. A real nice bluegill. Where are all the bass??? I fished that flat for a while without another taker, trying the jerkbait and the Redeye.
It was starting to rain a little and was getting noticeably colder so I cranked up and went to a rocky point I can usually catch one on any time of year. I worked it over dragging a 3/4 oz. football jig to no avail. (I'm still experimenting with that football jig, just can't decide if it's better than a c-rig or not. I can usually catch 'em on a C-rig but I think I catch bigger fish on a jig so it stands to reason if I fish a jig like a c-rig, then I ought to be able to catch good 'uns on the jig. But it just hasn't happened yet.) I'll get it though.
By this time it was about the foggiest in the day time I've seen in a long while. So I crank up and slowly run down river a ways and stop on another point to drag the jig across. It was very foggy but all the sudden a gust of wind blew through and all the fog just got pushed out. it was pretty cool to watch. Except it started raining pretty good about then and it was close to dark. i just decided to call it a day.
My outlook on the day: It was good to get out of the house and the boat needed to be ran so i guess it wasn't that bad. The fish didn't really cooperate but it happens.
Another thing I just have to get off my chest ond out of my head:
I just can't shake a bad performance I had in the last tournament I fished last year. I went to KY Lake to fish a 2-day fish-off by myself. Bubba (my T partner) had to work. I fished Friday and it was windy and rough so my practice wasn't too good but I found a few. Day one I weighed in 10 lbs and no one else really did all that well except for one other team that had 16lbs. So, even though I didn't have a real good sack it put me in second. My thinking with a 2 day tournament is you need to at least put yourself in position for day 2 and you have to have figured something out so you can move in for the kill on day 2. I had figured something out and felt good about it. I thought I could go right back and catch 'em on Sunday out of some grass on a frog. I left them biting on day one and caught 3 keepers in the last 30 minutes. I drew out #3 day 2, so I ran right back to the grass I caught my fish in on Sat. and bang, right away catch one about 3lbs on a frog. Then they go to missing the frog. They just wouldn't hit it to eat it. I worked that grass several times and maybe too long, but I had at least one hit on every pass. They were good fish too. I had to leave because I wasn't boating them... This is where I think I screwed up. I ran to a spot to throw a c-rig to try to catch a fish deeper. I fished it quickly in practice but I didn't catch any although I did miss one. That was dumb and I basically wasted an hour. I then ran back to my grass and missed one about 6lbs and another one or two... Looking back i should have:
A.) ran right past the deeper bank and into the next bay and throw a Red Eye shad or spinnerbait on the shallow flat in the back of the pocket. I caught some fish in there Friday but they were small and the wind wasn't blowing like it was then
B.) (and I think this is the biggest f up I made all weekend) I should've left the first grass earlier and ran down to the mouth of a creek I went in on Friday that was a very similar grass bed to what I had caught fish out of on Saturday. I couldn't fish this grass in practice because it was right in a 30mph wind and there was no way to fish it. I could've day 2 though. And i thought about it I just didn't do it. Not sure why. That's how it goes when you're on water that you don't fish often enough to know enough spots that you can adjust when things change. I ended up in 6th place weighing only one fish and one spot out of the money. Ok I suppose because I was fishing alone against teams but not what I should have had. With a limit I would have easily finished second but there really was no way to win. The leaders from day 1 had a 18lb sack the second day
I learned a lesson though about really paying attention to things even when you don't fish them. I knew that grass was there, I just didn't make the proper adjustment and it killed my finish.