I haven’t posted in a while and told myself I would make a better effort this year. That being said, I decided to give some recaps on how my tournaments go each month. Hope it helps some anglers or provides some form of insight or entertainment to others. Thanks for reading.
Lake Palestine: site of the first stop of the North Texas Kayak Championship Tournament Series. This lake has GIANT bass in it and an abundance of good bass to boot. It’s a fairly shallow lake with mostly stained water. This lake ate my lunch last year at the KFL Pro 2 day tournament. I walked away with a 10th place finish scratching my head. And this year would be no different.
March 25: Pre Fish – Woke up that morning to 35 degree air temp outside and was glad I slept in. I got to the lake around 8:30 and was fishing at 9:15ish. The area I chose to fish was a 3 mile one way paddle or should I say pedal. Water temps 60.5 and warming hourly. Two hours go by and not a nibble. It's late march and these fish should be shallow. I call Gutcheck and we discuss our patterns. He is in a totally different creek. He informs me all he could get bit on is a weightless soft plastic. The wind was a good 10-15mph and I had a ¼ oz weight on. I remove the weight. BAM! Almost instantly I get a hit! Line goes tight. Hook set... 17.5” in the yak. Fish came out of 1 ½ feet of water. You wouldn’t think that weight would make a difference. Truth is it doesn’t most of the time, but today it does. I open up my assault on these stingy fish. In 30 mins I have 3 fish the yak: a 17.5, a 20 and another 18”. The fish are definitely here, time to find another back up spot. No need to sore lip any more I think to myself. From there I continue to catch fish everywhere. Now I got them hitting my swimbait and that makes me happy. As the day heats up so does the fishing. I pick up 2 more 19”ers. That’s 93.5” and I’m just feeling the waters. I have locked down my areas to focus on tomorrow. Before I leave this last little area I look around. If I was a big girl I’d hang out right through here. Out comes the 5.8” Keitech swimbait. I pitch into a bush, swimbait hovers for a second then noses over into the void. No thump no tick but the rod loads BIG TIME! The bite I’m so addicted to. It’s a big girl and the fight is on! Snap, she breaks 20lbs. flouro with ease. “Should have left that 25lbs flouro on," I grumble to myself. I poke around a little more and head out feeling confident for tournament day.
March 26: NTXKC Tourney Day- Check in 5:30 am. We have 50 anglers! WOW that’s the most we have ever had in a North Texas tournament! It’s a milestone for NTX and I’m proud to be part of it. In my opinion we have some of the best kayak bass anglers in the county, and we're about to see some more excellent anglers emerge. The competition just got tougher and I love the challenge! Rules read and we are released to go. First cast allowed 6:45am. My first cast is closer to 7:20am. The weather was identical to the day before. It’s been a long time since I fished a weather pattern that was that stable. Things are lined for success. I fish a couple points on the way to my fishing hole with no luck. I pedal up to my area of choice and begin fishing armed with the knowledge from my prefishing the day before, an hour goes by not a bump. I go to my second spot, blank again. Back to first spot. Zero again! Ugh! It’s unbelievable! No reason for these fish to have lockjaw! No fronts have moved in, water temps and clarity are almost exactly the same as the day before, but the bites just aren't coming. I’m back at second spot now and no luck. All my baits from yesterday are drawing blanks. Time to abandon ship on that plan and reassess. Maybe they are holding deep in the reeds? I think to myself. I’ve fished out front of these reeds long enough. I nose the kayak up into the reeds and pitch into a deep pocket. Boom! 17.25” !! Yes, I got you now. Pitching and flipping pockets of reeds. I can do this all day! 1hr rolls by and not a bump. The old adage "one fish does not a pattern make" rings true. Need a new plan. I run the gauntlet of my options. Still no luck. Starting to lose hope a little. I refocus one more time and say a prayer. It's crunch time now: one hour left. Wind is blowing pretty good. Time to fish the windy bank. I reach for my confidence bait, a 5.8” Keitech swimbait. I swim it through a patch of thin grass. Tic! ! Fish on! Only a 14”, but I’ll take it. I pulled 3 more keepers out of that wind-swept grassy spot in the last hour giving me 77.75” for the day and enough for 7th place. Thank you God! What a tough day on the water, and yet I loved every minute. Next stop, Lake Ray Roberts! Some familiar water to me. See y'all in a month.