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Most Clutch Tournament Bite #13436506 02/12/20 09:56 AM
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5-20 Offline OP
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Earlier this morning, I responded to the "Glory Days, Top 3 Lakes you Remember" thread. And as I was cleaning through my bass stuff and trying to downsize a bit of tackle, especially since I am spending so much time fishing in the salt ever since I moved to San Diego, I actually found a memento from a two day tourney win I had with a partner.

And I thought it would be pretty cool to talk about an awesome tourney win that you pulled out of a hat. This is my pretty memorable experience.

We were on Ivie for a mid March two day team tourney. Maybe 17 boats or so, I don't really remember. But a lot of good sticks were signed up.

It was only the second time I had fished the lake. My partner and I didn't get very much done in one afternoon of practice and we zeroed.

Didn't really have a good idea of what to do on the first day, but we kept on covering water and we finally found a pattern of throwing traps and cranks and found some isolated fish on points and little depressions with shell beds. I got a couple of fat fives that day and my partner had some smaller 2 pound fish. I think we were in 3rd or 4th place that day. Down by a few pounds.

The next day, we just didn't have real good chemistry going on. Our fish disappeared. It just wasn't feeling right. But my partner was okay about it. That was the good thing. It was his boat and the day could've gone a lot worse. But he was fine with letting me take the lead.

We have like 3 or 4 tiny fish in the live well and it's the afternoon. I knew with the conditions some people were really gonna be on them and there's no way we're gonna win without a kicker.

There's like an hour left. I decide I'm going to try to throw a topwater just for the heck of it. Water temps had been stable and the fish had been moving up. And I actually get a small fish to slap at my topwater. And that was it. It felt like something clicked.

We ran to a couple of areas and there were boats on them. We decided to just try to find some water that didn't have any boats on it and I found some real good looking water with a little ditch by it. We agree that we have just about 10 minutes of fishing time left. I'm trying to make the best possible cast I can without disturbing anything too much. I throw that topwater and make a bad cast. I reeled the bait in as quickly as I could and made a much better cast.

And I see this flash coming from deep water. Bang. That fish sucked in that bait and flashed back down deep into that ditch and got wrapped up twice into two different stumps and both times I got that fish out somehow.

My partner did a fantastic net job and we ran back to weigh in with minutes to spare. That fish went 6.2 and ended up getting us the win. Without that fish, we would have ended in 3rd place. There were two other teams that did terrible on the first day but ended up getting beautiful 20-22 pound limits on the second day. Very close. Felt totally great to pull out that win.

Love Ivie. Hope Jerry and Elm Creek are still doing well. They're great people and that's a fantastic place to stay at on the lake.




Last edited by 5-20; 02/12/20 10:00 AM.

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Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13436544 02/12/20 12:31 PM
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One of my more memorable tournaments happened on Ivie as well. We are fishing the last West Texas Team Trail tournament of the year and are second in AOY. Basically we needed to win the tournament and have the first place team falter a little bit (they had not all year long). Around 10 or 11 o'clock my buddy and his partner come find us and start telling us they have had an amazing morning with about 26 pounds in the box. Dad and I look at each other with our dink in the livewell and kind of just think "hmm, well we are missing something". So as we are running down the lake with no real game plan, about 200 yards off to our left we spot a little point with nothing but sand and a few salt cedars on running out into the main river channel. I look at him and ask if he wants to stop and fish it for a minute or two because I have a feeling. We proceeded to catch nearly 30 pounds off that little point, all on topwater throughout the rest of the day. We ended up winning the tournament AND AOY by a point that day. Sometimes your gut tells you to do something and you just have to listen.


Live Daringly, Boldy, and Fearlessly....Embrace the Challenge So That You May Feel the Exhiliration of Victory.

Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13436693 02/12/20 02:19 PM
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One of the more exciting tournaments for me was with Todd Castledine on Rayburn in 2007 I think. We had located about 20lbs locked on beds for a bassnbucks tournament. We saw a bunch of really big fish but nothing locked on. One fish in particular we thought was a carp in stained water but everytime we went by that spot in practice we could barely see something move out of a small 3ftx3ft hole in the haygrass. On tournament day we had a 2-3 hr fog delay so our day was cut really short so we ran to our 3-4lbers and caught 4 really quick. They were all almost first flip. At that point we decided to gamble and just run the areas we saw the good ones. After catching a couple 5's to finish out our limit and cull up we pulled up on 2 little points we had seen the big ones the day before. The first spot had atleast 4-5 fish over 5lbs in a spot the size of your boat but the pollen and stained wouldn't allow you to see what you were fishing for. So we literally just blind flipped until something bit. We lost a 5+ but flipped back in and caught another one similar. We said heck let's go to the next point and let that fish rest we'll catch it later. We eased up to the "carp" we had seen and I blind flipped where I thought it was. Instantly she bit I break her off on 65lb braid. She slowly swims out in wide circles opening her mouth. At that point we knew what she was, giant. We had about 2hrs left in the tournament so we decided to sit there for the next hour blind flipping into the spot relentlessly. We alternated every 15-20 min when one of us needed a break. We couldn't see the bed cause of the pollen. We had no idea if the fish was there or had left but from experience we knew that we had to have that fish to win. About an hour later I flipped in, felt something a little different so set the hook and she went berserk. She went all over in the shallow water but finally got her in the net. She was 12+. We figured we had about 30lbs and knew guys really had to catch them to beat us. Plus, our trim was out on the big motor. We almost decided to go in but said let's try to catch that 5+ we lost earlier since it was 50 yards away. We eased in and Todd says, we'll there's 2 in there and can't tell which is which. I said just catch one anyway, if it helps great, if not we'll go in. Todd catches the 5+ and while he's culling I flip in and stick the other fish.... An 8+ haha. So in 5 minutes we culled up probably 4-5lbs. We went in and had 35+ with a 12+ big bass. One more day and it would've been probably 45 ish. We saw atleast 4 more over 9 and one 12-13+ that were just not ready. Still and epic day. We did all that in about 4 hours...

Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13436836 02/12/20 03:32 PM
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this is gonna be a much needed good thread, thanks. cheers


David Short

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Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: Jarrett Latta] #13437564 02/12/20 10:49 PM
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Ken A. Offline
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Originally Posted by Jarrett Latta
One of the more exciting tournaments for me was with Todd Castledine on Rayburn in 2007 I think. We had located about 20lbs locked on beds for a bassnbucks tournament. We saw a bunch of really big fish but nothing locked on. One fish in particular we thought was a carp in stained water but everytime we went by that spot in practice we could barely see something move out of a small 3ftx3ft hole in the haygrass. On tournament day we had a 2-3 hr fog delay so our day was cut really short so we ran to our 3-4lbers and caught 4 really quick. They were all almost first flip. At that point we decided to gamble and just run the areas we saw the good ones. After catching a couple 5's to finish out our limit and cull up we pulled up on 2 little points we had seen the big ones the day before. The first spot had atleast 4-5 fish over 5lbs in a spot the size of your boat but the pollen and stained wouldn't allow you to see what you were fishing for. So we literally just blind flipped until something bit. We lost a 5+ but flipped back in and caught another one similar. We said heck let's go to the next point and let that fish rest we'll catch it later. We eased up to the "carp" we had seen and I blind flipped where I thought it was. Instantly she bit I break her off on 65lb braid. She slowly swims out in wide circles opening her mouth. At that point we knew what she was, giant. We had about 2hrs left in the tournament so we decided to sit there for the next hour blind flipping into the spot relentlessly. We alternated every 15-20 min when one of us needed a break. We couldn't see the bed cause of the pollen. We had no idea if the fish was there or had left but from experience we knew that we had to have that fish to win. About an hour later I flipped in, felt something a little different so set the hook and she went berserk. She went all over in the shallow water but finally got her in the net. She was 12+. We figured we had about 30lbs and knew guys really had to catch them to beat us. Plus, our trim was out on the big motor. We almost decided to go in but said let's try to catch that 5+ we lost earlier since it was 50 yards away. We eased in and Todd says, we'll there's 2 in there and can't tell which is which. I said just catch one anyway, if it helps great, if not we'll go in. Todd catches the 5+ and while he's culling I flip in and stick the other fish.... An 8+ haha. So in 5 minutes we culled up probably 4-5lbs. We went in and had 35+ with a 12+ big bass. One more day and it would've been probably 45 ish. We saw atleast 4 more over 9 and one 12-13+ that were just not ready. Still and epic day. We did all that in about 4 hours...


Greatstory I wishyou guyswouldlearnhowstohittheReturnkey

Hard on these old eyeballs!! roflmao

Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437607 02/12/20 11:27 PM
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Me & my buddy decide to fish a Century Bass Texas Team event on Fork. It was April 1988.

Saturday's practice day was gorgeous, 75 degrees with no wind and sunny. We knew a big front was coming but had no idea just how bad it was supposed to be. We run all over the south end of the lake looking for bedding fish that we felt would be protected from north wind. We found several Overs (14-21" back then) that were locked down and we moved on. We felt like we could get five of them to bite and wind up with 5 Overs.

The next morning we launch at Lunker Lodge (now LF Resort) and run down lake toward the dam. The wind had switched from out of the north but was only blowing about 15-20 mph at dawn but it was drizzling rain and heavy overcast. We catch a couple slot fish early and move on toward the areas where we had located the fish on beds that were clocked on.

As we are moving through a protected cove near the mouth of L.Caney we can tell the North wind is steadily picking up. It keeps getting worse & worse. We stay over in the south facing coves around from the mouth of L. Caney the rest of the day.

About noon I stick a fish that is over 8 and she gets wrapped up in the brush and I have to break off. The fish were biting and we wind up catching 16 or 17 that day but mostly all slots. The brush was brutally thick back then. There were lots of places you could not get to the bank in 1988 all over the lake. I would bet there were large numbers of fish from 1982 to 1990 that never saw a lure.

By then the wind is blowing really badly and I knew it was going to be tough getting back to the trailer. About that time my partner sticks a giant on a lizard and yells for the net. He jumps off the back deck of my Ranger and as he does he trips over a tackle box in the floor and falls flat on his back! He is still reeling and holding on for dear life.

I get a look at the fish as she comes up and it is a FREAKING GIANT!! The fish has wrapped around a big limb in the water and is now pulling it back & forth. I am lying on my belly in the nose of the boat trying to get her int he net. I finally get her in the net and pull hard on the limb and it snaps as my partner is getting to his feet. I swing the net, limb and a 13.61 into the boat at the same time!
We wind up getting second place with that fish and a small Under. Our weight was just over 15 pounds. That was good enough for second place.

The team that won had 2 eights with 16 plus. On the drive home we listen to the radio and they had reported winds to 54 mph at DFW Airport. We fished in 30-40 mph wind from about 10 am till 2 pm with gusts over 50 mph.

After weigh in we call TPWD and they come pick her up. The SAL program had been underway for a year & a half. She spawns out a few weeks later and we meet David Campbell back at the lake. We take her back to the same spot where my buddy caught her and film her release.

Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437617 02/12/20 11:38 PM
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great memories... great stories...


Ranger Z521c / Merc 250 / Minn Kota Ultrex
GLoomis Rods / Shamano Reels,... and a whole lot of luck...


Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437620 02/12/20 11:42 PM
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Chris G Online Content
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This one is easy for me. Decided to fish a JCO tourney on Fork in Feb of 2011 as our practice for Bass Champs which was the following weekend. We had a creek we had found some great unders in and and had a good ~9.5# limit in the boat after culling several times. My partners says, "Why don't we go out to the mouth and fish that main lake point for the last 45 minutes or so and see if we can catch a big one?" I said, let's go! It was 4o degrees and the wind was blowing 20-25 with higher gusts out of the North. So we used a tree grabber (Ultrex didn't exist yet) and went out and tied off the bow to a tree. I make about 5 casts off the back deck with a c-rig and boom. I set the hook and yelled something ugly that didn't really resemble English but my partner knew it meant get the net. She came up a good 30 yards from the boat and we both knew at that point. Thankfully got her in the boat without too much chaos. She was about 24.5" and ended up weighing 9.93#. We won the tourney.


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Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437633 02/13/20 12:02 AM
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Cool stories. Mine was also at lake Fork. I was fishing a jc outdoor night tourney. I caught a fish that was about 3 1/2 lbs I’d guess and when I flipped it in I told my partner no way it’s going to be under 16. So I checked it, and it was just under 16”. I go it’s a miracle! And laughed about it. I knew If nobody caught an over this would for sure win big bass. So then later on that night I flip my little bug under a doc and catch a giant. We net it and both think it looks like an over. I’d say it went 10-11 pretty easy. So I put it up on the board, and it’s always weird measuring those big fish on Fork any way, that are wider than 2 hands. But it’s just a hair under. I try and try, but can’t make it go, so just have to toss it back in the water and keep fishing. Never weighed it. So daylight comes we have a pretty good limit and it’s about 15 min until weigh in, and we are within trolling motor distance from the minnow bucket, and I said let me check thst one big 16” fish one time before weigh in. Well needless to say the 16” fish was 16 and 1/2 inches. Which is why I thought it was a miracle when it measured! 😂 it was dark And I have been reading his check it stick wrong!!! I never used a check it stick i used a golden rule. I never used a check it stick are used a golden rule, and being that it was in the dark also I didn’t realize that there was a line past the mark with an arrow pointing back toward 16 inches. So at that point we have 10 min to fish, and only 4 keepers. And to make things even happier that big giant fish was just under 24 1/2 inches not just under 24!!! So it was actually almost a 1/2 over 🤦‍♂️. So the clutch part of the story is I tie a wacky worm on real quick go to the first dock up from the minnow bucket catch a 15 incher to fill out our limit and we get second-place with 5 min to spare.

Last edited by CashFishingTeam; 02/13/20 12:04 AM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437642 02/13/20 12:11 AM
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Back when I was 17 I had only fished in two tournaments total as a non-boater. My boat was a 12 foot fiberglass flatboat with a 7.5 hp engine and a built in fish well that was rigged to let water flow in and out freely to keep fish alive. My buddy invited me to fish a small 15 boat tournament that his dad was putting out of Bayou Segentte in Westwego, LA. I had fished the area a dozen times staying fairly close to the ramp due to my boat's limitations. I knew that to win the tournament I would need to fish the Tank Pond of Lake Cataouatche. This is the same area in which KVD won the 2011 Bassmaster Classic. In preparation, I loaded an extra 5 gallon gas tank in the boat to ensure I could get there and back.

Tournament day comes and I draw boat number 2. I tell my buddy that I will just take off last not to get run over by the 14 normal size bass boats. I wait for the water to settle and finally start heading to my destination. After about 25 minutes of running down the main canal I finally see another competitor who has been fishing for 30 minutes now. They make some mildly funny joke about me almost being there and I push on. I arrive to the opening of Lake Cataouatche to find 3 foot waves blowing in directly at me from the southwest. I realized making it to the Tank Ponds was not going to happen and that I had already wasted 1 hour of the tournament.

I decide to turn around and head back to a known area close to the boat ramp. On my way back down the main canal I noticed a man made rock dam with an opening about 3 feet wide. I head over to investigate and realized that my boat can just barely fit through to the other side. It dawned on me that this cut led back to Lake Cataouatche. I reached the lake to find that a very large hydrilla bed had cleared prevented the 3 foot waves in this area. For the next 4 hours or so I caught a fish on almost every cast throwing a Mann’s Minus 1 and letting the wind blow me across the hydrilla.

With a bit over an hour left in the tournament I decided to start making my long journey back to the launch. My buddy informed me that half of the boats did not catch any fish and already left the boat ramp. Those remaining were just waiting on me to arrive and that ~8 pounds was leading. To this day I laugh at the look on my friend’s dad and his buddies faces when I open the make shift fish well and had close to 16 pounds of fish.

Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437742 02/13/20 01:29 AM
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My son and I were fishing a tournament on Granbury. The tournament ended at 1:00pm since it was in July.. Now we had a few over 16 inches when it was a 16 inch min but nothing big. So we go to the bridge since we have tried all my other spots and I tell my son it is 12:45pm so we need to make it happen quick. I throw next to a tree in 2 foot of water and I see a fish come out and bit my line.. I set the hook and got her in and it was 4.6 lbs... Now I think we might be in the top 5.. We are a 3 fish limit... We go under the bridge and there is a dock and my son throw's way up under it. All I hear is fish on and he said it was a good one.. Finally get her in and it was 5.4lbs and we won the tournament with 2 good keepers in the last 15 minutes.. Memories with my son..We end up with around 12 to 13 lbs.. can't remember the exact weight.


Cowboy Church bass club
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Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: CashFishingTeam] #13437780 02/13/20 01:52 AM
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Ken A. Offline
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Originally Posted by CashFishingTeam
Cool stories. Mine was also at lake Fork. I was fishing a jc outdoor night tourney. I caught a fish that was about 3 1/2 lbs I’d guess and when I flipped it in I told my partner no way it’s going to be under 16. So I checked it, and it was just under 16”. I go it’s a miracle! And laughed about it. I knew If nobody caught an over this would for sure win big bass. So then later on that night I flip my little bug under a doc and catch a giant. We net it and both think it looks like an over. I’d say it went 10-11 pretty easy. So I put it up on the board, and it’s always weird measuring those big fish on Fork any way, that are wider than 2 hands. But it’s just a hair under. I try and try, but can’t make it go, so just have to toss it back in the water and keep fishing. Never weighed it. So daylight comes we have a pretty good limit and it’s about 15 min until weigh in, and we are within trolling motor distance from the minnow bucket, and I said let me check thst one big 16” fish one time before weigh in. Well needless to say the 16” fish was 16 and 1/2 inches. Which is why I thought it was a miracle when it measured! 😂 it was dark And I have been reading his check it stick wrong!!! I never used a check it stick i used a golden rule. I never used a check it stick are used a golden rule, and being that it was in the dark also I didn’t realize that there was a line past the mark with an arrow pointing back toward 16 inches. So at that point we have 10 min to fish, and only 4 keepers. And to make things even happier that big giant fish was just under 24 1/2 inches not just under 24!!! So it was actually almost a 1/2 over 🤦‍♂️. So the clutch part of the story is I tie a wacky worm on real quick go to the first dock up from the minnow bucket catch a 15 incher to fill out our limit and we get second-place with 5 min to spare.


Throwing an Over back is a killer. oops

Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437801 02/13/20 02:05 AM
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It was. What’s funny is my partner said he was more impressed in me tying on that wacky worm super quick knowing i could go catch one off that dock, and filling out our limit again. Otherwise we wouldn’t have taken a check.

Last edited by CashFishingTeam; 02/13/20 02:07 AM. Reason: Spell
Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437844 02/13/20 02:43 AM
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Der Vorsteher Online Shocked
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In 2016 Ride-Or-Fish and myself partnered up for the First Annual Winner Take All All Star Challenge Invitation Only Open to the Public OT Tourney on Fabled Lake Fork. It started out as a gorgeous morning, water flat calm and we ran to our first spot. We had found some new grass in an area we had fished the week before and caught some. Nothing. We fished many spots all day without even a bite. Weigh in was at 2:00 and about 1:00 we ran to the mouth of Wolf. Everywhere we fished that day water had been stained. We get to Wolf and water is very clear and run the bank and see a bunch of small bass swimming around. I threw a T Rigged Paca Craw and watched a bass swim right up to it and eat it. Sight fished for 5 bass weighing a record breaking 6.13 pounds. I culled one the last 10 minutes for a few ounces. We weighed in and beat Fouzman/1shot by 2 oz. We took home the first prize of a dozen golf balls, they took home the second prize of a dozen golf balls. Never figured that one out. They were Nike balls at that and I lost most of them in one round of golf. Drank a bit of beer in celebration. Greatest victory of my semi-pro career.

Re: Most Clutch Tournament Bite [Re: 5-20] #13437918 02/13/20 03:52 AM
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Statton48 Online Content
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Most memorable that actually started it all for me!! Back in the day I used to bowfish a lot!! Been doing for over 25yrs now to think about it.

Anyways, I decided I wanted to bass fish. So I bought all the latest and greatest and reading everything I could find. Always pond hopped for bass but never lakes until then. Well, I started out on lone star and pines and was surprising myself on how well I was doing. Especially out of a 16’ express with a 25hp Johnson. Huge bowfishing deck and an 80lb hand control.

One Friday evening on star I noticed a bunch of boats running all over the place. Asked one of the guys what’s going on and he told me it was the regular every Friday night tourney. Asked him how I could participate and he told me to be at the ramp and pay my money.

Next Friday I’m there an hr early, rigged up, 65qt livewell with bilge, and that giant deck on my boat with 4-5 rods bungeed down to it. Other guys started to pile in and launch as I watched in awe at all the fancy shiny boats. And then IT happened.

Some guy pulled up in this pretty white ranger with some carpet decals and a few cool stickers on his boat and truck. He launched and pulled up right beside me and was eyeing what I was doing. He went and paid and kept looking over in my direction and then pointed over their toward me. At this point I figured he was either going to be real friendly and ask if I wanted to fish with him, or we were fixing to fight. I was a little rougher back then and didn’t take much for me to find myself in trouble haha.

Well, he walks back down 5min before take off and all the bass boats are lining up for the shotgun start. This is something I’ve only really witnessed from a far but still knew to keep put till all the wakes and boats were out of sight. He jumps in his boat and asks me, “you fixing to go out and shoot some fish?” No sir, I’m fishing the tournament. He laughed at me and said good luck with this big ugly smirk.

They took off and then I proceeded to head to my spot hoping no one was there. Surprise to me it was wide open and I knew exactly what was fixing to happen. I chunked my crankbait right until dark with zero bites which I figured they wouldn’t eat. Then I set my lights up, filled the cooler, made sure my 3/8oz lead bullet weight that I painted black (couldn’t afford tungsten or painted lead) was pegged just right. Then I proceeded to put my black with red fleck beaver on. Sat down and ate my sandwich and then the shakes started. I knew exactly what was going to happen and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

For the next 3 1/2 hrs I literally caught over 25 fish in a spot no bigger than 50yd by 100yd. Fish were steadily pushing in there to feed on the shad. During all this I was culling left and right. I knew I had a good sack for sure but I had one in there that I didn’t know how big she really was. I was shaking so bad and calm at the same time it was crazy.

Well about 15min before I told myself I had to leave I decided to troll over to one spot I kept feeling something hard. Later to find out it’s a rock pile in about 18fow. I pitch the beaver around until I felt it and then repeated that cast a few times. I cast over it and I slack lined it so my fall was straight down as possible. I engaged my reel and went to pick up my slack but nothing was there. I knew then I had a fish on somewhere. Rod tip in the water and reeling fast as I could and soon as I felt tension I hammered her!!! She fought like heck and I knew this was my biggest fish to date on a lake. Soon as I got her in the boat I didn’t even look. Threw her in the cooler and grabbed one of my 3.5lbers and chunked it, then hauled butt!!! I was there with about 5min to spare and to my surprise there were only like 6 boats still at the ramp.

I didn’t have a weigh bag (didn’t even think to buy one) so I was walking up to see if I could borrow one. Some nice gentleman handed me his and asked me if I gottem, I seriously think I asked him “got what sir?”.... I was dumb to all this lingo and stuff. He laughed and told me that 17lbs was leading and big fish was 5 something. Then I noticed something familiar. Same guy from earlier, standing there with the other guys. I laughed and proceeded to grab my fish. One guy was watching me while filling my bag and pulling my fish out. I finally got her out with much calmer nerves than 30min before. The guy yelled at the others and said “that’s it boys I’m headed home”. I walked up and that guy asked me what I had and I told him
Maybe 15lbs.... he seriously laughed again!!!! Of course I’ve never done this before so I pulled my fish out instead of dumping them. Naturally of course, my young ignorance, I started small to big just like they do on T.V.
3 3/4, 3 3/4, 4 1/2, 5 1/4, 8.15!!!!! The guy that laughed at me seriously started cussing saying he couldn’t believe it.... hell I couldn’t believe it!!!! Over 26lbs!!! With big fish..... I couldn’t stop smiling about the win, but even more about literately beating that guy and making him 2nd place!

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