I started off with a good draw for Day 1 – Ron Hobbs, Jr., a fellow Northwesterner from Seattle. We started the morning off with a run to some fish he had on beds. When we arrived, he snuck up to the first bed. While he worked his small mouth, I fan casted with a couple of different baits which I’ll disclose later. It didn’t take him long before he had his 1st keeper in the boat. We proceeded to the 2nd bed, where I did the same, while he worked that bass. On the way to his 3rd bed, which wasn’t too far away – I casted to the side of a point with my tube and hooked my first keeper that came off at the boat. The rest of the day consisted of cruising banks while Ron looked for bed fish and cruising bass. Ron located a fish on a bed and while he was trying to entice that largemouth to bite, I casted my tube down the center of a pocket and got hammered. I reeled down, set the hook, and the 4 pounder comes jumping out of the water and comes unbuttoned. That was a heartbreaker! By the time weigh-in came, I managed to land 2 fish that weighed in at 2.09 pounds.
Day 2 – I drew a really nice guy, Michael Mclernon. This is his rookie year and his 2nd FLW National Guard Tournament. We made a long run across both basins and it was quite scary. He pulled into a bay that had a lot of shallow pockets and a reef. Mike managed to catch a limit casting to the pockets and I managed to pull off 3 nice keepers off the reef on my Canyon Plastics tube, in my go-to color 00B. I weighed in 6 pounds 3 ounces for the day, which moved me up to 36th place.
Day 3 - was an awesome draw – a Pro who I drew before – Charley Almassey. We took a 50 mile run which paid off handsomely. This particular day, I set my tube down and started the morning off with a drop shot with the 4-1/2” Roboworm. Within the first hour, I put 3 keepers in the boat while Charlie was throwing reaction baits. Not much was happening with the reaction bait, so Charlie picked up the jig and proceeded to whack them. I continued to drop shot behind him, but to no avail. It didn’t take long to figure the jig bite was on, so I picked up my jig and proceeded to catch 5 more bass by the end of the day. I culled to a 5 bass limit for 8 pounds 2 ounces, which vaulted me to a respectable finish of 19th place.
My baits of choice for this tournament:
Day 1 – I never set down my tube, which was a Canyon Plastics 00B – Texas Rigged – non pegged with a 3/16” slide sinker.
Day 2 – I alternated between the tube and the drop shot – with a 4-1/2” Roboworm - the color Aaron’s Magic.
Day 3 – Was the drop shot with the same worm as above, and ½ ounce Bayou Tackle jig in a dark craw color and the Yamamoto Twin Tail Trailer.