Tough Club Tournament
In a club tournament at Clark's Hill last year, after the sun got on the water, the fishing got tough, so I tried my finesse lures. Many people were catching fish on top water plugs early but I could not get a strike. With the ultra light stuff, I was hoping to catch something to weigh in at our tournament. I got more than I hoped for.
We started Saturday morning at 7:00. At 7:10 I caught a small keeper, barely 12 inches long, on a rocky point. At 11:30 I had not caught another fish so I started fishing bridge pilings with sliders and tube jigs. I caught two more 12 inch fish fairly quickly. They were about what I expected to catch on those rigs.
By 3:00 pm I had not caught another fish and was ready to leave the shade of the bridge and try something else. A fisherman in another boat caught a five pound bass off a piling I had just fished so I decided to try a little longer. At 3:30 I caught a three pound bass and at 4:00 caught another one weighing almost three pounds.
My five fish limit weighing 8.5 pounds was good for first place that day and I missed big fish by only one ounce, so fishing was tough for everybody!
On Sunday, we started at 6:00, right at daylight. I went straight to the bridge but could not hook a fish. At 8:30 I caught a small keeper off the same point as the first one the day before. At 10:00 I went back to the bridge, determined to fish there until quitting time at 2:00.
My first strike came at 12:30. The slider, a four inch worm on a 1/16 ounce jig and tiny hook, fished on six pound line, was gliding just over the rocks on the bridge. Something thumped it and, when I set the hook, it started a steady run that pulled drag. It did not move fast but was relentless. After running about 30 feet, my line went slack.
The small hook had straightened out. I felt a little better since there was slime on the line, a sure sign it was a catfish. I wish I could have seen it, but at least I did not lose a bass during the tournament.
At 1:00, a fish hit my getiz by a bridge piling. This fish was definitely a bass because it jumped immediately when I set the hook. Again, I was using a light wire hook and six pound line. The bass looked like it would weigh at least five pounds. I was excited but worried since I was fishing alone and had to try to land that big bass without help.
Every time the fish made a run, I could just feel the line go slack like it had on the big catfish. Fortunately, the hook held. After several runs, I decided the fish was tired so I tried to pick up the net. It was hung in a plug on another rod in the bottom of the boat!
Three times I tried to get the hooks out of the net with one hand while the bass pulled on the rod in the other hand. Each time I would give up, get back on the casting platform to lip the fish, change my mind and go after the net again. A fisherman tied up under the bridge was laughing his head off at me!
I finally got the net loose and landed the fish. It weighed only 3-2 but was good for big fish in the tournament. I ended up with three of the four biggest bass in the tournament, not what I expected on that pattern.
Those bass were the most exciting I have caught lately. I think I will keep using my ultra light stuff - and you should give it a try. It works.