This past weekend was the first time I have ever had back to back tournament days….and man was it an experience! Not a ton of details to recap on, but I definitely know that I still have a lot to learn and need more time on the water that we fished over the weekend.
Saturday brought 20+ mph winds, 38 degree air temps, 41 degree water and snow! We were at Deep Lake in Lake County, IL with the guys from WindyCityFishing.com. I think about 18-20 guys showed up to fish so there was definitely a good set of competition. I have never fished this lake before so I knew it was going to be hit or miss for me and my partner. Everyone decided to head to the North end of the lake early in the AM, but from some tips from other people we decided to hit the South side where a creek ran into the lake. There was a pretty significant drop off where we were that went from 3 to 15 feet pretty quickly. With the winds whipping us around in that 12’ aluminum boat it was a pretty safe bet we were going to stay there for a little while just to stay out of the wind and warm up for a few minutes. Long story short, I had one bit the entire morning and didn’t get a good hook set and lost him. With nothing to weigh in at the first weigh in at 9:30 and with the wind and the cold…we called it a day. Only 11 fish were weighed in the entire tournament between 20 guys….needless to say it wasn’t the best day for that lake. I plan on getting out there again…hopefully more time on that body of water will produce better results.
Sunday was my first club tournament of the year on the Des Plaines River. After talking to the guys in my club about their pre-fishing the week before it sounded like the river water temps went down about 9-10 degrees….so the cold front was definitely in full swing. Water was dirtier than usual, wind was still just as bad….but at least the air temperature was much warmer than Saturday! Rocky shorelines and warmer water with shad in the area produced our only fish. One of the cuts had bass exploding on shad all over the place, but getting bit came down to throwing at the right spot at the right time. There was a brush pile that a buddy of mine was pitching to when we pulled in to that cut. He picked the entire thing apart and got nothing. We followed in behind him, second cast way into the center of the brush pile and I just felt a weight. Thought I had my lure wrapped up in the brush…then started seeing my line move. Set the hook and yanked that fish into the boat as fast as I could. First keeper just shy of 14” was on the board. Again…just was a matter of throwing to the right spot at the right time. We hit multiple spots and I only caught four bass all day…one being a ½” shy of being another keeper. Only 8 or 9 guys weighed in fish so that made me feel a little better only showing up with one keeper. That gave me some decent club points and a good start to the year. Hopefully I can keep it going the remainder of the year….only time will tell.
When I came home Sunday I was definitely wiped out. Getting up at 3:15 on Saturday and 4:30 on Sunday….definitely crashed as soon as I could. All that just to catch some bass….wouldn’t have spent my weekend any other way!