Date: April 27, 2019
Time: 7 am to 3 pm Eastern
Weather: Partly Cloudy, GUSTY winds, cool air, occasional sprinkles, even a brief period of hale…just lovely
Air Temperature: 50 – 55 degrees
Water Temperature: 50 – 52 degrees
I’m convinced that Spring in New England is just something they wrote about in the old books because for the past few years we’ve gone from 4 months of Winter to a day of Spring and then onto Summer.
This year has been no exception… I saw a graphic the other day about the weather and it stated that it had rained for some part of the day for 30 of the past 35 days… and our average daily temperatures were also below normal.
I store my boat outside and it had been sitting in my driveway, under it’s cover, ever since the day I had picked it up nearly a month prior. In order to get ready for this tournament I had to leave work a bit early on Thursday, uncover my boat, setup my rods, baits and other stuff and cover it back up right away as it was going to rain, again, for the next 30 hours…
It finally stopped raining about 5 am on Saturday, the day of the tournament, just as I was going outside to take the cover off of the boat and load up the truck to head out for the tournament.
Ok… so… first club tournament of the year… tough, cold, windy conditions… and guess what… I drew boat #1 … awesome… now the pressure is on ! I headed up towards the north west part of the pond in an effort to run my boat for a more than 10 seconds and also to try to find a spot out of the wind, if that was even possible.
I started tossing my bread and butter bait… the Largemouth magnet… a good ol’ weightless Senko … but, after about a dozen casts I quickly realized two things:
- It was too windy to make an accurate, targeted cast with such a light weight bait
- It was too windy to work such a light bait, even if I had managed to cast it where I wanted it, for more than a couple of twitches
I then swapped to a swim bait, a jerk bait, a lipless crank bait and lastly a spinner bait… nada… no hits… not even a look.
Ok… what next ? My next go to bait is a Yamamoto creature bait… so I picked up that rod and headed as far to the northwest of the pond as I could. Up in this section of the pond there is some hay-like grass and a small, shallow channel also runs into the pond at this point.
I had been fishing for about an hour by the time I made this move. About 4 casts in I hooked my first Largemouth bass. A solid 2.6 pound keeper.
As I worked my way slowly along the shoreline, battling the wind that was of course blowing directly at me, I landed my second bass of the day about ten minutes later. It was also a nice 2.1 pound keeper…
A few casts later I’d hooked my third bass – but this one was just short of being a keeper… I had to toss it back. I didn’t feel bad about it though because I thought I was onto a good pattern… 3 bass within 20 minutes along the grassy shoreline.
As it turns out… that was the end of that pattern… for the next six hours the only fish I caught was a pesky pickerel.
I moved around… I fished deep and shallow… I threw many different baits… I was talking to myself… I put some country music on… I battled through the wind and the cold… I soldiered on… nothing… nothing at all worked…
I endeavored to fish a bit deeper as I really like fishing drop offs and changes in depths. On this pond, on this day, I just got really frustrated. The wind was blowing so hard that I could not work any bait the way I wanted to. This was mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t keep my boat in one spot very well or for very long. I struggle mightily on windy days and it always seems to be windy when I fish. On my wish list for boat upgrades are a new, stronger trolling motor (the new models are powerful and gps enabled and will keep your boat in a specific spot automatically) and possibly a pair of Talons (which will keep your boat in an exact spot in shallow water).
However, as the saying goes.. f you’re not catching you’re learning… and I can always take that to the bank.
As far as the tournament goes, and although I only brought two fish to the scales, I managed a 7th place finish.
As stated, conditions were tough and only 2 of the 15 contenders managed a 5 fish limit. Several even zeroed (as I did last year).
Here are the full tournament results and some other pictures of the day.
|Largemouth Bass||2.6||Creature||Nice start !|
|Largemouth Bass||2.1||Creature||On a roll !|
|Largemouth Bass||0.8||Creature||Hmm… getting smaller !|
|Pickerel||1.6||Swimbait||Junk fish !|