2013 Elite Series Ramada Quest Bull Shoals Lake - Bull Shoals, AR, Apr 19 - 22, 2013

Bull Shoals revisited

About the author

Charlie Hartley

Charlie Hartley

After a career as a professional skateboarder, Charlie Hartley began fishing B.A.S.S. events in 1993.

This past week I’ve had a chance to reflect on the Bull Shoals event and on some of the things that happened there.

Having the first day cancelled was frustrating, but you can’t blame B.A.S.S. Safety has to be the first priority. No bass is worth someone’s life. Besides it gave us a chance to do some more trout fishing. I found a place where the brown trout were chasing the rainbows. At times, they were driving them all the way out of the water. It looked like summertime bass attacking a school of shad.

And speaking of brown trout, if you see Steve Kennedy, ask him about the one he hooked. Rumor has it that it was in the 20-pound class. Unfortunately, it got away. No matter, that had to be a thrill. Just hooking something like that is an experience worth mentioning.

The fishing was pretty good during the Ramada Quest. I made a decision on the first morning that I’m real proud of. Conditions had changed so I decided at the last minute to forgo my best practice spot and head to where I thought they might be right then. It worked out. I had a good limit by 8:30 that morning. It’s a good thing, too. I didn’t cull a fish after that.

Congratulations to Jason Christie on his win. What a way to win an Elite Series tournament! This guy’s for real. I think we’re going to be hearing from him and reading about him a lot in the future. No, I don’t think. I know.

Another thing I want to mention is the purple flowers that were growing all over the banks down there. I have no idea what they’re called but are they ever pretty, and they smell good, too. When the wind would blow out toward the boat, the smell was extraordinary. It was better than any chemically based perfume I’ve ever smelled. Man is no match for Mother Nature.

The last thing we ought to talk about is how competitive this sport is right now. I finished 50th in the event.  That’s my third cut in a row this year. And yet I dropped in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. I know that 50th isn’t all that high but it’s not all that bad either.

Think about that when B.A.S.S. announces the AOY winner later this year. What does it take to win that award? I mean, basically it takes an unbelievable season — you have to catch bass every day of every tournament — without even one disaster. That’s not easy. It’s no wonder that a lot of the guys will tell you that winning AOY is more prestigious than winning the Classic, although none of us would turn down a Classic win.

That’s enough of my random thoughts for now. I have to finish building a few signs and then head for West Point Lake, Ga. I don’t want to fall any farther. This has been a really good start for me.

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