Last trip of 2012

About the author

Brandon Card

Brandon Card

Tennessee’s Brandon Card, who competed for the University of Kentucky, is the first Bassmaster College Series angler to qualify for the Elite Series.

I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving; I know I did. I really enjoy this time of year, as it’s a time for a little rest and relaxation and fellowship with the family. Right before Thanksgiving, I was on the road for three weeks for my last trip of 2012. I went to the Sabine River, Falcon Lake and Grand Lake. It was a very beneficial and enjoyable trip and a great way of ending the 2012 season.

Sabine River

When I saw the Sabine River on the schedule, I was intrigued because I had never heard of it before and I couldn’t find any internet info on it. This is an unknown fishery and, from what I hear, not many Elite Series anglers have ever fished it. I didn’t know what to expect when I showed up to the ramp.

When I first put my boat in the water, I thought “This place looks awesome!” There were cypress trees and knees, laydowns and hyacinth everywhere. It really looks like a paradise.  Every piece of cover looks like a big one should live there. If nothing else, it will make some really good TV because of how it looks.

The Sabine River looks fishy!Brandon CardThe Sabine River looks fishy!

I spent several days running the river, mostly trying to get a feel for the place. I really didn’t fish much, I spent a good amount of time idling oxbows and checking water depths. I don’t like to fish much in pre-practice because I want to keep an open mind about locations and bait selection.

Falcon Lake

I left the Sabine River and drove down to Falcon, “Land of the Giants.” I went down there for a Fish with the Pro’s charity event. Amateurs sign up to fish and hang out with pros for two or three days. All of the proceeds go toward Lifeline Youth and Family Services, which is a non-profit organization  that focuses on helping kids and families in crisis — those who had been impacted by abuse, neglect, or delinquency. You can learn more on their website.

This is what Falcon Lake is all about.Courtesy of Brandon CardThis is what Falcon Lake is all about.

It was a really fun time. I got to fish with some really great people, hear some awesome stories and catch some big bass. We stayed at Alton Jones’s ranch, and I had a ball sharing fishing stories with everybody. The other anglers at the event were Kelly Jordon, Fred Roumbanis, Matt Reed, Alton Jones, Byron Velvick, Keith Poche and Andrew Upshaw. I’m really glad we could be a part of an incredible organization that impacts thousands of kids’ lives.

Grand Lake

My third and final stop on my trip was Grand Lake to pre-practice for my first Bassmaster Classic (still seems surreal as I type it). I spent two and a half days looking around, and I never made the first cast. I drove around the entire lake and marked banks that looked good to me, as well as brush piles that I found on my Structure Scan. Although I really wanted to fish, I felt the time would be better spent staring at my Lowrance. I think I got a little carried away based on how many waypoints I had after my time there.

I really like the look of the lake. It looks very similar to one of my favorite East Tennessee lakes, Cherokee Lake. Grand’s water clarity and bank composition are almost identical to Cherokee. If it fishes similar to Cherokee, I could be in good shape for the Classic. I hope it does! Either way, I am really excited about the Classic and I will be thinking about it all winter.

Dare to fail.

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