As I mentioned in my last posting, Little Alton and I spent some time at Lake Amistad a couple weeks ago to prefish for his Bass Champs tournament there. The event is now over, and he and his partner David Ridley won the thing with more than 32 pounds! It's his first big tournament win.
Within the state of Texas, Bass Champs has the best team anglers there are. I'm really, really proud of him for winning the event. However, before the fish hit the scales I got a little nervous.
He and David were due to check in at 3:30 in the afternoon, and I get a call from him at 2:30. I immediately think that something's wrong because he's calling me an hour before he's supposed to check in! As I mentally went down the list of everything that could have gone wrong, he says, "Relax, we've got 'em." It turns out that when they got to their sweet spot they caught 20 bass in 20 casts. Most of them were heavier than 4 pounds including a 10- and a 9-pounder.
He won $20,000 (which he split with his partner, of course), and a bonus from Skeeter for running a Skeeter under their Real Money program. He won some money through Real Money last year too; it's a great thing. I mean, it provides a great incentive for tournament anglers because it pays you to use a Skeeter!
When we found them in practice, they were deep. But, when the tournament came, the weather had totally changed, and the deep bite wasn't on. Now, this is where I'm really proud of him. Rather than stay there and stick it out in the deep spot (they only caught one 4-pounder in a half hour), he realized that the fish weren't there, and he moved shallow. It was windy, rainy and cloudy, and the bass had moved. They were throwing an XCalibur XCS100 in smallmouth green color. He made the right adjustments, hit the bank and caught 'em.
Making adjustments like that isn't something you can teach someone very easily, it's something that's learned from time on the water. It gives me great hope and makes me believe that he's a great fisherman. I just hope he finishes college before he decides to take fishing to the next level.
On another note, I spent some time at Fayette County Lake here in Texas and made a new friend. Dan Sekora is his name, and he was the PRADCO Gold Club Sweepstakes winner last year .The prize was an all-expenses paid fishing trip down to Texas with me. We had originally planned to do this on Falcon Lake, but didn't think we should given the security situation down there right now. It was a really good move.
We caught some fantastic fish, with the biggest being about 7 pounds, and, in a day and a half, we caught 57 bass! Dan's from Wisconsin and had really bad cabin fever. The only fishing he's going to be doing until April is ice fishing. For him to be able to come to Texas and get on a lake was a treat.
The first day that we fished, he said that he caught more 5-pounders than he'll catch in the next two seasons in Wisconsin. We caught a bunch of good fish doing different things.
The pattern has moved away from lipless crankbaits and is now more of a flipping bite. While you can go and catch fish in the grass, we flipped Yum tubes and Woolly Hawg Tails into trees. That was the trick. There's always some little thing that you can figure out to get bigger fish. In this case, it was that they were suspending in trees in about 5 feet of water.
Well, this week I'm pulling together the artwork for my boat wrap and getting ready for the season. Also, on Sunday morning I'm going down to Falcon to fish for a day and a half and pick up the motor home. I'll update you all on the fishing and the security deal, as well, so stay tuned!