I never thought I’d be so happy with a 44th place finish in a tournament as I am with the Lake Dardanelle event. This was my first Saturday Top 50 cut and Elite payday and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The first half of the season has been brutal to say the least. Putting together a few better days will hopefully get me back on track and give me some confidence going into the second half of the schedule.
The Arkansas River has been good to me in the past and that trend continued this weekend. I guess that speaks to my confidence in shallow muddy water of which there was no shortage. The lake was fishing really good but just really small. It wasn’t uncommon to see one angler leave a spot only for another to pull up immediately. You would think that wouldn’t be a good opportunity for that second angler, but you have to realize these fish move around and re-position themselves throughout the day. A different angle with a different bait will bring you success despite who just got done fishing it.
Remember that as you fish your local lakes. Don’t be hesitant to pull in behind somebody. We all fish differently.
There were a number of things working at Dardanelle. Swim jigs, crankbaits, and jigs all played a role. The biggest fish I caught on Friday hit a buzzbait on the second stop of the morning. That 6 lb 2 oz fish was the reason I got to fish on Saturday. Without it, I’m driving home on Saturday. That’s how fine of a line there is sometimes between a good tournament and an unsuccessful one. I’m just glad this time it went in my favor.
Congrats to Jason Christie on a job well done. He was fishing one of the more popular areas of the lake and he definitely “out fished” others sharing the same water and got the job done. I know as a rookie I watched all of the Elite events on TV prior to this year. It’s only when you actually fish in these events you realize how good these guys really are and I’m talking about the whole field. Any one of them can smash them on a given day and one of them will each day of competition.
This year has been the most challenging fishing experience of my life and for the most part, disappointing based on my results. On the other hand, it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I just hope I can build on this little momentum and keep it going. Chickamauga is going to be totally different than this event but I’m ready to go fishing again already.
Dream Believe It. Live It.
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