My first event is in the books and what an experience it was.
I had never seen Lake Seminole until the Monday before the tournament. I spent a lot of time driving the lake and looking it over during practice. I fished in a few areas and caught a few fish but definitely was not on the population of fish some of the other guys were. One of the hardest things to overcome fishing the Elites is the 2 1/2 days of practice prior to each event. It makes it that much more challenging having never seen the lake.
The first day of the tournament started decent and found me in the cut going into the second day. I caught my fish in bedding areas using a mini Carolina rig using a Warrior Baits Half Pipe. On the second day of the tournament, I decided to start in a new area and it looked like that was the right decision as I caught my only fish on my third cast. I stayed in there another hour and couldn't buy another bite, although I did see a couple on beds that weren't ready to be caught yet. I decided to go back and fish the areas where I had the previous day and nothing came together.
I ended my first event in a dismal 88th place. Looking back, my mistake was leaving my initial area since the fishing got better as the day went on, but being my first Elite event I didn't have the patience to wait it out. It was very disappointing to say the least, but I knew this wasn't going to be easy. So many people talk about baits, tactics and presentations as the reason for a win or good tournament. To me, the decisions we make during the course of the day are more critical than anything we use to catch or locate fish.
The best decisions are made when you've seen that situation before and you have confidence that you're doing the right thing. If you believe you made the right choice, your chance of success will greatly increase. Tournament fishing is a never ending learning experience no matter how long you've been doing it. Although my first event was not what I had hoped, the experience itself was awesome. The B.A.S.S. staff and fellow competitors all made the rookies feel welcome.
Lake Seminole is what a bass lake should be, and I would recommend every true, diehard bass fisherman add it to their "go to list." The lake is beautiful, the locals are very friendly, and we saw from the weights it has plenty of fish to be caught. I definitely will be back again.
Dream It. Believe It. Live It.
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