2011 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open #3 Oneida Lake - Syracuse, NY, Sep 22 - 24, 2011

Surprised myself

Mark Hicks
Valerie transfers her bass to the official weigh bag.

About the author

Valerie Hicks

Valerie Hicks

Valerie Hicks, daughter of Bassmaster angler Mark Hicks, will join her father blogging about their experiences fishing the Northern Open on Oneida.

Where do I begin? The day started with rain and ended with rain at the weigh-in. I didn’t think I would be able to fish all day. I surprised myself.

I kept casting right to the end. That’s a good thing, because I caught my only bass of the day on a spinnerbait with 15 minutes left to fish.

I have to thank my partner Eric Smith. He kept me laughing all day and did everything he could to help me catch my bass.

We fished shallow all day, so I didn’t have a chance to fish with a drop-shot. That’s what I do best.

I also caught two pickerel and a perch that was only 3 inches long. I couldn’t believe that little thing bit my spinnerbait.

It was exciting to go on stage and have Chris Bowes weigh my first tournament bass. I couldn’t believe my 2 1/2-pound smallmouth weighed exactly the same as the bass my dad caught. I guess we’re on the same wavelength.

My only regret is that the knit cap I bought at Bass Pro Shops blew off my head and into the water on the way to the weigh-in. There wasn’t enough time left to turn around and get it. I loved that cap.

I’m ready for some dry clothes and a good night’s sleep. My fishing day is shorter tomorrow, because I’m in the second flight. I hope that’s enough time for me to catch another bass ... or two.