When I launched my boat this morning I thought that it would be gangbusters out there. Some of the other guys I talked to thought the same thing. We’d had two full days of improving conditions. That should make today a noticeable improvement.
It was a mile away from being gangbusters, at least for me anyway. That’s what thinking will get you. I’m not saying, however, that my fishing didn’t improve from last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It did.
I had more bites today — and they were quality bites — than I did before but I’m still not getting the numbers I want. We talk about this all the time. Finding the fish and making them bite is like solving a puzzle. You have to put all the pieces together to see the whole picture. Half or three-quarters of the puzzle gets you nothing.
I’m not at nothing at all, but I sure don’t see the whole picture yet, and it’s not for a lack of effort. I’ve tried every place and everything I know about.
Here’s the thing, though. Sometimes you don’t see the whole picture because there isn’t one. The water-world, and the fish that live in it, are everywhere. There is no discernable pattern or picture. It’s like some of that crazy modern art you see around. Some people seem to understand it but most of us are clueless. That might be the case here.
If it is, that’ OK with me. I can fish a tournament in which the fish are moving and we have to chase them. It’s not like I haven’t done that before. In truth, though, I’d rather have one where I’ve found the mother lode and can run to it first thing in the morning. But, if that’s not to be, then I’ll go with what I’ve got and do the best I can.
The water temperature is climbing but it’s still cold. And, the water’s clearing but it’s still fairly dirty. Like I said Sunday night, and we all know it’s true, there’s nothing tougher than cold and muddy water. That’s going to affect the bite.
Another thing that’s affecting the fishing is the grass. There’s a lot less of it right now than there was back in December when I was here. I’m not saying that’s the biggest part of my problems, or the whole story, but I am saying that it’s a factor. Little things add up.
The bottom line is that things are better after today but they are far from good. I’m certainly not comfortable with where I’m at. When I launch Friday morning it will be with less information about what the fish are doing than I’ve had in any of the other 14 Classics I’ve fished. This is a test of, Never give up!
Despite my struggles in practice I’m going to predict that it’ll take between 24 and 26 pounds a day to bring home the trophy. Lake Guntersville is a hawg factory. Nothing will change that.
I’m going to post a short column tomorrow, and tell you who’s going to win this thing.
Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, Mikeiaconelli.com.