By his own admission, Clark Reehm is having a tough year. And so, when he weighed 15 pounds, 9 ounces of bass on the first day of the Marine Formula STA-BIL Southern Challenge on Guntersville Lake he knew something had to change.
"I was in 87th place on Thursday evening. That's not what I think of as a good time. Something had to change. I decided that on Friday morning I'd just go fishing; junk fishing is what I call it," said Reehm.
"I found some riprap with grass growing right up against it in about 6-8 feet of water. It was late in the day, so I tossed a 3/8-ounce, Fin-tech Title Shot Jig into an eddy right against the rock.
"I could see the water swirling around. It looked like the right type of place for a big one. I knew if I didn't get some weight quick, I'd be going home. Don't get me wrong. I had some weight at that point, but when you start the day behind 86 anglers you need weight ... serious weight."
Reehm's jig was ordinary enough — black and blue skirt with a green pumpkin Kicker Fish Bait Co. Kicker Kraw as a trailer. Everything made a huge profile in the water, which was what she wanted.
"I didn't want a keeper. I wanted a big fish, something that would get me into the Top 50. She did. Friday night I ended up in 32nd place. That's a 55 place climb in one day. I fished Saturday and earned a check. I'm really proud of that, even though I would have liked to have done better.
"The lesson here is that when your back's against the wall you have to change things up and come out fighting. Sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and realize that there's nothing you can do that's as bad as what you've been doing. Sometimes that attitude turns things around. It did for me."
Tackle: A Dobyns Champion Extreme DX 744C rod (heavy action, fast tip), a Shimano Curado reel (7:1 gear ratio) and 15-pound-test Seaguar InvisX fluorocarbon line.