DEL RIO, Texas — For Kelly Jordon, Lake Amistad has been his nemesis each year on the Elite Series. This tournament once again left him with a bitter taste in his mouth after just missing the top-12 cut by 7 ounces.
"I thought I was going to finally make the cut at Amistad," Jordon said. "It is a pitiful feeling missing the cut by 7 ounces."
His 13th place finish is a step in the right direction from the past three years that saw him fail to make even the top-50 cut. Being the last man out of the cut, however, has Jordon none too happy about his on-the-water adjustments that might have cost him a shot at fishing Sunday.
"Man, I wish I could get after them tomorrow," Jordon said. "With that sun out, I have a killer grass spot where I caught them on Day Two. That sun coming out would get them to flood up there where the bass are staging before spawning."
Known as a swimbait and deep structure fishing guru, Jordon was let down by the bite on his final day and had to scramble around midday just to fill his limit.
A swimbait had been a productive lure for Jordon all week, and he was fishing it by slow rolling it around deep trees that had fish suspended in them. The swimbait fished above the bass triggered them to move up in the water column to eat the bait.
He was fishing in anywhere from 15-35 feet of water, but the swimbait would be in only 3-5 feet of water. With the crystal clear water of Lake Amistad, those fish could easily track down the bait as he was slowly winding it in.
The problem was that he just wasn't hooking up with the fish on the swimbait on Saturday. He had 6 or 8 bites on Day Three, but they were just nipping at it and weren't aggressive enough.
"I could have gone deep a little sooner and fished slow," Jordon said. "By noon I didn't even have a keeper in the boat. Yesterday, I loaded the boat with over 20 pounds, but today I didn't even get a bite there."
After noon, Jordon made an adjustment and in an hour had boated a 5-, 4-, and 3.5-pounder off a back-up spot. He just made that adjustment too late and didn't leave enough time to allow more fish to move in.
"After that quick flurry there, I didn't get any more bites, so I hung my hat," Jordon said. "Maybe that was the decision that cost me the cut, I don't know."
Even though he was disappointed that it took him so long to make the right adjustment, he still managed a minor miracle at the end of the day to make it close at the weigh-in.
"At around 3:34 p.m., about 6 minutes before check-in, I pulled up on a spot not too far from the ramp," Jordon said. "I was around a couple trees, but when I looked into about 25 feet of water, I saw what looked to be a bed down there.
"I grabbed that senko and tossed it out there and after what seemed like eternity, it finally sank down there and I caught the fish. That was my fifth keeper and turned around and came right in — didn't even have a minute to spare."
His last-minute heroics only caused Jordon more heartbreak after waiting to find out he just barely would be Lake Amistad's lucky number 13.