Something Different

I have a tournament coming up on a lake with lots of grass. I wanted to practice but the lake is off-limits so I thought I’d go to Erie and fish some of the grassy bays. There are areas up there where the grass is really thick and where you can practice just about anything you think you might need.

Everyone knows my first love is smallmouth. To keep from fishing for them, I thought I’d take all my drop shot stuff out of the boat. That way I wouldn’t be able to fish for them no matter how strong the temptation.

In the end, I only took most of it out. I couldn’t bring myself to leave everything at home. You never know. Maybe the wind would lie down and the brown bass bite would get real hot. There’s no point in missing a great opportunity, maybe one of a lifetime.

Anyway, when I arrived, there was a local tournament underway. It was a largemouth-only event. That’s right, a largemouth-only bass fishing tournament on Lake Erie! At first it didn’t make any sense to me.  In all my years of fishing, I don’t remember ever seeing one like that. There are a few smallmouth-only events around the country — most notable on Dale Hollow — but a largemouth-only event?

The more I thought about it, though, the neater I thought it was. We all know that Lake Erie is a smallmouth dream. What a lot of anglers don’t know is that it’s also a great largemouth lake. What’s wrong with highlighting them once in awhile?

It was pretty cool. There was a lot of weight caught without all the problems associated with fishing open water. I think more clubs should consider things like that — not all the time, just every now and then. It’d be different and a lot of fun.

At this point, I want to take a minute to answer a question from last week’s column. Sarah Stewart asked about a specific drift sock size recommendation for a 20-foot Triton. That’s a tough one. It depends upon what you want to accomplish, Sarah.

Here are some of the things I suggest you think about before you buy:

1. How big and heavy is your boat? A bigger boat requires a bigger sock.

2. How much wind and current do you expect? The higher the wind and the faster the current the bigger size sock you’ll need. Also, how fast do you want to drift? A bigger sock makes for a slower drift.

3. How big and strong are you? (Answer this honestly.) A big drift sock is hard — seriously hard — to work with. Can you handle what you’re looking at?

I suppose the best information I can give you is to go the Bass Pro Shops website and check out their recommendations. They have a reference chart.

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