The home field curse is well known in tournament bass fishing, and especially in spring when the playing field is leveled. When bass are in the spawning phases there are no secret spots or community holes where a “local” pro can leverage to his advantage.
Last week, that was exactly what happened to some of the locals fishing Grand Lake. Count Oklahoman Jason Christie among that group. Christie finished 97th out of the 108 pros on what is considered his home lake.
Ironically, on Bassmaster LIVE, Christie lamented over what he should have avoided, which was fishing history and embracing familiarity. Mark Menendez took that message to Kentucky Lake, his lifelong home waters.
“Jason warned against the danger of locking into the mindset of running familiar water and becoming oblivious to what really is working,” said Menendez. “Doing that burned him last week and it really stuck in my mind on the drive back home."
Menendez ditched familiarity, and it wasn’t easy, in favor of fishing his home water like an unfamiliar, strange lake.
“I have been to places where I’ve never been in my life, no history of fishing whatsoever,” he said. “I am fishing this as if I’m a visitor.”
So far so good. BASSTrakk showed Menendez in fourth place at 11:30 am. Waging mental combat with avoiding familiarity was likely made easier by not having fished on Kentucky Lake since 2016.