One day at a time

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Steve Bowman

I’m taking this bracket competition one day at a time. I’m only here fishing the 2018 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Classic Bracket for one reason — I want a spot in the biggest event in all of bass fishing. That’s the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on the Tennessee River. 

So here’s how it’s worked so far: We had what amounted to a one day tournament to start things off. There were 15 anglers in it. The top 12 advanced to the bracket competition. I can’t remember exactly where I finished, but I think it was somewhere around fifth place. Anyway, it was good enough to move on. That’s all that really matters. 

As of this evening (Thursday) there are six of us left. The three winners from those six brackets will claim a spot in the Classic next March. It’s a pretty big deal, really.

The fishing here on Carters Lake has been really tough. It usually is in the fall, but this week we’ve been hit with a full moon. That allows the bass to feed at night which means they aren’t interested in much of anything during the day.

I’ve been catching mine with something that’s just a little different from what you might expect. My boat has been sitting in 85 to 120 feet of water most of the time. I’m throwing towards the shore — over 40 feet of water — with a 130 size River2Sea Whopper Plopper, bone finished.

Here’s my thinking on that: I’m trying to find bass that for whatever reason are still feeding or wanting to feed. The reality is that not every fish in this lake gorged itself last night. Some of them didn’t participate in the feast, and they still need to eat.

So far, it’s worked. I caught a couple of really good ones today. Will I be able to do that again tomorrow? I have no idea. You take these things one day at a time.  

The last time I checked it’s supposed to rain and get windy. If that change happens, I’ll have to add a Luck-E-Strike jerkbait to my arsenal. My specific model will be one of the RC models. I won’t know exactly which one or what color until I see what things look like in the morning. I’ve learned over the years not to get ahead of myself.

Regardless of what choices I make in the morning, however, my philosophy will not change. I’ll still be looking for bass that didn’t feed heavily tonight and that are still wanting something to eat. I really don’t know anything other than that to do under these conditions. It’s all I’ve got. 

The only problem I’ve had this week is that I’ve been throwing into the trees. That big topwater plug will travel a mile. If you take you thumb off the spool for even a part of a second, it’ll be two or three branches high. 

Fortunately, I’m able to get them back with the aid of my Power-Poles. The water under the trees is shallow enough that I can hold my boat perfectly still as I get my bait back. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without those things. Believe me they’re good for a lot more than just flipping and pitching.

We’ll see how things are going tomorrow. I’ve just been notified I’m fishing against Greg Vinson. He’s tough. I’m not going to predict anything other than that I’ll do my best to win, and I’ll post again and give you all the details after everything’s over.

Wish me the best…