They say that to propel an arrow forward, you must first pull it back. Well you could say that the start of this season has my arrow pulled WAY back. Lake Guntersville was definitely a tough event, and I kinda knew that it would be when I first saw it on the schedule. However, I really expected to have an excellent event at Lake Travis. Looking at the maps prior to the event I really liked the way that it set up.
Lake Travis is located in the ‘Hill Country’ of Texas and is very different than any other Texas lake that I have every been on. It honestly reminded me a lot of Ozark mountain lakes, with lots of steep walls, deep drains, and…..TIMBER. Well I guess you could call it timber. Bushes is really a more accurate description. Lake Travis had been about 50 feet low for several years (4-5 I believe) and over that period of time it allowed an absolute ton of different bushes and vegetation to grow up. Of course when you have lots of vegetation and bushes it means one thing, LOTS of places for fish to hide. And hide they did, from me at least.
The week before the event I went down a few days early to hang out with an old Sigma Nu brother and fish Lake Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ is two lakes up the Colorado River from Travis. I knew it would probably be a little different, but thought that it would give me an idea into the stage the fish were in. I had an absolute great time out on LBJ and SMASHED them! I actually was able to get it all on video and will have that up on my Bass N’ Bones Youtube channel very soon. Cool part was that I got to catch them sight fishing and fan casting a wacky rigged ExoStick. Always a fun way to put fish in the boat.
The first day of practice I went to an area of the lake that offered a little bit of everything. My thought was that I could fish a lot of different stuff without having to run all over looking for it. We started in a great looking shallow pocket off of the main lake that had a ton of bushes in it (imagine that). We fished the pocket out and caught 1 keeper and maybe 5 or so other fish. Nothing too impressive, but a start none the less. Being close to the ramp, we decided to run back over and pick up my practice partners tackle bag that we had forgotten that morning. Put the boat on pad and was suddenly surprised with the motor grabbing way too many RPM’s. Lots of racket, but no propulsion. “Spun a hub,” I said to Logan. We trolled back to the ramp and started checking the boat over. Changed the hub and prop. Backed the boat back in and nothing had changed. “Well looks like we aren’t going to be fishing too fast today,” Logan joked. He was definitely right. Not wanting to give up an entire practice day, we simply went down the bank and fished on the trolling motor. The day actually turned out okay with 7-8 keeps put in the boat and maybe 40 fish caught.
Day two was spent at the service trailer getting a new lower unit put on. Turns out that stump that I ‘bumped’ at Guntersville did more damage than I thought and finally took its toll at Travis. Day three of practice went okay. I figured out that I could crank steep banks and catch fish. Not big ones, but lots with the occasional decent one. That was my plan. Play the numbers game.
Overall the tournament went horrible. I won’t even go into the actual event. Really not much to say about it. My cranking bite went away as the sun crept high into the sky and I was forced to go out deep dragging plasma tail worms and exosticks. I caught TONS of fish, but not many keepers.
Looking back on practice, I really wish that I had spent time out deep looking for isolated rock that would hold a few larger fish. It’s always easy to look back and identify your mistakes though. I can say that it is VERY hard to look out deep (20-40 ft) when you have one day of practice, bushes, 62 degree water, and a solid cranking/spinnerbait bite. Just goes to show that the fish never do what we want them to and definitely never read the Bass Book.
I’m definitely ready to get to Florida and turn the season around. There is no better way to light a fire underneath you than to have some bad events. I’m ready to get back to fishing how I like to fish and putting big ones in the boat.
Huge shout out to all the BioSpawn readers and followers! Also big congrats to BioSpawn Pro Seth Feider for killing it at the first Bassmaster Elite Series event at Cherokee Lake. Be sure to also follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.
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