I love to bass fish.
For about a year now I’ve been contemplating starting this “Ohio Bass Blog”. On one hand I wanted to share the knowledge and observations I’ve made from thousands of hours spent chasing green fish all over Ohio’s waters. But on the other, I had a selfish fear that in some way I would be selling myself out…diminishing whatever competitive advantage I had worked so hard to gain, and giving away my “secrets”.
The event that tilted the culling beam in favor of starting this blog was a tournament that I fished last weekend with my brother, Nick, on Clear Fork Reservoir. Those who have fished Clear Fork know that it is a flat-out AWESOME bass lake. The reservoir itself is relatively small at only 971 acres. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in bass. The fish in that lake are big, and they are down-right mean when they’re on the business-end of a hookset. The lake itself compares in many ways to a miniature Guntersville. It has weeds and thick shoreline cover that offer prime targets for pitching jigs and soft plastics or burning a frog or buzzbait. But it also has offshore humps and ledges that can be deep-cranked, C-Rigged or dragged. In other words, a guy has options when he’s on Clear Fork!
The day of the tournament the wind was blowing hard and positioning the boat was difficult. Water temps were in the 53 degree range, and clarity was stained to dirty. In evaluating the day’s conditions, and considering the basic “seasonal pattern”, I knew that the fish should be pre-spawn and tucked up as close to the bank as possible. We arrived at our first spot and began pounding shoreline cover, methodically pitching our baits to shallow wood and weedlines. Around 7:30 a.m. I hooked our first keeper, which managed to abruptly hang me up under a log. I quickly ran the Motorguide to the wood and Nick, who is possibly the greatest net guy ever, reached down into the muddy water up to his shoulders to lip the fish. He was soaked, but we were pumped when he pulled the 14 inch largemouth into the boat. After that first fish the action didn’t stop. The strange thing was that I caught 6 other fish that day that hung me up in heavy cover. And each time that happened Nick was there with the net. Four of those fish were over 3 pounds. By the end of the day we had boated 9 keepers and culled our way to a five-fish weight of 13.60 lbs, which earned us a 3rd place finish. Here is a picture of 2 of our better fish:
I am so competitive when I fish that anything less than a first place finish is disappointing to me. You work so hard for 8 tough hours and to come up short by a half-pound is upsetting. But in bass fishing, you aren’t going to win every event. If you can run through the tournament in your head after it’s over and say, “I wouldn’t have done anything differently”, then you can’t be too disappointed.
I had so much fun fishing that particular tournament that it motivated me to write. I want to share my experiences on the water with those who share my passion. Each week I will chronicle my tournament results, as well as my observations and thoughts on Ohio bass fishing. I encourage my readers to comment and to share their thoughts.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to fish a private 100 acre lake this Friday with a business client. We are taking my bass boat. I will report on how the day goes in my next blog…hopefully there will be pictures of some HAWGS!