“Oh Perry Lake, I am so glad to be done with you.”
That’s right. Good riddance to that POS!!! This was a lake I just didn’t want to fish. The little bit of practice we got a few weeks ago didn’t go to well and I didn’t have the normal confidence that I rely on come game day. My fishing buddy and I caught a lot of fish in practice – some largemouth bass, a few hybrid striped bass and whites, and a shitload of drum. Perry is a typical Kansas lake: small with shallow water that is fairly clear, but muddies up in a hurry with the slightest bit of wind or boat traffic.
Come tournament day the conditions had changed rapidly from the 24 hrs preceding. The temps had gone from 80’s and 90’s in the weeks leading up to the tournament and dropped to 55 degrees when it came time to launch at the boat ramp. We also had a light rain moving in and out of the area and winds seemingly switching directions at random.
We drew a late launch number (#25) and headed straight to the area we felt held the biggest fish, of course. Only problem was there was already a boat or 3 headed that way with an earlier launch number. When we showed up on our first spot we had 3 boats within eye shot of us. Damn.
“Prepare for bumper boats, dude, we are gonna be fishing retread water all day.”
We started out fishing with topwaters and as luck would have it my partner managed to put a 4.12 in the well before the day had too many miles on it. We found out in practice the day before they were schooling by size in small packs of 3-4 bass. I had another fish on the buzz bait that appeared be comparable to my partner’s, but managed to come unbuttoned, ARGH!
“Can’t lose’m on game day dude, can’t lose’m on game day.”
That phrase going through your head can help and hurt you. You start dwelling on the bad and might as well put it on the trailer. I sat down and added the trailer hook to the buzzer. I changed my attitude in my head and kept the arm moving and casting, “gotta forget it for now”,
I thought earlier to myself “I am in too much of a hurry to put it on right now”, and rationalized with “it’s a big ass custom hook…”, wrong, wrong, wrong. I am starting to realize that whenever I think a thought like that I am WRONG! Friggn stop what you’re doing and do what you were thinking! Instead of “just one more cast then I will retie…” Friggn stop and retie right when you think it! This alone would of taken care of some of the coulda-woulda crap that happened this year.
We finished in the middle of the pack with only 1 good fish to weigh. We caught all kinds of fish that day. I had several smallies give me a good fight, but a touch short of the 15 inch mark on the board and back into the water they went. I caught a monster blue cat on a buzzbait and my partner caught a 8lb channel on a Pop-r. We got our asses handed to us. The guys that won the tournament had 17lbs or close to it. Second place was 14lbs and the boat that was competing for the same water as we were. They were on the “Sweet Spot” of this 600 yard stretch of bank when the fish turned on and caught 4 of their 5 fish in the last 40 mins of the tournament, all within sight of our boat, AARrrrrggghhh.
“Right Place, Wrong Time” common theme after tournaments…I hate it when it’s me saying it though!!
Hope You’re at the Right Spot and Time It Right!