It's Show Time At The Boat Launch
Last updated 4/6/2021 at 3:13pm
Outside of not even leaving the dock, the single biggest impediment to consistent fishing success is getting in a rush to get it done. One of our better local bass fishermen was quick to point that out earlier this week. “If I don’t get to make a single weigh-in this week,” he said, “I have already benefited from the Bassmaster Elite coming to town. Three years ago I was more concerned with where my favorite angler was fishing than how he was fishing.” The lesson learned was that the more successful pro anglers do not fish fast. They run to their next stop fast in order to maximize actual fishing time, but when the troll motor goes over the bow, speed is no longer a consideration. After having done their homework and truly believing that the fish are there, they s-l-o-w-l-y dissect the chosen spot. Sometimes that requires a change in boat position and sometimes it may only require changing the size or color of their lure. When they launch that initial cast, they are not already contemplating their next move if the bite does not appear to be there after only a few casts. The bottom line is that they are committed to their findings in pre-tournament scouting. It also does not mean that they will not hit that same spot several
times throughout the day. The wildcard in river fishing that does not exist in impoundment fishing is tide change. That one factor can make all the difference in the world. It is also a reasonably sure bet that no matter how many spots they hit, the pattern and technique will be the same. Panic never truly set in
until everything they have tried fails for one reason or another. According to the local angler I was talking with, when they decided to change spots, speed instantly became a major factor. “My boat runs about 45 mph,” he said, “but that was about 40 mph too slow in some cases. If they didn’t turn off into a bayou, I had no idea where they went!” “I was not surprised with their choice of lures nor the depth they were fishing,” he added, “but I now have a whole new idea as to what fishing fast really means. Fishing fast is all about getting there in a hurry to fish slower longer.” The Big Show is the Elite Tournament itself, but I have been surprised by the number of folks gathered to watch the pros launch each practice
morning. I was not surprised, however, by the number of high school bass fishermen just hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite pro before school. The city has done a great job of upgrading the facilities in and around the launch over the past few years and it is truly spectator friendly. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate as well which will once again result in overflow crowds at the weigh-ins. Had the event not been moved back to the original date, the August heat would have made things miserable for both anglers and spectators alike. Only four weeks earlier, I received nine texts or emails in a single weekend reporting catches of double digit bass on Toledo Bend alone.
This past week, for the first time this spring, I received none. That doesn’t mean a few weren’t caught, but they were few and far between! While your chances of fooling a lifetime best are rapidly dwindling, this is still one of the most enjoyable times of the year to fish Toledo Bend and Rayburn.More small bass are now stacking up in the shallows and they are aggressive. Catching always makes fishing more enjoyable and there is lots of catching going on. While you will be hard pressed to find a more effective lure than a Wacky worm right now, the maximum enjoyment takes place when a two to four pound female zeros in on a free-floated lizard. It is a visual treat and the anticipation with every crank of the reel handle is measurable. I am always amazed when watching a Mama bass pick up a lizard lying in
her bed and carry it out time after time. If it is a double digit bass, however, I am more disappointed than amazed!
See you at the tournament!