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Kicking off the 2017 Season

Posted by blake on January 24, 2017

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(Photo: FLW LLC)

We just kicked off the season at the first Bassmaster Southern Open at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida.  Fishing in Florida is usually pretty tough this time of year because of the cold fronts moving in and out.  However, last week we had the rare privilege of a warm, stable weather pattern that is usually the formula for great fishing.

After studying past tournaments, I went in thinking Lake Griffin would be the place to be.  I spent almost all of my practice there, but after seeing how many guys were fishing there, I decided to bail and spend my last practice day at Lake Harris.  I didn’t find much there, but I found enough to feel like it was worth sticking it out.

The first day I settled into my area near the ramp and went to fishing.  I threw a speed worm most of the time around grass and pads, but also mixed in a trap some.  I caught tons of fish early on, but all of them were small bucks.  Instead of waiting it out, I decided to bail around one and found out later on that was when they pulled up.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but that was definitely the mistake that cost me a good finish in the end.  The second day I stuck it out and went to catching lots of two pound plus fish.  I was never able to get that big bite I needed, but still culled up to nearly fifteen pounds.  I knew there were bigger fish around there and found out first hand as my co-angler proceeded to catch a five and lose a six and eight pounder all in a fifteen minute stretch.

I feel good overall about the event.  I didn’t fish poorly and despite my one decision to leave day one, I feel like I put myself in position to succeed.  I felt like I learned a lot on that second day by sticking it out and witnessing the fish moving up.

We’ve got a short time off now before we kick off the 2017 FLW Tour season at Guntersville.  We just had a lot of rain come through with those storms Sunday which should muddy it up some.  There has been so much grass this year and it feels like it has them scattered.  I’m hoping the rains will wash away some of it and hopefully make the fishing a little better when we get out there for the Tour.  I’ve put in the time there this offseason and look forward to kicking this one off shortly.