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Trying to Get Back on Track at Beaver

Posted by blake on April 26, 2017

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The next FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake kicks off tomorrow and it’ll definitely be an interesting one.  A lot of the fish are done spawning and the water is continuing to rise and muddy up in the upper portion on the lake.  Whenever you have these kind of changing conditions with finicky postspawn fish, it usually sets the stage for a tough event.  Just driving over the creeks on my way here, I could see how flooding and high they were.  We’ve continued getting rain all week and we can expect them to keep bringing that water up.

Before last year, Beaver was the only place I had made a check every year I’d fished on Tour.  It’s a place I understand a little bit, but this week will be much different than what we’ve experienced in the past.  The weights will probably be down some from last year with much of the upper river being out of play so we’ve got to go grind them out and hopefully we can get a couple bigger bites each day.  In this event a big bite should go a long way.

Our last event at Cumberland was a tough one for me.  I caught fifteen pounds of smallmouths eveach day and had to throw them back.  With the eighteen inch limit on smallmouth it really made it interesting.  Before Cumberland, the only event I’d fished with the same kind of limits was at Norris Lake last year and it didn’t go well for me either.  I felt like I fished well in both events though; it’s just a weird situation when you’re catching 17-17 ¾” smallmouth all day and can’t seem to get one over that eighteen inch mark.  I guess it just takes a different strategy and I’ll be approaching it differently next time.  One of the other things I feel like I could have done was to throw a jerkbait more.  I threw a spinnerbait and it seemed like a lot of guys were able to get some bigger bites on that jerkbait.

After Cumberland I headed back near home on the Tennessee River for the second Bassmaster Southern Open at Lake Chickamauga.  There was a lot going on at Chick with fish being in all three phases of the spawn so every decision really was magnified.  In practice I mixed it up and saw and caught some really good fish.  I caught one eight pounds or better nearly every day of practice and in every stage of the spawn.  My co-angler practice partner even caught a five pound meanmouth which was by far the biggest I had ever seen.  It was changing every day, but I felt pretty good heading into day one of the event.

That first morning I made one poor decision.  I was a late boat draw and made a decision that caused me to totally miss that shad spawn.  I went way down the lake and did not stop mid-lake where it was still going down which cost me big.  I fished a crankbait deeper and caught a couple before I ran bed fish on day one.  I was never able to run into a big one and started off in the middle of the pack with four fish.

Day two, I didn’t make the same mistake.  I pulled up on an area with an early shad spawn going on and went to catching them.  I caught an eight and a four and my co-angler caught some too.  I did most of the damage with a DT-16 and a Carolina Rig with a Senko and ended up with nineteen pounds which left me just outside the check cut.  All in all, it was a really fun day.

I headed home afterwards to spend some time with my family and celebrate my daughter’s birthday.  Happy 11th birthday to her!  I rolled into Beaver mid-day into the first practice day on Sunday, but it was well worth being there for her birthday.  Now it’s time to see if we can get back on track on Beaver.