Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Joined I-Match

Decided to join I-Match after all... I heard there were not that many people signed up for I-Match in the Central division. I thought they might cancel the tournaments, but received an email from the BassChamps president stating that the boats were guaranteed despite the number of entries, so if nobody signs up then that's just less people I have to beat to get a boat. :-) Anyway, my dues are paid and I'm on board for the ride.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

February 19, 2005, Lake Travis Tournament Results with Texas Classic Bass Club

Well the tournament didn't go as well as planned. I didn't get to prefish which didn't help since I didn't have a real feel for what the fish were going to be biting and where they were staged.

Here's how it went down.

At 5:30 AM I met up with my partner for the tournament Dan Marshall at Jones Brothers Park on Lake Travis. Weather was very cloudy/foggy with misty rain on an off all day. I've never fished with Dan since joining the club 5 years ago and always dreaded the day I would end up fishing with him based on his attitude in the club meetings. I really didn't know anything about him other than what I'd seen in the club meetings. Just goes to show you can't judge a book by the cover or the little summary on the back for that matter. You see Dan is the guy who votes against everything just to be the odd guy out and make sure nothing ever passes by unanimous vote. He's pretty quick to point out the flaw in any giving situation brought up in a meeting and follow it up with a few chosen curse words. After spending the day fishing with Dan my point of view has changed. Despite being rough around the edges, he's a great fisherman and solid guy. I'd be glad to pair up with him again in the future. Ok so back to the fishing. We loaded Dan's tackle and launched the boat. I didn't even start the big engine, we just started fishing at the ramp in the dark. We wouldn't see any sun light for another hour and half so we made our way around to some lighted boat docks and fished those with no luck, spinner baits couldn't help us there. The sky lighten up enough that we could finally see where the water and land meet without using a light so we went back to the boat launch. I told Dan I was fairly confident there would be some bass suspended out on the end of that ramp and sure enough, I lost two on 5 inch senkos pretty quickly and switched to a 4 inch model when I got a solid hook set, 13 3/4 inch Guadalupe bass. Two or three casts later Dan hooked up with a 12 inch Guadalupe as well on a wacky rigged worm. Went for a long spell with nothing else hitting and decided to head out of Sandy Creek. We stopped and fished a few points and ledges with cranks and spinner baits with no success. Finally stopped at Long Hollow and picked up a few dinks on spinner baits and crank baits. Then moved over to Valente Beach and fished that area with no success. Final stop was fishing some cliffs at the mouth of Cypress Creek that finally produced the only keeper of the day for us, I caught a 15 1/2 inch large mouth bass on a crank bait. Needless to say we were really disappointed with our weigh-in when we showed up at the scales to see other teams with big bags of fish. Glad to see we weren't the only team that struggled though. Looking back I should have put down that spinner bait and dragged more plastic. You can't win the all. :-) Official tournament results are posted at

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I-Match Tournament might not make it...

Well I was all pumped up for the coming up I-Match season that BassChamps has put together for the first head-to-head bass fishing tournaments in Central Texas. My excitement had a little of the air let out yesterday when I checked for the latest updates to the I-Match website,, and discovered there would be "slot" lakes in the tournaments. If you are wondering what a "slot" lake is, then have a look at the Texas Parks website and look up the Exceptions to Freshwater Harvest Regulations for 2005. Here is an example of a slot on a Lake Walter E. Long, also known as, Decker Lake:
For largemouth bass, length limit is a 14-21 slot. Bass 14 inches and less or 21 inches or greater in length may be retained. Only one bass 21 inches or greater may be retained each day. Anyway so back to the subject at hand. I had exchanged email with the BassChamps guys putting this thing together and received an email stating "slot" lakes wouldn't be part of the tournaments lake draw, so that's where the loss of excitement stems from. Now I'll potentially have to fish a slot lake during the I-Match tournaments.

The Reason Why

Let me try and explain why slot lakes shouldn't be part of a bass tournament. Example using Decker Lake? the lake is recognized by Texas Parks and Wildlife as Walter E. Long. You can look up the restriction for that lake at the following link,
Now for a tournament held on this lake, it means for anglers to have a valid weigh-in, the catch must consist of 4 fish under 14 inches and 1 over 21 inches for a 5 fish limit. That's only assuming a 5 fish limit. For a 4 fish limit, without a big bass over 21 inches, it means the winner is determined by the "heaviest", fish under 14 inches. I use the word heavy because bass less than 14 inches aren't considered "large" by definition in the bass fishing population of tournament anglers. I've followed jack pot tournament results held on Decker, and many times there are several 4 fish limits brought the scales with no big fish over 21 inches weighed. Ultimately tournament results should be a direct correlation to angling skills and not harvest limitations. I can catch 3 to 5 lb fish all day on Decker, but I can't weigh them because of the slot which forces me to fish for little fish under slot and then pray for a big bite once I got a limit of dinks.
Oh well I had to get that off my chest... we'll see how the season goes now. :-)