Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Clint Bridges vs Roger Boling in I-Match Elimination

I-Match Well tournament fans, it's that time again. Round 3 of I-Match and possible elimination if I don't find the fish. The lakes we drew are: Buchanan, Travis, & Decker. I talked to Roger about the lakes we drew for our match, and I couldn't talk him into fishing Stillhouse or Lake Austin. He said he won his last match with just one fish on Lake Austin and didn't want to repeat that performance. We haven't set a date or time yet. I'll update this post with details as they come out.

As usual I tried to find out who I'm up against and as far as I can tell, Roger has fished in a few Pro Team tournaments, some Texas 100, and Basschamps as well, but only fished in the money one or two times in the past few years. The only tournament results that are still available are Basschamps from last year and there are only two that I can see he fished, so not a lot to go on really.

After talking to Roger, he seems like a really nice guy who's been fishing all his life. I also found out his partner in every tournament is his wife and that's the only team he likes to fish. He doesn't fish all the tournaments and fishes for fun, not so much for the win. Sounds like a guy I'd like to fish with outside of the tournaments. He said he never prefishes for any tournaments, which is something you don't hear from most tournament anglers, but I suspect if you've been fishing as long as Roger has then you already know where the fish are before you get out of the bed the day of the tournament. :-)

Monday, April 18, 2005

Lake Buchanan Texas Classic Bass Club April Tournament

TCBCApril 2005 Lake Buchanan April 16, 2005 6AM- 4 PM

I fished with Bill Wells in our Texas Classic Bass Club tournament over the weekend. It was a great day to be on the lake, couldn't have asked for better weather conditions. We started the morning off by motoring over to a little cut near the dam and caught our first two keepers on back to back casts on senkos at 6:30 AM. Bills fish had to be the shortest, 14 inch fish I've ever put in the live well, meaning you really had to compress the tail to get it to stretch hehe. The fish I caught on the next cast was 15 1/2 inches and made us feel pretty good about how the day was about to go. There were shad about 4 inches long numbing in the thousands along the banks in a foot or less of water in the area we were fishing. At times they would bunch up and flip out on to dry land they were so frenzied and it would sound like rain hitting the surface of the water. We caught a number of short fish chasing the shad on senkos before the bite died. The senkos we were throwing were watermelon/red and watermelon/white lam. Sometime after 6:30 and before 10:30 I caught another 15 1/2 fish on a chrome/ blue rat-l-trap and Bill put another 14 inch bass in the live well on that watermelon/red senko. At 10:30 We packed up and headed out to the big rocky point on the West side of the lake and fished it, Bill caught a short fish on a crank bait just after I dropped the trolling motor. I missed a fish on a senko, think it was probably an aggressive perch looking back. I took my boat through one of deeper gaps on the point and caught a 19 inch striper with the rat-l-trap. On Bill's next cast after I boated the striper, he caught a 14 inch bass on his crank bait. We were pretty excited to have finished out our 5 fish limit, even if it was tiny.

We fished the point a little longer and I caught a 6 inch bass on a 4 inch senko, hehe. That fish hit harder than any of the bass we'd caught all day. We loaded up and went to Silver creek and fished wood cover and cliffs only to pick up a few more short fish and kill a lot of time. At 2:00 we went to a spot I can only describe as "The Wall." We caught several fish off the wall, including one 14 inch fish that culled out the little squeaker caught early in the AM. We called it a day and headed to Blackrock park for the weigh-in at 3:30.

The day in review:

We caught 6 keepers with the 5 largest weighing, 6.94 lbs, total fish caught was somewhere between 15 and 20. We had one 19 inch striper and 1 small hybrid as well. Other guys in the club reported catching striper and cat fish as well so it seems everything was biting well on Saturday. Full tournament results are below.

Tournament results: 41 fish weighed in for 80.60 pounds Average weight per fish 1.97 pounds
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 75F winds S 5-10 MPHWater Conditions: Temperature 65-70F, clear

April 16, 2005 Results from Buchanan are at:
Current Standings are at:
Current Weights and Big Bass are at:

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bridges vs Blair in I-Match

I met Jim Blair at Stillhouse Marina for our I-Match tournament on Stillhouse Hollow at 6:00 AM in the morning. We exchanged greetings, Jim commented that we were going to be a bit chilly since the air temp was around 54 degrees and there was a 5 mph breeze blowing across the lake. As we checked each others lives wells, I asked Jim about his prefishing trip the day before. Jim said he had 4 keepers Monday afternoon and 5 keepers on Sunday, so I had my work cut out for me. We launched and went our separate ways on the water. I wouldn't see Jim again for the rest of the tournament until weigh-in at 2:30PM.

I headed out to the island and started off with a Strike King chartreuse/ white spinner bait and started catching fish right from the start. I caught my first keeper around 7:00 AM, 15 1/2 inches long, I quickly placed her in the live well and got back to the deck. On the very next cast I caught my second keeper 14 1/4 inches, placed a culling clip on this one with anticipation of releasing after catching my limit and getting a bigger one. About 7:30 it happened, the wind died and everything was calm for about 5 minutes and then bass started schooling on shad all around the boat. I threw that spinner bait at every splash I saw and caught a fish on nearly every cast following a splash. At 8:40 AM I had caught my 5th keeper and then wind was back, only blowing from a different direction. All in all I had caught 16 bass so far and there were several boats in the area. One boat had even moved within 40 yards of me to cast at the schooling action, but the wind had pushed the bait back down and the schooling was over. The other boat didn't catch any fish while I was still there. I decided to change the game plan.

I left the area in hopes of finding a 5+ lb kicker or upgrading that 14 in fish at least. I ran up the lake past Union Grove fished the grass beds along there with a chrome/ blue Rat-L-Trap and picked up a few dinks. On around the corner I went up into a little protected pocket and had a nice tug on the line, a few shakes and the fish was loose. Thought to myself, man that was a good one. I held the boat in place and made about 10 casts to the area with no luck. I moved up and was able to see a small point under the water with large rocks on it, and then on the very tip in about 5 feet of water I could see a large bass that I would guess was 5 lbs. I backed the boat up and flipped a watermelon senko to the point and before I could take up the slack, the line was headed for deep water, I slammed the rod back and had to duck the empty hook flying by my head. Dang it, that was a nice fish and it took my senko! I spent another hour there waiting to see if it would come back to the point, but it never showed. I did catch another short fish off the point while I was waiting. This wasn't working so I figured I should head back to the island in hopes of upgrading my limit.

As I idled through the saddle of the island around 11:30 AM, I noticed a bass boat with three guys fishing off the point in about 8 feet of water and two of the three guys doubled up. I'd guess they were about 14 inches long, both caught on carolina rigs.

Back out on the grass flats and all the boat traffic that had been there early on was nowhere to be seen now, it was just me and the island. There were two boats out on the hump out from the island, I never saw either of them set the hook by the way. I fished for what seemed like hours with only a few short fish about 14 inches I didn't bother to measure them. About 12:45, I finally set the hook on a 3 lb fish and culled out my little 14 inch fish. I caught this fish on the trap I'd been using off and on when I got board with dragging a senko or lizard on the bottom. Quick survey of the live well, my two smallest fish were 15 1/2 inches weighing 1.5 and 1.7 lbs. Gave them culling clips just incase luck and the good Lord were to bless me before the end of the touramment.

It was 1:00 now and I was really nervous about the weight that Jim could possibly have... I kept thinking, all he had to do was have a good kicker and I was done. I remember someone telling me the year before about this time that they'd caught fish up to 4lbs out on a hump near the dam. I loaded up and took off in hopes of upgrading the 1.5 lb fish and 1.7 lb fish.

Arrived on the hump to find it void of boat traffic, which was nice since I see people fishing it a lot. Got out an Baby bass colored Excalibur Fat Free Shad that dives to 10 feet and went to work fishing the island. No grass on the bottom around it this year which is weird since there has always been grass there before. After spooking a few short fish and some large carp off the top of the hump when I was checking things out, I moved out to the point past the marker buoy to about 15 feet of water. Nothing on the crank, so I switched to dragging a watermelon zoom lizard. At 2:00 I hadn' t had a bite, so I switched to the trap and on the second cast caught a 14 1/2 in fish. A few casts later I caught a 16 1/2 fish and released the 1.5 lb fish I'd marked with a culling clip. I didn't want to be late and felt really good about my fish now knowing the smallest fish I had was 1.7 lbs so I headed to the weigh-in site to fish until Jim showed up.

Jim came motoring into the marina at 2:25 from the back of the creek and had his poker face going until I said I had five fish for about 15 lbs. He had one fish that weighed about 4 lbs. He pulled the fish out of his livewell without weighing it and released the fish. We shook hands and it was done. I weighed my fish just to see what I had after Jim left and someone at the marina offered to take a picture of them for me.

More Pics Here

Recap of the day, I caught 26 fish total and about 10 of them were keepers. All my good fish were caught on a spinner bait or rat-l-trap. I won my second round I-Match event and move on to round 3 of the Elimination Bracket. 5 largest fish caught weighed 14.6 lbs.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Guiding Mr. Zachary on Stillhouse April 10th 2005

Had a great time prefishing for my I-Match tournament coming up. I brought along Mr. Zachary for a little guide trip as well. We launched out of Stillhouse Marina at 7:00AM and ran out near the island, where we caught and released some 15+ bass with the 15 mentioned being greater than 14inches and some weighing 3+ lbs. I'll update this post later with more details after my I-Match event. As we were returning to load the boat at 12:00, Jim was launching out of the same spot and to fish the rest of the day. We exchanged greetings and I wished him luck. I told him my best 5 would have gone 15 lbs, so he knows where the bar is set. Hopefully I can repeat that or upsize a few of those fish come tournament day. Didn't get any pictures of Mr. Zachary holding any of his fish due to dead camera batteries, his first fish of the morning was 3+ lbs. He had a great time despite the weather conditions, cloudy skies with light drizzle off and on, slight breeze about 5 mph.

*** Update ***
We caught the fish on spinner baits and rat-l-traps.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Update on the next I-Match...

Got a call from Jim today. He did some prefishing on Austin and I guess it didn't go so well because he doesn't want to fish it anymore. He said he's 50 and all that boat traffic is way to hard on him. I had a feeling he'd say that if he prefished it much before our match.

So where are we fishing? Our I-Match event will be held on Stillhouse Hollow out of the marina near the dam, 6:30 to 2:30 on Tuesday April 12th. This is going to be a great trip, I can feel it. Bonus for me having this match on Stillhouse is that I'm pretty sure TCBC will be holding it's April 16th tournament there as well.

In other news, I got a shipment of new tackle in the mail this week. Picked up a new Torno Reel to go along with a Berkley Series One rod that I've never put a reel on. I already have one rig like this and I think it's a great combo. The new rod will help put some fish in the boat in the next couple of tournaments in April.