Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I-Match Tournaments 2006 Season

I-MatchWell March 1st is just another calendar day for most people, but for me and a few other guys in Texas the Bass Champs I-Match season is about to officially begin. I am excited thinking about it. Somewhere around March 7th I'll find out who my first challenger will be for our first head to head tournament. This is gonna be fun, just like it was last year; only I have a better idea of what to expect and how to play the game. I tried to find out what the field looked like for Central Texas, but everyone is still signing up at the last moment, but it appears the field is going to be a bit smaller than the 42 who competed last year.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Wal-Mart BFL Choke Canyon Feb 11, 2006.

I fished the Wal-Mart BFL over the weekend on Saturday February 11, 2006. This is the first of five qualification rounds for the 2006 season. I was very fortunate to have been paired up with Jimmy Johnson for this event. Jimmy if you see this report, "Thanks for putting us on the fish!" There were 101 boaters and non-boaters entered in the event and the top 20 places were paid out. Jimmy took home a check for his 19th place finish and I missed the cut by a pound taking 23rd place. Jimmy put us on the fish and I figured out how to catch them.

The Tournament:

Kelly, the kiddos, and I arrived on Friday afternoon in Calliham Texas in time to setup camp at the South Shore Unit and eat dinner before the pretournament meeting. I went to the meeting and met up with Jimmy after the pairing was announced. Jimmy said he'd caught some fish in practice, but didn't have a defined pattern or even a specific bait to catch bass on.

Saturday morning we met up at 5:30 AM and headed over to launch the boat. We made it with about 15 minutes to hang out and talk about our plan. There wasn't much to it, head to the north side of the lake to hide from the 30 mph winds blowing across the lake as much as possible, and catch some fish if there were any hungry ones after two cold fronts had blown in just before the tournament.

** I'll fill in more details here later. I have another tournament coming up on Choke, so a lot of details are being left out. **

I caught 4 bass, three of them keepers and Jimmy asked me to look at my lure. He matched up as best he could from his tackle selection, turning down my offer to give him one of mine. He got close enough and we dialed in on them from that point on. Jimmy quickly match my catch of three keepers. A few hours later and he boated another keep and I caught another short fish. Jimmy caught another keeper to finish out his limit, so we're down to the wire with an hour and half left in the tournament and I catch my 4th keeper of the day finally. Same bait I'd been catching them on all day. Jimmy said he needed a bigger kicker, so we switch things up a little and it paid off for Jimmy when he caught a nice 5 lb bass. We fished a little while and then headed in early to the weigh-in, just to be safe.

Tournament in Review:

We caught fish on an undisclosed lures in an undisclosed location to be announced at a later date. :-) I caught a total of 6 bass all day, 4 keepers that weighed 9.08 lbs for a 23rd place finish. Jimmy caught 7 bass all day, all 7 were keepers and his 5 best weighed 14.10 lbs for a 19th place victory. Jimmy said he couldn't believe he was bringing in a limit to weigh-in after the bad weather had moved in a really changed the fishing up from his practice days on the lake. I had a great time fishing with Jimmy, he's a good man with fish with.

Special Thanks -

Thanks to Kelly and my kids for coming along to support me in this event. Thanks again to Jimmy Johnson for putting us on the fish and listening to my chatter all day without complaining. :-) Extra Special thanks to Jimmy's little weenie dog, Jesse, for attacking any brush that may get to close to boat at any time. He's a good rod alert system, no chance of your rod tips getting snapped off with Jesse in the boat!