Although I have been fishing a very limited weekend tournament schedule this year, I took the time this past Sunday (August 23rd) to fish the Kyle McFeely Benefit Tournament at Lake Arthur. This benefit tounament is hosted by the guys at CDS Sporting goods in Grove City. Jerry, and Brandon Hanna have been running this event for the past several years and do a great job! Money from sponsors of this tournament go to a scholarship fund in the memory of Kyle McFeely who was tragically killed in a auto accident a few years ago. The tournament is for a good cause and worth the time of all who are involved.
My partner and I have been doing well on Lake Arthur in evening tournaments and practice days. We had a great feeling about our chances this past Sunday. Our practice days have been productive with each of us finding an area that had enough fish to possibly win the tournament. With our hopes up, we failed to accomplish our goal. Although we did not do well, I learned a valuable lesson on predicting bass movements in post cold front conditions. The bass that I found had been hanging out for weeks in a small, wind blown, shallow flat. This flat is very close to a deeper drop off with sunken weed points and brush piles. During practice I had not stuck too many, but would check every other day or so for movement and signs of life. I actually hooked a couple nice ones there in an evening tournament, but lost them because the cover was so thick. I was confident of my pattern until a cold front moved in on Saturday and blew up my spot! The chilly wind, clouds, and temperature drop drove my fish from the shallows out into deeper water off points. After realizing this, my partner and I spent some time searching the day of the tournament, but did not find that sweet spot that we needed. Our theory was correct because the winners of the tournement did find these fish and brought in around 16 lbs or so. Although we lost, a valuable lesson was learned. You have to think quick and adjust to the weather changes. Weather conditions (sunny) drove fish into the shallow heavey cover… The weather once again reversed the migration out of the cover and back into the deeper areas. Knowing where the fish will pull back to once a front comes through is the key to being successful. Being able to adjust your presentation and technique quickly is a skill that all tournament anglers must understand and perfect if they want the success and consistancy of the pros. Here’s a video of some practice time I spent on the water.