As some of you may know the Bassmasters Classic was this past weekend and like allot of other Bass nerds out there I was glued to my computer for 3 straight days following Basstrak and the live blog through out the day. This was the one classic that everyone predicted a “local” would win. Mostly in part because there were allot of guys fishing this event that were considered aces on Grand Lake. Jason Christie said he fished upwards of 50 tournaments on Grand Lake and has won 3 boats there. Mike Mcclelland and Edwin Evers also cut there teeth fishing this lake and were pre tournament favorites. There were also a handful of guys from the federation and Opens who qualified that were sticks on this lake as well.
So how is it that a guy from Mississippi who can count on both hands how many days he has been on this lake and another young man from Idaho who was fishing his first tournament ever on Grand Lake out fished these local aces? They call it the local curse that only one guy has ever won a classic in his home state, is it a curse or just the fact that being a local is not really an advantage at all but maybe in a big event like this with this kind of talent it’s a HUGE disadvantage. I believe in the latter, I have a lake that I fish 50 or 60 days a year in the summer time, it’s a great lake and its only about 10 minutes from my house. I find myself fishing it pretty much the same way every time I go there because I have success fishing that way. I can look around that lake and can show you a laydown or clump of pads that I have caught a big fish off of all over that place, but if there were ever a big tournament there with allot of good fisherman unless I could erase every memory from every fish I ever caught at this lake more than likely I would get beat. Knowing where everything is at on a lake is precious information, the key is not to get attached to any of it. You have to treat the piece of wood that you have caught fifty 4 pounders off of the same as you treat the piece that looks so good but you still to this day have never had a bite off of.
I hear allot of guys talking about how they found some great spots on lake X last year or 2 years ago and they cant wait to get back up there for that tournament. Some of them are so confident in these spots from years past they might not even practice much for the tournament because they think they already have the thing locked up. Weigh in rolls around and they just shake there heads in disbelief as they come in with out even a limit. This does not just apply to places you found the year before but even the month or the week before, This is especially true in the spring and the fall. Fish are moving so much this time of year your pattern can change literally from hour to hour based on the temperature, wind, sun, clouds etc… Try to approach every day on the water as a new day I try and treat my tournament days as additional practice days and some of my best tournament finishes to date where instances where I ran new water and caught fish in areas I never even fished in practice. If you’re a recreational angler just out fishing you favorite lake for the day, go ahead and fish with a different bait or technique that you don’t usually do, the results might surprise you!