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Kentucky Lake LBL – Moors April 12 2014

So, this one is in the books. This year is not going nearly as well as I had hoped. I’d love to try and blame it on my boaters, but, they aren’t the ones who are holding my Big Bear fishing rods. No matter where they put me, no matter whether or not they catch fish, I need to still be able to find a way to catch them. That being said, we’ve put 4 tournaments in  the books so far this season and my boater and I both have zeroed out in three of them. The other, I finished in 9th with my boater zeroing out. So, yeah, it’s been a really rough year so far. I have, on the other hand, had great guys as boaters so far this year. Just none that have been on fish.
The one thing I picked up in this tournament was that when you pull up on a bank, and you start catching short fish after short fish, back off that same bank about 20 to 30 feet and and fish a little deeper. The fish are there, they just haven’t finished pulling up just yet. So, back off a little and see what you pull out.

I should have been fishing off of the other side of the boat when we started pulling in those short fish. That’s something I will take along with me on from now on.

So, until next time…

Second LBL Tournament – Moors

It’s just about that time. Going to hit the beautiful Kentucky Lake this morning in search of my 5×3.. I want to thank Robert Wimberly of BIGBEARFISHINGRODS.COM Raw Jigs, Graygoatlures.com, Ashley Nichols, and all of my friends and family for their unwavering support. My only hope today is that I do you all proud and represent the amazing products that help me be successful!

Center Hill BFL

Center Hill Recap – BFL
Center Hill is a beautiful lake. I spent four weekends in a row down there practicing before the tournament. Every time I went, I caught between 10-20 bass at a time. All be it they were almost all Spotted Bass, they were nice and most of them in keeper range.

I caught one of my favorite spotted bass of all time there. I called her Miss Piggy. She was about a 3.5lbs spotted bass that looked as though she had swallowed a Nurf football. Miss Piggy was a whole lot of fun to catch.

MsPiggy
Anyway, with all of the work I did pre-fishing Center Hill, as a Co-Angler, it did me no good at all. I dialed in the colors they were keying in on, the type of lures I was going to throw, and spots that would be good in case my boater needed a few.
The night of the draw, I was excited to hear I had drawn Adam Wagner as my boater. I had heard many good things about him, he is about as good as they come around this area, and his stats backed it all up. So, I, as excited as a teenage girl on prom night, went bouncing over to introduce myself.
The first words out of his mouth were, “you are going to hate me tomorrow.” Oh, great! As smart as I thought I was, and thinking of every angle, I missed one scenario that was going to be detrimental to my success. “Why am I going to hate you tomorrow”, I asked. “I will be bed fishing all day tomorrow”, he replied.
For those of you who don’t know what that means, it basically means that he would be fishing by sight all day, and he did. We trolled the banks until he found a bass sitting on bed and would work that fish until he caught it. This left me working every other location I could find. I spent the majority of my day slinging my Alabama rig as far as I could over the boat slips, down the banks behind us where he had already been, and all the way across pockets we were fishing to hit the opposite banks.
Now, it was far from Adam’s fault that I zeroed out that day, because, in the end, that is exactly what happened. But, it didn’t make it any easier for me. I had two different fish on and lost them both. One I had hooked from about 60 yards away on the opposite bank on my Alabama Rig, but she jumped clean out of the water at about 50 yards and threw the hook. I can’t even remember what I had the other hooked on, but, I am sure it was the ‘rig’. I had just come off of a win with that thing and didn’t want to put it down.
My unwillingness to let go of what I just knew worked, was what ultimately killed me.
So, the lessons learned from Center Hill are these..
1. Give it up if it isn’t working!
2. Being on the back deck of someone bed fishing sucks
3. Practice (for a co-angler) only helps if your boater thinks the same way you do.

Tournament Fishing Isn’t Fun

Throughout my friends and family, there has been a misconception as to the level of fun involved with competing in Bass Tournaments. For some reason, everyone thinks it is just fun and games. That we are all out there just kicked back enjoying a nice sunny day on the water, relaxing while we watch the bobbers rise an fall with each passing wave or ripple. Those of us whom have had the pleasure of competing in a bass tournament, know this just isn’t the case. It is almost like any other sport. There is a lot of hard work, practice, blood sweat and teas that go into preparing for a tournament before you ever get there. At least that’s the way it is if you have any passion about it at all and any drive to actually win.

To be out there standing on a boat deck, swaying back and forth from the waves, manning the foot peddle of the trolling motor, feeling your back tighten with every flip, pitch, skip or cast of the line. The frustration of not catching, the adrenalin of catching one, culling through the small ones, the blood pressure rising higher and higher the longer it takes for that first bite. Then again between casts searching for that one that will take you to the limit.

That is just on the good days. Add 20 degree weather, snow and sleet and even some rain mixed in there. Or, how about those days when it is 90 degrees, a heavy downpour and you are having to wear your bibs. Those suspenders get to cutting into your shoulders, the weight of your soaking wet cloths (as we all know even the best rain suit can only hold out so much) weighing you down, your back is killing you, your arm is burning, you can’t see a thing because the rain just seems to be bouncing off the water and right in your face.

It is in those moments that we all know better than most that this is far from “fun” or relaxing”. It is hard work. It takes true passion and dedication. It takes a willingness to do whatever it takes to win, no matter how much it hurts, now cold, wet, or hot you get. No matter what you have to give up to make it to that next tournament or even by that next bag of plastics. It is truly an addiction if you are anything like me or those who I know that fish the tournament trails. It is far more than a hobby, its a way of life.

All that being said, it is what we love to do. It is what we live for. It is the last thing we thing about before we fall asleep, the first thing we think about when we wake up. The only thing we can think of as we stair off out the window of our office building on a sunny day. We feel our hearts beet a little faster as pass over a body of water. Its why we watch fishing shows on TV so intently. Its why we have our FLW apps set to alert us when there is a live weigh-in. By George, its why blood runs through our veins!

So, to those who think we are just playing around and goofing off when we go fishing, I say come fish a tournament. The next time someone asks why we are so tired and sore after a day of fishing, I say, come practice with us. When someone asks you what it takes to win a tournament, tell them to ask David Dudley about him going head first into the lake after a 5 pounder and bringing it back in the boat. Those guys on TV only make it look easy because they are the best of the best.

If you can’t tell, I am a little obsessed with Bass Fishing!

Sponsorship Endeavours

I have been thinking about the whole sponsorship thing for over 6 months now. I had a great debate within myself of when was the right time to seek sponsors. I’m not one of those who has a lot of family support as some I have seen. I don’t work for a company who would consider a Bass Angler sponsorship to be a worthy investment, and I don’t have a strong relationship with any local businesses here since I have only been in Nashville for two years.

So, it has been a struggle to decide when the best time was to begin seeking sponsorship. After a great deal of deliberation and people telling me it was time, I have decided it is time to figure out how to get some sponsorship to help with the cost of chasing two tournament trails around Tennessee and push forward in my quest of going pro. The one thing I don’t want to do is market myself to the masses. I want to make sure I only approach companies that I believe in, have a passion for, and can stand proudly as a representative of what they stand for.

So far, I have submitted sponsorship proposals to two different companies.

:Advance Financial:
With great fear and hesitation, I sent my very first sponsorship proposal to a company I have been doing business with on a bi-weekly basis for about a year now. I have several reasons for choosing this as my first company. The customer service I have received while doing business with Advance Financial has been second to none. I know, “Why would you support a company who feeds on people who are at such a tough spot in their lives and catch them in a cycle of endless debt?”. Well, the truth is, they provide a vital service to the community. When someone is in a spot where they are unable to to pay their bills for whatever reason, they are there when no one else is. The loans are meant to be small, short term loans to help someone through a hard time. The cycle comes when people either cannot, or choose not to pay that payment off and move on. Instead they re-write the check or loan and the cycle begins. This is a choice of the person taking the loan, not of Advance Advance Financial as they keep the loan amounts small enough to be manageable. As someone currently caught in that cycle, I can say it is my fault, not the loan company’s.

Because of my appreciation for Advance Financial customer service, their company image, and service to the local community, I chose them as my first target for sponsorship. I regret it may have been a poor decision to choose a company I so passionately wanted to represent as my first target. We all know that the first time you do anything is never your best. The same stands true for submitting a sponsorship proposal. Without the experience, I fear I may have provided a substandard proposal and could very well be the reason for their very kindly worded rejection. This was not unexpected, however, it didn’t lessen the disappointment.

So, that leads me to my next proposal offer. This was probably even more poorly presented as it was a simple message through one of those “Contact Us” pages on their representative’s website. UGH, you would figure I would get better with the second one, not worse.

:TheChive:

TheChive.com is a company that I find completely fascinating. It is what most would call a pictorial website that provides endless entertainment of funny, shocking, and sexy (No nudity) photos that people all across the world submit to them. That isn’t the main reason I chose TheChive.com as my next target. The biggest reason is because they are known very well for their philanthropy both in the TheChive.com community and out. They have the ability to move mountains, because of the TheChive.com are a strong, very close community who over and again take a stand together to help their fellow TheChive.com, and their fellow Man. You would be amazed as to how much can be accomplished with a simple photo and description on this site. People can be found quickly, money can be raised, and mountains moved. Stop on by the site and see what it is all about. Warning though, it can become VERY addictive.

I am currently still waiting a reply from them, but, I will let you all know as soon as they respond to me.

If you read this, and would like to see one or a combination of these companies sponsor my Fishing, please do not hesitate to stop by and let them know. While they may say no now, if given enough of a reason to reconsider, we may still have a chance. :) And, if you feel compelled to provide a donation to the cause, please don’t hesitate to do so either by clicking the Paypal donate buttons throughout this site, or going to GoFundme.com and helping me reach my goal. Even $5 adds and is highly appreciated.

Blaine Wimberly Wins Co-Angler Percy Priest BFL

Scott Lefevers Wins Percy Priest BLF

Percy Priest Turn Around

Well Well Well, what an experience that was. Talk about a 180 degree turnaround from the last tournament. Fist of all, I drew one hell of a partner. I never thought I would ever draw a boater who was just as concerned about me catching fish as himself. Not only did he put me on the fish, he even gave me the tools to get the job done.

I was introduced to Scott Lefevers Friday night before the tournament at the Angler meeting. He seemed like a pretty cool guy, but I had no idea. When I showed up at the ramp the next morning I was introduce to Shamu. A really nice black and white Stratus boat. I am telling you, it’s the nicest boat I have been on, ever. I wish I had gotten more details on it so I could have listed the stats here.  The good thing is, he works for C&O Marine, so you can contact him and he can hook you up with all the details. Maybe he will come across this one day and tell us about the boat.

On to good stuff..

We launched out boat #22 in the second flight. Twenty two other boats headed out before we did. With one special spot in mind, I thought for sure we were never going to get there before anyone else. I was worried, but, Scott didn’t have a care in the world. I soon found out why. I don’t know what he has had done to that boat, or how that man knows this lake the way he does. We took out Fate Sanders like a mad woman going, well you know. He laid down on that Hot Foot, pinned me to the back of my seat, and off we went. It wasn’t until about the third boat we passed that I realized just how fast we were really going.

We passed every boat by with easy. He would pull up right behind the boat ahead of us, then jump their wake to the right and around we would go. This was the most exciting boat ride I have ever been on, and Scott sure knew how to handle the boat better than anyone I had ridden with.

We headed way down river to a little spot where the river was choked down by a small point that took the river down to about 30-35 feet wide from the typical 70 or so feet it was to either side of this point. Right at the end of that point in the middle of the channel there was a tree submerged in about 14 to 18 feet of water. I built a Tennessee rig the night before with 4 small havoc sick fish, and one large matching sick fish. Two of the smaller ones were just on center pin screw locks, and the others were all on 1/4 ounce jig heads. I started the day off throwing that rig. Hung it up second cast. I caught one small Largemouth that wouldn’t measure, but never even got another bite on it.

In the interest of saving time, long story made short, we crushed them in that tree. He won the boater side and I won the Co-angler side of the tournament. Needless to say it was a complete 180 from the last tournament. I owe the win to Scott for putting me on the fish and even letting me tear up some of his spinner baits to build an a rig like his. That is how I caught my 4 fish. So, thank you Scott.

If any of you are looking for a new boat, used boat, or anything for your boat, head on over to C&O Marine.

Guntersville Woes

Well, Music City Division Walmart BFL tournament has come and gone. It was my first ever tournament and it didn’t go very well at all. I drew a pretty good guy, Marshall Deakins was a great guy. It just wasn’t our day. We rushed around the lake trying like hell to find out where the fish were, a few casts here, a few casts there, just never found a bite.

Marshall finally pulled in one 3 pounder, but he never even took that one to the scales.

But, hey, I got my first tournament out of the way and now I can move on to the next one knowing what not to do. We will have to see what happens in the next one.

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