It’s official! I received notification from B.A.S.S. that I was granted entry into the 2012 Bassmaster Central Opens to compete against some of the best bass fisherman this country has to offer. A challenge I’m not taking lightly but an opportunity I’m taking very seriously.
I’ve been working very hard doing my homework and preparing myself so that when I pull into Lewisville, Texas in a mere month, all I’ll have to focus on is the fishing itself. I’m trying to familiarize myself with bodies of water I’ve never been to by utilizing what I can find on the internet and studying my maps.
Here’s a quick overview of the 2012 schedule.
Lake Lewisville, TX – February 9th-11th
Lake Lewisville located just north of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolis will be hosting the first stop of the year. This time last year, B.A.S.S. had this exact same event here and it’s fair to say the lake fished tough. The weather was cold, windy and wet but that’s what one should come to expect when fishing north Texas in February. I myself am planning for the same weather and in many ways would like to see the lake fish the same while I’m down there. I’m not there for a warm vacation, I’m there to compete and being cold is what a guy from Minnesota is used to this time of year.
Last season, Mark Tucker won the event with a 3 day total of 45.15 pounds, 20th place was 12.6 pounds and the last check getter sitting in 40th place caught a mere two day total of 9.9 pounds. A tough bite to say the least and big bites were few and far between. Just because there weren’t many lunkers weighed at the scales doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In 2005, Kevin Van Dam caught an 11 pound 13 ounce monster on this very lake setting the lake record. What’s astonishing is that the record went on to be beat 3 more times in a matter of months until eventually settling out at a whopping 13.63 pounds!
Generally the lake is host to much of Dallas/Ft. Worth’s recreational boating throughout the summer months but being this event falls in the heart of the winter, my guess is the only pressure this lake will be under is heavy fishing pressure.
Table Rock Lake, MO – April 26th-28th
Table Rock, known for it’s deep, clear water is a legendary fishery for both largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass alike. Generally known as a deep fisherman’s lake, April could very well set up as a sight fishing event as bass should be bundled up on beds preparing to spawn.
All I know is that I’ll be needing to have my dual Power Poles installed by then as well as my Lowrance HDS-10 unit keyed up ready to mark waypoints on all the fish I find on beds.
I’m excited to bring my knowledge of Minnesota finesse fishing to the ultimate finesse style lake east of California. Table Rock has a reputation of being a light-line fishery and though I wouldn’t mind jacking ’em up with 20 pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon, I won’t hesitate to bust out the 8 pound Tatsu either.
Fort Gibson Lake, OK – September 6th-8th
I don’t know much of any of these three lakes and I know even less about Fort Gibson, which is probably why it’s the one I’m excited about the most. I prefer to fish water I’ve never been to as it seems to have away of surprising me at the scales. Something about zero preconceived notions aids me in finding and catching fish.
What I do know is Tommy Biffle’s the man, and he just so happens to reside on this lake and recently won the Bassmaster Elite Series event that was held here. Tommy felt the need to instead of practice, mow is yard and still ran away with the title.
Tommy caught them in away I’m very familiar with and actually prefer to catch them on any given day. Though Mr. Biffle ran away with the title, the rest of his competitors still managed to put together impressive bags even with only a very limited practice. Meaning Ft. Gibson Lake is looking to be alive and well.
I still got much to accomplish before jumping on Interstate 35 South, literally I get on 35 right behind my house and don’t exit till I cross Lewisville Lake in Northern Texas, some 15 hours away. I can’t wait to move south! The gas isn’t cheap but competing against the best bass fisherman in February when Minnesota is frozen over, now that’s gotta be priceless!