BASSMASTER Central Open

Lake Lewisville, Lewsiville, TX

Lake Looserville, Lake Sewerville and the Mud Hole where just some of the names I heard when people where referencing Lake Lewisville just north of Dallas, Texas. In fact, during my week and a half stay down there I heard many other choice names given to the lakes from the locals but I should probably keep this a family site.

Regardless of it’s reputation, I was more than thrilled to be there competing in my first nationally recognized professional event. I knew the bite would be tough well before I signed up but also knew that when dealing with Texas everything is bigger and the bass in Lewisville is no exception. The facts be told, Lewisville is a tough fishery that sees its fair share of pressure but I don’t think anyone could foresee just how rough and tough it was going to treat us while we were throwing everything on the line for the second spot in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.

Texas as a whole has been facing a record drought and the lack of rain had Lewsiville marked at over six feet low. Days before we arrived for practice the Dallas/Fort Worth area got pounded with heavy rains that raised the water level to just a foot shy of full pool. Texas, as well as the rest of the United States, has been experiencing an unusually warm winter which changed as Mother Nature got wind of a big tournament getting ready to take place and instead delivered us a wicked cold front. The end result was high, muddy and cold water, not the most ideal situations for an already tough fishery.

Practice started very slow and honestly never really got good as bites were few and far between. As the realization of a possible skunk become more and more a reality, I found myself digging to the depths of my boat to find whatever was going to give me that edge. As a self proclaimed “dragger”, I’m often more comfortable locating key areas and slowly milking it for everything it’s worth. I soon realized that this was a recipe for disaster as I was having real problems locating more than one fish in a single area and with the water color being the exact same as that of chocolate milk, bass didn’t have the visibility to see the bait unless it smacked them directly in the face. I shifted my focus to forcing a reaction bite and was rewarded a bit better, they still weren’t jumping into the boat but bites were bites and the ones that were biting had some pretty decent size to them.

My main weapon of choice was a 3/8 oz. Biovex Stangun Spinnerbait (Black), the dark color helped them locate it in the dirty water. I found most of my fish holding in or around small stickups that had grown during the low water period and now had a foot of water on them. Finding these areas around some sort of rock was even better as the rocks retained more heat and warmed the water by maybe a degree but it was just enough to hold these weary bass.

I also practiced around a lot of deep water as I really wanted a few key areas that I could slow down and capitalize on a school of fish. I used the heck out of my Lowrance Units and Navionics Chips looking for that perfect sweet spot and it wasn’t until late in the day on Tuesday that I found a point that held an immense amount of baitfish and an awesome rock spine that jetted out into deep water. The coolest thing was I was able to use my Lowrance DownScan and actually see bass school shad. It was absolutely amazing to see but getting these fish to bite was the most impossible thing ever and yes, I even through the Alabama Rig at them with still no result. I instead focused my efforts at the rock cropping as I figured it may hold inactive bass. I caught a short off it relatively quickly which even though wasn’t the required 14 inches, it was still a bass. The next morning I wanted to see if I had indeed found anything and on about my third or fourth cast with a carolina rig, I set on a solid 4 pounder! This gave me a little bit of confidence that at least I had a little something that could work out if the shallow fish didn’t with the intense cold front that was apparent for the tournament days.

**Bass schooling shad on a deep point with the use of Lowrance DownScan.

I drew boat 10 at registration and though most anglers weren’t on anything strong enough to feel as though they needed an early draw, I felt as though the early bite on my point would be very beneficial to my overall success. Unfortunately for me, the point never produced a bite and after burning two hours up I decided to start running shallow. I knew blanking was a real possibility in this event and even when the hours went by without a single bite, I still stayed focused, kept my composure and put my head down knowing this was going to be a grind. With no fish in the boat and only about an hour left in the day, I decided to leave it all out there on my point and go for broke. Fortunately for me I was rewarded with a small spotted bass that measured just over 14 inches. Nothing to write home to Mom about but that lone fish really took the pressure off. If you fail to weigh a fish in the BASSMASTER Opens, you receive zero points for the event, which really hurts in the overall Angler of the Year points race. I weighed in at a mere 1 fish for 1.5 pounds and found myself sitting in 96th place out of 178 boats. I’d naturally think that I had shot myself in the foot with that disappointing showing but 81 anglers blanked and I was a mere 3 or 4 pounds out of the top 12. We were truly in an all time BASS record tournament for the lowest weights ever!

Day two I once again found myself fishing my rock point but with the 30 mile an hour north wind that was pummeling the area I was forced to move on as it was truly unfishable. I went shallow and since my spinnerbait didn’t produce the day before I switched up to Chatterbait (Green Pumpkin) and matched it up with a Zoom Speed Craw (Okeechobee Craw) as a trailer. I was able to catch a good keeper right away in the morning which gave me the added drive I really needed on a tough Lake Lewisville. Though my pattern of 5000 casts per 1 bite held up and I again took to the scales with only 1 single largemouth bass. I weighed in at 2.8 pounds for a combined 2 day total of 3 pounds and 13 ounces and finished 68th out of 178. I seriously couldn’t believe how tough the fishing was as more anglers blanked on day two than had caught fish. A BASS record for sure.


I had a lot of mixed emotions when it was all said and done regarding my finish. I was so close to the money and was only 5 or 6 pounds away from making the top 12 that I couldn’t help but be disappointed. I try to remind myself of my original goal that I had set for the season of making the top 50 in the points race and growing as a professional bass angler on the national level. I got off to an excellent start. I realize to make this my career, I need to crawl before I can walk and it’s definitely a marathon not a sprint. I gained much confidence by finishing in the upper 35% and edging out numerous Bassmaster Elite Anglers and FLW Pros. I proved to myself that I can play at this level and now want it even more than ever. I know with hard work and discipline, my future will be bright! Now I’m just chomping at the bit to go out there and do it again! Next up, Table Rock Lake! One of the best fisheries in the nation, bring it on!!

I’d like to thank my boy, Strike King pro Brent Homan for a great week as well as my new friends Carlos and Denise for their hospitality as they truly made me feel right at home. The red beans and rice was to die for man and the brownies and ice cream was the exact thing needed after grueling days on the water. Thanks again!

Welcome to JoshDouglasFishing.com! A site dedicated to my avid fishing career. Join me as I share my honest approach to chasing a childhood dream full of obstacles, failures and successes, while traveling across the nation competing and advancing to the sports highest levels. I’ll share all that I learn from new tips and techniques as well as the hottest tackle and equipment. Join me as I document the everyday rigors of tournament bass fishing from the business as a whole, to the practice and all the way to the weigh-in stage!

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