Outdoors: Lesson learned on the tournament trail
by Charles Johnson
May 21, 2013 | 1060 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Coaches and athletes use each game as a learning experience. What did we do right? What did we do wrong and how do we improve for the next time? Tournament anglers can approach fishing in the same manner. Even us observers can usually pick up a tip or two.

It’s not always about what lure or what color that’s important. Rather, it is the method of execution. Applying some basic principles of fishing and making the right decisions can help novice and experienced anglers on their next trip to the lake. Top pros recap their events from a day on the water and make adjustments as necessary.

This past week at the B.A.S.S. Southern Open event on Logan Martin, the fish, weather and water conditions had the anglers scratching their heads on what to do. During the practice days, the falling water levels had the fish confused. By the time the tournament started on Thursday, the water had stabilized some. But by Saturday a big rain changed the lake again.

I heard many pro anglers say they just went fishing, translated to mean they didn’t have a clue where to start or what the bass were doing. I also heard anglers from the weigh-in stage praising the number of bass in the lake. Several commented they caught 30 to 40 bass a day. Well, except maybe Saturday.

One thing I gathered from the various anglers, it really didn’t make a difference to the type of lure. A majority of the anglers were chunking spinnerbaits, while others opted for a top-water bait, then later in the day switched to a shaky head. All of these lures caught fish.

Another lesson learned from watching and listening to the anglers was the area of the lake fished didn’t seem to matter. Again, throw out Saturday because of the excessive rain. Some anglers fished the upper portions of the lake and yet others headed to the south end.

One angler changed to an aluminum boat to see how far he could go up Choccolocco Creek to catch fish. It paid off on day two of the event because he caught enough bass to put him in the top 12. Of course, on Saturday his plans were washed out, as were some other anglers.

Something else I gathered from this particular event. Fishing should be about having fun, not just winning or losing. A majority of the pros and co-anglers said they had had great time. A number said they want to come back to Logan Martin again and just go fishing.

Originally fishing was about putting some food on the table. Later on, fishing became an escape. It was a way for man and woman to get out from the stresses of life and enjoy the outdoors. Folks could spend a lazy day along the riverbank casting their cares upon the water.

Fishing became a time of sharing. A granddad passes along tips and tidbits to his grandson or granddaughter. We relive stories of big fish caught and bigger fish that got away. We swap tails of baits, lures and tackle used. And even in fishing, you win some, lose some, and some get rained out.

Charles Johnson is the Star’s outdoor editor. You can reach Charles at ChrJohn7@aol.com
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