This past weekend I had the opportunity to fish a collegiate level tournament for my school. As I stated in previous blogs I am the vice president of the UWW fishing team. For our 2019 tournament event, we were to fish bull shoals Arkansas at a chance to make nationals. Unfortunately, my partner and I didn’t catch the size of fish we were looking for. We started this seven day trip with a nine-hour drive down south to Arkansas. We had four days of practice before the actual tournament officially started. During practice, my partner and I decided to focus on main lake points in the search for cruising smallmouth bass on wind-blown points. Boy did we find them, I believe we doubled up more than once and caught over twenty fish per day. The bite was fast and furious for us throughout the whole trip.
Day two of practice my partner and I decided to try to find some spawning largemouth bass in the back of creek arms. We spent just about the whole day looking around the lake for shallower warmer water that may hold big female largemouth bass. This lake offers some giant largemouth bass ranging from four to twelve pounds. Depending on where you are fishing on the lake, you are presented with many options to catch fish. When tournament fishing your main goal is to find the “big fish” to win a competitive bass event, you want the heaviest bag of five fish. During our second day of poractie, we decided to move into the shallow creek arms and try a totally different fishing strategy. We decided to go into the heavy brush and cover and flip Texas rigged plastics at buck brush.
We had seen many of largemouth bass nesting up around brush throughout the day but had a difficult time getting them to eat. When bass are on their spawning beds, they can be either extremely aggressive or extremely mellow. We managed to get a few of these spawning bass to eat small plastics and jigs. We just couldn’t seem to find a consistent pattern with the largemouth we felt confident with. We ended up sticking to the smallmouth pattern that had produced many of bites for us. Unfortunately, the smallmouth weights didn’t cut it for us during this event. We finished our first day with eleven pounds of smallmouth bass. The leading weight day one was around twenty pounds of female largemouth bass. Bethal University ended up winning the tournament. Overall we had a great time down in bull shoals Arkansas and will be going back in the future at a chance for redemption.