River Tournament Fishing   Leave a comment

Today I fished the first ever River Bassin tournament series to come to Texas. The series has been around for a few years and just started branching out. Being new here they opened up a couple of lakes that are fed by the Colorado river to try and attract more fisherman. My day started with a 2:30am wake up alarm and I was on the road and headed to my launch by 3am.  A friend of mine agreed to shuttle me as I was fishing the Colorado river outside of Austin and he was right on time at 5am at the takeout point. We unloaded everything from my truck and put it in his then drove to the put in.The stretch that I was fishing today is a ten mile paddle and consists of three elevation changes with a set of rapids at each and a dam that you have to portage around at the halfway point. This is the same stretch that we fish when we do a weekend campout so I wasn’t sure how long it would take to do. Figuring that there was a schelduled water release that would push me down the river starting at 10am and predicted winds of 18mph out of the SE which meant it would be blowing in my face most of the day and making for a good workout I figured that I needed to be off the water and loaded up by no later than 2:30pm in order to drive the 45 miles to the weigh in. Upon arriving at the put in it was apparent that the release scheldule was wrong and it had already occured. This meant that the river was now 3ft lower than normal and there would be more paddling than I thought. After launching I paddled at a brisk pace for thirty minutes bypassing some very shallow unproductive water to get to the old remains of a bridge where I would start the day. Everything was ready and I started fishing the concrete in this deep hole catching my first legal fish on the first cast. After catching a few smaller fish I decided to continue my paddle to my next spot. I had prefished the river two weeks ago and caught four large bass on the day and was hoping for the same success today but with the lack of current and all of the grass showing instead of being two feet underwater it made for a hard day of fishing. Now that’s not to say that I didn’t catch my share of fish, I ended up with over twenty bass caught on the day but I didn’t get the big fish that I was after. The way the tournament works is you are given a stack of numbered cards on a ring and a special icon that is given to you the night before, each time you catch a legal fish you place it on the measuring board and put the number and icon by it then photograph it being sure to get the fish,board,and icon in the photo. You are allowed to weigh in three fish with the total length of the combined three to be used as your score. My three largest fish averaged a little over 17 inches each for a total of 51 1/2 inches. I ended up paddling a little faster than I thought and was out and loaded up to head to the weigh in by 2pm. Even though I didn’t have that kicker fish I was feeling pretty confident thinking that the wind and boat traffic on the lakes might hinder the other contestants. After all of the scores were tallied there was an awards presentation and that is when I found out that my total score ended me up in 6th place, four inches out of the lead. If I would have had the kicker fish like most of the others had it could have ended up differently but then that is why they call it fishing and not catching. I do feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I was the only contestant to fish the river as all of the others fished out of the lake by the weigh in where the fish usually run larger in size. The lures that were used today were Texas rigged Dinero and Zoom soft plastics, BlackDog Jigs in Crawfish pattern and a Rebel PopR. If you read through all of this you were either brave or I am getting better at this. Patiently awaiting the next tournament.

See you on the water,

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Posted May 1, 2011 by rmatt0101 in Uncategorized

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