Keeping The Faith Pays Off For People's Champ
Folks at home, folks at home….. so the FLW BFL Northeast Division Regional tournament on the Susquehanna Flats has come and gone. As I stated in my last blog, after the start to the season I had, I really had to perservere and was just happy to qualify. For the finale, I finished in the money- 22nd- which was both great and a little disappointing at the same time. Great because of everything I have gone through to get this far. Disappointing because after the 1st day, I was in 12th! But hey, I wasn’t even supposed to have gotten this far, and I had no practice or time to prepare, so I am just happy I cashed a check- 22nd out of 157 guys is not bad.
So how did I salvage the season? Day 1 was all about Zee Baits’ Bamboo Bomber
which I cut down and fished on a 1/8oz shakey head. My line of choice this season has been 10 lb. Seaguar fished on Kistler Rod’s Helium3 paired with the Ardent Reels’ baitcaster. I was fished this around docks that had a mix of grass and rock around them. Day 2 was canceled due to high winds- this was a wise decision to keep the 157 boaters and their co anglers safe.
Day 3 found me launching as boat #114. I feel launching that late hurt since by the time I got to the spot I planned to start the day 7 other boats were on it. Off I went to spot 2 and it was the same- crowded- so I moved to another spot close by where I quickly caught a small keeper on the Bamboo Bomber. My co-angler also hooked up quickly with a 2 pounder. That took the sting off of not being able to fish my first two spots. Unfortunately, after the quick start, the struggle began. I must have covered 20 miles upper bay shoreline going dock to dock, tree to tree- not even a sniff. I ended up tucking into a bay with mixed weeds and grass. I had switched to a chatterbait which I tossed up to a tree for another small keeper. Believe me, after 6 hours of nothing it was good to get another fish in the boat. I kept chucking and winding that chatterbait in that bay ending up with 2 more- one of which was a 4 pounder.
With an hour left and four in the well, I ran back towards the ramp hoping to catch one more. Luck must have been smiling on me because with about 5 minutes left I felt a tick and set the hook. I was excited to have another one in the boat until, upon further
review as they say, it measured only 11 inches, cashing its return ticket into the water. Time to head back to the ramp. My 4-fish bag weighed 8 lbs. for a 2-day total of 21-3, good enough for 22nd.
It was a tough year for me. I had underestimated the effect my back issues would have, but I fished through it. I can definitely say that I gained some great experience and I recommend it for anyone looking to up your tournament game from the club level to the nationally organized level. As for me, I don’t know what next year will bring, but with a little luck and good health, especially for my back, I’ll be back for more again next year. I offer my thanks to my sponsors Penndel Pub, Ardent Reels, Kistler Rods, Zee Baits, Seaguar Line, Whiskey River Baits, Forage Lures, and of course a special thank you to my brothers and sisters at iBass360 who support me to Live The Passion!