Loaded with prizes for everyone and nice paychecks for others, our 2017 CBBC Championship turned out to be a success. Thank you, Jordan Hanes, for all of the work you put into making the tournament itself go as smoothly as possible. You did a great job. Also, thank you to all of the anglers who stuck with the club all year, qualified, and fished at the championship. The fishing was tough, but the rewards were good! And now a breakdown on how our top competitors’ days went…
Ben Hanes – 1st Place – 18.86lbs.
Moses in September is weird. It CAN be good, but in general I think it’s really tough. Brutally tough as a matter of fact. My first two times out pre-fishing, I barely managed to get 5 fish. In fact, I think the first time didn’t even get 5 keepers! However, I got clued into what was going on. The 2nd time out I realized fish were in ultra-specific spots. I had 15lbs without laying into them, but I still was not comfortable. My third time out, the Sunday before the tournament, was actually pretty decent. Had 19-20lbs and I felt really good going into the tournament, even though it was still brutally tough, I thought I had cracked the puzzle…So I had nerves all week pretty much. That’s the fun part about tournaments!
On the tournament morning, my key area basically fell apart. Being unfortunately very familiar with this over the years, I adjusted a little and tried topwater, when topwater wasn’t working AT ALL during pre-fish. Of course, my 2nd cast I catch about a 4lber. Thinking I hit the new great pattern, I stumbled around throwing more topwater to no avail.
It was evident to me after a little while that the fish had pulled out, moved out deeper. I kind of randomly decided to fish an underwater point that had a rock vein and weeds, even though during pre-fish this was not anything I was gettin’ them on. Right away, I stuck 2 good ones on a jerkbait in about 8 feet of water. From here, I applied the same pattern to other areas. I was looking for stuff that was near or on an underwater point with rocks and weed openings, and was able to get another one on the jerkbait around 4lbs. Later in the day, I kind of ran out of viable water, and randomly decided to hit a rocky, windblown edge in 6-8 feet with a deep diving crankbait, and stuck another one around 4lbs…I had 5 very nice fish at this point, and I was really pumped to catch that final good one because it had been a grind all day it seemed, of just struggling to exploit a pattern I knew was working for big fish. I tried for largemouth some but had no luck, and basically went back to the ramp knowing I had a good bag, but with it being Moses and the quality of anglers in the tournament, I knew an absolute giant bag was very possible. I felt very blessed and happy to have won! My main keys to winning were:
- • Switching out all crankbait, topwater, and jerkbait hooks to Owner Stinger hooks, one size up.
- • Carefully but quickly fighting the fish, pointing my rod tip into the water when I felt the fish coming up. They were very feisty and jumpy. I didn’t lose any key fish.
- • Matching the hatch. The bass I was on were eating crawfish and perch.
- • Adjusting to deeper water and abandoning my pre-fish pattern. Sometimes this meant moving out to deeper water, nearbye where I had gotten them in practice.
- • Finding underwater points. Fish seem to like underwater points in September.
Thank you CBBC, I appreciate the time I have had with this club. I have learned a ton. I have enjoyed being your president. With my life situation and a baby quickly on the way, I will be bowing out as president soon. However, I’m not ruling out being president again in a couple years or so; I hope someone will take over and has a desire to keep the club on the up. I will help out and try and make the transition easy. Thank you again for the time and privilege!
Robert Reid – 2nd Place – 16.16lbs.
I started out fishing a rock ledge with a deep diving crankbait. It was fast and furious! I caught about 10 fish in 30 minutes and had several other hits. After the initial bombardment, I switched to a tube to provide a slower presentation; this allowed me to catch some more fish but none that I could cull. I then moved to hit some reeds and docks in search of a nice largemouth. I started out fishing a specific dock that produced a decent largemouth in the pre-fish, and sure enough on the first cast I hooked into him. It was short-lived however, as he shook his head and spit out my bait. So, I fished in that area for a while longer but couldn’t catch any more. I then moved closer to the cascade arm and got a nice largemouth out of some reeds. I caught a couple more largemouth but none that I could cull. Overall it was a pretty good day, it was certainly better than the pre-fish that I had. I would like to thank Ben and Jordan for putting on such a great tournament and running a fantastic club.
Mel Williams – 3rd Place – 12.51lbs.
On Friday, I was able to pre-fish for three hours. I used my graph to mark underwater structures, targeting areas in 2 to 20 feet. On Saturday, with the weather conditions, I decided to fish for largemouth in 2 to 5 feet of water, throwing a frog. By 10 a.m. I had 3 largies and 2 smallmouth, after that the bite was done. I then worked main points with soft plastic and jerkbaits. I landed a couple more but it was tough. Overall, it was a fun day.
Skyler Keeton – 1st Place Non-Boater – 12.65lbs.
My day started slow. The topwater bite was non-existent so we decided to fish around lay down trees. With little success, we then tried fishing reeds. After trying different techniques, we saw the fish wanted a moving bait. A black and blue chatterbait was my go-to bait. The fish were anywhere from 1-4 feet off the reeds.
Blake Williams – 1st Place Youth – 13.93lbs.
I was using an Omega Custom Tackle football head with a Gary Yamamoto double tail as a trailer. I was fishing these in an area I found that went from 3 feet to 10 feet, back up to 6 feet. I caught 4 good ones on the football head and then one other good one on a KVD sexy shad rattletrap, all in this same area. However, I didn’t catch them all at once. I got 2 in the morning, 1 mid-day, then 2 more late in the day. I probably caught 15 fish off this spot but got 5 good ones throughout the day.