Ben Hanes – 2nd Place
Based on map study during the time before the tournament, I was able to enter a few waypoints to try during pre-fish that were essentially highways to major spawning areas. When I went and actually tested those waypoints, I was pleasantly surprised, and from there I analyzed Google Earth to mark more areas that were similar. There were several I didn’t even try until the tournament.
On tournament morning, I made a last-second decision to start in a backwater bay that had similar characteristics as to what I had learned the fish were around. It paid off fairly quickly with a 5.63lber and some other fish. From there I duplicated the backwater bay and areas leading back into major spawning areas, some were pre-study map waypoints, others just seemed right. I caught fish on both. I was mainly working the deeper drop-offs slowly, but quickly. I wouldn’t waste too much time in any one area, because I figured the fish were on the move, and with the frontal conditions (stiff north wind) I knew the bite was tough. All in all it kind of paid off, I caught a lot of fish, and culled a lot, I just couldn’t get those extra 5 ounces!
Jake Anderson – 3rd Place
A warming trend. A full moon. Post front and pre-frontal conditions at the same time. The first weekend in April with Easter being on a Sunday forcing everyone to get out on Saturday to the most popular bass fishing destination in the Northwest… I didn’t know what it all meant, but I packed low expectations, a 2nd turkey sandwich and a bottle of Aspirin.
Miles Lozier had never been to Potholes before and was hoping a boater had a spot. I had one. After fishing hard until 11am, we had a couple average fish in the box and things felt bleak.
We made a big move. We found a pocket that had ducks in the back of it. Ducks don’t like people so this was good. Miles caught 4 fish quickly and finished off his first Tournament Limit ever. He would make his first ever cull, a few casts later. He was throwing a smaller swim-jig than I was, and in a very different color. My lure seemed to get fewer bites, but bigger fish. His lure was catching them in places I just casted.
The day was spent on the little things….that matter. Tugging on our lures every 10-15 minutes to make sure our line wasn’t weak. Reminding each other to reel slow. Moving often. Casting into or beyond cover and using techniques to avoid hanging up.
Miles won the junior division and he earned every bite. There was no charity as I was not leaving him un-used water. He took his shots and I’m glad it worked out.
I made some mistakes in time-management, and that was probably where we got out-fished by the first and second place anglers. Congratulations to them for strong performances.