FLW Tour Ouachita
I tried to minimize the areas we were going to fish because this lake is a monster and to cover everything would be impossible. We keyed in on main lake stuff, but due to the high water into the trees the fish were hard to pinpoint. The lake came up 5 or 6 feet and the fish were so scattered that it was like finding a needle in a haystack. Most of the practice I spent shallow, we caught better fish up shallow. The deep bite was no good in practice because of the extremely high water. The fish wanted to explore the new area and were not positioned on the obvious deep structure. This left me with one or two main patterns. I was going to flip a drop shot and keep looking for new water. I was still pretty confused on what to do.
We had an hour and half fog delay. So this definitely made me nervous due to my early weigh in time. I went to my shallow stuff and once I got there I knew it wouldn't be very good. The water had dropped a foot and half over night. So the fish pushed out deeper. I decided to go to the offshore stuff and fish island tops in 8-15 ft with grass on it and managed to catch a 10-10 limit. I was fishing a drop shot on a short leader with a roboworm on my deep water and threw a flick shake with a heavier head because the fish really wanted the bait to stay close to the bottom but not on the bottom.
Same thing, I started off really shallow flipping my drop shot and went to my same island tops and ended up catching 2 giants on the drop shot in deeper water. Then my terrible motor, I won't mention the brand, blew up again. I was freaking out, I had a sack and it was 11:00 am. All I could do was call my travel partner, Justin Lucas, and use my trolling motor. We devised a plan for when he would pick me up and I felt more assured, but to be safe I started my way back to the weigh in with my trolling motor on high. I ended up weighing a huge bag. I had a 7 1/2 and a 5 and weighed a total of 17-5. I felt really good because I didn't even fish after 11 and left all my good stuff. I was really high in the standings sitting at 9th place, but was left without a working motor. My only option was to use my trolling motor.
The night after day 2 I was stressing. I figured I would just fish close to the launch. One of the guys I travel with, Steve Reed, told me he wouldn't let me go out without a working boat and he went out and tried to find one. He went to the local gas station and started asking guys if they knew anyone with a boat. The 3rd guy he spoke to said he had 2 boats and to have me call him. It all worked out and the guy lent me a brand new basscat, fastest boat I've ever been in by the way. I ended up doing exactly the same thing I did the first 2 days and it worked just well enough to get a small limit and cash a good check. I finished 15th after weighing a limit of 8-1 after a dead fish penalty.
This tournament was really a good one. I felt like I grinded it out as much as I could and figured out how to catch enough to do well. This place is definitely a drop shot lake. Looking back, I don't know what I could have done differently. I suppose I could have found more deep stuff, but it was hard to stay out of the bushes where we got bit a lot.
I only used two baits the entire week. A 6 inch straight tail MM3 Roboworm and a Jackall flick shake in watermelon candy with a 1/8oz head.
I always feel grateful for having such great sponsors. I really want to thank Jackall Lures, Powell, Eye Surrender, Monster Fishing Tackle, Berkely and Abu Garcia.