FLW National Guard Delta - Days 1, 2, and 3
The Delta was a tough tournament for me. Tournament days went the same as my pre-fishing days... Not too good!
I did have very good draws, though.
Day 1 - It was an honor to fish with the champion, Neil Russell. He is a fellow Northwesterner. We fished hard with Neil throwing nothing but reaction baits for the first 3-1/2 hours. I tried to back it up with plastics - throwing a Senko, drop shot, and jig. I was hoping between the 2 of us we could get something dialed in. I had to laugh about the difference in the mindset of a pro and a co-angler. I’m looking for 5 keeper bites, while Neil is looking for 5 big bites. An example being-- I have a 4” fluke tied on, while Neil has a Magnum super fluke. I have a 4” worm to dropshot and he’s dropshotting a 7” worm. Even our reaction rods are mismatched accordingly.
I ended up with 3 keepers for the day - with 4.05 pounds. Neil came in with 4 keepers with 8.06 pounds.
Day 2 - I drew my best friend, mentor and practice partner for the last 12 years -- the legend himself, Mike Folkestad.
We both knew what to expect since we pre-fished together. We knew it would be tough and our early weigh-in time at 2:00 made it even harder. I won’t go into detail except Mike had 7 keeper bites and I had 5 shorts. That is also pretty much how 4 days of pre-fishing went. So, nothing new there. Although, I will say Mike had a great comeback on day 3, coming in with 17.5 pounds.
Day 3 - I had my good friend from Japan, Shinya Uesasa and we were happy to be paired together. Shinya spent most of the day punching. While he was doing that, I fished on the outside throwing my assortment of plastics. I did manage to catch a 4 pounder on a Senko, 1 keeper on a drop shot, and another 12” bass on the Senko. For the 3 fish I brought to the scales, I weighed in 5.15 pounds.
Needless to say, the tournament was a heartbreaker.
This was the first time that I can remember NOT bringing home a check on the Delta.
I fell back 2 places to 23rd place in the points. That means I have my work cut out for me at Clear Lake to finish in the top 20 so I can make it to the Forrest Wood Cup next year.