On the Water: Upon review, should have gone with gut

Jun. 07, 2014 @ 03:43 PM

Last Saturday, things started out looking good in the Bass Fishing League tournament I competed in on Kerr Lake. Then, it ended up being just another decent tournament finish with no money in my pocket.

Since I was fortunate to get an early blast-off number, boat five out of 89, I decided to head straight to the bushes in front of our house near Williamsboro Wayside.

Those bushes always hold fish this time of year when the water is high enough and conditions were perfect to catch some there. Within the first hour of the event I’d caught a five-fish limit weighing over 10 pounds.

One good cull could mean a top finish, and two good ones might mean a win. With almost seven hours of fishing remaining, my instinct told me to head for the Ivy Hill/Island Creek area, where I’ve caught some good ones this time of year.

For whatever reason, I failed to follow my hunch so we’ll never know what might have been. I can almost kick myself now as I think back. Instead, I wandered around between Nutbush Bridge and the dam and never did catch that big one I needed although I did cull up a few times.

All my early fish fell for a wacky-rigged, bubble gum-colored 5-inch Senko worm (not a joke), and several others bit a Fat Free Shad crankbait (again stated with all seriousness).

Two guys each named Scott tied for the win in the event with equal catches of 13 pounds, 9 ounces. Scott Beattie of Lincolnton earned nearly $5,000 with contingencies and Scott Tate of Marion took home over $2,600.

Beattie reported catching his fish in the back of pockets on a Senko, while Tate used a spinnerbait and a jig to fool his fish.

In other fishing news, the Warren County Bass Club held its fourth tournament of the year on Lake Gaston. Randy and Lanna Miller won with 12.8 pounds. Second went to Tom Peele with 12.56 pounds and he also landed the biggest fish of the day at 4.96.

On Sunday, Joseph Sharpe and I held a one-on-one competition behind Nutbush Bridge and I just edged the Northern Vance rising senior out by less than a quarter pound. I caught mine on a Senko and Joseph used a Baby Brush Hog.

Kerr Lake fishing report — Catfish are biting early in the mornings and late in the day. Largemouth bass will start heading deeper as the water continues to warm, especially as the water levels continue to drop out of the bushes.

Upcoming area tournaments — The Warren County Bass Club is holding a tournament on Kerr Lake next Saturday, June 14 launching from the county line ramp. Contact Joseph Sharpe at (919) 725-2620 for more information.

Next week’s report — Pre-fishing report from the Potomac River, where Susan and I are headed to do some scouting before the big Rayovac tourney there in two weeks.

Tip of the week — Sunlight and heat weaken fishing line, especially monofilament. Change it regularly and try to keep line in places that don’t get too hot.

Contact the writer at waltbowen@yahoo.com and on Facebook under Walt Bowen.