Time flies by when you least expect it
I had a great time Wednesday and Thursday of this week at Lake Wylie competing with state wildlife resource officer Johnny Young in the N.C. WRC bass tournament.
This is an annual event for WRC employees and Johnny invited me to be his partner. We stayed at a Gaston County Law Enforcement Association complex and I slept in a big room with a bunch of game wardens on pallets, cots and air mattresses.
This was a great bunch of fellows and I felt honored to be a part of their getaway. We had a fish fry Wednesday night with crappie filets brought by one of the officers.
I loved hearing the funny stories about things people do when they don’t know they are talking to a game warden, like walking up to an off-duty officer and telling them how many fish or game over the limit they have.
The wildlife officers enjoyed the Carolina Country Snacks pork skins I brought.
Johnny and I ended up in fourth place after holding second at the end of day 1. One team that didn’t land a fish the first day came in with a 19-pound limit on the second day, which was the largest ever for one day in this annual event.
The winners were Wade Burge from Murphy and his partner Bryan Scruggs from Sanford who have won nine of the last 12 events. Both are nearing retirement age and are looking forward to spending more time chasing fish versus fishermen.
Wade Burge and I were great fishing friends on Kerr Lake in our early teens when he and his family had a summer cabin here. We hadn’t seen each other in what we calculated was 37 years.
It was great spending time with an old friend and we hope to see each other more often. If not we’ll both be 90-years-old next time.
I am amazed at how life is flying by. I always tell young couples with children the same thing that other older people tell them, which is to enjoy the kids now. I illustrate this by saying that if they close their eyes and spin around twice their infant will be in high school when they reopen them. At least that’s how it has seemed to me.
Man was it miserably cold last Saturday on Lake Gaston when Tyler Purcell and I competed in the Anglers Choice Va. division bass tournament. At least it wasn’t raining, and it would have felt a lot warmer if we’d hooked a couple of big bass early in the morning.
Fishing was slow for us after we made the decision to head up the river to fish for big fish around the stumps in the flats near I-85. We brought in two fish weighing about five pounds to finish in the middle of the field of 162 boats. As predicted it took a big limit to win as Ray Cooke and Gene Woodard landed five weighing 18.76 pounds. Second place went to Gaston powerhouses Chuck Murray and Randy Groves with 17.69 pounds. I heard that a lot of fish were landed on points with crank baits.
Sunday Phil Bain and Tim Wiltfong braved sleet, strong winds and cold rain in temperatures that were barely above freezing to win the N.C. Division of the event against 53 other teams. They brought in five fish weighing 17.55 pounds to edge out the local team of Chuck Murray and Randy Groves who again secured the bridesmaid position with another nice 17-pound plus limit.
Henderson anglers Mark Robertson and Keith Joyce took ninth place. All this took place while I happily sat in my recliner wrapped up in a slanket (a blanket with sleeves) watching TV while it poured down rain and I was very happy with my decision to spend the day at home with Susan.
Kerr Lake fishing report
– Largemouth bass will continue to move up and stage on secondary points and in front of bushes. As the water warms the males will move to shallow water to start scouting for places to build their beds. I heard that a 7.5 pound bass was landed off Nutbush Bridge on a spinnerbait.
Upcoming area tournaments – Next weekend on Saturday there’s an ABA Couples tournament on Kerr Lake launching from Hibernia — men, bring your wife or girlfriend. I also heard about a Greenville Marine team event launching from Flemington on Saturday as well. For more information please contact me at the address below or search the Internet for the websites.
Next week’s report –Report from an ABA event Saturday on Kerr Lake
Tips of the week — Enjoy today and don’t close your eyes for very long. Check out the new high quality Dave’s tournament tackle spinnerbait at Vanco Marine. And make sure you have a ruler when fishing so you don’t get caught with a short fish, there’s quite a penalty.
Contact the writer by email at email@example.com, on Facebook under Walt Bowen, and on twitter at @WaltBowen.