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Putting My Focus on the Elites

Posted by jacob on December 19, 2016

Crappie Slaying December.jpg

It’s almost time for the holidays and I’m looking forward to it.  Although it’s the offseason, I’ve been back at it getting ready for the 2017 season.  This will be my first season fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series.  I’m very excited for this opportunity, but it’s also bittersweet leaving FLW.  FLW is a tremendous organization and I truly would not be where I am now without my time there.  From winning the BFL All-American to the Forrest Wood Cup I have nothing but great memories and gratitude for all my experiences there.

This season, I’m going to buckle down some compared to what I’ve done in the past.  I usually try and fish every big event I can, but it being my first season on the Elites, I really want to focus on doing everything I can to have a great season there.  I will not be fishing the Opens like in the past and outside the Elites the only other series I will fish is MLF.

Last year was awesome and I’m really hoping to carry it over into 2017.  It was definitely my most consistent year overall.  I’m going to be spending a lot more time prepracticing for events this year.  I’ve already started by making it down to Cherokee Lake in Tennessee to poke around.  I had not been there before.  It’s good to just run around and see how it sets up even though the actual fishing will most definitely change.

I just finished up hunting a couple weeks ago.  Each year, I just enjoy being in the woods more and more even if I don’t get to harvest a big deer.  This year the biggest one eluded me, but I’m hoping he’s still around next season.

I’ve also been doing a little crappie fishing which is one of my favorite things to do outside of the bass deal.  Crappie fishing is fun and really teaches you how to hone in on reading your graph more effectively.  It’s a lot of fun seeing those crappies around some brush and getting those big slabs to bite while watching your graph.

Everyone enjoy your holidays and be safe!

The Fall Mixed Bag

Posted by jacob on November 11, 2016

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In the fall, one of the biggest dilemmas for me is whether to hit the water or get in a tree.  This time of year can be some of the most fun fishing and hunting.  The fish are putting on the feed bag to get ready for winter and the deer are in rut and moving quite a bit.  Truly, there isn’t a bad choice and lately I’ve been sampling a bit of both.

I came over to Ohio to chase some big whitetails, but decided I couldn’t pass up going to Erie too.  I met up with my buddy Heath Wagner around Sandusky and we went out and smashed them!  We had just over twenty five pounds with our best five and I caught a new personal best at 6.2 lbs.  This time of year they are so fat that I swear a sixteen incher could weigh four pounds.

After getting some of my fishing fix I went back to the woods and have been there ever since.  For the better part of a week, I’ve been having a chess match with a giant Ohio buck that’s about around 170 inch.  He has been pretty predictable as to where he’s going every day, but he seems to come from a different place each day.  The other day I was set up by a fence row and was watching an eight point walking around while I waited for the bigger buck.  All of the sudden, he comes running down the same trail right by where I was but keeps on going and leaps over the fence and disappeared.  The harder you work trying to chase one deer it seems like the madder you get.  They really are a lot similar to bass; I think that’s part of the fun though.

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Imagine going to a two hundred acre lake that is full of bass and trying to target one specific big one.  You might figure out what cove he lives in, but one day he might be on the bank and another day he might suspend out in the middle.  It’s definitely a challenge targeting one individual fish and deer are no different.  The difference with deer I think is that they are smarter.  You can do everything right and just never get that clear shot.  Even though it can be frustrating at times, I really like the challenge of it.

I’ll be spending a little more time trying to pin this deer down and hopefully move my chess piece to the right space and get an opportunity to take a shot.  At any rate, it’s fun to get away for awhile and chase some deer.  By the time December rolls around I’ll be hungry again to get back after some bass.

Getting Ready to Recharge

Posted by jacob on September 28, 2016

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I just got back to Indiana a couple days ago after spending a little extra time at Lake Champlain after the Northern Open.  With us going to Champlain for the Elite Series next year I wanted to spend some time getting ready by looking for some areas that would get less pressure.  I did the same thing last week getting ready for the Open as well.  I wanted to focus on areas that I’d never fished in the past.

I ended up spending all of my time chasing smallmouth.  I went to places like the Inland Sea and spent a lot of time graphing around looking for them.  To be honest, it wasn’t that easy.  Once you found them you might be able to catch a couple but they would almost always shut down.  I ran around and graphed probably the whole north end of the lake and had an endless supply of areas to check in the tournament.  At a place like Champlain where the winds dictate so much of where you can fish, it’s extremely important to have stuff all over the place.

Coming into the event my goal was to try and win the event and also the points.  I managed to get another top twenty five finish and finished higher in the points in the Northern’s than in the Southern’s so my Elite bid came from there instead.  Honestly, I didn’t really know how that all worked.  The good thing is because my bid came from the Northern’s, my good buddy Mark Daniels Jr. should get a bid through the Southern’s.  The only thing is that I do feel bad for Alton Jones Jr. as he’s the first man out in the Northern’s.

The Elite schedule looks unbelievable next year.  I’ve been to nearly every place on the schedule excluding Dardanelle and the St. Lawrence.  The only thing that would make it better would be to have a TVA lake like Chickamauga on there, but I’m sure there’ll be one in the near future. 

All in all, I’m very pleased with how this season went.  I never won, but I couldn’t ask for a more consistent year.  I have one more event before this season is over and I’ll be heading to the woods after that.  I’ve been getting everything ready in the woods to enjoy some time off doing the other thing I love to do which is deer hunting.  It’ll be nice to be relaxing a little bit and taking a step back to recharge, but on the other hand I’d like to keep fishing to stay on this roll.  Like we’ve talked about before, whenever things are going right you need to fish everything you can.