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Riding the Momentum Train

Posted by jacob on July 6, 2016

Wheeler Champlain 2016 w.jpg

June was a great month.  We finished up our last event at Oneida Lake and spent a relaxing holiday at Lake Champlain with my girlfriend and my buddy Ryan and his girlfriend.  I’m on my way down to Wheeler Lake to get a few days on the water before the off limits for the Cup in a couple weeks.  Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Wheeler before so I’m excited to go poke around down there.  It’s very important to save time during the short official practice period especially in the event as big as the Forrest Wood Cup.  By putting in the time to drive around now and see how the lake sets up, I’ll have a much more efficient practice in August.

We started off the past month with a solid event on Kentucky Lake which put me well within striking distance for AOY going into the final event at Champlain.  I’ve spent a lot of time at Champlain and learn more about the lake each time we go there.  Being in late June and with the water hovering around that seventy degree mark, the question was how big a player those spawning smallmouth would be.  We had a full moon leading up to the event with cool nights which made me question it even more.

Throughout practice I didn’t spend a ton of time looking for spawners.  A lot of my buddies spent their entire practice doing it and didn’t run across a lot of big ones at all.  By the final practice day a new wave pulled up.

I started off day one throwing a topwater.  On my first I cast caught one about 3 and a half.  I ran around some more and caught a few here and there before slowing down to check a couple of the bedders I had found.  I pitched in there and caught a pound and a halfer and thought to myself that definitely wasn’t the same fish.  So, I continued and pitched in to the smaller of two fish I had marked and caught a 3.43, then a 3.75.  They were both slightly bigger than I had thought.

After catching the bedding smallmouth I ran to a five pound largemouth that I had on bed.  With already sixteen pounds and a two and a quarter pound small fish, I knew that five pounder would be a game changer.  He was nowhere to be found, so I ran my stuff in the Inland Sea and Mississquoi and culled up to over seventeen pounds.  I ran into Andy Morgan and asked how he did.  He said he hadn’t done very well, something like fifteen pounds.  He weighed in over eighteen pounds!  I knew he’d be hard to catch if he kept catching them like that and he did. 

Day two I focused more on largemouth and didn’t fare nearly as well.  I ended up getting out the spinning rod and put enough smallmouth and largemouth in the boat to make the cut.  That third day I ended up catching sixteen pounds.  I needed to average seventeen a day to make the top ten, but I finished the season with another solid finish which put me in 4th place in AOY.

Things are definitely good right now.  Ending with a top five finish in the points is a great blessing.  I’m definitely fishing well right now, everything is flowing and it’s one of those periods where I can’t seem to do much wrong.  The thing about times like these is you don’t want to get too high.  You need to cherish these times because you don’t know how long they will last.  I’ve had a good season thus far, finishing top five in the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Southern Opens.  I really can’t complain.

The last event was no different as the wave of momentum continued.  During practice at Oneida for the first Bassmaster Northern Open, I didn’t really feel all that tuned in.  I actually talked to my girlfriend and thought about pulling out to go practice elsewhere.  There really wasn’t any pressure going in since I already qualified for the Elites in May.  I found about four to five different places that I liked, but really didn’t know what I had.  Adrian Avena and I shared some stuff and figured a little something out as we caught them off of one of the spots.  All of the fish were clones in length, but some were very fat while others seemed to have just gotten off the spawn.  Every fish I caught was two and a half to three and a half pounds.  I ran around shallow and caught some largemouth too, but nothing that would help. 

I ended up making the twelve cut for Saturday when I really didn’t feel like I was on much going into it.  Sometimes that’s how it is.  Some of my best events are when I don’t feel very dialed in and then just figure it out as the tournament goes on.  I’m going to keep fishing everything I can in the meantime and ride the wave into Wheeler Lake in August.