|Table Rock Tough for Jordon|
thinking about the Citgo Bass Masters Tour Event at Table Rock Lake, Kelly
Jordon was expecting a jerkbait and crankbait pattern to be the primary
fish catching patterns. "I was expecting Table Rock to be a tough tournament
simply because it was still winter," said Jordon.
"During practice the crankbait bite worked the best for me. I heard some of the guy's saying that they had caught fish on jerkbaits, but I couldn't get these fish to bite a jerkbait. I really thought that was strange. Table Rock is one of the best jerkbait lakes in the country, but they didn't work for me this week. I did manage to catch some fish on a small worm fished around some of the deep docks but that was it."
Day one of the tournament saw Jordon weigh-in four fish that weighed 11-02 and put him into 18th position. "I caught most of my fish on day one on a Wiggle Wart. I don't know what it is about this lake but these fish like that plug. This is about the only lake in the country that I fish it on," said Jordon.
Day two was tougher for Jordon. "I only caught one fish on day two, I must have been throwing in between them. I had one smallmouth bass that weighed 3-02. My armature partner had two fish for 8-10, a 5-01 and a 3-09, so I was obviously still around some good fish." Kelly's total weight put him in 52nd place for the tournament.
|"I don't know what I could have done differently. I was fishing the lower end of the lake, pea-gravel and rocky banks. The fish were coming up feeding, not staging for the spawn. I also had one pocket that had some big smallmouth bass in it. I just didn't capitalize well. If my fish had bit like they did the last day of practice, it would have been awesome. I would have weighed in twenty pounds a day. They just stopped biting. I wish I would've gotten on the runoff pattern that was happening after all the rain. I probably should have adjusted more. I will defiantly add that pattern to the notebook in my head. I feel okay about my performance here and I learned some things, I wish I could have done better in the standing, but you can't win them all."|
|Table Rock Tough for Auten|
Going into the 2004 Citgo Bass Master Tour Event on Table Rock Lake, Mike Auten was expecting good fishing. "Table Rock is a great place to fish. It's known as a jerkbait lake and that truly fits my style. I thought my past experience here would also help me." The weather, though, proved to be more of a factor than Auten anticipated. Conditions were more like winter than spring, and with water temps in the mid forties, the jerkbait bite hadn't developed yet.
"My practice was really slow. I only
got about ten keeper bites in three days, and none of them were on jerkbaits.
I caught my fish in practice fishing secondary points and fishing in the
backs of pockets using a Lucky Craft CB-250 crankbait. All the fish I
caught were keepers, no shorts. I was aware, however, that the weather
could change quickly and completely change things." And, change it
did. The night before the tournament it rained about four-inches, dirtying
up many of the pockets.
"On day one I got four bite's and landed them all. They were all good solid keepers," said Auten. Three of Auten's fish fell for the crankbait; one was caught on a jig pitched to a lay down. Mike's total weight for the day was 12 pounds even. This weigh put him into a tie with Tommy Biffle for 14th place. Paul Elias led day one with 20-05.
Day two was a lot tougher for Auten. "I only got three bites today. One was a short, which I landed, the other two were good fish, but I broke them both off. It was very frustrating. Those two fish would have probably given me at least ten pounds. I just didn't get the bites that other guys like Gerald Swindle did.
I still ended up finishing in 64th place even though I didn't weigh a fish on day two, the lake was just tough for me this week."
"I'm not pleased with my performance. I've had a decent year so far and wanted to do better here at Table Rock. I liked how I was catching them (crankbaits) I just needed more bites," said Auten. "Right now I am just looking forward to going to Eufaula. It's a lake that fits my style and the weights should be big."
|Thomas Struggles at Table Rock|
into the Citgo Bass Master Tour Event on Table Rock Lake in Missouri, Joe
Thomas expected fishing to be tough. "I was expecting Table Rock to
be as tough as Smith Lake. We were still faced with winter like conditions,
and the forecast was changing daily."
Thomas concentrated on fishing jerkbaits along the bluff banks in the James River Arm of the lake. "Table Rock is known as a great jerkbait lake. I fished this pattern hard and was able to find some decent fish. I was happy with practice, until I watched the weather the day before the tournament started. The weather forecast was calling for two to four inches of rain overnight. I knew that the area I had found was very susceptible to rain. By this I mean I knew the water would get dirty fast and probably put the fish I found off the bite," said Thomas.
On day one of the tournament Thomas went
to the area that he had found in practice and the water was rolling muddy.
He then backed down the river until he found cleaner water and tried to
run the same pattern. "I caught eight fish, but none of them were
keepers," said Thomas. "I was very upset about my day one performance,
but after watching weigh in and seeing how few fish were caught, I knew
I had a chance to rebound from my bad start."
two saw Thomas completely change his pattern. "I went to the back of
some main lake pockets and fished areas where the water was pouring in.
It's the same pattern that worked at Smith, I just wish I would have done
it on day one too." Thomas ended up catching three fish that weighed
8-06. This weight moved him up to 86th in the final standings, behind winner
"I just didn't adjust well to the changing conditions. I tried to stay on my original pattern to long when I should have changed up. It is hard to do well in any tournament when you only find fish in one area. I really needed to have a backup area here."
|Table Rock Difficult for Reese|
Reese had no expectations going into the Citgo Bass Master Tour Event at
Table Rock Lake in Missouri. "I had never been to Table Rock before.
All I knew was that it is a deep, clear lake. I decided to fish it like
I would fish any deep, clear lake."
During practice Reese concentrated on fishing a Table Rock Shad colored Pointer 100 jerkbait and a Wiggle Wart (A local favorite lure). Skeet fished these baits around Bluff walls, and points leading into coves. "I caught most of my fish on the Pointer 100. I had to fish it with long pauses between twitches, sometimes as long as ten-fifteen seconds. The fish would always hit the bait when it was sitting still", said Reese. "During the three day practice period I only caught seven keeper bass. I did however; get several of the keepers in one area. I felt confident that I could capitalize on this area in the tournament."
|Skeet told his roommate, John Murray, about what he had found in practice, since Murray had a difficult practice period. "Telling John was the only mistake that I made. I ran into John on the water on day one of the tournament and he already had a good limit from the area I told him about. I had two good areas and I gave him one. I just didn't realize I had given him the better of the two areas," said Reese. "After talking to John on the water I got nervous. I had no fish in the box and I think I just tried to fish too fast after that."|
|At the end of the tournament Skeet was in 67th Place behind winner, Mark Davis. "I should have gone with my gut felling and stayed with my pattern. I am not happy with how I fished in this tournament. I feel that I figured out the lake, I just didn't capitalize on what I found. Now I am looking forward to Lake Eufaula. I have fished there several times before, and I think that I am getting a feel for it."|
|Swindle Third at Table Rock|
Gerald Swindle had never seen Table Rock Lake before he arrived to fish the Citgo Bass Masters Tour event. "All I knew was it was a deep clear lake like Smith Lake which I grew up on. I really think my experiences on Smith helped a lot here," said Swindle. "I expected to find great Spotted bass fishing in deep clear water using finesse baits, like a drop shot or small Texas rigged worm. I also thought that there might be a good jerkbait bite."
"During three days of practice I only caught three keepers, so I guess you could say practice sucked for me. When we went to the registration meeting it started pouring rain. We ended up getting about four-inches. I knew that this would dirty up the water in the backs of the coves and that the rainwater would be a little warmer. The next morning, which was the start of the tournament, I totally re-rigged all my rods. Since my practice was so bad and conditions had just totally changed, I was going to fish my way. I decided to just go junk fishing. Junk fishing is where you rig ten rods with ten different baits and just go fish everything you see that looks good. Junk fishing is my favorite way to fish. I knew that if I just concentrated on the areas where the water had some color, I could probably catch a few fish," said Swindle. "Basically practice didn't help me much at all here."
fishing 101 would be the best way to describe day one of the tournament,"
Gerald said. "Everything I fished today I had never seen before, I
didn't even know where I was most of the time. I had to use my GPS unit
to find the weigh in. I just went fishing." Swindles technique worked.
He ended the day with five fish that weighed 11-08, and put him into 16th
place behind leader Paul Elias who had 20-05.
At the end of day two Gerald said, "I just went junkin around again. With the exception of one spot, everything I fished today was all-new. I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I had to use my GPS to get in again. I was running around fishing stuff that looked right and not paying attention to where I was. I ended up the day fishing 40 miles up the river. I am just fished as hard as I could." Gerald's day two limit weighed 15-08. This weight gave him a two-day total of 27-02 and put him in seventh place, safely inside the cut to twelve.
"The first fish I caught on day three was huge, I knew it would be close to seven pounds. Then I went about three hours without a bite. I moved to another area and found four more fish willing to bite. I really felt fortunate. I only had five bites today and I got them all. I still hadn't fished anything that I had ever seen before. I constantly looked for new water," said Swindle of day three. Gerald's day three weight was 17-13 and moved him into third place behind leader Roland Martin. Swindle's big fish weighed 7-03 and won big fish for the day. "I absolutely couldn't believe that I had made the cut to six and was going on to fish the last day of the tournament." When Swindle was asked if he thought he could win he said, "I don't know. I could zero. Good Lord, I could zero. I'm still fishing by the seat of my pants. I'm just running around. The bites are getting tougher to get. I just don't know."
Day four was a little tougher for Swindle. "I caught seven fish, but only four were keepers. I got one keeper first thing in the morning. I was pumped. I had several boats following me around all morning, but by noon when I hadn't caught another fish they all left. When I moved to the next pocket I ended up catching six more. The only problem was only three were keepers. Those spectator boats should have stayed around, it got really fun for a little while." Gerald's fish on day four weighed 10-07 and kept him in third behind tournament winner Mark Davis.
|"I think I did everything I could considering I didn't find anything in practice. I was literally on nothing," Swindle said. "I didn't have a magic creek or a magic pocket. I had nothing. So when I put everything into perspective, I made something out of nothing. I only had three keepers in practice and made it to this point. It feels good. I'm not totally satisfied though. As a competitor you want to win. It's real hard to win a tournament when your junk fishing and constantly looking for new water. I really concentrated on shallow, stained pockets. I fished a Lucky Craft CB-250 and a Wiggle Wart, and I fished a jig around the brush. Table Rock is a lot like Smith Lake and Beaver Lake. These are lakes that I fish a lot, so I felt confident that I was looking for the right stuff, not just clambering around out in left field."|
|With a third place finish at Table Rock, Swindle has now taken the lead in the Citgo Bass Masters Angler of the Year race. "Every fisherman dreams of winning Angler of the Year. To say that I don't think about it wouldn't be the truth. My personal thoughts are I really try not to think about it. I just want to focus on catching bass. The Angler of the Year race will just have to take care of itself. If I am meant to win, I will. I'm simply going to go out and fish hard and keep swinging for the fence at every tournament."|
|Takahiro Finishes Seventh at Table Rock|
Omori was optimistic going into the Citgo Bass Masters Tour Event on Table
Rock Lake in southern Missouri. "I'm good at fishing deep clear water.
I have fished five tour events here, and cashed a check three times,"
In practice Takahiro spent his mornings fishing
in 30-50 feet of water looking for Spotted bass. "I didn't do well
on the main lake. I fished a Drop Shot and Carolina rig every morning
looking for deep fish. I never got enough good bites to make me believe
that I could do well in the tournament though."
|After fishing deep in the mornings, Takahiro would run 50 miles up into the river and look for Largemouth bass in the dirtier water. "I was concentrating on shallow cover in the backs of the coves, and on areas where the river channel swung up next to the bank. I caught much better fish up there than I did on the main lake." Omori was casting a Lucky Craft CB-250 crankbait and flipping a jig to all the shallow cover. "The water up in the river was about five degrees warmer than the water in the main lake. I think that was a key."|
The first day of the tournament Takahiro caught eight keepers by 10:30 AM, and left his main area to go looking for more good areas. His five fish limit ended up weighing 13-12, and put him in ninth place at the end of day one.
Day two of the tournament was a little slower.
"I caught three keepers in the morning and then had to work hard
to get four more keeper bites in the afternoon," said Omori. "It
defiantly got tougher to catch fish! But the fish I caught were bigger!"
Takahiro had a weight of 16-09 on day two which gave him a two-day total
of 30-05 and moved him up to fourth place. "I caught all my fish
on day two flipping a jig. The fish seemed to want a slower presentation,"
said Takahiro of day two.
Day three got even tougher. Omori fished hard all day and was able to catch seven fish, but only two were keepers. His two fish weighed 5-09, and left him just 3-03 shy of making the final cut to six anglers. "I fished my areas very hard for three days. I think I just ran out of fish," Takahiro said. "I am very happy with my finish. Any time you can get a top ten finish on this tour, it's something to be proud of. I wish I could have made the cut and fished one more day, but I think that my fish were all used up."