Gabe Bolivar led the way with Team Lucky Craft’s first FLW Tour top 10 of 2007, and incidentally, Bolivar’s first ever FLW Tour top 10. He fished up 11 pounds, 2 ounces on day one to start the event in 69th place.
Then Bolivar posted a banner day on day two, weighing in 13 pounds, 13 ounces, including the Pro Division’s day two big bass for 4 pounds, 15 ounces.
“This has been a breakthrough experience for me,” Bolivar said after qualifying in the seventh place position going into the finals. “All year, I’ve had a great first day and horrible second day.
“On the second day at every tournament this year, I have run out of fish because either I caught them all or other anglers got to them. So at this event I spent two days of practice intentionally looking for off the wall places and difficult places to reach especially for day two and it worked.”
On day one, Bolivar fished the “community” places he had found during practice. And like in past events, he and other competitors caught everything those places had to offer in a single day.
“On day two, instead of going back to repeat on that used water like I have all year, I went to the hard to reach places and ‘nothing looking’ areas I specifically scouted for day two.”
Bolivar discovered “single cast opportunities” that few others would go through the trouble to find.
“It’s like going under dock cables, maneuvering around the back side of docks and casting over docks,” Bolivar said. “It’s crazy but if you could get a lure to a piece of virgin water on Norman, it was an automatic bite.”
His big bass came from such a piece of water.
“I literally worked about 15 minutes to get my boat under cables and around several docks just to make this one cast to a single tiny pocket that was guarded by all these boat docks. Once I got back there, I caught two keeper males and that big female off one bed. Needless to say, the effort was totally worth it.
“I’m learning that’s one of the secrets to fishing these big boat fields in FLW events,” he added. “You can fish in the crowds on day one and catch fish. But on day two, you better not be planning to dip from that well again.
“You’ve got to have something that is so off the wall or so ‘nothing looking’ no one else would fish it, or better yet, something that is going to take some effort to get to. With all the docks on Norman, there were a lot of single cast opportunities that took some effort to access, but with the right presentation, you could access water that had not seen a lure in a while.”
For Bolivar that meant skipping a soft plastic way back under docks to spawn and post-spawn fish.
His key bait was a 5-inch Senko rigged on a 1/8-ounce Reaction Innovations Screwed-up jighead. He fished the lure on 10-pound test fluorocarbon with a 7-foot Lucky Craft Python spinning rod in a heavy action.
After three events, Bolivar now sits in 24th place in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year Points.