In the Boat With...

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Tournament: Get5Bass Summer Series

May 1st, 2021

Lake Dardanelle

 

Angler: Frank Leone - 9th place - 4 bass - 8.67 pounds 

 

Practice: No practice for this one. Picked up my new Phoenix from Horizon Trike and Marine at 5:00 PM Friday afternoon...

 

Tournament: With the changing conditions and lack of practice, I had no idea how or where I was going to catch a bass in this one. I eased (break-in period on the Mercury) my Phoenix/Mercury to my starting location and noticed it was chocolate milk. I gave it a half hour and was unable to generate a bite. I decided to make a move further up the lake and found clear water!!! Starting fishing and quickly started catching shorts. Lots of 12 and 13-inchers this year... Anyway, I fished several banks trying to figure out what phase the fish were in. I was fishing a Cane Stick really fast when I got a bite. When I set the hook the fish was already behind me and pulled off. It felt like a good one and I knew lack of execution was going to cost me "big time" if I didn't right the ship. Kept fishing and finally came to a bank with some fish. Caught a short and a decent keeper within minutes of each other. Then execution error #2 happened. Had a bite and set the hook. A 2-pounder comes flying out of the water and my bait and hook are flying in the other direction. No idea how I didn't hook this fish. I must admit, on a slow day this one really hurt. Anyway, I fished everything fishable and decided to head down the lake to another location. When I got there, water clarity was good, but I think every angler practicing for the Toyota Series was in there. That combined with pressure from other tournaments and other anglers just fishing made for a "pick an number" feel. I put the trolling motor down and started fishing. Finally, between 11:30 and noon, I got on a roll and caught three keepers. I figured it be easy to get another keeper in the boat before weigh-in, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Never had another keeper bite the rest of the day. My turkey was fried...

 

Keeper count:

 

Big Bite Baits Cane Stick: 3 keepers - Denali Lithium 7' MH; 16 pound Sunline Sniper FC

 

Spro Fat Papa 55 SB: 1 keeper - Denali Lithium 7' M CB; 14 pound Sunline Crank FC

 

Final Thoughts: A struggle to get keeper bites. Between the conditions, fishing pressure, and lack of execution, this ended up a tough derby for me. Can't stand not catching 5. Anyway, it was still a beautiful day to fish!

 

 

See ya' on the flip side... side....

Frank