Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On The Trail's first stop, The Southern Open

My first event of the year was on Lake Toho on January 15-17. I was really excited about this event because I have had the chance to spend some time on the Toho/Kissimmee Chain in the last few years. I arrived at Camp Mack on Saturday night before the tournament.

A foggy sunrise over Camp Mack as I got ready to fish
Camp Mack is truly old Florida living nestled in the woods on the banks of the Kissimmee River. It is an excellent place to practice from because you are smack dab in the middle of the Kissimmee Chain. I watched the weather and it was supposed to get cold, so I practiced for what the fish do in Florida when its gets cold. I picked up the flipping stick and went to town. Practice was ok, I found some decent fish that should have cashed me a check. Best laid plans though.....

I was boat #196 on day 1. I ran 45 minutes one way to my spot in Kissimmee, to find that the fish had moved. I made the move from the outside grass lines to the inside and started catching fish, just not the right size. Day 2 was going to be different, I was boat #5 and nobody was going to get in my way. I was definitely swinging for the fences!! I pulled up to my first 2 spots to find anglers already on them. Needless to say, I didnt hit that homerun. I finished towards the bottom of the pack.

Lesson learned from this trip- Fish in the Moment, not the past. I did poorly because I had a preconceived notion how I was going to catch them. I didnt pay enough attention to the current conditions. I was in the areas on some of the top 12, I just didnt make the right adjustments. They caught their fish in the clean pad groups and I was fishing the pads with junk mats blown in them. The fish were already spawning and I was fishing a pre-spawn/cold weather pattern. Time to regroup for the next event- Alabama River in April.

Some days you catch em, some days you don't. But you always have
to remember to look around and appreciate the beauty around you. 
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See you out on the trail.

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