The second event of the year was on the Alabama River in Prattville, Alabama. Prattville
was founded in 1833 and it was once home to the largest Gin Factory. There is a lot of history in the
But you know what is even more prominent in the south now, the hard fighting Spotted
Bass. They are a little different of a species of bass and their habits are quite different as well.
They love the strong current of the river and bite best when the current is so strong you can
barely hold your boat in position. There are largemouth as well and they live in the backwaters
and were looking to move up and spawn. They could be a major player in this event.
Practice was tough in the mornings but as Alabama power would generate (creates current) the bite would get pretty good. Definitely different fishing than I am used to. My practice partner, Aaron Richardson and I figured a little something out to catch the better spots (2.5-4 lbs) and I was ready to get the party started.
I was boat 177 on Day 1 so I had some time to think about my strategy. I was still unsure of where I wanted to start the tournament when they called my number, so I just went with my gut and headed south toward the largemouth. My instincts were right and I caught a good one in the first hour or so. The area was getting a lot of pressure so I left to chase the spots and filled out my limit. I was sitting in 48th after day 1 -- but just 1 lb out of the money. I just needed another solid day and I'd cash a good check and move on to the next one.
I was boat 6 on Day 2 and I made a huge mistake first thing, so here is my 'Tip of the Tournament' -- ALWAYS and I mean always follow your instincts. I knew the largemouth had been beat up on and the water came up a foot or so overnight and that would make them tough to catch. But I didn't follow my 'gut' and it cost me big. Just like I had thought the largemouth didn't bite very good and the spots did. I made the change around 10 but it was too late then, all my fishing spots had guys on them already and my timing was off.
All in all it was a great week though. I love the challenges of a new fishery. The only regret I have is not following my gut on Day 2. However these are the events that you must have in order to 'trust' your gut the next time. I definitely left Alabama with a smile on my face and I can't wait for the next event. Until then I will at the office making customer's fishing reels better and guiding on the famous Lake Okeechobee!