Stop #1 of the FLW Northern Costa Series and I couldn’t have been more excited. Anticipation of travelling to my favorite lake filled my thoughts. Fully expecting to get my fill of sight fishing for smallmouth bass I was ready to get up there. I believe everyone has experienced a trip where you were fully expecting something and it turned out to be something totally different. I have personally experienced this many times and nothing will burst your bubble quicker. My first 2 days of practice were spent primarily looking for spawning bass. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate enough to warrant that as my primary pattern so I had to resort to fishing for them. I was fairly confident that I could still catch a good bag so I wasn’t totally discouraged that I was unable to find the bedding fish.
Day 1 was a day filled with panic. I traveled about 20 miles south to an area that had never been to and did not practice. Let me tell you this was not a great idea. Even though I only spent about an hour searching, it ended up taking away about 2.5 hours of my day. The rest of the day was spent looking for that quick bite that I thought I needed and could find. Well it didn’t turn out so well. I ended the day with 4 fish. Lake Champlain is a lake that it would be more difficult to not catch a limit than it would be to catch a limit. Needless to say, it was a total disaster. I don’t usually get too angry with myself because I usually end a bad day either stating that I did all that I could or that I learned something. In this case it was neither.
At the conclusion of the weigh-in I was very surprised to find out that the majority of the field had found spawning fish. I guess I should say upset rather than surprised. It turns out that the fish in the southern and northern part of the lake were spawned out and the mid-lake fish were in full spawn. Being such deep lake the shallower waters to the north and south had warmed up much quicker than the mid lake area.
Day 2 was spent primarily doing what I should have done on Day 1. Just go fishing. The pressure was off because I had already ruined any chances of grasping a respectable finish. I ended up catching most of weight throwing a Zara Spook One Knocker (Bone Color). There isn’t a much better bite than catching smallmouth bass on a top water bait. I did catch quite of few on the drop shot but the bigger fish were hitting up top. I ended day 2 with just over 13 lbs.
This was definitely a tournament that I would love to have a do-over. Too bad they don’t have mulligans in bass fishing.