Lake Hartwell is one of those lakes that has been difficult for me to get a handle on.
I knew it was going to be tough and this year’s finish dropped me to 31st place in Angler of the Year points. But I’m not worried yet. My season goal of making the Forrest Wood Cup is still attainable. With the next tournament on Sam Rayburn Lake and the one after that on Beaver Lake, I’m confident I can still gain some valuable points in the AOY race.
This year’s 90th place finish at Hartwell is better than in years past, so at least I’m moving in the right direction. Practice was tough with very few bites, so I figured I would grind it out with a crankbait. I threw a Luck-E-Strike American Series G5 and a Shad Rap. I also fished a Luck-E-Strike RC Series 2 in Red Crawdad and caught some quality fish on it. I only managed two three-pound bites in practice. I felt that if I could catch a couple of the bigger fish during the tournament, I would get a pretty decent check.
However, going into the first day, I felt it was a “loser’s pattern”. This is a pattern in which you’re catching fish, but you know they’re not the right size. The bigger ones just didn’t bite for me when I needed them to. Sometimes that happens and your only choice is to catch the fish you can catch. Looking back, I should have found more submerged grass in the flooded stubble in the back of coves. If you could find underwater grass in front of that stubble, in about four feet of water, you could catch some decent size fish.
This was my first big trip towing my Ranger Z520c with my new Silverado from Everett Chevrolet in Fayetteville, Arkansas. One big difference in my new truck is that I sit a lot higher. It’s a lot of fun driving the roads sitting that high. If you are in the area and need a new vehicle or truck, stop in and tell’em James sent you. They have great customer service and will treat you like family.
Be sure to visit my Facebook page for contest and fishing info https://www.facebook.com/JamesWatsonFishing