Clint and Fil entered Capt Brent Juarez’s trophy trout tourney a few weeks back. Conditions sucked…a cold front blew in Friday night. NW winds around 15 mph really tore the bay up in areas. It’s Hard to game plan when we have floods on Friday and low tides Saturday. We had to abandon our game plan and make a new one at 4am. We decided to fish the open bay as many of the coves were almost dry. That put us out in the fray with the Power Boaters, yaks, and waders. Tide was super low at 4am and still pouring out.
We finally found a couple fish in one area. When the bite died instead of staying put we paddled against the wind north to make a long drift. Good timing as the wind and tide switched and our paddle back to the truck was rough. We got our head right, ate a snack, and reloaded. We launched and paddled back into the marsh to a boat channel that has been holding fish, but there were only small fish so we paddled back out into the open bay to our original spot. Remember we drove to spot #2, but didn’t have enough time to relaunch so we paddle to it into the wind and tide. This gave us 45mins and we picked up an upgrade for our 3rd trout.
All in all we did great, but we could have won if I had followed my own advice. Winter time, when you find fish stay put. They are there for a reason. They will come back. All that moving and paddling cost us 1st place. We lost some nice fish at the yak, a couple that would have definitely put us over the top. We weighed in 3 live 23″ trout that weighed 12.80lbs. They were nice and fat and outweighed the east bay trout that were brought to the table. Those 23″ trout outweighed 24-25″ trout from east bay. A bit disappointed we couldn’t fish the fish we’ve been on lately. I really wanted to weigh those fish in at a tourney. But the weather wouldn’t cooperate. We got bumped from 1st place by less than a pound and took 2nd place. Not bad for our first powerboat pro trout tourney…
PS…most of the fish we caught in 2′ or 3′ and most of the water was Ozarka clear..when you were in it you could see your lure all the way back to the yak on most casts….it was tough to mentally stay in that area and fish with PBs etc buzzing all over the top of it…they would spook…then drift back into this area….at 2:15pm when we had to leave for the weigh in…I had just hit two fish in a row and Clint picked up our 3rd upgrade and a John boat drifted around me on my left at about 10mph and turned right in front of my bow within 20yds (we were under anchor) and picked up a 6lber….his boat picked up those fish and drove them off the flat….he caught another nice fish about 50yds away but it was time to leave…I’m sure he thought is was no big deal….and any other day it probably wouldn’t have given it any more thought than the countless inconsiderate acts I’ve witnessed this winter from PBs on west bay.