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Registered: 04-2010
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ABA District 51 Divisional Championship(Or when things go wrong #2)


Disappointing to say the least…



I spent 5 solid days on Amistad and never… ever… saw a big fish. Well I saw one fairly large one but I'll get to that later.



Amistad is a 64,000 acre impoundment. Saturday wind forcast was 25-30mph. When in west Texas you add those to numbers together to get a fair estimate of the wind. But it started off drizzling and very little wind. Ran to my first spot and caught 3 quick fish on a jerk bait. Then the jerk bait bite died. Tried a fluke and c'rig and jig in the same area… nada. Ran to my second spot… Prefishing had shown some potential for big fish. Started with a jerk bait but that bite was dead all over the lake. Went to a 1oz. jig. Boated another keeper then nothing. It's 10:00am and the forcasted wiind is starting to pick up. I'd located some schooling fish in the very back of one of the creeks on the U.S. side so I pick up n' run there. For 3 days I'd been catching fish there…. A lot of non keepers but occasionally a keeper or two. Plus I'd located some bigger fish real shallow in the same area. It's a long rough run from the Mexican side to the U.S. side then about 5 miles up the creek. I finally get there only to discover the wind had shifted just enough to be whipping up white caps where for the last 3 days it had been calm. The best laid plans of men n' mice….. The guy I rented my "lodge" from had told me there was a hump not far from where I'd been catching fluke fish… I go there… there is indeed a hump and it's held a couple of keeper fish that came on the 1oz. jig. I ended up culling one fish and weighing in a limit that tipped the scales at a paultry 12.23 but…. I was only 2.5#s out of the lead in 4th place.



Day two…. The wind at blast off is blowing a constant 17mph(odd numbers must be a west Texas kinna thing) and gusting to 25. Weigh in today is at 2:30. I head to my jerk bait spot over on the Mexico side. It's about a 7 mile run and I've made 5 of them at between 30-35mph due to rough water conditions. I'm just turning into a the major creek(Zorro) that I plan to fish 3/4's of the way back in. While the water is still rough I don't have to contend with the rollers that the main lake was producing so I step down on the hot foot plannin' on hitting the mid 50's but… nothing happens… I smash tha' gas all the way down… nothing. Thinking maybe I picked up some weeds on the prop I trim up some to ventilate it… nothing. Trim back down… The boat is now doing 28mph… then 25mph…. sensing a major OH CRAP moment I turn directly towards the Mexican shorline. The last time this happened was when the bolts sheared on the compressor pulley. I make a quick check of the voltage(the compressor pulley is driven by the same belt that drives the alternator). Last time I had 10v and dropping. This time… 13v. Whewww… it isn't the sheared bolt issue. My mind is racing a mile a minute…. trying to get to the shore line before I'm blown back onto the main lake… "IF" I can't resolve this problem…. what then. I just crossed 5 miles of very…very… rough open water. It's not like I can call the director and request a simple tow back… Plus I'm in Mexico…. Oh Lordy… I am working the hot foot up n' down and I can feel that nothing is happening… No resistance except for the return spring…. OH NO, I think, the throttle cable is broken 'cause that's just what if feels like. CRAP!!!! I try shifting into netrual so I can get on the trolling motor as I'm real close to the bank now… The engine won't slow down so I can't get it into netrual…. Turned the key off. Trolled up to the bank and found a single stick up about as big around as my thumb but it was something to tie off to….Got'er tied off, got a flashlight and started checking in the hot foot area… %^*&^%*#&(^_)*+((%&^%#$^#@!!!!! The bolt that hold the throttle cable never had a locking nut on it so the bolt worked it's way out. I am major P.O.'d but at the same time very grateful it was something I could fix on the water. Due to the problems I'd had with the boat you can bet I had tools on board! I found the bolt and reinstalled it. Still no locking nut but it was a shouldered bolt so I ran it down and torqued it a tad. Relieved when the engine cranked and responded to the hot foot…. Hammer down… heading for my jerkbait fish… I only catch one. This particular bite had been a very early bite lasting no more that 20 minutes either day. So that BS bolt cost me my jerkbait fish.



I work jigs til I lose them both… then try swiming a zoom o'l monster that had produced some fish durning practice… nothing…. Weighted mag fluke… nothing…. Unweighted mag fluke… nothing… lippless rattling bait… nothing… Back to jerkbait.. nothing… Along the way I lose the jerkbait to a backlash that snaps the line… I try keeping my eye one where it landed… looked down one time n' lost it…. wind n' waves made it impossible to relocate… Tie on one of of a different color….. After a few tosses I catch a non-keeper and that will be the last jerkbait bite of the day.

I go back to my starting waypoint about 1 mile away and start chunking a 1 1/4oz jig head with a swim bait in 25-30' of water… Let it hit bottom and crank real slow keeping it on/near the bottom… Nothing. It's now 10am. I have 2 keepers in the boat. I have spent the last 4 days trying to catch deep fish and it just ain't working. I head all the way to the back of this major creek and start hopping a fluk around submerged brush in 4-5' of water… I have a decent fish swirl on it but no hookup…. Good – they're here! I keep working further and further back… I'm fishing a bluff wall with bolders just under the surface in 5-8' of water… And …. I start catching fish…. Pretty soon I have a limit but about the same as I weighed in yesterday…. Need a big fish. Then… I check the drag on my fluke rod and it's flat locked down… Then I remember I had winched the drag down when I was packing line on it at home…. Thinking I'd better loosen it up a tad – I do… I give it a test tug… seems good. Three cast later a 7#er comes from the bank…. it looks like a submarine creating a wake…. GULP…. it eats the fluke and I set the hook and…. Zzzzzzz… .the drag slips like it ain't there… With no good hook set the fish clears the water and spits the fluke. Boy howdy you talk about depression!!! I knew right then that I'd lost big fish and the tournament. But gotta keep trying… I catch more fish and cull a few times. Weigh-in is at 2:30… it's 1:35. I'm 10 miles from the ramp… But I am now scared to death of this boat. I head back… Hearing every little noise, every change in rpm… waiting for something else to break. It didn't and I made it back to tthe ramp. Final tally…. 28+ won, 27+ 2nd, 26+ 3rd and I rounded out the top 4 with 24+. Big fish for the 2 day championship was 5.57. I had a couple of 14″ fish that came in right around 2#… trade anyone of them for a 7+ and…. what could'a been… 2 weekends in a row… bad decision have cost me in excess of 1500.00. I am doing post graduate study at the school of hard knocks… I reckon.

I did end up winning AOY in Division 51.
Jun/16/2010, 7:47 am Link to this post Email dougw   PM dougw
 
bonsaibp Profile
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Registered: 04-2010
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Re: ABA District 51 Divisional Championship(Or when things go wrong #2)


Congrats on the AOY win thats no small feat.


---
bonsaibp
I AM NOT SAYING THERE SHOULD BE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR STUPIDITY,
BUT, WHY DON'T WE JUST TAKE THE SAFETY LABELS OFF OF EVERYTHING
AND LET THE PROBLEM SOLVE ITSELF?"
blkdog812
Jun/16/2010, 9:29 am Link to this post Email bonsaibp   PM bonsaibp
 
1Nightmare Profile
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Re: ABA District 51 Divisional Championship(Or when things go wrong #2)


Well told - I feel yer pain....no really, I do. emoticon

That whole trip was one big adventure, huh!?

---
Good things comin' outta Crap!


Jun/16/2010, 12:00 pm Link to this post Email 1Nightmare   PM 1Nightmare
 
dougw Profile
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Posts: 113
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Re: ABA District 51 Divisional Championship(Or when things go wrong #2)


Yeah... I 'spoze you could use the word "Adventure"... I was thinkin' more along the lines of Cluster_____ something or other!
Jun/16/2010, 5:25 pm Link to this post Email dougw   PM dougw
 


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