A Tough Tournament

By Steve Graf

Have you heard those anglers that say, “I catch fish every time I go.” Well, that just confirms that bass fishermen really do lie! Because I can tell you from my experience, we don’t always catch fish every time we go. A prime example of this was my last trip to Lake Texoma on the Oklahoma/Texas border. Today, I’ll give you my perspective as to how things went during my 7 days on Texoma.

First let’s start with practice. I thought that my previous experience on the lake would really pay off. After all, I finished in 5th place here last October and have done well here in the past. But one thing about Texoma, it fishes differently every time I go there. The weather conditions were as follows: air temperatures were in the mid to upper 70’s each day with lows at night dropping into the upper 40’s, and winds were light and calm every day except one. To say I was excited about this trip would be an understatement, as I just knew the bass would be pulling up shallow to spawn. I thought water temps would be in the mid to upper 50’s each day. WRONG!!! Water temps lake wide were pretty much upper 40’s with a few pockets reaching 52-to 53 degrees by late afternoon. Bass are not very active in upper 40-degree water, and it requires you to slow down in order to get a bite.

Every year, one thing we anglers are famous for is trying to rush the spawn. We tend to want things to happen on our timeline, rather than on Mother Nature’s timeline. For this event, I wanted to get a jump on the rest of the tournament field and decided to go over to Texoma to pre-fish the week before the event. The more time you can spend on a body of water before a tournament, the better your chances will be to figure things out. But from a late Wednesday evening (two-hour trip) thru Friday at noon…zero bites! But on my way back to Louisiana after pre-fishing, I thought I would still be okay when I returned tournament week since conditions would definitely be better based on the weather forecast. WRONG AGAIN! Things went from bad to worse. To sum up this entire Texoma beat down….I fished 7 days with a total of 4 bites and came home licking my wounds.

But that’s how fishing can be sometimes. Just when you think you have the bass figured out, they do something totally opposite of what you thought they would be doing. Now understand, I tried every technique known to man from power fishing to finesse, but I was never able to put a pattern together of any kind. Frustration was a huge part of this event for me, as nothing I tried would work. Tournament bass fishing can be a very humbling sport and will truly test your stamina and patience. So, the next time an angler tells you that he ALWAYS catches fish every time he goes, he’s lying!!! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf Owner/Co-host
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
& Tackle Talk Live


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