We are going to mix it up a bit and get into some real-life fishing stories here on the FishSens blog. Fishing is full of memories, some good and some bad. However, if you’ve done this long enough, there are bound to be a few special ones that stick out.
We are taking it all the way back to 2011 for this one. Where I grew up in southeast Michigan, there was only one big tournament a year (65-75 boats), the Kent Lake Open. We had lots of little lakes, lots of separate cliques of fisherman, and it was the only time of the year everyone fished against each other. So for us, this was as big as it got locally. I’d fished it for several years and had no problem cashing checks but just couldn’t seal the deal.
From what I remember things started out pretty well. We were running a sight fishing program and although they ate some time up we got our first few fish. Things were a lot of work after that but we chipped away at them and had a really nice bag going. Our next stop was on a 3.5 pounder; these fish were spooky so we had to keep the boat far away and blind cast to them.
It didn’t take many casts to get the fish to bite, but we had a major problem when the fish hit the net. The hook was buried underneath the chin instead of in the mouth. You absolutely cannot keep a fish off a bed that isn’t hooked in the mouth, so back he went. This particular fish had a habit of pinning the bait to the bottom and this would happen 2 more times. That fish had become extremely spooky after the third time so we elected to investigate some other areas and rest this fish. But we did plan to give him one more shot.
We found someone else on the fish as we rounded the corner. We were running out of time and chances at this point. However, as we continued to work further down the bank we stumbled onto the difference maker. A couple of pitches and we landed big bass of the tournament which also gave us the winning weight.
Not only was that fish a huge moment in my early fishing career but it has been a constant reminder to never get bent out of shape when someone is fishing where you want to be. There are always other places on the lake and sometimes that works out for the best.