FLW Tour - Table Rock Lake Wrap-Up

Posted by todd on April 4, 2012

We're just now leaving Branson and the 2nd stop on the FLW Tour Majors at Table Rock Lake where I was blessed with a 22nd place finish.  FLW released the updated points standings and it moved me up to 10th in the points with 4 events to go.  So it's a great start to my rookie season.  I'm in much better shape to make the Forrest Wood Cup than I had hoped coming out of March, which qualifies the Top 35 from the FLW Tour Majors.  March is typically my weakest tournament month of the calendar year, so I feel great at this point.  Terrance also finished in check-range and moved way up in the points, just outside of the Top 40.   We'll go one tournament at a time, just like my good friend and mentor, Bill McDonald, has always told me.  Beaver Lake in Arkansas is up next.

My family was able to come out for the weigh-ins and we just left for Beaver, with some fun planned for the boys spring break.  Then we're off to Kentucky Lake to visit my dad and brother for the remainder of the week.

Table Rock is quickly becoming one of my favorite lakes in the country.  For some reason, Table Rock has been really good to me in the last few years and it holds a special place in my heart.  It's a giant lake with a huge population of healthy fish, largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass.  You can fish shallow, deep, or in between and fish your strengths.  Table Rock is also full of some really big fish.  This tournament I chose to fish shallow once I saw how the weather and lake conditions were setting up.  I wasn't comfortable bed-fishing in this event, as there weren't many quality fish that I found that were catchable.  So I found some dirtier water where the fish were easier to catch and went to work.

I had a great practice with Terrance with 18-22# bags each day.  The water level dropped each day by about 1/2 foot, and it forced me to constantly make adjustments and figure out how the fish were positioning differently.  I was catching big fish each day with Red Dirt Spinnerbaits, River Rat Tackle jigs, and shallow crankbaits came into play as well.  The spinnerbait was really key early in the week to help me find the key areas where I caught a lot of my fish from.  The muddy water told me to use big colorado blades, and the tunable titanium wire combination put off a vibration that the fish could not stand up there.

On Day 1, I got two big bites and landed in 7th place with over 19#.  I really was hoping to duplicate that on Day 2, but the big bites just didn't come that day.  Each day, I was weeding through several fish to cull up my weight, and was only able to bring 12# to the scales on Day 2 - missing the cut by just 5 ounces.  I was bummed at first, as I really thought I was on Top 10 fish in this event.  But after the dust settled, I realized that I've had two solid events and came out of March looking good.  There are 3 Indiana rookies in the Top 20 in the points - that is simply awesome if you ask me.  Let's hope we can stay the course the whole year.

Here's a recap of my set-up's at Table Rock:

Spinnerbait Gear - 6'10" MH Rod, 7:1 Bass Pro Qualifier reel, 20# fluorocarbon, 3/8 and 1/2 Red Dirt Baits spinnerbaits, double colorado, white/chartreuse

Jig Gear - 7" H rod, 15-20# fluorocarbon, 7:1 Bass Pro Qualifier reel, 3/8 and 1/2 oz. River Rat Tackle flipping jig, green pumpkin/orange

Cranking Gear - 6' M cranking rod, 6:1 Bass Pro Qualifier reel, 12# fluorocarbon, shad and chartreuse square-bill crankbaits.

Thanks for all of the continued encouragement, prayers, and support - I feel very blessed, especially after seeing some of the tornado's destruction in Branson.  God seems to use events like those to help remind us of what's really important in our lives, and that's relationship with Him, with Jesus, and with other people - not things and not money.  On that note, back to Spring Break with my family.  Catch you at Beaver in 3 weeks!