I had an unbelievable tournament during the 3rd stop of the Bassmaster Southern Open at Lake Norman. This was my first top 12 cut. Let me break down how things went.
In practice, I spent most of my time looking for clear water being the upper part of Norman was turning over. Finding clear water in this situation is a must in my opinion.
The baits I caught fish on in practice were a True South Lures jig, a V-Twin buzz bait, and a Brian’s Bees prop bait. They were staging around small pockets just inside many different creeks. The deeper pockets seem to be the ticket. I found areas where I could catch a lot of fish and every so often a big one. I knew I was going to have to make a lot of casts and try to figure out a more detailed pattern as the tournament went on.
On day one, I was ready to get the job done. I was boat 107 with a check-in time of 4:45. Fairly quickly, I caught five keepers; nothing big, but it settled my nerves. I caught a couple on a V- Twin buzz bait and most on a jig. The conditions set up better for the slower moving baits being sunny and calm.
I had a decent bag before noon, so I was feeling pretty good. I thought I had a good chance to upgrade my smaller fish with the afternoon flipping bite. Unfortunately that bite never matured for me and I weighed in 10lbs 12oz.
Since I was able to capitalize on a tough day one, I felt confident going into day two. I knew I needed to have consistent weight under the tough bite to make it to day 3. Day two I brought to the scales 10lbs 12oz. That put me in 12th, and I made the first top-12 cut of my career. I knew with the weather changing I had a better shot with some wind on day 3.
I had a good day three. I brought in another consistent bag that weighed in at 11lbs. even. I caught most of my fish on day 3 on Brian Bees prop bait in the color PBC. The wind blew and I caught several fish but I just never got the big bite that I needed to help me advance even further. I ended up with a 6th place finish for the event.