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InsideLine – Falcon Slam

Kevin-Hawk-2013-Elite-Falcon-Seigo Saito

Working a brush filled pocket with my Senko near the dam on day one – Photo by Seigo Saito courtesy of Bassmaster.com

My eyes widened like a kid unwrapping Christmas presents when I saw Lake Falcon on the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule.  Not only did it mean the possibility of catching an absurd number of big bass, but I’d be doing it in the south Texas heat wearing shorts and flip flops.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than fishing for big bass and hot weather.  Getting to experience both together is my idea of heaven.

I didn’t have any prior tournament experience on Falcon, so I spent a week prior to off limits getting familiar with the lake.  I spent most of my time graphing both the U.S. and Mexican sides of the lake looking for rock and old house foundations in 12 to 28 feet of water.  After researching past tournament results and based on the time of year the tournament was scheduled, I felt the majority of the bass would be finished spawning and grouped up on points and drops adjacent to spawning pockets, bays, and creeks.  I found and marked nearly a hundred spots I wanted to fish during official practice and was confident I’d spent my time wisely.
Looking Deep

I launched near the dam the first practice morning fishing every waypoint along the U.S. side I’d marked on my scouting trip.  The bass on Falcon relate so close to the bottom it’s often difficult to see them on the sonar, so I couldn’t rely on just graphing each spot.  I had to fish them.  I hit close to 35 spots on day one, but only caught three fish.  Two of the three weighed over 7lbs, so I convinced myself I was on the right pattern.  I thought two more practice days would be well spent checking the rest of my waypoints and it would only be a matter of time before I found them stacked up on a few sweet spots.

I fished another 40 spots on day two, but only caught three fish again with one pushing 7lbs.  Driving back to the hotel that night I conceded the fish weren’t grouped up as hard as I thought they’d be, so I decided to start fishing shallow.  I pitched to shallow bushes and trees on the final practice day and figured out I could catch a limit pretty easily and also have an opportunity for some four and five pound bites.  I decided to start the tournament on the offshore spots I had my biggest bites on and would move to the bank depending how my day was going. Read the rest of the article >

Originally published over on the InsideLine online magazine
May 1, 2013