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Hawk Talk Inside Line – Lake Guntersville Elite Series Event
Category : HAWK TALK
When B.A.S.S. released the 2015 Elite Series schedule I immediately took notice of the Lake Guntersville event. I’ve lived in Guntersville, AL for the past five years and have spent considerable time on the lake, so I was ecstatic to have an opportunity to fish an Elite Series event on a body of water I know so well.
I knew coming into this event I’d have to be conscious of not fishing history—trying to catch fish in places I did in years past around the same time period. Fishing history rarely works out because the conditions are never exactly the same from year to year, week to week, or even day to day. For example, a cold winter can prolong the spawn and a mild winter can speed it up.
I began the official practice period probing my favorite deep water holes for pre-spawn bass on the lower end of the lake. If there was still a wave of pre-spawn fish out deep I felt I’d have an advantage over my competitors, because I’ve spent the past several years learning the lower end of the lake thoroughly. I targeted ledges, drops, and grass lines with two baits—a swimbait rigged on a 3/4 oz jig head and a 3/4 oz 4×4 Hawk’s Prey Football Jig paired with a 5” Yamamoto Green Pumpkin Double Tail Grub. The swimbait allowed me to cover water quickly, getting reaction strikes from aggressive bass, and the jig appealed to the less active fish relating closer to the bottom.
My day one effort produced a solid bag with four bass over five-pounds. However, I only had eight bites total and never caught more than one bass off each spot. Only getting a handful of bites even though they were the size I’d need to compete concerned me. The fish were telling me they were leaving deep water and moving shallow, but I decided to fish deep again on day two, thinking if I found enough areas holding fish I could put together a run for the first day of the tournament. I wanted to give myself an opportunity to capitalize on the few fish still out deep and catch a big limit.