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Criley

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          First off, I want to thank the B-n-T officers for putting on the tournament and Jered Brendel for loaning me a kickboat.  Also, it was great to see 73 kickboaters at one event, I can't wait to meet new faces.

Pre-fish: It's always important to formulate a game plan before a tournament.  Like many, I didn't have the time a fisherman needs to practice on the water, nor research the current media news about the bite.  I formulated my plan based on the weather and my own knowledge of the area from past outings (cover, structure, depths).  What i came up with was i would start offshore, for pre-spawn or post-spawn fish and fish my way in for spawning fish until I could narrow down the possibilities for a winning strategy.  I would bring 5 rods, jig rigs being the majority.

Day 1:  Right after blast off I made my way to an offshore flat covered with vegetation and chunk rock.  As I rowed into the storm I thought to myself, this is madness out here.  I covered water with a football jig and a weighted swimbait, and after an hour I had one bite and lost the fish at the net.  I quickly realized that I needed to find 1. calmer waters in order to make proper presentations from a kickboat and 2. more and bigger fish.  I opted for the calm water in the keys and started at the first point and slowly worked my way deeper into the canals.  Even within the keys, the weather wind was nasty and made sight fishing difficult.  Just like you hear on the bassmaster tour in florida, when a nasty, cold weather moves in shallow water fish bury themselves in cover.  As many of you noticed, there was thick cover everywhere in the keys.  That is exactly where i found my first three fish: 3.5, 4.8, and 4.0 pounders and all post-spawners.  They were tucked in vegetation that looked like you could walk on it, and probably could have.  My rod was a 7' MH action spooled with 15 pound line.  My bait was a plastic creature texas rigged with 1/2 oz. bullet weight.  My fourth fish was a prespawn 3 pounder, we crossed paths at the entrance into the keys.  With 45 minutes to go, and one fish shy of a limit, I really started focusing and fishing as efficiently as I could and that was the ticket.  With 6 minutes left, I got my limit fish on my fourth flip to a patch of vegetation.  Booyah, never give up, best feeling ever!

Day 2:  My thoughts were, sweet I can fish my late morning heavy cover pattern thoroughly, but there are 2 less hours.  Do I spend my time flipping for fewer quality bites or just go for a limit finnesse fishing?  I headed straight for the thick cover and on my way I noticed the morning wind wasn't there.  With the calmer waters the bigger post-spawn females had moved from the thick cover and started making their way out to the main lake.  I was only able to catch one 2.5 pound male fish flipping the cover that was producing 4 pound females.  Just like that it was a whole new tournament.  I did the exact opposite as day 1, i started working my way outwards trying to follow the post-spawn fish I was targeting.  I knew the fish started heading towards the main lake, but by late morning the winds had really picked up and even if I was a fish, i wouldn't want to go out there.  That thought led me towards keying in on the non-wind sides of the entrances/exits to the keys.  I found 2, and one of them had bait taking refuge from the wind.  While targeting ambush points around these areas, i flipped a 1/2 oz. jig to a tree and it never hit bottom, and after a crazy fight I land my biggest of the tournament @ 5.33 lbs.  I was thinking, Awesome there is a little less than 2 hours left and all of the sudden I'm back in it.  I start working the next piece of wood, first flip, same thing except this time the fish is swimming towards and under my boat.  I hook the fish poorly, but keep it hooked right up until I tried to net the fish.  It thrashed my net, threw my jig, and said cya with a smile on it's face.  The fish was a hair smaller than the one right before it, seeing that fish get off after working so hard for tough bites was devastating.  I knew that I had to regain my composure and fast.  I backed off the spot and let it rest for 15 minutes while I tried to slow down my heartbeat.  Went back in, first flip to the same tree i caught the 5 off of, bam, fish on and she's hooked like a unicorn. 3.25 goes in the well and a nice big wave of relief and confidence crashes through my body, I was feeling proud.  I continue to fish right to the end of the tournament, but was unable to add more weight.

     Like most big-draw kickboat tournaments, this was a 5 bite tournament.  You had to have confidence in what you were doing and focus throughout the entire competition.

      Congrats to Rob Linden and Martin Carreon for their strong finishes! Also, great turnout for SCBBBC, 8 of the top 13 places and SCBBBC club members made up over half of the the 73 anglers that participated.  I can hardly wait to try figuring out those Clear Lake toads at the SCBBBC Clear Lake State Classic in October.
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Bassin

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Reply with quote  #2 

Great report Carson. Congrats on your win.


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AWALK94

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Reply with quote  #3 
nice job, learned some new things from this report
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m_carreon

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Reply with quote  #4 

Your a boss man!


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hook that fatty!!!

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2010-days on the water-61 /bass caught so far-375
TOP 5 FISH CAUGHT THIS YEAR
1.- 8.03 pounds-grannies pond-crankbait!!!
2.-7.33 pounds-grannies pond-dropshot!
3.- 6.03 pounds-grannies pond-dropshot!!!
4.-5.03 pounds-my grannies pond-frog!!! yeee!
5.- 4.59 pounds-daddy's pond-crankbait!!!
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AC

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Reply with quote  #5 

Well done Mr. Riley you made a tough bite look easy in front of 70 plus anglers! Very impressive!


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Top 5 fish of Ot Twelve
1. 7.42 Clearlake
2. 6.95 Clearlake
3. 6.2 Berryessa
4. 6.1 Clearlake
5. 5.11 Clearlake
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Samuraiti

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Reply with quote  #6 
Great job Carson along with the report. You're really making me regret not being there! Then again with that wind, maybe it was good for me to stay home! LOL

You are a slay master like usual.

Todd

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Top 5 bass 2012 / Days on water - / Total Hours Fished -
1. 6.47 lbs - Delta - Senko - Largemouth
2. 5.94 lbs - Delta - Moto Jig - Largemouth
3. 5.13 lbs - Clear Lake - Moto Jig - Largemouth
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NorCalFishinguru

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Reply with quote  #7 
We gotta get this high school bass fishing off the ground so you can show us your tricks!! Great job
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Top of 2012
1) 8.35 A-Rig
2) 7.33 Swimbait
3) 6.9 Jig
Total Bass Count 2011: 237
Total Bass Count 2010: 463
Total Bass Count 2009: 204
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Fishmonger

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Reply with quote  #8 

Awesome. Great report, dude.


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Rolo

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Reply with quote  #9 

Congratulations on your victory Carson and great report!

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basserdave

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Reply with quote  #10 

Thanks for the great report Carson.  Congrats on your victory.


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2014 Top 5 bass

1 9.1 lbs The Pond Bobby's Perfect Frog
2 8.5 lbs The Pond Zoom Trick Worm
3 7.4 lbs The Pond Spro Lipless 
4 7.4 lbs The Pond Spro Lipless 
5 6.7 lbs The Pond Senko

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CatchemCaro

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Reply with quote  #11 
Ata boy Carson, thanks for the great report dude. Don't spend all that money in one place. See ya on the Delta.
Rich

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fishcat

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Reply with quote  #12 
Congratulations on your victory! Great report, and very good thinking out their.
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bphi

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Reply with quote  #13 

well done young gun.  Looks like you will give Mike a run for AOY.


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Top 5 bass 2014
1. 13.06 Lake Delvalle
2. 6.40 Lake Delvalle
3. 6.14 Clear Lake
4. 4.36 Lake Delvalle
5. 4.55 Lake Delvalle
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BucketMouth

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Reply with quote  #14 

wELL DONE!!vERY EDUCATING REPORT ALSO!


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buzzfish

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Reply with quote  #15 
Congratulations on your win in very tough conditions! Great report too!

Clint


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