On Saturday I knew where I was going and my regular colleague will be there. Not sure how much company Jason and I was going to have. When I got the boat in found out it was just me, Joe, and Jason. Joe decided to head to Rich Caro favorite spot. It was so cold my hand was frozen right through my gloves and ice was forming on the guides. Not a single bite on jigs that morning and by the time the sun came over the mountains. I was so feeling the warm winter sun. The bite was very slow I would get one Jason would get one. It was almost a bite every 30-40 minutes. By 11AM I had a small limit about 8 pounds for 4 fish. I decided to pick up and go to my secondary spot. I got in and rowed over to my favorite dock. I immediately stuck 4 fish. 3 on a square bill and one on a drop shot. All the same size so I wasn’t able to cull any of my fish. So I rowed pass a few more spot and headed to a place I know that could hold a big fish. When I got there I was able to catch 4 quality fish and was able to cull all my smaller fish. I ended up weighing 10.48 for day one and was day one leader.
That night I was debating to go to my secondary spot or stick to my game plan. On Day 2, I decided to stick with my gut and just had a feeling the big fish will turn on. It was me and Jason again and again nothing happen till first light. I saw him stuck two fish, but I wasn’t worry cause I know I can catch some fish. I then stuck one fish on a drop. Since drop shot was working for me so well yesterday I decided to stick with it all day. I pulled up on a spot Jason was working for over 30 minutes. I was chatting with him and toss my worm to the spot. Still chatting I picked up my slack and the rod just loaded up. If you’ve been fishing as long as I have it’s almost second nature. I didn’t think just reacted and set the hook. The rod loaded up and pull it all way to the water. I knew this is a big one. It took drag, ran left, right, up, and down. Jason was yelling don’t lose it, that’s the winning fish. Then I felt the line coming out of the water. I was thinking don’t jump please don’t jump. The head was the only thing that came out but OMG that was the biggest head I have ever seen. It took another few minutes to get close to the boat. My first attempt to net it was a fail. That big girl saw the net and took a nose dive right underneath me. She came up and again another nose dive. On the third one I stuck the net underneath her and got her in. I put her in the live well. Thank god and thank my buddy Todd for helping land that fish. Because I know he was watching me that whole time from above. Jason said he was shaking for me and I had no words. I was just sitting there, thinking did that just happen. Did I close this deal, am I going to win the TOC. Even with a big fish, I knew I had to keep on fishing because it’s Clear Lake. This was around 7AM. For the next three house we got a few more fish here and there. I had a limit with one giant beauty. I watch Jason work this area for over 30 minutes and he pulled a good keeper. After he left I work that area and had a back lash on my spinning reel. I use braid with a flouro leader so the braid was looped on the spool. I toss it out in the middle of nowhere to fix the backlash. As I reeled my slack the rod just loaded up. BAM! I set the hook and the fight was on. It started to take drag and pulled me to the left. My heart was pounding knowing this was another big fish. It came out of the water three time and each time that head was shaking like crazy. After what felt like forever, I was able to net the beast. I took a good look and said OMG it’s another beast. I put it in my live well and I was smiling from ear to ear. It was 10AM and I kept fishing hard till the very end.
I top hooked both fish on the upper part of the mouth. The only way I could’ve lose the fish is either my flouro breaks or my knot fail. I got the fish on my 13 Fishing Envy Black M spinning, Powerpro Braid, Maxima Flouro 14lb leader, and One3 by 13 Fishing Creed K spinning reel.
My very first double digit fish in a Tournament. A memory that will live on.