This took a few days as I got sick Sunday night and am finally recovering. So here is my report:
First, it was awesome to see 25+ kickboaters show up to the season opener, especially with the tough conditions. Thanks to the club and all the members for making these events so much fun. The bonus that was donated by Jeff Andress and all of Kevin Marcheschi's work on sponsorship are extremely appreciated! Congrats to everyone that caught fish.
I had a half day to prefish and knew the water was muddy. With the cold air that arrived the week before it also meant the water temps were falling and it would be tough. North of Putah had slightly cleaner water and I usually head that way when fishing this area, so I just recalled any rock I remembered up that way. In prefish I hit a small point that has a vein of that red rock on it and got one thump on a jig. That was it for the rest of the prefish.
Tournament time that was my start point,but as we got in the water I decided to hit the island south of the ramp. It just felt right, but after covering a point at all depths for an hour with no bites and getting some good time to catch up with Phil, I decided to make the row north. Once to the rock point, I finally got the big fish on crankbait. No more reaction after that though. Once I caught that fish, I was staying. If there is one there will be more in these conditions. I proceeded to alternate between jig, nail weighted senko and shakyhead and picked up another fish about an hour later on the senko. Fish 3,4 and 5 all bit the Senko as I was dragging it across the rock in about 10 feet. I think these fish just pulled up at various times separately to look for a quick meal and I just made repetitive fan casts across the point to intercept one. Slow, tedious fishing, but I had confidence they were ther and sometimes that is what it takes. When I got #5 at about 2 pm, I was stoked. I thought that 3 fish could win this, but my 5 stood a great chance.
I love the tough tournaments and always feel confident going into them, so to win this one was awesome. Looking forward to Sonoma!