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I fished my 2nd club tournament this past Sunday with Raleigh Bass Anglers as a coangler. I didn't think I would even be able to fish this one, because my fishing partner had to cancel. Fortunately, some club members went out of their way to be sure that I could still get a ride. I've been really impressed with what a great group of guys this club has and how friendly everyone has been.

I started out fishing a jerkbait and a jig w/ ragecraw trailer this morning with no luck. After only 3 hours of sleep since I had to stay up to watch the UNC vs Duke bball game I made a misstep at about 10-10:30 that resulted in me taking an unexpected swim in the 40 degree water. Fortunately, I had a change of clothes so I decided to stick with it despite being really cold. About an hour later I caught a nice 2.5-3 lber on a wind blown bank on a silent stalker red eye shad. Followed it up with the 7.5 lb personal best in the picture on that same bank and ended up winning the tournament. I felt the big fish hit, and I set the hook into what felt like a log. Then she slowly started moving until she realized she was hooked and took off. She stayed deep and took a good amount of drag. Worked her to the boat and then she immediately went down and took off towards open water again. Got her close a 3rd time enough to see that I had one hook barely in the very corner of her mouth. She tried to jump twice, but fortunately I was able to keep her down. Finally, after working her for 4-5 minutes I got her close, and the net was slid under her. Only had 3 bites total today, but I made them count. It seemed to be a tough bite in all the Piedmont area tourney's from what I've heard.
 

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Red X Angler
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I don't get the whole staying up to watch a game vs being ready to roll to go fishing!! but glad you had those clothes, and the good fortune to get to use them and keep on fishing!
 
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Way to hang in there! Congrats on the win and hope there are more fish swimming your way!
 

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Red X Angler
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Jig and pig: $4
Gas money and snacks: $25

Happening to hit your personal best bass during a tournament: Priceless!

That's awesome, nice job sticking in there and congrats on the PB and the win.
 
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Congrats on the win and big bass. When things dont go your way, and you never give up, good things seem to happen.

I used to fish in a draw club, we did our points based on total team weight for each event, boater and co would each get credit for the days catch. We had a guy in the club, he fished with me twice during the regular season, only weight he had for the season was fish that I caught when he fished with me, anyone else he rode with they both zeroed. I ended up paired with him for the year end classic. We got off to a slow start, I had put 2 keepers in the boat, it was cold and the was some uncalled for rain showers. I had my rain suit but he didnt have anything. By about 10:30 or so he was wet and cold and talking about me taking him to the ramp... the rain stopped and the sun came out and he decided to stick it out. I made a strategy change and his luck changed. In the next few hours he caught the better part of an 18 lb limit culling the small fish I had caught early, plus big fish for day 1 around 5 lbs.

Another time I fished a federation regional at Kerr Lake, it was the weekend all the tornadoes hit back in 2011. The forecast for day one was for rain, 30-40 mph winds and severe thunderstorms. I told my co that if it got too bad and we had fish we would load it up. I caught decent limit the first day that had me in about 30th place or something, late in the first day my front depth finder crapped out, with the weather and the way I fished I stood on the trolling motor all day long. About the time I got loaded up and put the cover on my boat, the storm hit. I made the drive back to the house my club was staying at in a downpour and hail, plugged in my battery charger and went in to get dry. A while later, the rain stopped and I went out to troubleshoot my depth finder and unplugged my drop cord from the wall (so I wouldnt have to mess with the cover) before i turned on the power switch. I got it back working again and went back to BSing and carrying on with everyone else. A while later the TD called my club's team captain and told him my partner couldnt fish the second day due to tornado damage and he didnt have any stand bys, he left it up to me to find somebody to ride and fish the second day, an hour or two of phone calls and I got a guy from the club who didnt qualify that agreed to drive up and fish the second day. Went out the next morning and opened up the back compartment, battery charger was dark, no lights... drop cord unplugged at the wall. Ah shucks, I burned those batterys up the first day and would have to fish day 2 on dead batteries. Went fishing, caught 4 decent keepers early, a big bite mid day and culled a few times. That 36V trolling motor saved my butt, though I tried to take it easy just in case, I never had any power loss. Went on to finish the day with the biggest bag of day 2, just missed big fish and finished 3rd over all. Over came alot but kept my spirits up and got it done.
 
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