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Lessons Learned – Every Day in May

May 26th, 2012 · No Comments


Let me tell you about learned lessons. I’ve learned A LOT in the last year or so. At times it’s been tough, real tough, and others I’ve known better.

Lesson #1 came, um three times last year? Yeah. Three times. All three tournaments last year I did the same thing, and I had already considered it one of the cardinal rules of tournament fishing.

Go with what you know.
Go with your gut.

You see. I often know where I should be fishing, but I keep trying to do something different for some reason. The sturgeon tourney, I knew the fishing was probably going to be best at George Rodgers Park. But, no, I dragged a couple other guys with me to the Columbia. Now, I had just fished the same area a week or two prior, and did get into a lot of fish. They weren’t there come tourney day. I knew Rodgers was the way to go. But I went elsewhere. Guess where all the winning fish were…. yep. George Rodgers…

Then at the Oregon Rockfish Classic… oh what an epic fail that was… As I like to do, I was one of the first boats out of the gate in the morning. I got to the North Reef out of Depoe Bay tried to get the skunk off first thing in the morning. I marked fish on the sonar–something that isn’t all that common–and dropped a line. I picked up a decent rockfish, and paddled off in the sunrise. What I should have been done was keep fishing. I was on a spot with fish. Why did I move? I might have hoped to find a new, unexplored rock pile that I had seen on my charts. I was on a spot that had fish and, in the previous year, produced the tournament winning fish. But what did I do? Chased a rainbow. The tournament winning fish, again, came from right where I caught that first rockfish…. but I just had to go run around where I had never fished… the ORC also had other problems… but that’s a different topic.

Again, at the Next Adventure bass tournament, I just had to go do something new. Again. I knew the Willamette was the place to be, and that’s where everyone else would be fishing. Instead I headed out of dodge and hit up a small lake that I just new had to have bass. Hell, it even has a sign from the Oregon Bass and Panfish Club saying they put fish in that lake! I don’t know when they did that, but I didn’t see a single one. Ever. Anywhere. Fished the whole place. I packed up the gear and made another mad dash to a lake that I thought just had to have fish. It did. Carp. Nothing but carp, and the whole lake was choked out in Eurasian milfoil. It had so much weed in it, that I’d imagine the water doesn’t even ripple up with 35mph winds. The milfoil, of course, brought an end to the day. I couldn’t get onto another body of water unless I washed the kayak. Of course, I was using the convertible, which meant I needed to have the top down to haul the boat. My day was done.

So, my goal from all these lessons learned about tournament kayak fishing, is to trust my gut. For real this time. In a few weeks I’ll be the first one out of the hole and I’m going to fish the heck out of North Reef before I put any thought into moving elsewhere, unless, of course, my gut says something else…

There were many other lessons learned lately. Of course, they’ve also been the main content of my blog since February. Ug. I’ll spare you further details. But, if you’ve made is this far into today’s post, I urge you to read another blog about “Lessons Learned”


Gary is also a local Portland angler. His blog is, well, awesome. I get his emails a couple times a day and always look forward to reading them. Today, Lessons Learned seem to really hit me. He’s got the basics down, that’s for sure, and I could stand to take heed to all of his advice.

Tags: Every Day in May

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