It never seizes to amaze me how crucial one fish can be to an entire season. Most fans don’t realize how tight the points can be and a single fish can move you up and down the season long standings. I had this experience on Lake Chickamauga this past week. On the second day with a few hours left to fish I lost a 5lb class fish that got me wrapped up under a dock and eventually broke me off. This fish would have culled me up 3 ½ lbs. which would have been enough for a check and a top 60 finish, which would have moved me up a little in the season point standings and further secure my position inside the Forrest Wood Cup cutoff. Unfortunately, I didn’t land the fish and finished in 104th place, which dropped me outside of the championship cutoff all the way to 53rd place. I now have my work cut out for me to make the Cup in August.
My practice was tough due to missing almost two days to a malfunctioning trolling motor. I didn’t make my first cast with a working trolling motor until about 4:00 PM on the second day of practice. I ran around the lake looking for some spawners and staging fish, but didn’t find a whole lot.
I got an early boat number so I decided to run down lake after a couple of nice spawners I had seen the last day of practice. I was able to catch one of them, about a 4 ½ lber, but the others were gone. I then started to run spawning pockets blind casting a Berkley General around and consistently caught fish and was able to work my way up to 14 lbs. 9 oz. and tied for 59th place.
The second day I decided to start up the river and got on a shad spawn deal with a Dirty Jigs Swim Jig. I caught several fish, but lost two decent keepers that would have really helped. I then ran down lake and began fishing spawning pockets with the General and caught lots of fish, but was only culling by ounces. Towards the end of the day I broke off the 5 lb. fish which capped off the event for me. I ended up weighing 10 lbs. 11 oz. and fell to 104th place. I’ve got about six weeks off to think about that fish and figure out a way to catch them at Lake Champlain to get back into the FWC.