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Thread: Gaston FoM, 23 May 2015

  1. #1
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    Default Gaston FoM, 23 May 2015

    One of the cooler rule changes for FoM this year was the opening of inter-division participation. In years past you had to fish all 5 events in your home division in order to qualify for the regional event. Now you need only 3 home division events. You are free, if you so choose, to fish in events in other divisions so long as you compete in 5 and attend 3 meetings. Steve and I have always wanted the season to be a bit longer (7 or 8 events vc 5). With this new rule it allows for as many events as a team wishes to sign up for. And you can cherry pick places. This rule will enable a few bucket list trips. To that end, I signed us up for NC Central's Gaston event because neither of the VA divisions have gone there in 3 years. Has always been one of my fav places to fish, and Steve and I have done well there. Steve's work schedule got it in the way so I paired up w/ Brad W., a fellow FoMer from VA, for this one.

    Practice: It rained hard all day on THUR so it was a play day. I used it to visit old haunts, honey holes, and community holes. I also did a little exploring. Found fish almost right away on 2dary points with jigs and soft plastics. Undeveloped points with emergent grass (willow) were best. I fished quite a few points with homes and docks on them - I caught fish there but for some reason the better fish were on the undeveloped plots. Thunderstorms chased me off early and my bilge pump was crying 'uncle' so I called it a day about 1. FRI weather was just like TX day - clear, sunny, high pressure, low humidity, and light winds. I figured that would be the truer indication of what to expect some SAT. Started off FRI's session on 2dary points. Found fish eager to eat a jig or a soft plastic bait almost right away. As the sun came up the wind picked up so I switched to a spinnerbait and started working the emergent grass edges. Found fish willing to eat the spinnerbait almost right away. A couple of strikes were pretty wicked - I mean they throated it, trailer hook and all. As the morning bite tapered off I went into the scan mode. Managed to chart several dozen potential spots. By 1 PM I had several solid patterns for TX day - 2dary clay points w/ jigs and plastics, rocky points with jigs, emergent grass edges w/ spinners, and brush off of deeper docks (+10'). With no pending weather changes overnite I was confident at least one of these patterns would hold up.

    TX day: Started off slow but we eventually made the adjustments necessary to bag our first keeper. This fish was holding off of the first break outside a large grass bed. This would end up being our most productive pattern. We did catch a few off of 2dary points (rock and clay) and wood but breaks at 5-8' just off of grass were the best. The jig bite died off but the fish were all over the soft plastic bite. We didn't get as many bites as I had in practice but the bites we got were good ones. We weighed 5 for 13.06, anchored by a 3.80.

    Observations: 1) Caught several fish in practice that had large sores on their sides. I know fish will sometimes get these after the spawn. I also have heard that some viral infections can cause these. The sores didn't seem to affect the fishes' ability to fight. These bastages were kickin' it. 2) Access to deeper water (+10') close by was key. Didn't matter if we were fishing points, flats, or grass beds. Had to have that deeper water nearby in order to get bit. 3) Plastic color of choice was GP. Jigs had to have a lil orange in them. 4) We had one topwater fish all weekend - Brad nailed a peanut off of the end of a laydown. 5) Every point was holding fish. In some cases they ate right away. In others you had to make a few casts before you got bit. Points closer to high traffic areas were the places where you had to make multiple casts. 6) Wind blowing across a point was better than wind blowing in. 7) I missed three fish on no-brainer strikes. Fish were running away from me but I failed to bury the hook because the wind had caused my line to bow a little. 8) The slack line presentation was key for me. I picked up on hits watching my line that I never felt w/ the rod tip or my finger. This was especially important later in the day after the fish had seen about every shape of jig and soft plastic bait known to mankind. 9) Water, for the most part, was clear. In some stretches in creeks and on the main lake you had 6+' of viz. In some of the backwater areas the water was tannic. Maybe 3-4' of viz. Temps ranged between 71 and 79. 10) I did not find any established submerged grass beds. I did pull up some newly sprouted hydrilla w/ a crankbait but that was it. Many of our fellow competitors went uplake. Historically that's where the best grass is. Dunno. I never made it up that way. 11) Failed to mention in my initial report that I caught my first spotted bass on Gaston - a chunky 13 incher. Lil guy ate a jig (killed it) off of a main lake point dock.

    Not sure where we finished up but that doesn't matter. We managed a solid bag of fish on a lake we hadn't seen in a while. The lessons from the Philpott outing were in full force. We strayed off of our pattern a couple times during the day but were quick to recognize it and make the appropriate correction. As the rec traffic picked up we moved into areas where there was less of it. Made a huge difference for us.

    Ron Duffy and the NC Central team put on a great show. I look forward to fishing w/ them again. Thanks again to Brad for pinch-hitting.

    peace,
    B
    Last edited by 31Airborne; 05-27-2015 at 10:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Nice write up pard. Happy Memorial day to you my friend and thank you for your service to our great country.
    cheers,
    Steve

    2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
    Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.


  3. #3
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    One heck of a recap. Nice job out there.
    Crank That Jank!

  4. #4
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    Congrats B on a 4th place finish. Nice job and good write up.
    1st Place VA East FOMNTT Potomac River 2006, VA East FOMNTT Big Bag 2006, VAO Frog Only Tournament Winner 2011

  5. #5
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    Click!

    Well done Brian. Nice recap.
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper



  6. #6
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    Nice job out there 31! thanks for the recap
    I'm about to play my Ace

  7. #7
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    Great report 31 and good job in the tournament too! Back to back good tournaments!
    Eric

    2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions


  8. #8
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    awesome
    </div>

  9. #9
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    Great job 31.

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