Tag Archives: Choo Choo Division

Fishing on Guntersville – We’re Talking About Practice

We are now officially less than a week away from the second attempt at the season opener for the Bass Fishing League (BFL) on Guntersville.  Having never fished Guntersville much, even though I live about two hours away, I figured the Choo Choo division would be a great way to get out there and check it out, since the entire season is on Guntersville.  Thanks to a couple of buddies who are fishing on the boater side, I’ve been able to hop in their boats almost every weekend, and ride around the lake with them.  It has been great, except for the weather.

This winter has been very strange.  We have had days in the 50’s, and days where it snowed.  It seems like as soon as mother nature decides it’s time to get cold, she changes her mind and it gets warm again.  Don’t believe me, check out the forecast for the next week.  Notice the 18 degree temperate swing coming up? weather

On top of that, we have had some serious rain over the last month, which has caused some flooding.  The ramp we have been launching at the last few weeks is littered with debris.  In fact, only one lane is able to be used to launch a boat because all the others have an unbelievable amount of trash on them.  This is one of the two docks at the ramp, and it has been beat up pretty good. You can see all the large trees that have managed to be washed ashore, along with tons of smaller branches and other debris.

So why do I bring this all up?  Well, mainly to say the lake has been fishing incredibly tough.  Because of all the rain, the current on the main river is flying!  One day we tried to stick it out on the main channel, and I was throwing a 3/4 ounce jig.  I was throwing it into 12 feet of water, and before it could hit the bottom, it was behind the boat.  Needless to say, we didn’t do too well in the main lake.  Plan B was to move back into the creeks, and start poking around back there.

While we did manage to catch fish every day we 12573696_1028540873872049_4770537510998942720_npracticed, we didn’t ever get on any big ones.  The largest fish I was able to catch, over multiple days, was a little over 3.5 lbs.  If I was fishing on Allatoona, my home lake, that would be a stud, but for Guntersville, that is just an average fish.  But, practice was not a total waste, not by a long shot.  Since I had not spent much time on Guntersville in the past, I really wasn’t too sure on the best ways to setup my rods and reels.  After a couple days of experimenting, I feel like I have my equipment pretty dialed in.

12573825_1033007026758767_4781511633163856309_nBeyond that, I feel like I have a pretty good game plan.  I don’t expect the current to slow down much, since there is a little more rain
in the forecast.  So, I’m hoping my boater partner does not try and fight the current all day.  To be honest, I don’t know of many trolling batteries that could stand up to that type of current all day.

Now, my game plan is very simple.  If we get shallow, and there isn’t much grass, I’ve been having pretty good luck on a bream colored crankbait.  If we do get into a little grass, then I’ll just switch that up for a bream colored chatterbait.  The bream color has been the ticket for me for the last month, and the only reason I can think is because the water has had a decent stain to it, and the bream color just fits the water clarity.  With that said, we did find some super clear water this week, and when we did, we slayed the fish on a jerkbait. We have fished all day, only catching 3 fish.  But, once we got into the clear water, we managed to catch 5 in less than 30 minutes.  That is something else I’m going to keep in mind, just in case we find ourselves in some clear water

As they say though, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  I’m going to be sure and take a few shakey heads, a drop shot weight or two, and maybe even a senko, just because you never know what the fish may throw at you.  But, I’m honestly feeling more confident going into this tournament, than any other tournament I’ve fished in a while.  Well, as confident as a co-angler can be, before meeting their partner.

Getting Back in the Game

After a bit of a sabbatical from the larger tournaments, I’m finally about to get back in the game, albeit at a much lower level. In 2010 I was fortunate enough to fish the FLW Tour as a co-angler, and despite miserable weather, and equally miserable fishing, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Little did I know, that would be the last year I would be able to really devote much time to tournament fishing for what would be 6 years. I didn’t have any major life change, I think it was more of a matter of simply growing up, and prioritizing my life (and expenses) in a more adult manner. My wife and I focused our attention on getting our financial house in order, in preparation for her to become a stay at home mom. As the years went by, I started to get the tournament itch again, and usually I could scratch it with a the periodic local derby.

As last year neared an end, my wife and I evaluated our situation , and the progress we made, and we both felt like we could “Loosen the belt” a bit. So, that means this year, I’m officially back in the game (well, dipping my toe into it)!BFL

Everyone has heard of Guntersville, and knows about the massive fish that inhabit it. I’ve never spent much time on it, even though it’s only about a 2 hour drive from my house. I decided I needed to change that this year, and the way I’m doing it is to fish the Choo Choo division of the BFL’s. Every regular season tournament for this division is on Guntersville, so that guarantee’s that I’ll be out there a little this year :-). Plus, I have some really great friends who are also fishing this division, and someone is always out there practicing, so many weekends I can hop in with one of them and get a little extra time on the water. So far, the first tournament of the season has been postponed due to weather, but I’ve still been able to get out there and do a little practicing. I haven’t run into any giants yet, but I have found a few nice ones.

So, with the new tournament season about to get underway, I’ll post an occasional report, photo or tournament update, and hopefully document a win along the way!