Hoping To Make The Regional
By Hut Reeves
I am a freshman this year, so I am just now beginning to fish high school tournaments. I am in the Texas High School Bass Association (THSBA) east division, and I fish on the Van High School fishing team. So far this year has been pretty interesting.
The first tournament of the year was Sept. 23 on Lake Palestine. My partner and I started off the day by waking up at 2:30 in the morning and getting to the lake at 4 a.m. We got there so early because we were afraid the lines at the boat ramps would be really long, but they weren’t. When we got to our starting spot, we just sat on the deck of the boat until we were allowed to start fishing at 7 a.m.
My partner and I made our first casts at 7 a.m., and my partner got a bite but he missed it. Then we pulled up to the next dock and caught seven fish that were too short. We were catching our fish with shaky heads and drop shot rigs around docks. At 1:30 in the afternoon and about 25 short fish later, I decided to pick up a black-and-blue jig. I skipped the jig as far under the dock as possible and finally caught a fish that was big enough to weigh in.
We had caught around 40 fish all day long but only had one keeper. It weighed in at 1.42 pounds, and we ended up in 95th place for that tournament. It definitely wasn’t how we wanted to start off the season, but we were just happy that we didn’t zero because there were quite a few teams that didn’t catch a keeper.
Now our second tournament went a little better. The tournament was at Lake O’ The Pines on Oct. 21. We could make the first cast at 6:45 in the morning and as soon as it turned 6:45, our lures were in the water. We were fishing cypress trees. Within a few minutes I caught a keeper and a short fish using a white Chatterbait, and my partner caught a keeper on a black-and-blue jig. We had two fish for about 4 1/2 pounds.
We were feeling good, but then we didn’t get another bite until about noon. We decided to go deep and fish some ledges with some brush on them. My partner and I were both throwing deep-diving crankbaits. Within a few minutes my partner landed a fish about 4 pounds on a Strike King 6XD crankbait. We fished on that ledge for about an hour and we just caught a couple short fish. We moved spots to another good ledge and we started catching them including another keeper, which was a 2-pound spotted bass. After a couple more hours we only caught short fish and finished with four keepers weighing 10.65 pounds. We ended getting 26th place out of 133 teams and we won a little bit of money.
Our third tournament on Lake Fork Nov. 18 was a complete disaster. The forecast called for 25mph winds and gusts up to 40mph. We were allowed to make our first cast at 6:45 in the morning but we were running late that morning and we showed up at the lake at around 6:45. We had found a really good shallow spot in prefishing so that is where we went. When we got there the wind was so bad that we could hardly even fish that spot. We quickly got two keepers, one on a white swim jig and one on a Texas-rigged Strike King Rage Craw. We fished until the wind caused us to move into a big cove where we had no luck. By this time the wind was up to about 30mph and we had nowhere else to go.
We happened to find a few docks where we could get out of the wind. I was throwing a drop shot, and I caught a tiny keeper that didn’t even weigh half a pound. We had to load up and leave at around 11a.m. We weighed in three keepers totaling 1.74 pounds and ended up getting 68th place out of 130 teams. We were not proud of how we fished, but we were thankful for what we got.
Right now we are in 52nd place in the standings, so we’re in the cut for regionals so far. Our next tournament is at Lake O’ The Pines in February 2018. We are hoping that we can do well enough to at least make it to regionals. We are definitely not doing great, but I guess we could be doing worse. We are very glad to be a part of the THSBA and the Van High School fishing team.