Patience vs senseless hope….

Haven’t written a post for a bit, work is wearing me out…then I was sick last week….so, going to catch up. Starting with the more positive events………then to one of my bigger disappointments for the year….

1.

Two weeks ago, I fished in the KBF Kentucky Lake tournament out of Cypress Bay. I started the day fishing top water, catching a few small fish; the majority of the bites were just swatting at the Whopper Plopper and not taking it, so I switched to a Mann’s Classic white spinner bait. No luck.

I moved way back in the bay, searching the creek that feeds into the area – I knew fish had been caught in the back of most bays lately. I saw no bait moving, had nothing hit my top water (Whopper Plopper, buzz bait), my spinner bait or a small crank bait; so I moved to the docks with a Baby Bass Yamamoto Senko and filled an average sized limit by the end of the day. A limit large enough to land me in 17th place…not too bad for a tough day (for me anyway)…ok, sucked…but I caught a limit.

Jeremy Johnson, a fellow angler fishing the same bay out of Nashville, moved back into the creek after I left and caught over thirty fish.   He landed in tenth……..my biggest weakness, patience, had caused me to abandon a location that my heart knew was the place to be…….dang it.

2.

One week ago, I fished the CAKFG 24 hour trace event. Any launch from Piney Campground north to just shy of the 68/80 bridge that is accessible from the Trace (LBL) was in bounds.

Now, I am not going to pretend that I fished 24 hours….I just do not fish at night, not my thing. But I did fish from the beginning of the tournament (5 a.m.) until dark; feeling like absolute crap.

I had stopped at the store on my way to work the day before, and the same lady who is always there most days waited on me. The day of the tournament, she was there and sick….I had pulled myself out of bed and immediately realized I didn’t feel quite myself, drove to the store….now I started connecting the dots….and the day only got worse.

I pulled into Byrd Bay and was alone. I pedaled out to my first spot and pulled a couple of small fish with my trusty Mann’s Classic spinner bait before switching to the Rapala Skitterpop and going to the back of the bay and into the creek. 14 inchers were plentiful, but I needed a larger fish.

I have not made the CAKFG tournaments a priority this year, so this was the last chance to qualify for the KAST state tournament; my only hope was to catch a large bass (the largest for the year) in my fifth tourney. I moved out to the ledges chunking big baits – large worms, Senkos, crank baits. Will Son had showed up and put me on a spot to catch a ledge fish……..14 and some change inches. I did not find that big fish.

The day wore on, and the 95 – 97 degree water combined with the oppressive heat made fishing tough…and I was fading. Had no thermometer, but I felt certain I was running a temperature and at one point even told Will I was leaving….but dang it, I just don’t really have quit in me. So I sat in the truck for a few minutes with the air on high; I had not brought food for the day, so I ate a biscuit I had dropped in the floor – and it was amazing! Then I went back out.

Anthony Shingler showed up with a cold Diet Pepsi (better than the biscuit!!!), and he, myself and Will sat on the water talking for a bit….then back to the fishing. Not forgetting Mr. Johnson’s success from a week earlier, and what I had found pre-fishing, I watched as they pedaled off toward the ledges and I went back into the creek. It was getting later in the afternoon, and if there is a time I have confidence that I can catch fish, it is the afternoons.

16.5, 18 and some change…..lost another 18-19 incher, all on a white Wal-Mart buzz bait with a chartreuse trailer (tail up as always).  Patience…not giving up, knowing you were right….

In the end, I had passed Will and moved into 3rd as storms rolled in and the tournament was put on hold for a couple of hours. I went home, and to bed…woke up early and texted Anthony that I would not be at check in because I had progressed to a point that I was terribly ill. I later learned that after the delay, my third place held up……….but not catching that big fish, and concentrating on KBF instead off the local events had left me out of the KAST state tournament.

Then I missed Monday at work, I went, but could not make the whole day.

3.

Dang it…….

So, before I finish writing this, I am struggling to not pout…so let’s get the positives out of the way.

I fished the KBF Open In LaCrosse Wisconsin this weekend. I caught my first two walleyes, a 40 inch pike, a crappie, a blue gill, a rock bass, smallmouth and largemouth.

Before leaving for the tourney, I considered calling it off. I was not feeling any better Tuesday morning, so I slept until noon, then loaded my kayak on the truck. That single act set me into a sweating frenzy for the next two hours, then I slept again, and woke feeling better.

There was a Caney Fork Hobie demo day in Nashville at 5, so I drove up and helped out; meeting several great people and talking about fishing and Hobies. Love that!

The descent………

I left Nashville about 7 p.m., drove all night, then fished a place where I had finished 7th a couple of months ago in LaCrosse. Nothing.

I moved to my second choice. Nothing.

Then my third…I found some fish. I was certain that I could get a limit for two days, there seemed to be many fish on the spot. I found other spots close, so I knew I would be ok; it was time to sleep. And sleep I did, I laid down in the room around 4 p.m. and never moved until 4 the next morning; then woke up feeling like I should Google where the local hospital was located. Instead, I took a trip to Walmart and loaded up on way too many cold meds and headed off to the spot I had fished in May. Still, nothing.

Tried a couple of more spots….nothing to pull me away from spot number three….so I started day one of the Open there.

Not going into detail…but I caught a decent limit with 4 inch Yamamoto Craws, Senkos and a small crawfish patterned crankbait that I fished like a jerk bait. 21st place on day one; dang it.

Then day two….I had trouble uploading my fish. I couldn’t get any uploaded to TourneyX.

Now, I am going to list the steps to uploading fish to TourneyX (disclaimer!!! it is NOT the fault of TourneyX).

  1. Catch fish
  2. Place on board with identifier
  3. Take picture
  4. Submit.

Ok….short version…….but it is step “a” that kept me from uploading. Yep…….I did not catch a single keeper on day two. Not one….cannot get past that point in the process, can’t upload……..

I had stayed on a dead spot for too long on day two – seems to be a fine line where patience becomes hope, becomes senseless, becomes loss; going to work on that one…

….and that is all I have to say about that………

Not sure where I landed, the results are still down………thankfully……….I do not know how bad I ended up…..yet….

Author: Mike Cheatham

Me…Mike Cheatham email…mikecheathamfishing@gmail.com something to know……….fished my whole life; now from a kayak….

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