Douglas Lake Recap

FEATURED_Chris-Murphy_DougRecap

OK….so, that’s not how I envisioned this thing going. 107th out of 188 at the Bassmaster Northern Open #1 on a very tough Douglas Lake.  Many of you may have noticed that I did not enter this as a boater – I fished as a co-angler.  I never planned to fish the Opens; my goal was to concentrate on the Rayovac Series and see what the venues for the Opens were going to be next year.  But when a friend needs a link to guarantee his place, you have to help them out, and I’m glad I did.

I’ve never understood the notion that someone is “above” fishing the back of the boat – you can learn a TREMENDOUS amount, and I certainly did this week.  I’m a shallow water guy, and this tournament was spent entirely in water depths of 25-35 feet. Practicing with IMA / Optimum Baits Pro Michael Murphy was worth the price of the tournament just to learn how to analyze and attack a deep water lake; Michael finished 25th with a two-day total of 26-5.  It was great to spend time on the water with Michael again, as he has been a friend and mentor for me as my career has progressed.

My day one partner was Weather Underground Pro Jim Root, who found THE spot in practice (check his photos) only to have changing conditions clear them out come tournament day. Jim worked the heck out of down lake side of Douglas, and I was happy to get my one keeper on Day One.  Jim took the time to teach me about his Humminbird electronics and we shared many fishing theories on the water, and I expect to speak with him regularly. Probably the most valuable piece of intel he shared with me is the Weather Underground app for my phone, it covers everything and is an invaluable tool for fisherman.

My second day was spent with T-H Marine Supplies Pro Sam George, an 18-year-old from Athens, Alabama. I expect this young man to be fishing the Elites sooner rather than later, and I was given a master class on deep water drop shotting and spoon fishing.  I bagged a small limit with Sam while watching him entice fish into biting using his graph.   Watching the 2D sonar readout of a fish following a drop shot worm was really incredible to see first hand.  Sam was a class act – eager to share information, a laugh, and his love of the sport. for a piece about Sam coming up soon on BassEast.com.

Regardless of my finish, my tournament on Douglas was a success, as my confidence in deep water structure fishing has increased immensely.  The experience of being on stage and gaining two new friends in Jim and Sam was worth the trip all by itself, and if you are contemplating fishing a BASS Open as a Co-angler, I strongly suggest that you do, I guarantee you’ll learn something.

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