Well, it took a while but summertime finally reared its' head. With an increase in water temperature came an expected decrease in fish catches as compared to pre-tournament practice fishing.
As noted in a blog post or two, as well as many reports from the anglers themselves, catch rates and weights were significantly better in the couple weeks leading up to the tournament than they were on tournament day. That being said, there are some interesting notes from our second tournament of the season.
I would like to congratulate my fishing partner, Ron Broadwater, for leading our team to victory in this event. Ron and I finished the day with an 8 fish limit totaling 20.22 pounds. The highlight for us was his catch of a fish within a cast of the boat dock with ten minutes left in the tournament that allowed us to add a conservative 3/4 of a pound to our total. In all of the years fishing tournaments, this was the first time either Ron or I was able to make a significant addition to our weight so close to the end of the tournament and so close to the dock.
Second place was claimed by the team of Mike Isaac and Ronnie Wolfe. A very solid bag of fish totaling 19.31 pounds was anchored by the tournament lunker - a 5.55 pound largemouth bass. Unfortunately for Mike and Ronnie, they had lost another fish in the 5 pound class earlier in the day and only finished the tournament with 7 fish - 1 shy of a tournament limit.
The prize for third place went to the team of Martin Cribb and Ken Denbow. They had a limit of fish totaling 17.34 pounds. However, three dead fish cost them a 1 pound penalty, dropping their official weight to 16.34 pounds. Let's hope Martin and Ken can rectify whatever problem they had with their live well so they can prevent this loss of fish in the future.
The smallmouth lunker was caught by the team of Gary Gangi and Don Kosdemba. While Prettyboy is known as a premier smallmouth fishery, the warm weather obviously reduced the catch of smallmouth in this event. Still, their 2.45 pound fish was good enough to win them the smallmouth lunker for the day.
Ok. Now for some of the interesting facts. While the winning weight of 20.22 pounds is over 12 1/2 pounds below the highest winning weight in MRA Tournament history at Prettyboy, it is still the 5th highest winning weight on the lake in 28 regular season tournaments we have conducted at Prettyboy. The second place weight of 19.31 pounds is the single highest second place weight ever recorded at PB. It breaks a mark dating back to 2001, the year before the big drought. I still firmly believe that we are only now beginning to see fishing at Prettyboy begin to recover from that drought. Plus 19.31 pounds would have won all but 6 other Prettyboy tournaments in MRAI history. Additionally, the third place total of 16.34 pounds would have won 11 of our previous tournaments held at the lake.
So while fishing was not what everyone had hoped for based upon practice, the results were still far above average. I would like to thank everyone that has been following our new release procedures at the conclusion of our tournaments. I know the fish are thanking you too!
If you did not remember to return your live well additive container at the weigh-in, please remember to bring it with you at our next tournament so you can refill it. I look forward to seeing everyone at either our next regularly scheduled tournament at Loch Raven on Saturday, July 27th, or hopefully at our Weekday Warrior Tournament on Wednesday, July 17th at Prettyboy!