Cup Day 1: 6th-Place Report
I'm in 6th place after the first of 4 days at the Lake Lanier Forrest Wood Cup in Georgia. But the standings differential is a lot tighter than the weight differential, because I'm 7 1/2 pounds behind the leader Jacob Wheeler, and that's a monstrous lead on this lake. My goal is still to become the first back-to-back Forrest Wood Cup champion in history, and I certainly don't expect Jacob to catch 22 pounds each of the next 3 days, so I just hope I can keep catching good bags and chip away at his lead.
Jacob's big weight is sort of like my big day 1 last year at Ouachita, and just like when I won, this year's going to boil down to who can be consistent and keep catching some big bags. I really do think consistency is going to make a big difference. I could catch 20 pounds if everything gets right, but I just need to get our there and be consistent and make it to the final day when anything can happen.
My bag today weighed 14 1/2 pounds, but I'd actually visualized myself catching 17 or 18, so it was a little less than I thought I'd catch.
I didn't spend a lot of time shallow – I stayed out deep pretty much the whole time. Overall I'd say I fished from the mid-depths to deep.
I fished probably 20 to 25 different places and I still have a lot of fresh places. But it was interesting day, because this lake fishes so differently than other lakes. Everywhere else, if you can find fish, you can catch them. Here, you can find fish all day long – I can see them right there on my Garmin graph – but I can't get them to bite. It's actually a timing deal. This lake's all about timing.
You have to constantly make adjustments based on what the weather's doing, where the sun is, what the sky's like, the wind, boat traffic. You have to take all that into consideration when you choose which brushpiles to fish and when. If you get away from good timing, you won't catch them at all. And unless you nail your timing perfectly, you won't catch the good ones.
It's actually a lot like sight-fishing, except I'm doing it on my Garmin. I can read how they're locating, what depth they're at, whether or not they're sitting there or chasing bait, whether they're grouped up or solo. There's an interesting little formula that has to come together to catch a big sack, and that's why this lake is so unlike any other I've ever fish.
I don't want to reveal specifics on my baits yet – I'll tell you more about them later – or exactly what I'm looking for in the "formula" I mentioned above. But I can say that I did a wide range of things today, including droshotting, jigs, topwater and a Sworming Hornet, which is no mystery on this lake. So it was definitely a potpurri of presentations.
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