#5247, "RE: FLW Series at The Big O" In response to Reply # 0
Hey Tim: Thanks for the shout dude. Also, I appreciated your email on the anchor system. Turned out, I didn't even need to use the ones I built, but I still have them and will likely use them.
Here are some things I took away from Okeechobee, and yes, I was thrilled to finish 40th and get paid:
1) When sight fishing is a factor, sight fish.
2) When practicing for a sight fishing event, don't even pick up a fishing rod. Spend ALL your time marking beds, finding fish, and finding areas that they "will be" even if they are not there yet. Have confidence/faith that you can and will catch them, but find them first. I spent a little too much time "fishing" during practice when I should have been looking. My little swimmer bite was cool and all, but it wasn't gettin the quality fish that were on the beds.
3) Push Poles: As simple and old school as a push pole is, very few of us take the time to use them. I built one last year, and ditched it somewhere in my travels. I need another one. The Top 15 or so guys were using push poles to get into their fishing areas and not spook the big girls. Okeechobee is very shallow for the most part, and the fish are super trolling motor aware. Push poles paid off for the guys with the brains enough to use them.
4) Good glasses: I use Kaenon. I wore the Arlo in the C12 (copper) lenses. We had pretty good sunlight and light clouds for the 3 days. My partners wore grey lenses, Oakley, Costa del Mar....whatever. Understand, I'm on the bow of the boat and in control, but I'm shocked at how poorly some folks see fish and beds. Lots of factors contribute to not seeing them, but I believe wrong lenses account for a good chunk of it. Say no to grey in the Florida black water. It doesn't bother me when I'm competing with them for the same fish, but Lasik surgery asside, get yourself a good quiver of polarized glasses. Copper lens, Yellow Lens (for grey/cloudy conditions) and get it done.
5) Power Poles: If given the opportunity and you have the $, buy yourself one or ideally two of them. Enough said, Power Poles are the real deal and provide superior shallow water boat handling and ease of management, especially when it comes to sight fishing.
I've got another few weeks down here on the Big O, and am planning on soaking up some of the lessons I learned and putting it to use in a couple weeks....
#5248, "RE: FLW Series at The Big O" In response to Reply # 1
Good observations Matt, particularly on the glasses. It surprises me anyone would show up in a shallow water situation with grey lenses, but as you note having a brown/copper/rose type lens is night and day vs. a grey lens.
Regarding the pushpole, right on as well, I have an 18' Stiffy Hybrid (one piece), the tool is INVALUABLE for so many things. I bought it for my previous boat (a bay boat) and couldn't give it up when I moved to a bass boat. Pushing the boat around is just one use, it is a terrific anchor for water up to 12' deep (stab it in the muck/sand and tie off to it - the original manual powerpole), it is GREAT for retrieving baits off snags (including stuff you're partner throws up and over the levee), and it is the ultimate for pushing yourself off a sandbar when the boat begins to go dry on a falling tide. In my case it has paid for itself many times over just in retrieved plugs and flies. You use the V-foot to push the taught line the opposite direction of the snag, pops it out every time. The 18' one piece pole stores surprisingly well on a bass boat, the key is to use the mounting system they use on flats boats. Just hugs the topcap, totally out of the way.
Finally, I would add that we have a mutual friend in your Korean buddy Sam (not posting his last name on the open internet in case he'd mind). He was at my house a little while back for a party, he saw my boat and started talking about his friend that runs "Southernswimbait.com", I don't know you at all but I recognized the site name, anyway, he said he was going to hook you up with my contact info, I laughed at him and said "don't bother - fishing is all about keeping everything secret from other guys with bass boats" hahahhaaa
#5249, "RE: FLW Series at The Big O" In response to Reply # 2
That is pretty wild you know my boy Sam. Small world. Anyway, I like your style with the 18 foot push pole. I need to look into something like you describe. Agreed, the use as an anchor is just as useful as a push pole.