- By Rich Miller
As you have gathered over the last couple of years from reading my blogs, I love hunting and that is my passion. But I do my share of fishing when I am not hunting, also. I have had a rod and reel in my hand before I was carrying my first gun around. My dad and uncle have always been diehard bass fishermen, and growing up they were always in a bass club and fishing tournaments on the weekends.When I got capable enough, I started joining them on occasion and enjoyed the competition of fishing against other anglers. Over the years I have fished in a lot of tournaments and some pretty big ones at times. I never won one of the big ones, but have held my own in a lot of the local tournaments. My problem with fishing is when the fish really start doing their thing in the fall and the spring I am in the woods. I rarely ever fish any Saturday tournaments and stick mainly to the weekly Thursday night trail that we have been fishing for several years now. We normally have between fifteen and twenty boats a week, and for the most part everyone has a great time. Just because it is a small trail doesn’t mean there isn’t some big competition in these tournaments. No one there likes to lose and my dad and myself are as bad as anyone about that, but we look forward to it every week.
My dad has had some health issues in the past year so we didn’t get started fishing until late June. The first couple of weeks we fished we didn’t finish in the money, but we should have won both of them had we not made a couple of mistakes and lost a couple of fish. The third week we came out of our slump and put the fish in the boat that we had on the line. We won the tournament and had big fish. The next Thursday I was out of town and my mother filled in for me. They won the tournament and had big fish that night. The next week I was back in the boat and we had more opportunities at big fish than we had all year and we couldn’t keep them on. We lost three different fish that would have went over four pounds. Luckily, we still won again but one of the guys cut us on big fish by .23 of a pound. Last week, the thunderstorms ran us off the lake early and we ended up with only seven pounds and only had three fish. One of the fish was a four-pounder, though. One of the teams that were the last one in beat us out of first place at the last minute. They had stayed out in the lightening storm and edged us out by a pound and a half. We ended up finishing second – and had big fish again. I was steadily kicking myself in the rear, though, because on the third cast of the afternoon I lost a real good fish that would have probably won it for us. It was about time our luck was running out, though. We can’t keep losing fish the way we have been and expect to win.
Win or lose, though, it’s all about cutting up with everyone there and talking smack back and forth with a couple of them. Besides, my dad really enjoys it, and it gets him out of the house. I don’t know if we can keep up with the pace that we have been at the last month but we are sure going to try; so keep your fingers crossed for us this week!