Anyone who fishes Rend Lake consistently for bass will tell you it’s unlike any lake in the country. One day you look like a genius the next day you look like a lost little puppy. That’s how Ryan and I felt Saturday. We had 0 fish for the entire day!!! No keepers whatsoever. You couldn’t miss the setup any worse than we did and I really didn’t want to come back to Rend the following day to donate my money 2 days in a row but Hef was ready to get back out on the waters so I had no choice. The only bright side was the tournament was to be over at noon rather than the usual 2:00 which is a double edged sword. You have less time to find the pattern.
We took off out of sailboat harbor just after daylight. There is no place better to be in my opinion than on Rend Lake when the sun has yet to peek over the tree tops. We arrive at the Gun Creek Bridge and started with a Crankbait in the front and Spook in the back style of fishing but to no avail. We soon switched to both of us on the front of the boat paralleling the rocks and drop-offs with a buzzbait for me and a spook for Hef. About 20 minutes in after missing two small bites Hef got a taker and we boated number one in which barely went over the 14 inch limit. After the day I had previously this was just what the dr. ordered. After another 30 minutes of going down the same bank we decided to hit some drop-offs that I hit when it’s still early in the morning but nothing came of it. We were well into the 8 o’clock hour when it was time to do the thing I love doing most which is flipping and pitching buck brush. We ran to an area of the lake that had just enough water behind the buckbrush that gave me confidence we could catch a few. Hef started things out with a less than manly hookset on a fish that showed itself and looked to be 2lbs but wasn’t penetrated with his jig so it came off. About 10 yards down I pitch into the heart of a bush that I always fish but have never caught a keeper on. My line went heavy and I set into what would prove to be our biggest fish of the day that went only 2.70lbs. With 2 keeper bites in such a short distance we decided this was where we would settle in at for the last 3 hours of the tournament. Fate stepped in shortly after our 2nd keeper when I got hung up on a tree and lost my jig trailer. This is usually not a problem but after frantically searching the boat I couldn’t find anymore jig trailers. Not having a jig at rend is like not having 4-wheel drive in the middle of a bean field, you’re playing with fire. The only other box I had brought with me was my shaky head box with very light shaky heads but I had to make do. After getting tied back up I made two pitches into a tree and swung a fish into the boat that was just shy of a keeper but more importantly gave me confidence that I needed when calling the audible. After a rare line break on a fish and a lot of cussing myself a fish splashed behind me chasing a shad. I flipped in immediately where the bait ball had been broken up made two tugs when my line ran off giving us keeper number 3. This is how you know it’s going to be a good day when you get a bonus fish like that. We went on about a 30 minute dry spell with one 4lbs catfish making the heart beat quickly when I was able to get number four in off of a limb hanging out off of point. After dumping the fish in the livewell I thought it was time for a little needling. I said “If you’d get number 5 right here it’d make up for my stupidity on the line break and your wussy hook set” barely getting the word “set” out Hef rips into a 15 incher giving us a limit by 10:30 a.m. We were only setting around 9lbs and knew we couldn’t get comfortable as this was a larger tournament so we bared down and went back to work. A few small fish into the boat and approaching 11:20 I told Hef we needed to motor back to where I caught our biggest keeper on that point bush. We idle over there and seconds after I pitch in my line runs off again and I’m able to boat a solid 2.50 lbs fish culling us up almost a pound. Hef and I proceeded to argue over which fish was smaller and after choosing one began to really argue over who caught the fish that got pitched back into the water. The guy who catches the least amount of fish has to go weigh them so there is some nostalgia for us to uphold. With 10 minutes to go I flip into another bush and rip my line again which has me furious this time but not as furious as Hef was about to become. There was a little stick hanging just off of a point that I had casted to but never had a whiff. Hef makes one pitch to it and sets the hook so hard I hear a major whip lash in his line. Only problem was his hands had so much sweat on them that they came off of the rod and it stuck in his shirt. After getting back on his reel he lifted the fish up which I can see is around 4lbs! Little did we know it wasn’t hooked well enough and the reverse physics must have caused the hook to fall out of its mouth. He was beat red and very angry hahaha.
We get to the weigh in and drop 10.04lbs onto the scales which was more than enough in the shortened tournament but that 4lbs would’ve been a nice addition. The other great news is Ryan who I had crapped out with the night before decided he was going to give it another go and brought his 7 year old boy Mace. They weighed in 4 fish for 8.40lbs giving them 2nd just barely over 3rd place and Mace caught the deciding fish just over 2lbs. After receiving his money he had a smile from ear to ear as he had won a tournament with his dad just a few days before. To say the kid is hooked would be an understatement! signing off
10.04lbs First place