Hef and I had back to back Sunday’s fishing the Rend Lake Lunker Busters on the 21st and 28th. So far we have been very lucky this year winning both the previous two but conditions changed rapidly on rend for the first tournament. After having a decent tournament the week before the lake had rose up from recent flooding over 2 feet giving the fish a reason to move back into the bays scouring for crawfish and other prey. The issue for Rend is that the fish can get way back to the point that they are unreachable. The first of the two tournaments turned out to be a complete disaster. We had 1 good fish and 3 dinks for the entire day. What made matters worst was everyone caught fish all day but us. Hey it happens!
We decided before the 2nd tournament we’d fish Saturday morning before I had to go to work. We had no desire to come back with one fish again. The practice turned out to be one of the best mornings I’d ever experienced on the lake. We were on a lot of fish and the size seemed to be there so we decided to stay back in South Marcum.
On the morning of the tournament we headed to our bank but I had Hef shutdown just before on a hunch that a rock flat that had the potential to produce a nice fish could get us started off right. 3 casts in with my crankbait and the rod loaded up. I told Hef if this is a bass it’s a good one! Sure enough we boat a 5 pounder to start our day. We stayed on the flat for only a few more minutes. Hef snagged one just shy on his spook and we moved on in. The crankbait had done it’s job and now it was time for a frog. I threw into a grass patch and without even flicking the bait a bass gulped it. Once again it was just shy of the 14″ mark. We trolled down to a tree that has been pretty good to me in the past, and as I casted up toward it I told Hef how good of a spot this has been to me. I jumped and twitched the frog perfectly across but with no success. For some odd reason instead of reeling it back up, the boat quickly of borrowing cash click this http://wolfinace.co.uk and getting another cast in I decided to twitch it all the way back. Less than 10 feet away from the boat a 4lbs comes almost out of the water and inhales the bait. I see him, dump my rod for a second and then slam into our second kicker fish of the day. From here on out we were content with just getting 3 more into the boat so we could hit the 15lbs mark that seems to win fairly often. After a couple more dink fish we roll down to a half dozen or so trees pointing towards us in the water. I opted to go to the spinnerbait to try to get a reaction bite. First cast I get a taker but it was only about 12 inches so he had to go back in. We get down to one of the last logs with no luck when we see a mini log jam way out off the bank. I casted to the left side of it with no luck but on the 2nd cast to the right I get crushed! I stick him and when it comes to the surface I can see another 5 pounder attached to my line! Hef nets him up and now we sit with around 14 pounds with only 3 fish! I’ve never had that happen by the way. Here’s where it just starts getting stupid. Not even 5 minutes later I drop my spinnerbait for no great reason and decide to pick up a shaky head and pitch to a stick laying up against some cane. One pop off and I feel the fish gulp my bait. I go for the stick and almost lose my rod in the process. I bring up another solid fish just shy of 4lbs. Here we are sitting on Rend lake at 8:45 in the morning with 17 plus pounds of fish and still trying to get our limit. What? What about Hef? Well, we’ll get there… We fish around into the back of the cove only to come out with a couple of dinks when I tell him we should run down to a flooded field and check the grass there. We get there and flip around. I tell Hef to throw into that grass mat since I’m back on a spinnerbait. He throws in, buries the hook into a 2 pounder which jumps perfectly out of the grass but flips off on the very next splash (tough break). After another dink we go back to our original starting bank which gives up a couple of more dinkers when Hef decided to drag his jig over the top of a tree. A bass flashes his bait but seemed to have missed it on the dart so another tough break for the big fella. We only have about an hour to go (it was over at noon) so I tell him let’s go up to a place where I know we can get number 5. We run up to the north end up by Wayne Fitzgerald park and only a couple of casts in #5 whacks my spinnerbait. It was barely 14 inches but he wouldn’t stay in the box long. About 50 yards into the cove I spot 3 pieces of buckbrush and cast along side them. On the third and final piece I get another taker which was closer to 15 inches so we switched the two smaller fish out. We still had a lot of time to try to get to that holly grail “20lbs stringer” but we decided to go back to the ramp since we felt like there was no since in risking our tournament.
Back at the scales we were very shocked to see another boat weigh in only 3 fish for 13.5lbs including a 6.50lbs kicker which completely knocked us out of the running for what I was certain would be big fish, Oh well! Hef bags up our fish and dumps them on the scales giving me my personal best, and our team best, 18.61lbs stringer I’ve ever had on Rend. Poor Hef was behind the eight ball and just couldn’t get the keeper bite going all day long and believe me I let him have it too! It happens to us all though!
Tournament 1, 1 Fish 2.5lbs (did not place) Tournament 2, 5 fish 18.61lbs, First place