Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fear & Loathing on the BBTS: Chandos Lake

Before I launch into how poorly I fished on Chandos, I will take a minute to congratulate the winners, starting off with Barry Ramsbottom and Jeff Hall, who not only took first place with a 16.08lb bag, but also captured big fish with a 4.60lb largemouth.. Congrats guys!

Second place went to Shawn Beers and Doug Burrows, this was a close one, they weighed in a 16.02lb bag just missing first place by 0.06lbs.. ouch.

In third was the team on Rick Morgan and Brian Robinson, you may recognize them from some of the pics from my trip to Lake Erie this past May.. congrats guys.

Ok, now for my day...

Damn, Im pretty sure Dustin and I have settled pretty deep into what is turning our to be a sophomore jinx. 2011 was our first year on the BBTS and keeping that in my I think we fared pretty well. So headed into 2012 we were excited to think there was nowhere to go but up! So far that has not been the case and we have been struggling at times.. Chandos lake is a good example of this as we fell to 20th place and weighted in only 2 fish. (only the second time we have not weighed in a 5 fish bag)

I will start off by stating my day started out on a strange note (more on that to come)  I was tailed for 25+ minutes  by a guy who followed me right down to the boat launch only to turn around when I pulled up next to a couple other anglers already there. Slightly shaken I laughed it off an proceeded to get my gear ready for the day.. Rain played a major role in my day as high winds, rain and a possible thunderstorm were in the forecast.

With another stellar draw (21ST!!) we were again close to last blasting off. As we watched 20 boats shoot off we quickly realized that 70% of them were headed towards our 1st spot and the other 30% were headed towards our 2nd and or 3rd spot.. so when we finally got to blast off we headed to a near by bay we were saving for later in the day.

7:00 Arriving at spot number one we knew we were in trouble, the little back bay holding 10-12ft of water over a healthy weed bed was almost un-fishable due to the high winds blowing down the lake right into the bay. We still gave it a shot but after nearly burning out the trolling motor we moved on

7:30 Chandos is known as a killer small mouth lake so we decided to check out some rock points and flats to see if the bite was on. After continuing to fight the winds and only landing a hand full of tiny smallmouths (yet hundreds of rock bass) we put away the drop shot rods and ran down the lake to look for shelter in some back bays.

9:00 Working in sheltered bays we found a largemouth bite but were having issues finding any size, I hooked into the first keeper of the day, but lost it while attempting the "Bassmaster flip". This fish was not a monster by any means, but it would have put one in the live well so needless to say I was very disappointed. (and took some heat from my partner)

With this success in mind we continued to follow the shoreline and in and out of any bay we could find. The Pike bite turned on quickly and if we could have weighed some of them in, we would have been laughing

11:30 After losing a second small keeper close to the boat (yes me again) we decided it was time to abandon the shoreline and head to the south end of the lake to try some spots we had success on during our pre-fish. After making the long drive down the lake we quickly noticed we were not the only guys with this idea. It was at this time we just said  "screw-it" and drove to the nearest marker to kill some time while we waited for a boat or two to leave.

12:00(ish)  While dropshotting for smallies Dustin hooked into our first (boated) fish of the day, a sweet 4.10lb largemouth that came as a  great confidence boost and put us back in the game. Over the next 45 minutes we circled the same spot and landed  4-5 more fish one of which was keeper #2, a 1.5lb smallmouth that brought our daily tally up just over the 5.5lb mark, and I'm sad to say that's exactly where we finished.

The Next 3 hours brought us nothing but dinks and the occasional pike. We headed to the weigh-in slightly early and let me tell you we were not the only ones.. 5 other boats also headed to the shoreline around the same time, which took some of the weight off our shoulders.

As the weigh-in progressed It looked like many anglers had a tough day on Chandos and big fish were few and far between. The 5.60lbs we weighed in was quickly knocked off the leader board but the 4.10lb Largemouth was still standing after 90% of the boats had weighed in.. fingers crossed we watched the last few anglers come to the scales only be be knocked out of the money by a 4.60lb fish... oh so close, and what a fitting way to end out day

Well if you are still reading, here are some pics of the event.. more to come (Im still playing with Instagram as you can see)

Next Up: Limerick Lake

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