"In the Boat" presented by Jewel Bait Company
Tournament: Vince Miller's Super Team
                    June 14th, 2009
                    Lake Dardanelle

Anglers: Frank Leone and Jeremy Risley
             9th place - 5 bass - 13.11 pounds

Practice:

June 12th & 13th:
We had the luxury of two days of practice for this one.....On Friday we decided
to check out Pool 9 (Below the Dam). The flow had gone down and we both felt that lack of
pressure during the course of the year might make the fish easy to catch. We were wrong. We had
4 bites all morning and only landed one keeper, a 2.5 pounder caught on a Jewel Eakins' Jig. We
pulled the plug on the river pattern and headed to the State Park. When we got there, a terrible
storm was about to hit, but like fools we fished for about 20 minutes anyway. We were heading
down a stretch of grass when Dennis Bean pulls up and tells us that the storm has 90 mph winds
and baseball size hail associated with it. We were gone!!! We got the boat on the trailer and
headed towards the house. About 10 miles down the road and we hit the storm full frontal!!!
Wicked!!! Anyway, we waited the storm out and hit Shoal Bay afterword.  We started throwing frogs
around the pads. It didn't take long and one commode flushes Jeremy's Frog. As he landed the
6-pounder, I was thinking how nice it would have been to have that fish in the tournament. Anyway,
fished for another 2-hours and caught several short fish on the frog. We decided we would fish it all
day Saturday and see what developed. We got to the Shoal Bay Ramp on Saturday Morning and
there are 2 tournaments taking off. So I'm sitting there thinking, Hmmmm... 30 boats in these two
tournaments, 118 in the BFL.... It may be a little crowded this morning! About 7:30 we pulled up on
some pads and I threw the frog into a good looking area....Commode flush..... I set the hook and
wenched a 5-pounder to the boat. "Dadgumit"!!! Were the first words out of Jeremy's mouth.
Another one we needed during the tournament!!! We stopped fishing this stretch and moved to
another. Not very far down the next stretch and a giant jumps all over. I didn't set the hook on this
one, but I know it was over 5. We continued hitting the pads and caught fish sporadically all
morning. We decided that we would start with a swim jig in the morning and go to the frog when the
swim jig bite died....

Tournament:

June 14th:
Woke up early when another storm was rumbling past the house. When we got to the
ramp it was still raining, but at least there was no lightning!!! When our number was called we raced
to the Illinois Bayou and started on some water willow grass. About the 10th or 15th cast and one
jumps all over my jig and I miss it. No big deal, I'll get the net one right? Wrong!! About two casts
later and I miss another one. I cast right back and miss the same fish again!!! At this time Jeremy
runs up to the front of the boat, grabs my frog rod and throws to the fish. The fish nails it and we
get him in the boat. It was a solid 2.5 pounder - a good start. Well, the missing didn't stop there. I
continued to miss fish and got very flustered. The fish just weren't committed to the bait and I
couldn't get them to eat it. Anyway, We managed to put 3 more keepers in the boat (all on the swim
jig) before we decided to head to Shoal Bay. We had 4 keepers in the well, but should have
probably culled several times. We got to Shoal Bay and the frog bite started slow. We had been
working the pads for 30 minutes when I told Jeremy that I noticed an increase in activity... As soon
as I got those words out of my mouth a keeper takes my frog. I set the hook and started wenching
him out of the pads. I got him half way to the boat and he gets hung in the pads. We both thought
that he probably had come unbuttoned, but he was still there!!! We got him in the net - It's always a
relieve when you get number 5 in the boat!!! We continued to work the pads and another good
keeper commode flushes my frog. We get this one in the boat with no problem and it's time to cull. I
planned to cull by putting all the fish in the other live well one by one, but when I opened up the port
well, there was our first keeper dead - high and dry. It seems that Jeremy and I had a
miscommunication and our first fish of the day was put in the wrong well. OK - we will start the
process anyway. As I open up the other livewell, Jeremy feels something hit his leg and there is a
splash behind the boat. I'm now thinking that I hope that's not what I think it was. Sure enough, one
of our fish had jumped back into the lake  - "Free Willy" style. Luckily It was our smallest fish, so no
harm, no foul (I guess). We continued fishing the pads and Jeremy catches our best fish of the day,
a 3.5 pounder that absolutely killed his frog. About 1:00 PM it started to rain and we didn't have
another bite the rest of the day.........

Keeper Count:

Spro Bronzeye Frog (Black): 4 keepers
All Terrain Swim Jig (1/2 oz. White): 3 keepers

Final Thoughts:

This tournament was a comedy of errors.... From missing fish, to putting one fish in the wrong
livewell, to having one escape on us - We did almost everything wrong. We still ended up with a
decent finish but should have gotten a check. We have no one to blame but ourselves........

See ya' on the flip side,

Frank Leone