"In the Boat" presented by Jewel Bait Company
Tournament: Monticello Bass Club Open Tournament
                   May 2, 2009
                   Morgan Point Bendway

Anglers: Jeremy Risley and Andy Case
Place: 1st - 5 bass – 21.01 pounds

Practice:
We did not practice for this tournament, we just winged it.

May 2: Derby day began with clouds, thunder, and a light breeze which meant one thing, some
team was going to catch a big sack – the conditions were too perfect. We took off and headed to a
tree line that is always good for a keeper or two earlier in the morning. When we get there I noticed
there are some flooded willow tree saplings along the shoreline. So we fish down the bank till we
can get in close and throw towards the saplings. We finally get in there and on my first cast with a
spinnerbait, I catch a 4 pounder. We go back down the bank and Andy catches another keeper.  So
we run to another area just like that. We pull up and I notice a key feature that was going on in the
willow tree saplings, the shad were spawning.  Also, this bank had a ton of activity from carp and
shad spawning to gar and bass everywhere. I was able to get another good keeper in the boat in
this area. We were able to finish our limit at 8 am by going up and down that bank. We then run
down to an island that usually holds fish. We pull up and I have one hammer my spinnerbait. We
are now culling. I then had a good one commode flush my spinnerbait but missed it. We were able
to catch several more keepers off that bank. We then run down and hit another bank that had the
willow tree saplings on it. Andy catches a catfish which put up a good fight but we didn’t catch any
bass. So we run back to this long flat that has a ton of willow saplings on it. We fish along and we
see this little pocket. Andy has one hit his spinnerbait 1 ½ foot from the end of his rod. He unhooks
the fish and throws his spinnerbait out in the water and throws the fish in the livewell because it was
bigger then some of the fish we had in there. He picks his rod up to reel it in and he has a white
bass on it!!! Then we hit a dry spell for about an hour. Just about the time I think it is time to say we
need to move, I have our third biggest fish hammer my spinnerbait. I got the fish in and started
thinking about the hit when I throw the fish in the livewell. There was something different about
where that fish hit my spinnerbait. What happened was they pulled off the willow trees to a
vegetation line in 2 foot of water just out from the willow tree saplings. We start hammering them
again. I even catch a crappie. So we fish up and down that bank and catch several more keepers.
We decided to move down lake to one more willow tree sapling flat. While fishing down that bank, I
have a drum hammer my spinnerbait and just about give me a heart attack. Also something very
weird happened on that bank. By this time, it was getting hot so we started getting out of our rain
suits. The wind was blowing out of the west. Well halfway down this bank, the temperature drops
more then 10 degrees and the wind stopped and started blowing from the east. So in my head, I
was thinking it was either going to make the fish bite even more or it was going to come a down
pour. Well neither one happened. We fished down one side of a willow tree sapling point with no
luck. We get around to the other side and Andy throws into this little pocket. I look back and Andy is
fighting a toad. He gets that fish in the boat, which was our 2nd biggest fish of the day. At this point,
our sack is starting to look good, if we could just get rid of one more small keeper. We fish down
that bank with no luck. So we turn around and head back to that point where Andy just caught that
toad. We get to that exact pocket and I throw to the exact sapling and a mule hammers it. I get it the
boat and it is our largest fish of the day. I started to think we got a big sack but didn’t want to get my
hopes up. We fish around and miss a few more and it starts raining. That was the end of our bite
because at the point they just started slapping at it. We ran back up to the bank where we first
noticed the shad spawn and it was a dead sea. There were no carp spawning or gar in the area.
With that said, we didn’t even get a bite there. With a bad storm approaching fast, we decided to
head in 30 min early.

Keeper count:

Blue Herring War Eagle Spinnerbait: 20 or so keepers
Bass Assault Ultra Vibe Spinnerbait (Blue Herring): 5 or so keepers
NetBait Super Twitch (albino): 1 keeper

Final thoughts:
What a day, we caught a ton of fish!! We even caught crappie, drum, catfish, and
a gar. This is the first time either one of us has weighed a 20 pound sack in a tournament. The
write-up may have made it sound easy, but we had to keep adjusting the pattern all day long to stay
on the fish. The pattern came together that morning by just seeing one key factor, the shad spawn.
Even though there was a severe thunderstorm and even talk of a tornado coming, there were lots
of fireworks during weigh-in. There were a couple of participants who were out spoken about the
weight of our sack. All I can say about the matter is the scales read what they did and it was the
same for everyone else. It is unfortunate that a few people can take the excitement and joy out of
catching your first ever 20 pound tournament sack. I will just leave it at that, no need to go any
farther!!!!

See ya’ at  the next tournament,

Jeremy Risley