"In the Boat" presented by Jewel Bait Company
Tournament: Get5Bass Winter Series Championship
February 1st 2009
Lake Maumelle

Angler: Cody Kemp
Place: 5th - 5 bass - 8.76 pounds

Practice:

Was by far the worst day on the water I have ever encountered. I fished hard from daylight until just
after dark, fishing as shallow as 2 feet out to the deepest part of the stupid mud hole. Throwing big
jigs, small jigs, hair jigs, jerk baits, crankbaits, rattletraps, and even spoons to fish I could not see
on my graph. That’s right my entire day of practice I did not once see a hook on my 797. With 40
degree water I thought for sure I would see some fish suspended waiting for a spoon to be put in
there faces but nope nothing. You know how sometimes you can feel a fish at least swim by your
lure? Well that didn’t even happen on my practice day. I didn’t get a single bite in 10 hours; I was
far past humbled going into the championship tournament.

Tournament:

I bought a contour map from the marina just before the pre-tournament meeting thinking there had
to be a creek channel ledge I had overlooked in practice, which might hold some suspended fish. I
found what I thought to be a good starting point to graph over and set that waypoint while idling
around waiting for my turn to take off. I took off and was “pumped” to get to my new never seen
location “ha”. I got there and graphed the entire channel without ever seeing a shad, a fish, or
anything “I thought to myself I swear this lake doesn’t have any fish in it”. After wasting 15 minutes I
ran over to a good channel swing drop on an island that had some chunk bluff rock on it and
started throwing a 5/8 ounce jig around, After fishing around the island I ran into another competitor
that was fishing alone. After a brief laugh about how Frank and Terrance should have just let us
fish together since we were the only two loners and we both came to the same island to begin our
morning, we parted ways. I decided to run to a spot where I had found some deep brush next to a
shallow ridge in the main lake. The brush was in around 30 feet of water, in the bottom of the
channel. I made about 5 casts to the brush with a ¾ ounce jig and decided I wanted to go back
shallow. I was so frustrated with the way I started the morning, I couldn’t make up my mind about
anything. I guess this happens to us when we are so un-prepared. “GOING BACK SHALLOW” I
idled over to a clay shelf that was part of the same ridge I was fishing out deep. I had a
conversation with Adam Wright before the day started explaining my brutal practice day in which I
told him that “I felt like I was fishing way too big for this lake,” and he replied “you probably are”.
This triggered me to think small; so I pulled out a 3/8 ounce Jewel football head (no skirt) and put a
light green pumpkin candy power bait chigger craw on it. I fished this little bait all the way down this
clay chunk rock bank, just when I got to the end of it in about 15 foot of water one crushed it. I was
pumped it was about a two pounder “I even fist pumped over him” “stupid Maumelle”. Well since I
had already fished the entire 50 yard stretch I pulled the trolling motor looked down at my phone
and it was 8:30. I told myself hell one fish an hour doing this and I’m happy. I tried to find stuff
similar to what I had caught my fish on all over the lake but couldn’t get bit on any of it. After wasting
3 hours, fishing all over the lake, I decided to go back to my clay stretch. At about 11:30am I got
there and I decided I didn’t like the light colored chigger craw anymore, so I swapped it with a green
pumpkin black flake twin tail grub, Ok now I’m ready I thought to myself, I really liked the way this
looked. So I chunked it out about the third drag off of some rocks one killed it, yep I was pumped
again, it’s a huge confidence booster when you have a gut feeling about something and on your
first cast get bit. I told myself I’m gonna see how many keepers this spot will give me, so I decided to
go up and down it until I didn’t get bit again. I finished out my first trip with no more bites, then
turned around and went right back down it again. About ¾ the way down it another one bit, all of
them about the same size, around 1.75 lbs. I had three in the box and it was about 12:30pm. I knew
I had a lot of time to get those last two bites off my spot, so I was determined to stick to it. On my
next pass I didn’t get bit but when I turned around to go back down it I caught another one that was
a little smaller than the others probably a little over a pound. After going up and down it twice more
with no bites I decided to move to another spot that was identical to my honey hole, while fishing the
spot for about 30 minutes I took numerous waves over the bow which made me feel like those guys
up on Erie fishing in those 10 footers with drop shots “crazy”. I didn’t get bit on the new spot, so I
went right back to my hole. Fished all the way down it again and right when I was thinking I wasn’t
gonna get bit this time I felt just a little pressure and with the wind the way it was and throwing 3/8
ounce I knew I better set the hook, “good decision” it was another good fish that was about two
pounds. (I got 5) and was super thrilled but of coarse nothing is ever good enough for us anglers, I
wanted a big fish now, or to replace that little one pounder with one like the rest. Continued fishing
up and down the spot 2 or 3 more times with no bite and decided to look for new “bigger fish water”
but wanted to be sure to leave myself about half an hour to go back to my honey hole before the
end of the tournament. I went to several places down the lake but couldn’t get bit on any of them so
I returned back to my spot at about 2:45pm. I went up the spot then on my trip back down got bit
again but this one wouldn’t cull. It was 3:15 when I decided to end my day and run back to the ramp
with what I thought was about 8.50 lbs.


Keeper count: 3/8 ounce Jewel heavy cover finesse jig head with a green pumpkin candy chigger craw:  1 keeper
                        3/8 ounce Jewel head with Kalin’s 4 inch green pumpkin black flake twin tail grub: 5 keepers

Final Thoughts: I still don’t like Maumelle but was proud of myself for figuring out those stupid fish
and for pulling off such a high finish by myself against some of the best fishermen in the state. I
also would have liked to have seen what Kevin and I could have culled up too off my spot if he hadn’
t had to work. But I wouldn’t have liked splitting my $210.00 if we hadn’t had been able to cull up…