"In the Boat" presented by Jewel Bait Company

Tournament: Caleb Lane’s Funky Fruit Jar
                     February 21, 2009
                     Lake- Morgan Point

Anglers: Adam Starks and Philip Starks
Place: 1st Place- 5 fish- 20lbs 11oz

Background & Practice:
      Morgan Point is an oxbow lake that used to be part of the Arkansas River.  I headed to Morgan
Point the 16th to redeem myself from the butt whipping I took at the Mr. Bass Tourney on Lake
Ouachita (who says fishing isn’t a humbling sport).  Well I guess I had some kind of hoodoo on me
because I never got a bite at Morgan Point.  They had smacked them there two days before and
here I am can’t even get a bite.  My brother-in-law Caleb calls me later in the week and decided that
he was going to put one of his funky fruit jar buddy tournaments on at Morgan Point on the 21st.  I
called dad and asked if he wanted to fish.  Told him I wasn’t to confident but for the $50.00 entry
fee why not get a little more tournament fishing under our belt before we head to the Red in March.  
He was in…..
      
February 21:
      Tournament day began cold and the forecast for the day was cloudy and rainy with a nice cold
front supposed to be moving through.  My plan was to fish channel swings in deep water.  Now in
South Arkansas deep water is anything deeper than 6 ft.  Dad and I ran about midways down the
lake to a classic migration route for bass.  A place you dream of, the old Arkansas River channel
connects with a creek on one side and a small ditch on the other.  I started chunking a crankbait to
no avail.  The hoodoo continues……so I switch to my trusty Jewel Eakins’ Jig.  I throw it down the
channel ledge and let it sink to the bottom, all the while telling dad I am thinking about giving up this
fishing gig.    I pick up the slack and what do you know it is a fish, set the hook get it in the boat, a
solid 3.5lbs in the boat.  Funny how one fish can renew your confidence in yourself!!  We switch
over to the other side of the channel and dad catches another 3.5lber on a spinner bait.  We fish
the ledges a little longer but can’t come up with anything.  We ran a little farther down the lake
where the channel swings real close to the bank to try that.  I flip the jig on a lay down and number
3 is in the boat. A whopping 14 inches but very happy to finally be catching some fish.  We continue
down the bank and the magic begins. Dad catches a drum!  Now you might not think that is magic
but that fish keyed us in on where the fish were relating.  They were at the very end of the drop.  
Dad starts dragging a Paca Craw and soon catches keeper number 4.  I catch keeper number 5
and now we are ready to start the culling process.  Felt real good to have 5 in the boat before 11:
00.  Dad catches the next 3 keepers and we cull twice.  I catch the next keeper and we cull up
again.  At this point I am estimating we had about 12-13lbs.  Two other boats are fishing this stretch
so I decided we needed to run back up lake about a quarter to where the channel swings and hits
the other side of the lake because no one had been fishing it.  That decision paid off big.  Now I
would like to say that I contributed to the upgrades you are about to read about but I became the
official “net boy”.  Dad whacks two small keepers that won’t help on a spinner bait of lay downs.  
Then he catches a 5 ½ to help us upgrade some more. We fish down the bank and I look at dad
and tell him we need to run back through that area again.  We do a 180 and hit the stretch again
and it pays off.  Dad catches a 4lber off the same log the 5 ½ came from.  I start to run a little
pattern hitting lay downs going from shallow to deep and catch two more keepers but they didn’t
help.  We went and hit the channel swings where we started the morning and Dad catches another
4lber on the ledge, culled up again.  I throw right back where Dad caught that fish and one slams
my jig.  It is huge.  I told Dad to hurry and cull that fish because I need the net.  I get the fish up to
the boat…..another Drum about 6lbs.  We get a good laugh and head back to the weigh in.  I am
guessing we have about 17lbs but most of the time I tend to lowball my weight.

Keeper Count:  15

7/16 Ounce Black/Blue Jewel Eakins’ Jig: 5 Keepers
Net Bait Paca Craw: 4 Keepers
War Eagle Blue Herring Spinnerbait:  6 Keepers


Final Thoughts:

I got rid of the hoodoo that Ouachita put on me.  This time of year the fish can be so hard to figure
out.  The weekend before this tourney they smacked them shallow but I knew the big ones had to
be still relating to deep water and I am glad Dad and I figured them out.  I can’t end this column
without thanking Dad for helping me through this little jinx I put on myself, so Thanks Dad!  Until
next time….

Fish Hard,

Adam Starks