"In the Boat" presented by Jewel Bait Company
November 21st, 2009
42nd Annual Winter Bass-othon
Norfork Lake 7-3
Lake level 571/Surface temp 60 main lake/Clear
light cloud cover, No wind. Mild/warm day
Anglers: David and Carl Wooten
Finish: 4th place 5@ 11.19

I fished this tournament with my Dad and we had not been out all week. The week prior we had put
in over 11 days straight and found several key patterns that would work for us both deep and
shallow. We could average around 10-12 pounds in all the area's we chose to fish so with
conditions remaining the same we decided to just use what we had and not burn ourselves out
through the week.  The lake is up in the tree's and only 9' from pouring over the top of the flood
gates. The COE will not begin releasing water until December 5th.

I had never fished the lake this high in the Fall and believe me the bite is much different than
normal for this time of year and for the most part it's just a brutal tough bite.
Our game plan was to just pitch jigs in the shallow brush all day and forget about our deep fish. For
some reason the deep bite just wont stay steady for us.

There are plenty of fish in the brush but it takes awhile to grind them out. I had fished a club
tournament last weekend and weighed 10.85 but had one key area were we caught a nice limit.
That is were I decided to start us out.

Tournament day:  The take off area was changed from Henderson to Panther bay parking lot
since the water is over the Henderson park. The officials could not use their trailer for the weigh-in
so a table was set up near the ramp and we had to make do. This high water is not only tough on
the fisherman but on the director as well. So before I begin hats off to Ron,Helen,Daniel,Larry and
Earl. I know it's alot of stress but you done a great job as always.

We were boat 26 out 55 and when our number was called I headed to our first cove just down the
lake. On my 2nd pitch I boat a nice 15" Kentucky. He was nice and plump and was around 2
pounds. So nice start and we get the skunk out of the boat quick. Things go dead for about 30
minutes, then it seems like every piece of brush has a fish and we boat our 4th keeper, a nice 2.50
pound smallmouth at 8:00 and things are looking good.

I moved us to the next cove were I had caught a nice black last weekend and had another black of
the same size follow him to the boat while I was landing him. On my first pitch I get him and now we
have our limit at 8:10. We have 4 nice fish and a little 12" Kentucky so we really need to cull. No
longer than the thought goes through my mind when Dad hooks up with a very nice black. We got
him in and culled the Kentucky at 8:15 and now we were sitting good with around 10-11 pounds in
just over an hour. Dads black was our best fish at 3.2 pounds, but now we needed to cull as much
as we could. I had a good feeling about winning this thing if we could get a few good bites and we
had so much time.

We decided to run down the lake and look at some new water along with some of the stuff we had
done good on a few weeks back. It was very slow for us most of the day although we did pick up
several keeper Kentuckies that would not cull. We hit one cove around 2:00 and caught 2- 16"
smallmouth that just barely culled our Kentucky's, but every little bit helps.

Final thoughts: We ended our day with 14 keepers and around the same amount of short fish. We
never missed a bite all day so that's all I can ever ask for. It was a good day although we didn't take
the win. I told Dad I would feel very confident in a multi day tournament but I knew we didn't have
enough for a one day event. I was happy with 4th place.

Equipment: 7' Heavy action G-Loomis Rod, 20lb. Seaguar line 3/8 oz. Jewel Eakins' Jig and
Jewel Eakins' craw "all fish".