Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not About the Spot. Well, Sort of

Adrian Avena finishing out an early limit.
Popular pre-tourney word from the field of the Forrest Wood Cup was that this tournament won't be about a spot. And after spending a few hours watching from the water today, to a degree I think that's true. I don't think anyone will find that amazing replenishing sort of single location that he can ride for four days, and from what I gathered from my boat driver, Eddie, there aren't necessarily spots where you go after big fish in the Red River this time of year.

That said, this year's Cup is very much about spots in another sense. I saw virtually no one just fishing their way down a shore loaded with similar-looking cover, keeping the trolling motor down and searching for fish. Instead virtually everyone fished a fairly specific spot, whether for 10 minutes or for hours. And when they finished they picked up the trolling motor and moved to another specific spot. A spot could be a 50-yard long rockpile or section of bank, but in many cases the boat wasn't moving at all.

The Red River fishery is vast, and with it's abundance of timber and vegetation, it looks like bass could be anywhere. They aren't just everywhere, though. They instead congregate in mouths of cuts, around sunken jetties, in ditches, over grass points and in other places where some a little something makes a spot distinctive from what is around it. Current controls some of that, and when there is less flow, as is the case right now, those places that have even a little current become especially important.

I saw at least half a dozen different anglers putting fish in the box in the few hours I was out, and their spots had little in common. They were spread among the main river and backwaters, and included rock, wood and vegetation as the primary cover. All boats were basically stationary when the angers' set hooks, though, and in each case, Eddie could tell me something specific about that spot that caused it to hold fish.

The real key might be having enough spots to catch fish well today, tomorrow, the next day and the day after that. How many spots that will that take? Only time will tell.

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