March 20, 2013 by Casey Martin
(Editor's note: Throughout the 2013 season, Casey Martin will chronicle the results of his decision to make the jump from co-angler to pro on the FLW Tour. The following entry represents his second installment.)
Well, I can say I have been dreading writing the second blog of the year for Lewis Smith Lake, during the three days of official practice the weather was cold and in the upper 40's. I had just got done fishing the EverStart on my home lake of Guntersville and managed a decent finish but wasn't what I was looking for.
Day one of practice I was able to get a bite on a Wiggle Wart and had about 10-12 pounds running a pretty specific pattern, the next two days I tried a bunch of different things and definitely fished way too much of the ways I thought they were going to be caught from my past times on the lake. From past experience in late February/early March I was convinced a jig and shaky head would be the way to go if it was sunny and calm. And I also knew that I could catch them on a jerkbait if the wind was blowing. Unfortunately, I didn't even practice for largemouths and spent all three days looking for a group of spotted bass. I went into some of the backs of creeks but they were clearer and colder and I didn't think they would be biting. I threw the Alabama rig some but somehow missed out on that bite too.
The tournament was probably the worst I had in a long time, day one I had a long day and thought I could grind out a limit throwing the jig and back it up with a Wiggle Wart if need be. When the day was said and done I had four fish for 6 pounds and sat in 122nd. It just blew my mind how good the weights were down the leaderboard. Day one was the 15th day out of 17 in a row that I had been on the water and the physical and mental exhaustion from not a whole lot of sleep was taking its toll.
I thought worst come to worst on day two I could run around and just hit as many points and docks as possible to grind out a limit and maybe move up and get some valuable points. By about 11:00 a.m., I had one little fish and mentally wasn't focused where I needed to be, I struggled to get one more bite and weighed two fish for 3 pounds and dropped me into 136th place out of 169 anglers. From having a great start in Florida to struggling at Smith Lake was a complete roller coaster.
Although my confidence is shaken after having been beat down by the best anglers in the world I know I have to move on and be prepared for the next at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.
Looking back on how they caught them I wish I would've spent more time in practice targeting shallow largemouth and throwing the Alabama rig. Since getting home I have been fishing Guntersville to get a little confidence back and look forward to getting down to fish the EverStart on Seminole and the next tour stop on Beaver Lake. Thanks for reading. www.caseymartinfishing.com
Until next time,