It had to happen eventually but I didn't expect it so soon, especially not on Lake St-Francis with the quality of anglers I was up against. I knew the conditions were going to awful right from the start... West winds were howling at 25+ kmh with gusts over 40 at times. I knew the areas I was going to fish were protected from all the wind but getting there safely was the issue. I've been in some horrible conditions in my boat before, just never with my dad or for that long of a ride. It was nice to see I wasn't the only one stuggling in the giant waves and it felt good to pass a few 20ft rangers on the way to my first spot. GO Basscat!! ;)
We finally got on my first area and the wind was blowing perfectly on it. I knew some fish were going to be there but I was dissapointed to see the big ones werent at the rendez-vous. I had told my dad the night before that I was not going to wait for them today. If the fish were not there after a few cast I was out of there! We had to move quite a bit before we were able to find some smallies that wanted to play. To my surprise the first area to produce was in more then 3mph current both in 2 and 25ft of water. I was working the shallow bank and my dad was working the deeper part with a tube and we both got hit on the first pass. I decided to move around the area to reproduce the same kind of scenario and we were able to quickly get our limit which was right around 16lbs. We kept on moving and redoing some drifts and found fish as deeep as 40ft of water but not the size I was looking for. At the end of the day we probably had around 17.5lbs and although it was a decent sized bag I was disspapointed. I was missing at least one big fish and I knew it wasn't far!
About an hour before the weigh in we stopped on a shallow sand flat just to see if some fish had moved in and on my first cast I hooked a 4.86lbs bruiser that was definitely in feeding mode as it crushed my soft jerkbait without even thinking about it. With about 45 mins to get back to the launch and close to 20lbs in the livewell we had to leave to make sure to get back in time. It's too bad because I have a feeling we could've caught at least another big fish on this flat.
We made it back to the launch in time and even had a few minutes to check on our fish. The ride back didn't feel that bad but the fish seemed to think otherwise as I had a good sized fish dying... I knew we had a decent bag probably good for a top 10 but I had no idea we had a chance at winning it. I've been paying close attention to ALL the results over the years and it usually takes well over 20lbs to win it on this lake but apparently it was harder then I thought for everybody that day. Even with a dead fish we ended up with 19.03lbs and took first place with almost a 2lbs lead on the 2nd place. We were also able to get the 3rd lunker with my big fish. It felt good to win an event, especially on a lake where I have put A LOT work... Many days were spent looking for big fish and coming back without a single one but I guess it finally paid off.
Next stop is a friendly tourney on the Les Cèdres basin. Should be lots of fish caught but size is another story. I'm hoping for a 9-10lbs bag (3 fish) of smallies. Maybe Caro will catch that monster she's been looking for.