October 2nd, 2010
What can I say.... I'm still on cloud nine. Marc-André aka Bar and I sticked to the game plan and it paid off. We started our day battling our first spot with Mike Desforges and I tried to not be intimidated but couldn't help looking at who I believe is arguably the best smallmouth angler in Canada with so many wins under his belt. We raced to a tiny area on a sand flat with the trolling motor but probably ended up spooking any fish that was there. The 60-80mm of rain had made the shallow water REALLY muddy and I was starting to wonder if my fish were going to be there at all. I didn't want to waste time fishing shallow in that muddy water so we moved to a nearby drop off and missed a 4+ at the boat. At that point I was VERY upset and tried real hard to focus on my next fish instead of the one I had just missed.
It wasn't until our 2nd spot that I was able to put a decent 3lbs+ fish in the livewell. We then proceeded to a few deep water drifts that didn't really pay off as we had expected. At that point, I decided to move to a safer spot on a deep weedline where I can usually catch a limit quickly but ended up catching a 4lbs on the first pass. We tried the same drift again and lost a good fish that cut my line. Lesson learned... I will now fish with heavier fluoro leaders and check my line way more often. I also lost another decent fish when my leader broke... another thing that never happens.
By noon we only had 3 fish in the boat and needed to adjust and make another major decision. There were a lot more boats then I had expected in the part of the lake I was fishing and Bar had noticed that one of our drifts had been untouched since the beginning of the day. The wind was also perfect for this drift so we decided to give it a shot. On the first pass Bar caught a 4.13lbs smallie and from that point it was getting very interesting. We drifted that spot a few times and managed to get 2 more good fish from it. We figured we probably had 17+ lbs being very conservative.
We headed back towards the weigh in early knowing we had a decent bag and I also wanted to make sure to be one of the first team to weigh-in. Having lost a few fish this year I didn't want to take the chance of losing one at the biggest event of the year. We got there way earlier then we thought so we stopped on a spot that had produced many 5lbs smallie in the past but the fish were no where to be found. All our fish on day 1 came off tubes in about 12-25ft of water.
Our 5 fish for day 1 weighed in at 18.51 and kept us in first place for quite awhile. We couldn't believe the amount of zero that came in. Guys that usually come in with nothing else but 20lbs+ bags couldn't even find 5 fish..... Bar and I started to get really nervous and then a few bags over 20 started to come in but nothing in between. To our surprise we were sitting in 7th place after day 1. We went back home early to prerig some tubes and come up with the final game plan for day 2.