2013 Elite Series West Point Lake Battle
West Point lake may be tough in the early spring, even for the Elite Series anglers.
KVD - West Point Lake, day 3 Video update
Day 2 quotes - West Point Lake
“The only thing that didn’t perform is me.”
– Shaw Grigsby
“Pretty place, but very confusing to me.”
– Greg Hackney
“You have to grind it out and keep your head straight in conditions like this.”
– Rick Clunn
"When the tournament started I thought I had a good chance of not catching a fish.”
– Pete Ponds
“This lake…every time you launch your boat here it’s a different place.”
– Cliff Pace
“I fished by the seat of my pants today.”
– Skeet Reese
“When you have those 12-inch spots in the live well and can’t get rid of them, it kills you out there.”
– Clark Reehm
“I don’t know how I caught that fish. I guess he just decided to give up.”
– David Walker after weighing only one fish on Day Two
“I get to sleep in tomorrow and I don’t like it.”
– Jason Christie after missing the cut to fish on Saturday
“I don’t think a shock boat could catch a limit of dish where I was today.”
– Dennis Tietje
Angler of the Year standings after day 2 on West Point Lake
KVD blog: day 1 on West Point Lake
There’s a big difference between the West Point Lake we fished two years ago and the one we’re fishing today. It’s tough out there; really tough.
While 15 pounds may be leading after the Day One, nearly every man in the field still has a chance to make the Top 12. I caught 8 pounds, 3 ounces and was proud to have them. When weight like that puts you in 31st place, you know something isn’t quite right.
Let me be clear. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the lake as much as we are the victims of bad timing. (That has been a theme with the Elite events so far this season.)
The southeast region got drenched with big rains the day before we arrived in LaGrange, Ga. Atlanta got hammered with rain, and all of that water washed down here. Also, the lake is up 2 feet higher than it was when we fished here two years ago, so the fish are more scattered. All of that and then, once the tournament started, the water began to fall. And that’s never a good thing when the fish are shallow.
The shad are spawning which should have helped the morning bite but the falling water has kept the bass from going to the bank where the shad spawn occurs. I checked a number of places Thursday and never saw any of the feeding frenzies I saw in practice.
In addition, the largemouth bass are in the throes of the postspawn period, and that makes for tougher fishing conditions.
I have never allowed the postspawn period to bother me because I’ve always fished around it. I’m either looking for late spawners or fishing those early spawners that have already moved out and started to feed.
But that’s been hard here because you can’t get enough largemouth bites to tell what the fish are doing.
Spotted bass, which are generally smaller, are far more prominent in West Point Lake. But the key to doing well in this tournament is to land at least one good largemouth a day.
I caught 30 bass on Thursday, but they were all spotted bass. I never had a largemouth bass bite. I had 15 rods on my deck and threw every lure and technique I knew and couldn’t get one to bite.
Wind is also a factor on West Point. While I love fishing the wind, it’s no friend here because it has muddied up the banks. Bass will bite in muddy water, but it becomes a negative on lakes that are clear and suddenly get muddy. I spent a lot of time trying to make them bite in that mud, but they wouldn’t.
My game plan now is to find that cleaner water near the mud and make a lot of casts. The man who can figure out the largemouth pattern will win, and that’s what I intend to do.
I know there are more quality fish here than what we showed the first day. I caught some big ones in practice and felt good about my chances.
Oddly enough, I had a horrible practice when we were here two years ago and went out and caught 24 pounds the second day.
I need another “second day” performance like that this year.
Pro fishing is a crazy game. I’ve been doing it a long time, yet I continue to learn. Sure, this tournament is challenging, but it’s also an opportunity to learn a little bit more about bass behavior under extreme conditions.
And that’s what I love about it.
Remember, it’s all about the attitude!
day 1 quotes - West Point Lake
“I went to my big fish and culled up to 5.9 pounds.”
– Jeff Kriet
“To do good here you need a biggun’ … like a two-pounder.”
– Jeff Kriet
“I don’t know what’s happening over here.”
– Yusuke Miyazaki
“Ain’t anybody going to be out of it after today.”
– Timmy Horton
“The guy that fishes on the fly is gonna do pretty good.”
– Fred Roumbanis
“Still trying to figure out if I’m fishing with nerves of steel, or pure stupidity.”
– Cliff Croche
“We know the fish live here, we caught them the last time we were here.”
– Andy Montgomery
“I thought I would be in like 75th place with a weight like that.”
– Marty Robinson after weighing in 12 pounds, 10 ounces and finishing the day in sixth place.
“I can’t remember when I was this happy with eight pounds.”
– Mike Iaconelli
“I opened up the rod box to get another rod out, and it was empty.”
– Kevin Short
“All the sandbagging you usually hear … it’s for real this time.”
– Mark Davis
“Two big fish will win this tournament.”
– Mark Davis
“I told my Marshal at one o’clock, thank God I’m in the Classic … cause I’m about to zero in this sucker.”
– Day One leader Keith Combs
Skeet Reese - 46-6
1. 13-0, 2. 9-10, 3. 8-8, 4. 15-4
Aaron Martens - 44-6
1. 13-5, 2. 11-9, 3. 7-12, 4. 11-2
Pete Ponds - 44-1
1. 7-11, 2. 14-0, 3. 11-5, 4. 11-1
Hank Cherry - 41-2
1. 12-4, 2. 8-12, 3. 9-6, 4. 10-12
Todd Faircloth - 39-1
1. 15-10, 2. 9-3, 3. 15-9, 4. 7-0
Chris Zaldain - 38-14
1. 8-12, 2. 12-12, 3. 10-7, 4. 6-15
Cliff Pace - 38-10
1. 14-2, 2. 7-4, 3. 8-2, 4. 9-2
Greg Vinson - 38-10
1. 15-10, 2. 9-3, 3. 5-2, 4. 8-2
Rick Clunn - 37-5
1. 7-11, 2. 14-0, 3. 8-7, 4. 7-3
Tommy Biffle - 34-14
1. 12-10, 2. 10-9, 3. 10-6, 4. 1-5
Casey Ashley - 34-5
1. 8-15, 2. 13-8, 3. 9-5, 4. 2-9
Cliff Crochet - 29-15
1. 10-13, 2. 9-10, 3. 9-8
Kevin VanDam - 26-4
1. 8-3, 2. 11-5, 3. 6-12
History & Notes;
Day 1: Tommy Biffle, 6-12
Day 2: Casey Ashley, 6-6
Day 3: Yusuke Miyazaki, 6-10