I did not know the tournament was going to take place this year until the week of the tournament when I got a call from a friend asking if I'd like to fish it. Got the flyer on the Wednesday before the tournament!
I had only fished Cave Run four times this year so squeezed out after work on Wednesday and Thursday so my practice consisted of about 6 hours or so. Fished up the river on Wednesday and on the main lake Thursday. Caught fish on both sections of the lake but the bigger fish came on the main lake and I didn't 'beat them up'. Caught them up the river using whacky rig senko's in the standing timber along the river channel where it ran in close to the bank. Main lake I caught them cranking main lake flats in the 5' - 12' range. Most of the shad I marked both on the main lake as well as the river were about 10' deep but you could see activity in low light up shallow on the main lake and I saw several "balls" of bait cruising near the surface up the river. Water temp around 80-82 which is pretty warm for this time of the year.
Catching three overs in such a short practice and leaving areas when I caught fish had me feeling pretty good going into Saturday. Partner and I had a limit by 11:30 anchored by a 3.8 LM ... 3.2 SM ... and a 3 LM .. plus two unders. We didn't feel we needed anything more than that so we pretty much stopped fishing at that point. (see picture below of Brandon chilling on the back of the boat tournament day) We checked a couple areas we didn't plan to fish the rest of the day and basically waited for weigh in. If you've fished Cave Run you know bites are precious so you have to save fish for the next day in a two day tournament where the weights reset after day one! Ended up 7th day one ... well within the top 20 cut line.
Day 2 the weather looked like it would set up perfect for our pattern. Cloudy ... possible rain ... and a little wind. Fish came off right at the boat as I tried to pull her up to the net but I "think" it was a catfish. Threw topwater in the morning and right off the bat we started getting plagued with equipment issues. I broke off a fish on a hookset with the line breaking at the reel of all places. Saw that fish twice come up and throw my crankbait after being broke off and sure wish he would have .... it was a $16 lucky craft!!! -) I retied and the next cast broke it off about the same spot. Put that rod up and the next rod (which I used all the previous day) kept having overruns so spent every third cast picking knots out. Brandon broke a rod tip off on a cast and hand an eye pull out of another rod. The calm and confident feeling we had midway through day 1 was replaced with a feeling of gloom for me early on day two. Did not see the bait activity we saw the day before and after hitting our main two spots most of the morning ... started hitting alternates the rest of the day. We both know the lake pretty well so we weren't going to run out of spots to fish! About the only thing we didn't do was run up the river day two but that was more just due to time left. Ended day two with two unders which put us in 15th place.
All in all it was a great tournament and felt good to make day two as finishing 7th out of 92 and only fished till 11:30 ... not so bad! =) Day two was a reminder about adjustments and though we made some ... didn't make the right one!