Seven AM, a chill in the air, and the first tournament of the season. I had pre-fished the day before, finding water temps in the mid fifties, which would have been great for a pre-spawn bite if it wasn’t for the cold front coming through. The water temps had most likely dropped over night due to the rainwater flushing into the lake. Adding to the issue was the water being up two feet higher than normal. The weather was expected to be blue bird skies, wind from the south, and colder temperatures throughout the day.

Prior to the launch, I checked the rod tips around me- Jigs, tubes, a hair jig or two. People cutting off the typical crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and rattle traps of pre-spawn, and tying on the bottom bouncers, draggers, and low profile baits of a cold front.

The safety briefing complete and anglers were on the water, paddling towards the main lake from the small outlet in which we launched. I slid into my kayak, the FeelFree Lure 11.5, and started to paddle to join them. It wasn’t until I hit the mouth of the outlet that I started to look at the lake, and what the actual conditions were… Darker then I would expect for a clear day. I realized that the high, blue bird skies of a post cold front day were no where to be seen- instead, low clouds hung from horizon to horizon. Looking around, I saw everyone paddling for their places that they chose to fish- almost every single person heading down lake, to deeper water. I cranked up the fish finder, and waited for it to power up.

57 degrees.

I paddled ten feet, pulled out my crankbait rod, and cast the bait across the point.

At the end of the day most anglers were complaining about the negative attitude of the fish, they didn’t want to bite, and very few found any fish in the deeper water at all. Most members caught nothing, but I produce seven keepers, and several other short fish. My largest fish went 18.5 inches, good enough to place second. If only I had kept my mouth shut, I may very well have placed first…..

But that’s for another day.

The day proved very educational. I learned that attention to detail plays a huge role in figuring out the days pattern. Most people had seen the recent weather and assumed the fish were deep, in a negative mood due to the cold front. In actuality, they were in full pre-spawn, and I had a great day. If I had just looked at the weather report, I would have never have found the quality fish I did that day.

Michael Hennessy
Feelfree Fishing Team Member (Former)