I'd rather be lucky...than good. Rookie mistakes.

I've used that saying so much in fishing. See, if your lucky, you can explain away a good day even when it was comedy of errors. For those of you who are good, well, you have to be good all (most) of the time.

You know how it is when you have a bad day. You break off a fish. You have multiple backlashes in a row. You miss a good fish cuz you were daydreaming, etc. You finish just out of the money.

In my last tournament, right off the bat, I hooked a big fish on a spinnerbait. It was still pretty dark so I couldn't see the fish. I felt it go down in to the grass and hang up. I thought it was off because I couldn't feel anything.

I gave it some slack and it swam out. We netted it and then I realized how big it was (23 inches). Nice start! With a limit I could have a high place finish. That was lucky.



Finally, I got it untangled from the net. I checked my line and somehow the line had slipped up the R-bend of the spinnerbait up into the swivel and blade. Rookie mistake. And, the line didn't break. But the line was very shredded for about a foot. Why didn't it break? Lucky.

I cut the line and tried to retie while the fishing could still be good. But I couldn't see in the low light to retie. It was still too dark for my eyes. It took like 10 minutes to retie. I made few more casts, but by then it was pretty light.

I changed to a frog because it had been working for the last few months. I get a big fish to suck in the frog — hardly any noise. He just slurped it under. I set the hook but nothing happened. My line peeled off. Nothing. I don't feel the fish. Oh. Oh.

It was a brand new rod and reel I spooled up with 65-pound braid the day before. I forgot to set the drag. Rookie mistake, again.

All I ended up with was a frog stuck in lots of grass.

I continue throwing a frog but no more hits. My partner (my son) started using a weightless 5-inch Senko. He smoked three good keepers in a short time. I'm still on that one fish. Of course, my one weighs more than his three.

I switched to the Senko, but the wind was blowing a little hard. I couldn't feel the Senko down in the grass like it needs to be. I change to a 6-inch Senko. Boom. Get one. Then another. This is turning into a good day.

Bouncing from the Senko to the frog and back isn't working. Hey dummy, stay with the Senko, I convince myself.

What was that? Set the hook. Fish number four is in the boat. Lucky.

As we're drifting around some matted grass, my son spots a fish on a mat with it's back out of the water. Must be a gar I'm thinking. But no, it's too compact for a gar. It swims off toward deep water (we're in three feet of water so it isn't going far).

I toss the Senko out in front of where it might drop to. I wait and wait. Nothing. But I set the hook any way. Fish on. Fish number five. Done. Limit. Lucky. And I have a little more than 20 pounds. Six hits and five keepers. Wow. Lucky.

And there are several hours left. We go all over. Nothing.

Run into a couple of guys fishing the tournament. One has 19 pounds and the other around 20 pounds. They tell us one guy has about 24 pounds. So, my day isn't all that great after all.

I need one more good keeper to cull a 15.5 - inch fish.

I want to try something different but we only have 10 minutes to fish.

When loading the rods at 3:00 a.m. I grabbed the wrong rod. I saw a blue fleck worm rigged and thought I had the 7-inch worm rod, but no I had grabbed the 10-inch worm rod. I realized that soon after first light. I was ticked at myself. Rookie mistake.

Well, 10-minutes left. Not much I can do. I run back toward the ramp and hit a deep point that drops to 30 to 50-feet. I've run by this point hundreds of times, but never stopped. I pull up and grab the 10-inch worm rigged on 20-pound line with a half-ounce sliding sinker. (It was rigged from my last trip to Lake Falcon.) But it was the rod I had grabbed by mistake that morning. Oh well, I've got nothing to lose at this point.

First cast, I bounce it back toward the boat, fast. Tick. Fish on. I cull up 1.5 pounds.

Final tally. Second place with nearly 22 pounds. I'd rather be Lucky than Good.




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