More to tournament than just fishing

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By Shelton Young

When I wrote about pre-fishing for a bass tournament I should've mentioned that there's more to it than just fishing.
It it's a lake your not familiar with there's map study, Google Earth, researching past tournament results, weather trends and seasonal patterns. Then come the visits to area bait shops and angler hangouts...to talk with the locals.
Lakes your familiar with only actually require you to consider the season, weather and water temperature. Everything else is based in your past experiences!
When talking to other anglers you'll meet "they"!
"They" have all the answers, even though different "theys" may have differing views on the same issue. But, "they" are always correct in their facts.
Now "they" have a last name too...it's "said". Pose the question of say "What're the bass bitin' on?" Answers will go something like: "They said they were hittin' topwater early." Then "They said black jigs were good at night."
Course I'm beginning to wonder just how "they" can be so sure of everything and still remain so elusive! Ya see, I'm the kind who likes to sort out the validity of stuff I hear. So, when I ask who "they" are, I found out "they" is actually a select group. There's "you know", "read it somewhere", "saw it on the net" and my favorite, "some dude".
So, the answer about the topwater bite that "they said" was going on at the lake in question can be validated by "you know, some dude that read it somewhere on the Internet!"
After a little more research I can tell you that "they said" has a close relative called "everybody says".
Between those two, you can determine the answer not only to questions about fishing but also to anything else you might wonder about!
Before you start thinking I've finally "lost it" I'll admit that I didn't write this article. It was a close friend from my childhood who's familiar to all parents.
His name? "Not me"!
Water temperature at Willisburg Lake for our May 20 Mid-KY Bass Anglers tournament was 77 to 79 degrees... same as Saturday.
How do I know that? Well, I checked on it Saturday. Seems there had just been a tournament so I thought I could get some "inside information".
When I asked how it went I was told the following: "Waters about 77 degrees. They said some dude caught some nice'uns on lizards (plastic). Me? I didn't do so good. Read on the 'puter that plastics was good now but didn't do me so good." *True story!
How could I go wrong with information like that! At least I had an idea for my article!
Our Mid-KY tournament was a 180 from what I was told about Saturday. On Saturday "most everybody caught bass"... at least that's what "they said".
On Sunday "most nobody caught bass". Well, at least not many in the way of "keeper (12 inch) bass".
And those few keepers that were caught came in a flurry for eventual winners Mike Warford and Tom Mattingly (he's the one who wants the three bank marine battery charger for Father's Day).
Their four keeper bass came in about a 45-minute span and weighed in for a total of 4.51-pounds.
Second place and Big Bass was taken by the team of Stacy Benningfield and Joe Hicky. Their Big Bass...and only bass...weighed in at 1.98-pounds.
Third, with a single bass of 1.65-pounds was the team of Kenny and Jr. Followell.
How did the Grundy/Young team do? Well, John caught a 5-pound catfish!
This Saturday, May 26, there'll be a very unique bass tournament at Fagan Branch.
Unique, in that there is a nice payout... but no entry fee!
The Woodlawn Baptist Church is hosting this tournament, which pays $150 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third place. There's also a $25 big bass payout!
Did I mention there's no entry fee?
O.K., nobody does nothing for free so what's the angle?
My friends, there is no angle and it is indeed free to enter. No sermon, maybe a prayer... I certainly hope so!
Well, there is an angle: You're invited to attend church...Woodlawn Baptist or any church of your choice. Nothing mandatory, just an open invitation.
Rules: Launch at 7 a.m. Weigh-in at 3 p.m. No more than two anglers per boat. Artificial bait only. Lake rules for size (12-15 slot). Five bass per boat maximum. Must have a working livewell (built-in or homemade). Dead bass will be penalized 4-ounces per fish!
*There may be some changes. If so they'll be announced prior to launch.
**Decisions of the tournament committee are final!
Folks, this is a lot of fun to fish. Join Woodlawn Baptist and me on Saturday, May 26, for a fun time.
Guess that's it for now. Get out, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, stay safe and I'll see ya next week!