Back in the money at Smith Lake stop

The second of two FLW Tour tournaments over a three-week span took place this past weekend at Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama.
Lewis Smith is a lake that I’ve visited twice in the past so I had some experience to go off of, and things went pretty well en route to a 29th-place finish.
My goal heading into this tournament was to finish in the top 60 and earn some money, as well as points towards qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup, especially after my 125th-place bomb in the last event.
Smith Lake is a deep and clear reservoir in northern Alabama noted for its spotted bass fishing. I have mentioned in the past that I like fishing for “spots” because they have similarities to our northern smallmouths and prefer deep water to shallow water in most situations.
Many southern bass anglers are not as comfortable as I am fishing in deeper water, so I like to take advantage of that when I get the opportunity.
My practice for this tournament was OK but not great. My first day was pretty good and then it seemed to get a little tougher as we went along. We got a lot of rain on the first day practice and over the next couple of days, the lake level came up about six feet, which is probably my least favourite thing to happen.
When the water comes up, it changes the lake and causes some of the bass to move shallow into the new cover, which is not what I wanted to happen.
On the first day of the tournament on Thursday, I stuck to my pattern of fishing a small jig and plastic worm on rocky points and had a decent day, catching a limit that weighed 12.7 pounds, landing me in 40th place.
On Day 2, the sun finally started shining but by the midway point of the day, I only had five small bass in the boat.
There are a lot of docks on this lake and I would make a few casts by them if I was going by one. I finally caught a bass from under a dock, then proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon fishing around docks and ended up with a better catch on Day 2 (13.13 pounds), which moved me up to 15th place.
In these tournaments, the entire field of 185 anglers fish the first two days, then the top 30 move on to fish on Day 3, so I was very happy with where I was at after Day 2!
Getting to fish on Day 3 is fun because the pressure is off somewhat. We are guaranteed to get paid regardless of how the day goes.
My Day 3 did not go the way I wanted as I only was able to bring two small bass to scales and dropped down to 29th place.
I fished a part of the lake where I had the most confidence to catch bigger fish. I stuck with it and it just did not pay off, but going into the day knowing that 30th place was the worst I could do changed the way that I fished somewhat.
Looking back, it would have been nice to catch my limit and finish a little higher, but there was not much difference in money unless you got into the top 10, so it was okay.
With two events left on the season (Kentucky Lake in May and Lake St. Clair in June), I am sitting in 15th place in points on the season, which I am very happy with. We get points based on where we finish in each event and the top 40 qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup in August, which is my goal for the year.
As long as I don’t have a couple of disastrous events to close out the season, I am in good shape.
After being on the road for about a month, I’m really excited to come home this week to relax a little bit and see my friends and family.
It’s fun to travel and fish as much as I have been, but all the time away from home gets to be a grind so I’m looking forward to getting back to recharge a bit.