Back on track at Lewis Smith Lake

After a tough start to the FLW Tour season down in Florida earlier in March, I had a much better result this past week at Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama.
My 56th place finish narrowly landed me in the money (the top 60) so that made for a good trip!
Lewis Smith Lake is one of the best spotted bass lakes in the southeast United States so I was excited to get fishing out there last week.
Though we don’t have spotted bass in Canada, their behavior is similar to smallmouth bass in that they are generally aggressive in nature and they like to use open water much more than largemouths do.
Though Smith Lake does have some largemouths I decided to spend all of my time focusing on spotted bass after having a good first day of practice. I caught several big fish in the three to five pound range, which are big ones at Smith.
My pattern involved throwing a suspending jerkbait to windblown shorelines and fishing as many small points as I could. It seemed like the fish would suspend around small, secondary points and if you hit them when some fish were around you could catch them relatively easy.
Over the three-day practice period I found several good areas that had a lot of fish around them and caught several big ones each day so I felt pretty good going into the tournament.
On day one of the tournament I stuck to my plan to through a jerkbait all day and ended up catching about 30 keepers, which I was happy with. Unfortunately I did not get lucky enough to get a big bite but my 12 pound, 13 ounce limit landed me in 45th place.
We got hit by a heavy cold front on day two of the tournament so I was not sure how that would affect the fishing. Since I was focused on fishing deeper, main lake areas I thought that the fish I was targeting would still bite pretty good since the water temperatures would not be affected as much as the shallow pockets where a lot of the anglers were fishing.
In the end, things got a lot tougher on day two and I ended up with a slightly smaller limit weighing 11 pounds, two ounces. I caught fewer numbers of fish but managed to catch enough to stay in the money, which was my goal.
I got a pretty good lesson from my co-angler on day two when he kicked my butt fishing behind me with a small finesse worm rigged on a shakey head jig.
He caught some bigger fish that were evidently not in the mood to chase my jerkbait and ended up with a limit over 13 pounds. It was something to add to my arsenal for next time I’m faced with similar conditions on a spotted bass lake.
Next up on the schedule is Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas, a lake that the FLW Tour has visited over the past few years. I have had a couple of decent tournaments there the past two years so I’m looking forward to heading back there later in April.
In the meantime I’m looking forward to spending some time back in Sunset Country. I love this time of year because there is plenty to do outdoors.
I’ll likely get out on the ice a few more times; I’m definitely going to try to make a trip down to the Rainy River for a day or two to catch some big walleyes and I’ll probably hit the woods to look for some shed deer antlers for a couple of days.
I’m sure I’ll have a little bit of yard work to mix in with all of that stuff too!