Disappointment at Lake Cumberland

The fourth stop of the 2017 FLW Tour took place this past weekend at Lake Cumberland, Ky. and I now find myself in a little bit of a slump after these last couple of events.
After cashing a cheque in nine-straight tournaments, my 72nd-place finish gives me a pair of middle-of-the-pack results (in the 70s) in the past two events.
While they aren’t terrible bombs, I don’t consider it a very good tournament if I don’t make some money so I’m disappointed, for sure.
Like I did in Florida a few weeks back, I had a better second day and climbed several spots to at least salvage some points towards qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup at the end of the year (we get points based on where we finish in each event, and the top 35 anglers in points at the end of the seven event season qualify for the Cup).
Thanks to my good finishes in the first two events, I’m still in 21st place overall in the points right now–but I certainly can’t afford to have any more bad tournaments.
Next up on the schedule is Beaver Lake, Ark., a lake that we have visited every year. It is located near Rogers, Ark., home of Walmart head offices, and since Walmart is a major sponsor to the FLW Tour, they obviously have some influence on us fishing there year after year.
The good news is I had a really good tournament last year at Beaver Lake so hopefully my past experience there will help me out in a couple of weeks.
My practice at Cumberland was not great, but I felt confident that I would be able to make it happen during the event. And while I caught decent numbers of fish, the area I chose to fish just didn’t seem to have the right quality to be competitive.
Looking back, I wish I would have focused more on catching smallmouths, which are plentiful in the lake. The reason I sort of bailed on chasing smallmouths was that the best area for them was a 40- to 50-mile boat ride from the tournament site and smallmouths had to be 18 inches in length to keep on this lake.
I spent my first day of practice chasing smallmouths and did not have a great day. So when I caught good numbers of largemouths near the ramp on the second day of practice, I decided to focus my efforts on them.
In the end, the smallmouths ended up playing a big factor in the tournament and a bunch of guys caught them, increasing the weights it took to get in the money by quite a bit.
Had I been fortunate enough to catch a good one or two on that first day of practice, I probably would have gotten onto the program and made the commitment to fishing for them, so I’m disappointed in myself on that, as well.
Oh well, it’s on to the next one now. I’m staying down in the U.S. for a couple of weeks until the next tournament.
I have a few days planned to take some of my sponsor people fishing this week, then I’m going to have some fun in downtown Nashville before heading over to Table Rock Lake in Missouri later next week to fish for a few days before we start our practice on Beaver.
Table Rock is a similar lake to Beaver and not very far away, so it should give me some idea of what the fish will be doing in that part of the country.
I miss being at home but I’m having fun on the road.
Still, I look forward to getting back at the end of the month to see all of my buddies and enjoy our beautiful part of the world.