The Legend of Lake Fork bass tournament was last weekend May 19-21. I have fished this event for the last 9 years and this year I finally won a boat!!
If you have fished many tournaments in your life, there are quite a few that give away a boat as a top prize. In this tournament there are 4 Legend boats given away. The 2 largest bass over the 24” slot win a boat, the largest bass under the 16” slot wins a boat and there is a draw boat given away for all early entries and you must be present to win.
When there is a big bass event like this with over 1,000 entries it is literally anyone’s to win. I have seen people win that have never been on the lake all the way to guys that fish 100 days a year win these events. A lot of anglers fish events such as the Legend, Megabass, Bass Champs, Sealy Outdoors, Texas Team Trail, Skeeters Owner and many more that offer boats as prizes.
Anyway, back to my story. On Lake Fork, you can have a 35 pound day and not get a check. Bass have to be under 16” or over 24”to be legal. So, you need to keep that in mind for your game plan. We were on a great frog bite the first 2 hours of daylight on all 3 days. I caught a 9.2 lber on Friday morning that was 23.5” long, so she was a slot fish and I had to release her after a quick picture or two.
Now, we were able to cash a few checks with some 2lb unders. Once we won a little bit of money, it is easier for us to swing for the fences. I have areas that I have put out brush and tops for years that I have an extreme amount of confidence in for big fish. These are the areas that I will fish when I am targeting an over.
On Sunday there was a huge storm that rolled in with torrential down pours and 30 mph winds. It was blowing the lily pads and flipping them over and we knew our shallow frog bite was over.
So we made the brutal run in 2-3 foot swells to get to our claim. We immediately began catching fish, however they were 10-14” water rats. My mind began telling me you typically don’t catch fish that small and big fish in the same area, but we stuck it out. The rain slowed and the wind let up a bit and our bite began to pick up as well.
I got a solid bite and set the hook and knew it was a good fish, but thought it was in the 7-8lb range. She immediately got me wrapped up in the brush pile and I thought she was a gonner. But, the good lord let her swim out and almost right to the boat. She was in the net and I saw she was a 10lb class fish.
I caught her on a Santone Wobble Hog tipped with a 10” worm in about 16’ of water.
Once I got her in the livewell and put some stay alive in, I got pretty shaky and emotional. I had to retie my bait since she got my line frayed for about a foot or so. We decided to fish a while and hope my partner could catch one as well. We realized very quickly that we weren’t on our A game and were still quite shook up by the monster in the box and decided to go weigh her in. She settled on 10.14lbs and was good enough for 2nd place overall. A 10.33 lber won the event and my hat is off to him.
I won a Legend Alpha 191 powered by a 150 Mercury Pro Xs. It is a great boat and a great tournament.
I am also proud of my buddy Chad Williams from Fouke, AR who won the Sealy Big Bass Splash event on Toledo Bend with a 10.81 lber. He won a Dodge Truck, Triton Boat and $7 grand.
Story by Shane Smith