Preparation And Positive Attitude Key In Card’s Top 20 Chesapeake Bay Finish

bcard_chesapeake-300x336You hear it all the time about how tournament bass fishing is all about mental toughness and making the right decisions. This past Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on the Chesapeake Bay was a prime example of this. I was able to grind out a Top 20 finish after having my worst practice ever. I feel I have come a long way in my decision-making process. The lessons I have learned by making the most of what you find and staying positive should help anyone be a better angler.

Pre-Practice

Last year after an Elite Series event on the Delaware River, I decided to head to the Chesapeake Bay to check it out. Knowing that we were going to have an event there, I spent most of my time driving around and getting to know the place because of how big it is. I fished some and found a creek close to the launch ramp where I caught three nice fish. I thought to myself that it would be a good area, but also knew it would receive an immense amount of fishing pressure because of its proximity to a major launch ramp. I kept it in my mind as a place to check out when we came back this year.

Official Practice

The conditions during practice were not good for trying to find and catch fish. We had a floodtide for the first two days of practice and for the most part, the three-day practice session was a waste. The final day of practice, the tide was back to normal, but I still had a tough time. Over the three days of practice, I spent 34 hours on the water and had a grand total of three bites from bass. I had covered so much water running all over the place trying to find an out-of-the-way place that I could win the tournament from. I was pretty discouraged but I still had a glimmer of hope for the place close to the ramp where I had caught a few fish the year before.

Day 1 and Day 2

Since I had no secret spots to go to, I decided to stay close and fish by the ramp. With the tough conditions that I was faced with, I decided to go with finesse and light line. I started with a shaky head and 8lb line. Even though the water was muddy, I still wanted to finesse as much as possible since the fish were heavily pressured in this area. I literally started right past the off-limits sign and just put my head down and fished. It was a grind, but I caught three fish for 9lbs 8oz which put me in 41st place.

I did the same thing the next day and caught four for 7lbs 9oz and even though my weight went down, I was still in 41st place. After the second day I was happy with the fact that I would be getting a check from this stingy place.

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