Well where do I start? My practice was ok but nothing great with only 2 1/2 days to pick apart a lake I’ve never seen. Table Rock is an awesome lake with some great numbers in it. I fished both main patterns in practice and on day 1 I did exactly the same thing. I made the long run this monring with almost certianty I would have a limit on the first stop. I got there and a local was right on top of it. After I pulled in about 200 yards from the point I wanted to fish he turned his boat at me and to be honest I could have moved closer but know how I hate when someone does that to me. Now if it was me and I see a guy fishing a big event I give them the water on Guntersville, I have lots of places like most locals. That wasnt going to happen so I stay away and left there without a fish.

On my 2nd stop I started with the topwater bite and had 4 fish only one keeper that jumped off at the boat. I then moved a little deeper and slowed down. Typically when your catching short fish if you move a little deeper you can find the bigger bite. The jig and dropshot gave me 19 short fish on 27 cast. Knowing how spots and smallmouth group by size I left it. I made several other stops without a bite and made the choice to go shallow and flip, which had given my my biggest fish in practice. First place I hit I tossed in and missed the bite. Made the 2nd pitch into the tree and WHAM!! She hit it and took off running. Now for those that dont know, when they do that there is more with them. When I set the hook it wrapped around a huge brushpile. I could see the fish so I pinned it to the tree and trolled into the brush. While doing that saw 3-4 more fish, all great fish trying to take the bait away from the fish I had. I laid down on the deck and stuck my arm into the water and grabbed the fish. As I was trying to get my hand in it’s mouth I felt something funny and then felt like I was hit with a small hammer. I then saw the water snake that just bite me.LOL I got the fish but it was just shy of the 15 inch limit. The snake swam off before I could kill it.hahaha. Shortly after(about 5 mins) my habd started to swell and yep got sick as a dog.

I regained my composure and got my head back right then went back to flipping. I then had 4 more solid fish wrap me up as I was setting the hook and just couldnt get the bites I needed in the boat. I changed back to the deeper bite due to the boat traffic beating up my water that was shallow. I learned that typically this will shut off fish in shallow water. Yes I learned it the hard way at Lay Lake in Birmingham, Al..

Long story short My deeper bite gave me a ton of fish(45-48 total) but not one single keeper fish. I did have 3 that were very close but and even hit the line if turned the right way but I dont weigh fish if I have to flip or fan them. Also learned that the hard way on Guntersville when it cost me 3 grand for having a short fish that shrunk in the livewell after both me and my co-angler saw it was over the line when I caught it.

All in all just a bad day for me on the water as far as keeper fish go but Friday is another day. I was kinda down about it until I was reminded last year at Lay Lake during the Regionals I started day 2 in 100th place. I moved up to 12th by the end of day 2 and made Nationals so dont ever count me out.lol Im going to repeat that event and fish new water and swing for the fence. Friday will either be really good or really bad. hahaha Either way I am going to enjoy the things I am blessed with and the chance to compete against some of the BEST anglers in the industry. Thanks to everyone for the support and we will hit it hard again in the monring. ROCK ON!!!!!

God Bless

Phil.4:13

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