|#1 Brian Metcalf|
|#2 Mitch Gardner|
|#3 Mack Cramer
|Big Fish Saturday|
"John's Club Report"
Covering the Pensacola Hawg Hunters
Wind Creek State Park
April 29-30, 2000
This months article will cover several topics and activities. The first thing I want to talk about is the Pensacola Hawg Hunters "First Place" finish in the Northwest Florida Challenge Tournament. This tournament was sponsored by the Five Flags Bass Club. Those guys decided to try to revive the old "Tournament of Champions" with a slightly different format and a new name. For the first time out with this new tournament, they did a very good job of getting it started. Bill Myric of the Five Flags Club deserves a pat on the shoulder for his efforts in getting this tournament up and running. Lets hope that next years event will be even bigger and better.
A special congratulations goes out to the members of the Pensacola Hawg Hunters six man team. The team members were Dave Dyess, John Buck, Neil Springstead, Jere Jailette, Lee Brannon, and John Schaeff. These guys took the first place honors and the trophy.. Thanks goes out to Fred Raby, who was unable to fish the tournament, for the "leg work" he did in getting the team organized. The tournament day presented us with extremely high water and strong currents. Thanks to some excellent scouting reports from Dave and Jere, the members were able to put together a winning combination. In addition to the team honors, Dave Dyess took the individual "First Place" honors. That win puts him in an elite group of local anglers. Congratulations Dave and to all the "Top Six" team members.
Now to our monthly tournament report. The month of April found the Hawg Hunters traveling to Lake Martin and Wind Creek State Park. The lake is located in central Alabama near Alexander City. This tournament has really been a special tourney for the past several years due the fantastic fishing we have had and the sheer beauty of the lake itself. This year the beauty was still there but the fishing was mediocre at best. We were right behind a cold front with cold morning temps, "blue bird" skies, windy conditions, and extremely clear water. These factors always make fishing tough. Another thing I noticed was that the fish were just starting to come up and go on bed for the "late" spawn. We saw numerous fish sweeping and digging beds and starting the spawning cycle. The fishing should be much improved is a few days.
My partner was Neil Springstead, our tournament director. Neil and I started out trying to find fish in the Wind Creek area on Saturday morning. After a couple of hours of not finding fish we decided to move to a ledge that we had both caught fish on previously. No luck there either. We went to a deep water cove and I was able to pull out a nice spotted bass but that was it, and we were off to our next fishing hole. That was our pattern for the weekend....one here and one there. We never really found a decent bite. I was only able to scratch out 3 keepers each day... a big difference from last year when I saw 40 keepers a day!
As always, someone is able to scratch out a nice stringer. Brian Metcalf found a nice stringer each day bringing in a nice bag each day to claim 1st place honors with 17.65 lbs. Most of his fish came from worms either floating, Texas rigged, or Carolina rigged. Mitch Gardner came to the scales each day with a big grin and a nice bag of fish to take 2nd place with 9.75 lbs. Mitch had the good fortune of fishing behind the best guide the Hawg Hunters have ever had, Pete Potter. True to the pattern Pete had nothing but a sad face to show for his efforts except that he did put his partner on fish. Im not sure what Mitch caught his fish on but I know he likes Carolina rigs and he does throw topwaters early. Close behind Mitch was Mack Cramer with 9.70 lbs. I think he caught most of his fish on Texas rigged worms. (Check out his page on this site, and Im sure hell give you a much better report on his efforts.) The lunkers for the weekend went to Brian Metcalf (4.8 lbs) on Saturday and Rich Renner (3.65 lbs on Sunday). While we didnt slayem like last year, we did fill all 15 tournament slots. Mike Tyson and Lee Brannon decided to use the sun instead of a watch for telling time. They only forgot one thing.....the sun doesnt change for daylight savings time....They showed up at the weigh in with nice stringers an hour late....which disqualified their catch for the day. Neither had a working watch...Lee took an alarm clock with him on Sunday and they made it back with 2 nice stringers on Sunday. This time they counted. Ill bet they wont make that mistake again.
One other thing about the weekend was our accommodations. Folks if you are heading up to Lake Martin for a fishing trip, let me recommend a place to stay. Its called the Bob White Motel. Its average accommodations , but you wont find any better service from the management anywhere. The room were about half the price of what you pay at the other in Alexander City ($37 per room), and he doesnt raise the rates if you happen to be there on a Talladega racing weekend. This was the first time in many years of tournament fishing that I have had a motel manager work as hard to accommodate us. He had all the rooms set up as requested, all the bills broken down and split for the partners, ample parking, plenty of electrical outlets for our chargers, free ice, and was very courteous. Next time you are going up there to fish, give him a call. He sure treated us well.
Next month the Hawg Hunters will test their skills on the mighty Tensaw River out of Upper Bryants Landing. The high waters have been steadily receding and the fishing should be pretty good. Until next month....
Keep Your Hooks Sharp!!!!