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Martin's move to the front: Smith Lake

Martin with a big Okeechobee largemouth. (Photo by Rob Newell)
20.Mar.2013 by Casey Martin

(Editor's note: Throughout the 2013 season, Casey Martin will chronicle the results of his decision to make the jump from co-angler to pro on the FLW Tour. The following entry represents his second installment.)

Well, I can say I have been dreading writing the second blog of the year for Lewis Smith Lake, during the three days of official practice the weather was cold and in the upper 40’s. I had just got done fishing the EverStart on my home lake of Guntersville and managed a decent finish but wasn’t what I was looking for.

Day one of practice I was able to get a bite on a Wiggle Wart and had about 10-12 pounds running a pretty specific pattern, the next two days I tried a bunch of different things and definitely fished way too much of the ways I thought they were going to be caught from my past times on the lake. From past experience in late February/early March I was convinced a jig and shaky head would be the way to go if it was sunny and calm. And I also knew that I could catch them on a jerkbait if the wind was blowing. Unfortunately, I didn’t even practice for largemouths and spent all three days looking for a group of spotted bass. I went into some of the backs of creeks but they were clearer and colder and I didn’t think they would be biting. I threw the Alabama rig some but somehow missed out on that bite too.

The tournament was probably the worst I had in a long time, day one I had a long day and thought I could grind out a limit throwing the jig and back it up with a Wiggle Wart if need be. When the day was said and done I had four fish for 6 pounds and sat in 122nd. It just blew my mind how good the weights were down the leaderboard. Day one was the 15th day out of 17 in a row that I had been on the water and the physical and mental exhaustion from not a whole lot of sleep was taking its toll.

I thought worst come to worst on day two I could run around and just hit as many points and docks as possible to grind out a limit and maybe move up and get some valuable points. By about 11:00 a.m., I had one little fish and mentally wasn’t focused where I needed to be, I struggled to get one more bite and weighed two fish for 3 pounds and dropped me into 136th place out of 169 anglers. From having a great start in Florida to struggling at Smith Lake was a complete roller coaster.

Although my confidence is shaken after having been beat down by the best anglers in the world I know I have to move on and be prepared for the next at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.

Looking back on how they caught them I wish I would’ve spent more time in practice targeting shallow largemouth and throwing the Alabama rig. Since getting home I have been fishing Guntersville to get a little confidence back and look forward to getting down to fish the EverStart on Seminole and the next tour stop on Beaver Lake. Thanks for reading. www.caseymartinfishing.com

Until next time,

Casey Martin



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