Whether you fish as a pro or co-angler in a tournament, finding that one key kicker bite can really help make your day on the water. In the case of co-angler Creighton Johnson, he found a fish of a lifetime in the Feb. 9 BFL Choo Choo Division event on Lake Guntersville.
“I had practiced with my travel partner the few days leading up to the tournament,” said Johnson. “We practiced all over the lake and found some fish, but the better bites we were getting were in the mid-lake area.
“Rat-L-Traps had been producing some good bites, as they normally do this time of the year, but with that frontal changing coming in for the tournament I figured I would need to slow down,” continued the Canton, Ga., co-angler. “The water had some stain to it, and I just figured I would be able to work a jig around and catch some fish.”
Johnson knew from practice that the better fish were hanging a little shallower than most would suspect for this time of the year. Being a confident shallow-water angler, Johnson was hopeful that he would draw a pro with the same mindset.
Paired with pro Greg Rollins, Johnson was ecstatic to find out that Rollins was also on a similar pattern.
“We started fishing shallow flats in 3 ½ to 5 feet of water,” Johnson said. “I was just casting to any isolated cover I could find on the flat – like lily pad stems or grass clumps. I was using a ½-ounce Georgia jig with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver for a trailer (both black-blue in color).
“I had three nice fish already by 11:30, and that is when the big one bit. When I got it in the boat, it was awesome. That was my fourth keeper of the day and I figured if I could fill out my limit I would probably win. So, I just went back to fishing and eventually caught my fifth fish.”
The official weight on his largemouth sat at 13 pounds, 1 ounce, which is the largest bass to hit the scales in BFL competition on both the pro and co-angler side since 1996.
“I have to thank my boater, Greg Rollins, for helping my with that fish – he is an excellent fisherman and a good guy. I also want to thank Lew’s reels, MHX rod blanks and Big Al’s Custom Rods for all of their help as well as Hammonds Fishing and The Dugout Bait and Tackle."