Tournament Report - NBW Otay March 27th

A lesson was learned.  We had a great practice leading up to the tournament but what we did not expect was the conditions to change.  Otay in March means the spawn is on and there are also "outside" fish to be caught.  There was also "fry" in the water tight against the tules.  Pre-spawn, spawn, and postspawn are all in effect in different areas of the lake.  We had both sight fish and good quality 3-4lb worm fish coming out of 10ft-15ft of water.  It typically takes over 20lbs to win this event.  We had 8 spots to fish, 5 stretches of bank with sight fish and about 12 gps fish marked.  The morning started out bad because our first spot produced no bites.  

Our second spot we started looking shallow while we threw out to deep water.  Looking for sight fish in low light conditions you have to go slow.  So it is a good time to fish deep while you are looking shallow.  We caught a 3lber (our first fish) on a brush hog out deep.  We started to sight fish but the bass were not cooperating.  They were not "locked" on the beds, they did react to the bait but wouldn't eat it.  This is the worst!  When the fish act this way it eats up time and this continued throughout the day.  We finally caght a small 1.5lb bed fish.  Then it happend........the WIND blew!  We had 20mph + winds coming out of the east and white caps across the whole lake.  Now what?  We went to our "outside" fish pattern.  We could'nt catch em outside!  2 fish, 12:00, windy conditions......let's change!  we started throwing a rapala jerk bait and caught 2 right away.  They were small but that was a good sign.  Then another fish on the jerk bait.  Ok now we have a limit...but a small limit.  Soon it became 2:30pm and weigh in was at 3:00pm.  We caught a 2lber with 5minutes to go and culled a small fish.  We finished 21st with 8lbs.  Art Berry and his partner Willie won the event with 17lbs.  The top teams all reported fishing "reaction" baits in the late morning to catch their nice limits.  Looking back on the day we did not adjust quick enough.  We were stuck to our practice pattern and became frustrated.  This is common and many tournament anglers fall victim to being stuck on a pattern that's not working.  It was windy and the conditions changed.   Jerk baits, chatterbaits, and crankbaits are very productive under spring time windy conditions and a lesson was learned.