Tom was out for this one, so I ran it for him (probably a little less smoothly, but hopefully not too bad). =)
Good turnout for this tournament. Eleven anglers competed from kayaks, a canoe, a paddleboard, and an inflatable raft.
This one was a bit different from past tournaments (that I've fished, anyway) in that you had a choice of three bodies of water to fish: Robbins Pond, the adjacent bog pond (known to me as Stump Pond), and a smaller bog pond adjacent to that, all separated by dirt roads.
We launched from Stump Pond on calm water. That would change to gusting winds a short time later. Not ideal, but at least it wasn't also raining. The main lake proved to be a tough bite, but one of the two rivers produced.
The bottom is definitely mucky/muddy, but you can still catch bass punching the mats. They'll hit it on the fall or when you lift the bait. A harder bottom would be more ideal, yeah, but it's definitely not a technique that doesn't work there.
I spent the last 30 minutes or so in the rivers, and yes they were great. Got blown up about 5 or 6 times on a topwater frog but no hookups.
I also tried a punching rig, for all the mats everywhere, but ran into a problem: the mats all seemed to be either too shallow, or the bottom was very mucky, or both. My rig would sink through like 6 inches of water, then 6-12 inches of muck, or 12-24 inches of water, then 12 inches of muck. (I checked this using my paddle, all over the place, all day.)
Any thoughts on whether a mat punch rig can work here, and if so how? It is a crazy fun way to fish and you'd think it'd be possible to do here, but for me, no luck today.
So...the small river was where it was at today. Usually it's good for a bass or two where it spills into the pond, but it's typically not worth going all the way up it. You might catch a few small ones, but nothing of real size. It looks like the better riverómore current, more structure, more depthóbut the other river is usually better.
I spent a few hours up there, went all the way to the street. In all, I probably caught 15 bass, keepers and shorts. A few pickerel, too. And a crappie.
If I hadn't caught the 3.2 second, I probably wouldn't have gone up any farther. I'll pay for it, though; the mosquitoes were vicious and I had no mosquito repellant on. =(
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