Full Moon Open was a great time
by: David Coulson , Colorado7/4/2012
My intent was to have posted this Sunday, but those who’ve fished the Full Moon Open know that after being up over twenty-four hours, twelve of which were spent fishing hard under less than ideal conditions, one is rarely up for much more then sleeping or lazing around. So Monday was the fall back plan.
Unfortunately, Monday’s are report/column day for me, coupled with a number of must do chores that cropped up this blog got pushed back one more day. And Tuesday didn’t turn out to be any better. So here it is Wednesday and I’ve finally managed to free up a little time to write.
The 12th annual Full Moon Open (FMO) was, as expected, another great success with fifty teams, including Matt and I, starting out with great expectations. We were already ahead of the game as we drew the 7th starting position and had high hopes we’d make the top twenty this year and be in the “money.” Well we didn’t make the top twenty by a long shot, but we did backdoor into some money. I’ll explain shortly.
One of the things I love about the FMO it that it truly is an open tournament, simply most any two person team with a legal (by Colorado law) boat and motor, and an operating live well (we use an ice chest and aerator) can fish. The only other major restriction is its fly and lure only. Simply, if you like to fish for bass, you can play without the pretentious restrictions of most bass tournaments. Centennial Bass has done a fantastic job of putting on one of the most enjoyable tournaments I’ve ever fished. They never have lost focus that fishing is fun, and they keep it that way. I, and I believe all the participants, thank them for that.
Even if you don’t win, thanks to the sponsors, everyone gets a sandwich, drinks, breakfast burrito, a tee shirt, and a bag of goodies. Not to mention the opportunity to visit and banter with fellow anglers. For your entry fee you have a 40 percent chance of placing, plus there is a big fish and walleye side pot you can buy into. Further, this year Battery Plus agreed to outfit the 21st place boat with a new set of batteries. Last and least there is a trophy and $100 dink award for the smallest solo bass weighed.
As I said expectations ran high, but reality soon set in. Thanks to the High Park fire and record heat Horsetooth has experienced a rapid draw down. The smallmouth didn’t react well to the changes and were moody to say the least. While everyone caught fish, they also struggled to find bigger fish and the weights reflected that. Matt and I caught decent numbers, but only four that would measure.
Heading back to the dock with only four fish, I realized that there was no way we were going to be in the top twenty with a mere four pounds. Further, I was sure our walleye was not likely to win that pool either. However, the last fish of the day barely measured and was a skinny fellow, so I figured we might have a shot at the dink award. So we released the three larger fish, swallowed our pride, and went to the weigh-in with a solo dink (required to qualify for the dink award). Turns out that was a “good” decision, as that bass weighed in at 0.7 pounds, giving us the lightest weight and earned us a C-note. So in this case being at the bottom of the heap paid off and help defray expenses.
Ah, Matt also won a Ross 8-wt fly rod in the raffle. So we came out alright this year and had a great time to boot. Like all anglers, hope springs eternal and we’ll be back to try again.
Here are the top three places.
1st place JC Crump, Chris Unruh 9.04 lbs
2nd place Scott Gablehouse, Sean Knaus 8.82
3rd place Ben Lind, Frank Villa 8.48
Blog content © David Coulson
toobman, CO 7/4/2012 1:08:29 PM
Thanks Dave, It was a fun tournament and Ben Lind and I are already researching the lake for next years tournament, LOL! We want to make sure and be prepared for it. We are planning our strategy and making our baits for the 2013 FMO. I can't wait for it to get here. We had a blast competing against some of the best anglers in Colorado and it was so much fun. As always it was great trying to figure those bass out. Thanks again and great article!!! Next year we will see ya at the top! Of course you will be right behind us in second place, LOL!!! Until Next year.
Let the smack talk begin,
Frank (toobman) Villa
JKaboom, CO 7/4/2012 7:22:01 PM
Right on sounds like it was a lot of fun. Dave I bet you guys are good poker players too that strategy like you said defrayed costs :)
Coyute, CO 7/5/2012 7:16:40 AM
Grats on your dink. If the pretentious restrictions of most bass tournaments were weighed against the pretentious nature of most fly fisherman, the fly fishermen would have easily won! LOL! If I wanted to truly gauge my ability as a fly fishing bass specialist, I'd compete with guys who were using the same types of tools as me and vice versa. Regardless of all that, it was a fun tournament with pleasant conditions and good fishing with lots of laughs and camaraderie. While this is only the second FMO my partner and I have competed in, we have been fortunate enough to cash a check each of the last two years. You bet we will be ready for next year! Grats to all who competed! :)
ILikeBigBrooks, CO 7/5/2012 12:19:26 PM
"More then sleeping or lazing around"
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 7/5/2012 12:29:45 PM
Thank you for the "correction", it should have been than, rather than then as pointed out. I am always in need of editors, email me, dave at fishexplorer dot com if you want to add and correct content on the site. Know however, most content, including mine is volunteer work. So we don't require submission of examples of "prefect" publications in order to contribute to the site.
Fishful Thinker, CO 7/7/2012 12:24:25 PM
Geez Dave, if I'd have known that your dink award was won through brilliant strategy, I would have had to quit poking fun at ya'll when presenting the award! J/K...well played! CL
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 7/8/2012 7:42:20 AM
The full results for the FMO have been posted. http://centennialbass.homestead.com/invitational.html
I always fish with thought and strategy, sometime a tad warped and not always effective. I rather hope folks always keep giving me a "bad" time in good fun. Fishing should never be so serious we can't give and take a bit of ribbing. Thanks.