How we did it at the FMO
by: Frank Villa 7/4/2012
The Full Moon Open is the Centennial Bass Clubs main fund raiser for the year. Each year 50 of the best bass anglers get together for a fun competition during the evening hours and this year to escape the heat, LOL! The tournament lasts for 12 hours, from 7pm to 7am. The money earned from this event is split 3 ways, 1/3 goes to charity, 1/3 goes to our juniors and conservation, and 1/3 goes back into the FMO fund to help get the tournament started for next year.
How we did it. My partner Ben Lind and I arrive at our 1st spot which is midlake, because of the ooze off start we arrived 30 minutes before start time, this gives us time to tie on lures and go over what we are going to do for the night, before the 7 O'clock start. We usually have 5-8 spots that we go over how and when we will hit those spots. Our 1st spot is midlake on a rockpile that he and I found years ago. We see many people fish the area but they always unknowingly go over the hump. Many times we have waited until a boat has left the area, they always go over the hump but they never fish it. We decided that if we did not catch a fish in the first 15 minutes that we would leave. Now something to remember when Ben and I fish, our concentration is so high that we hardly ever speak and if we do it is usually one or two words thats why we go over everything before we start. After 10 minutes and several short fish Ben says ready and I say yup, so we head to the second spot. Our second spot is also mid lake but is a long tapering flat. As we arrive we notice a boat headed south on the bank but not out on the point. We go past them and begin fishing back towards them on the bank. Just before we get to them, Ben hooks up on a keeper and he puts it in the well. As we pass them we ask how its going. As with most competitors they say pretty good, after saying good luck to each other we continue towards the point. We end up catching 3 more keepers there. Knowing that the bigger fish move in there later we go to our third spot. Our third spot is in a cove and is a large flat with deep water access. The flat is littered with small rock piles and we know we can get our 5th fish in the boat so shortly after our arrival we catch our 5th keeper. Ben says good job! I say thanks, now we are fishing for big ones. I check my watch and it says 8:20.pm. So after less than 1.5 hours we have 5 keepers in the boat our biggest at this time is 13 1/2 inches. Our goal every year is to get 5 keepers in the boat before the sun goes down. Knowing we have 5 in the boat makes it less stressful the rest of the night. We continue to work the area and end up culling our fish there. We decide to work our way out of the cove and continue working the main lake bank most of the night. Around midnight Ben and I decide to go check out Satanka since it was just recently opened. As we arrived in Satanka it was very suprising that there are only 4 boats in the cove. Satanka is very well known for producing keepers at most FMO's. We fished it for about 1 hour with no luck. must be why no one was in there. We continued to work main lake points but not the most noticable ones. Ben and I always look for smaller points that everyone passes up. We look for transition areas along the bank, places where rocks change from big to small, or small to sand, or big boulders to bluffs. We also cast to specific spots where most anglers just cast and don't really pick spots. It is very difficult to do at night and gets even more difficult in the late night and early morning hours when you are very tired. Your concentration must be at a very high level and you must believe on every cast you will get a bite. Most anglers when they get tired begin to just cast and they don't pick an area apart. Another thing that we do is we only use the boat lights. Only occasionally do we use head lamps mostly to get snags out. It is very important to keep your night eyes. We have tried red lights, black lights, and found that the boat lights are plenty. The other lights are just to much for the bigger smallmouth and largemouth. The less light you can use the better, but most anglers are uncomfortable when they feel they can't see enough. Lights are very effective for walleye though and we have used them with great success for large walleye.. The next thing to make sure of is to be quiet. Thus the reason Ben and I don't say much. usually one or two words are good. I like Ready? Yup!
So the night went on and we continued to catch fish. We caught 25 keepers throughout the night and we were able to cull several times. The final tally at the end of the tournament was 3rd place with 8.48 pounds. We again had a great tournament and I am already looking forward to next year. I will share with you the baits that we used but I have to tell you that it was not and never has been anything different than what everyone else uses. The only difference that I can think of would be persistance, concentration, and believing on every cast you will get bit oh and make sure and use baits you have lots of confidence in.
Baits: My favorite and one I have become very good at is the tube jig. Next is Ben's favorite and what he is known for, the spinnerbait. Then we mixed in crankbaits, chatterbaits, and some topwater baits. Thats about it.
Frank (toobman) Villa
Ben and Frank at weigh in with Chad LaChance. Photo taken by Mrs Fishfulthinker.
Blog content © Frank Villa
JKaboom, CO 7/4/2012 11:48:01 PM
Congratulations guys !!! You made it kinda like I was there with you :)
Flyrodn, CO 7/5/2012 6:33:01 AM
My hats off to you and Ben for your consistancy. The sign of a great angler, which you've also shown by being the 2012 Colorado Bass Champion. Keep it up and thnank you for the insights. Much appreciated.
Fishful Thinker, CO 7/5/2012 1:02:10 PM
Another great showing for the FMO veterans! Good work Frank and Ben. CL
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