Full Moon Open Was A Blast
by: Frank Villa 6/29/2013
2013 FMO Began with a bang! This years event as always, was held on Horsetooth and it was another great event. It began with a safety meeting done from a pontoon boat in the middle of South Bay. This is an original for bass tournaments. The Centennial Bass Club came up with the idea since it is difficult to beach the boats on Horsetooth. Then there was a recognition of the sponsors for the event, which there is a ton from the surrounding area. including Larimer County Parks, Sportsmans Warehouse, Bass Pro Shops, McKormicks Tires, KOA Campground, and so many more. As soon as I get a list I will list them here.
This year we did the National Anthem to begin the event. It was an awesome site to see all those boats with everyone standing at attention, then to look around and see all the campers doing the same thing. This country is awesome!!! Once the start began everyone went to there spots. The start for the Full Moon Open works differently than most bass tournaments. For safety reasons we do an ooze off. Everyone gets a starting number and you leave the starting area in order. The trick is the start begins at around 6pm but the tournament does not begin till 7pm. So, by the honor system, you go to your spot and then wait till 7pm to start fishing. If you are seen fishing before 7pm you are disqualified from the tournament and will not be asked to come back again. This kind of start allows everyone to start at the same time so no one gets an advantage of starting before others. By doing this, it also makes it safer because no one has to drive crazy and exceed the speed limit to get to a spot. It is still very important to have multiple starting areas in case someone is already on a spot you planned to start on. Once the clock hits 7pm your team has 12 hours to catch the 5 biggest bass you can to take back to the weigh in. This year Ben Lind and I were able to put together a nice bag at 10.18 lbs to take first place.
This year fishing was a little tougher because we had an abnormally bright moon. We were able to get 5 good ones in the boat early and that makes it less stressful through the night. This year we culled 10-15 fish through the night and our biggest ones were caught in transition areas especially where little rock changed to big rocks. The other thing we did differently this year is we moved faster and more often. If we didn't catch a fish in an area within 15 minutes we moved to another spot. We had 7 spots that we tried and we continued to hit those spots through the night. We were thinking that with the brightness of the moon, the smallmouths were moving around chasing baitfish and crawdads. We figured if we kept moving we would run into them for a few minutes. then they would move on. We used the moon to our advantage by moving quickly and keeping the baits in the water plus hitting multiple spots in one area. In several areas I made up to 10 casts to one spot from different angles in less than 1 minute. We did that all night and my arms were feeling it for a couple days. Our go to baits were the same as always, Spinnerbaits, Tube Jigs, and this year we threw in a couple new baits, a shaky head, and chatterbait in which we had great success. This tournament is one of the most fun tournaments that I have been involved in and I am looking forward to fishing it again next year. Look for it in 2014 probably June or July.
Thanks, Frank (toobman) Villa
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