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Cedar Bluffs: the Rest of the Story

Blog by: David Coulson 9/17/2013

The fishingís done, Iím back home, rods and boat are put away and itís time for the rest of the story.  To start will, I had good intentions to get this posted yesterday. Life, as it frequently does, got in the way.  Itís said ďthe road to Hell is paved with good intentions,Ē so we know where Iím headed.

The short of it is, Sundayís fishing wasnít any better than the prior two days, arguably worse as only four folks managed to catch bass, and I wasnít one of them, although, I did catch a lot of fish. Consequently, I finished fifth with a meager two fish.

There are several reasons to fish tournaments. For me, becoming a better angler (or should I say bass catcher) is my primary reason. Oh, Iíll admit I get a kick out of winning, but as Iíve said before, even in loss I win.  The reason is, almost always someone catches fish, and Sunday was no exception. Bill managed to catch six bass, while everyone else caught zero to two.  Learning what he used, where he fished (I visited the area), and something of his techniques, I now have more knowledge that hopefully will serve me well down the road.

If youíre wondering how a fly fisher can gain from a spin fisher, itís rather simple.  First, you canít catch fish if youíre not fishing where they're at.  Knowing where others caught fish, many of the areas I also fished, tells me that Iím fishing over fish.  It also tells me the issue is more with my choice of technique than with my decision of where to fish.  I also learn about techniques that worked.  With that knowledge I can then modify my choice of flies and presentations such that ultimately I, too, can catch fish in those locations under those conditions.  Thatís the beauty of tournament fishing.

Sunday wasnít a complete bust on the fish catching side.  Late morning, before the strong winds started, we were fishing the edges of heavy timber when Tony picked up a white bass on a spinnerbait.  Just wanting to catch a fish I tied on a clouser and started fishing faster.  Then I noticed the white bass busting shad back in the trees.  I asked Tony, my non-boater, ďDo see that?Ē pointing to the disturbance.  ďThatís white bass or wiper.  What do you think?  Shall we go catch some fish?Ē Given heíd had less action than me for largemouth, if you count one blow-up on a top water popper as action, he quickly agreed. So I worked the boat through the timber into casting distance of the ďboilĒ and on our next casts we both had hook-ups.

Over the next hour we caught numerous fish in the 10-14 inch range, all white bass.  Great fun until the winds came up.  Not gentle or stiff breezes, rather white cap producing wind that made boat control difficult and spotting boils impossible.  We beat a path out of there to look for more protected waters.

So while I didnít improve my standings by the dayís end, I caught fish, as did my non-boater and we had a good time.  In the end, win, lose, or draw, thatís really what fishing is all about, having a good time.

Blog content © David Coulson
Blog Comments
Coyute, 9/17/2013 12:07:14 PM
Thanks for the info. Maybe next year you should put down the long rod and try your chances playing by the rules - written or not - that the others play by. You might learn even more than a guy playing chess with checkers. :)
David Coulson (Flyrodn), 9/17/2013 12:24:55 PM
Normally I let comments slide off, but I will say I don't appreciate being accused of not playing by the rules. I grant that the way I chose to fish for bass isn't seen as being the "proper" way to bass fish, as dictated by B.A.S.S. an organization of which I too am a member. But they don't write the rules or regulations for all who bass fish, only for their sponsered tournaments, events that I'm not fishing. I may be a lot of things, but trust one thing I am not is a cheat. I follow the rules, or I don't play. And for the record, I have as good a collection of bass gear as many, rods, reels, plasitics, jig n pig, crank baits, jerk baits, swim baits, etc. (no gulp products). I simply chose to fish slightly different techniques is all.
Coyute, 9/17/2013 1:33:36 PM
I don't consider what you do cheating. The way the rules are currently written does not exclude how you choose to fish. Time and again you've missed my point completely. My fault no doubt. There is no clear advantage or disadvantage to catching fish regardless of method, it always depends on the day - or the hour for that matter. My beef is measuring your fishing prowess using a different technique than the field. It wouldn't mean much to me (or the competition) if I smoked fly-fisherman using bait, nor would it mean much to the fly-fishermen if I flailed (which I surely would) using bait or any other method other than what the field was using. I know we are both hard-headed stubborn a-holes at times, but maybe we can look past the 'advantage or disadvantage' nonsense and get to the core of what competition is about? As far as your superlative and ethically superior collection of traditional bass fishing gear, break 'em out and give 'em a whirl again. You might surprise yourself and others. I'd be interested in hearing how a good fly fishermen does with gear he is currently not as familiar with than a guy fishing his strengths.
Gill, 9/17/2013 1:40:35 PM
I love fly fishing for warm water fish..I think it's harder anyway(way more work) so you should have gotten double points..ha. I wondered if while in Kansas you saw any effects of the flooding here...just a curious question..thanks for indulging.. (I do spin fish also so not trying to start that whole thing up..ha)
JKaboom, 9/17/2013 2:10:18 PM
I always enjoy the back and forth between Coyute and Flyrodn :)
longdraw, 9/17/2013 2:20:42 PM
All I know is this: If a guy want's to put his money up and fish against myself and a field where he and everyone else knows that he is at a significant disadvantage, than that dude is a sucker. And I will take his cash every time.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), 9/17/2013 2:30:55 PM
For what its worth I have won a tournament with the club using both methods, so called conventional gear, and with the long rod. My best money finish, ever, was fourth overall, first non-boater at the Bullfrog open with a field of over 50, using conventional gear. When fishing with the Grand Valley anglers out of Grand Junction I won several club tournaments, and never failed to finish in the top ten every year. Yes all with conventional gear. I don't feel a need to prove anything when it comes to how I choose to fish. I'm fishing for fun and, for me, part of the fun is fishing with others in a mildly competitive situtation. That forces me to fish my best, and allows me to learn from others. And for what its worth, I've fished competitively for other species, and had some success there also.
elkinthebag, 9/17/2013 4:03:07 PM
I find it funny as an angler that does both that people say fly fishing is a disadvantage. Yeah you can't crank a hog in as fast but you can match the forage way better in color looks and motions. Days I struggle with conventional gear I break out the long rid to tear it up. Never have had the reverse besides on super windy days.
catfishking, 9/17/2013 4:50:25 PM
Cool story I usually fish cedar bluffs a few times of year it's a Great Lake I always catch multiple species there
Gill, 9/17/2013 5:02:01 PM
I guess what I meant was the casting requires much more effort with a fly physically it is more of a workout,especially with a size 2 bass bug on there..ha. I'm wouldn't want to say either is more effective once in the water.Like someone else said it depends on many factors often times specific to one day. I do know I love fishing no matter what the method!!!!! As John Gierach once said" I know fishing saves my life, I'm just not sure how"
Coyute, 9/17/2013 5:51:39 PM
I am glad some appreciate the banter. If I didn't respect Dave as a fisherman or felt like he was up to defending his position, I wouldn't even bother. :)
Coyute, 9/17/2013 5:53:21 PM
Sorry for the double post. The comments need an edit function no doubt. 'I am glad some appreciate the banter. If I didn't respect Dave as a fisherman or felt like he WASN'T up to defending his position, I wouldn't even bother.' :)
BuckMaxx, 9/18/2013 6:46:32 AM
Dave Despite what others might thing I think its very cool what you do. Don't let some someone get under your skin. Just do what you do. After all we are all out there to enjoy ourselves.
PikeD, 9/20/2013 2:25:56 PM
If you spend any time talking with Dave it his ability and faith in the fly rod that comes forth immediately I hope he never puts it down because with the boat and the fishing motivation he has, fly rodding may never be the same. In my mind he is up there with my favorite fly guy Larry Dahlberg. Pretty soon there will be a "Coulson" minnow that outfishes the Clouser.
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