As I rolled into ramp 2 at Clinton Lake Saturday for the Single Pole Shootout, it was the usual scene, Angler's in head lamps were doing some last minute tackle prep, finishing off that last cup of coffee and waiting for the Sun to rise so we could get under way. After I parked the rig I joined them, working on my last cup of coffee as well, and started catching up with everyone while getting us all signed up for the days Shootout.
After the coffee was gone and the first rays of light started to break over the horizon, we got the boats put in. As the last of us launched and started making our way to the buoys, we were greeted to a picture perfect morning as we buried the throttles and broke the morning silence with the sound of 27 Anglers heading off to their favorite spots.
After a short sprint across the lake, I pulled my Ranger up to a brush pile in 14 ft of water. I was using a White/ Chartreuse Bobby Garland on a 1/8 Oz head, also white, with a wide gap sickle hook and a drop of Brushpile Fish Attractant. It wasn't 15 minutes before I had my first good fish of the day with a couple of shorts coming before him. I had decided the day before I was only going to be fishing any single brush pile until I had went 15 minutes without a strike, any longer than that and I was off to the next waypoint. The bite was good, and using my Humminbird 1199 to put my jig about a foot over the top of the piles, We were able to keep fish coming over the side pretty regular and ended up with my boat taking 8th and 10th out of 27, falling short of Mike Schrok's 1.50 taking the Win and $540.00 Dollars.
Going into Sunday morning for the Toy Drive, it was a repeat of the day before, with another breath taking sunrise being reflected off of glass top water. After dealing with the time change and getting everybody put in, We got to our spots to find the bite was even better than the day before. I was still using the same color jig as the day prior, but today I had my Tournament Partner, Phil Taunton using minnows as well. We were going through the short fish like crazy but were having some problems getting anything with size to it from my regular spots. With about 3 hours left in the day we started working some more isolated and smaller stuff, and began to find a few good fish along the way.
The Family Teams did well, Chris Morgan, fishing with his son Parker and Chris's buddy Mike Roberts, had Top 5 finishes on both days, Frank Haidusek, fishing with his Wife and Daughter, Donna & Madyson took 3rd with 7.67 on Sunday getting them some extra Holiday cash of their own, with the Teams of Will Bevan & Dustin Hobbs taking 2nd with 9.28, and Greg Sleeper & Daniel Leonard bringing in the winning weight of 9.44.
With the help of Rockytop Ranch Outfitters in Oklahoma we were able to put on a Big Fish Contest that made it possible for us to raise the toys to Donate to the Topeka Toys for Tots Program. They were kind enough to Donate a Guided Hog Hunt for 2 that was won by Brandon Manis, who ended up bringing in the biggest fish of the entire Weekend with a 1.84. For information on booking a hunt with Rockytop Ranch, or just to thamk them for helping us put on our Tournament, you can give them a call at
918-656-3564 or visit them at www.huntrockytop.com.