Tournament Recap - Lake Okeechobee

The first tournament of the year was actually two this year. Before the Tour tournament started I got to help Mike Surman out and fish the Channing Crowder tournament which helped the Boys and Girls Club. It was a great time getting to fish in Florida and get away from cabin fever in the arctic like temps in Alabama.

Then I headed to the Big O. First day of practice was a little tough getting some quality bites but they were random. Second day of practice found a few backwater areas that had a lot of fish with a big bites so I then looked for bigger bites flipping. The next day and a half all I did was flip a Strike King Menace with a 1.5 ounce weight on a GLoomis 895 GLX flipping rod with 65 lb Power Pro. Didn't get a lot of bites but found 2 stretches that seemed to have bigger bites.

Each day of the tournament I went to the casting few to get a quick 10 lb limit, hoping for a good bite. Well unlike practice, they started missing the bait, just boiling it as I watched five 3lb'ers a day just not get the bait, but that's fishing.

The flippin' bite didn't work like I thought it was going to. I only had 3 good bites on day one, boating one and losing the other 2 in heavy reeds.

Finished in 131st place, not the finish I was thinking I was gonna have after practice but on to Hartwell!!! And look what I came home too!!

   

Spinnerbait Kid signs four new sponsors

 

Walmart FLW Tour pro Alex Davis, known as the Spinnerbait Kid, announced the signing of four new sponsors for the 2014 tournament season. Davis, an accomplished regional pro and popular guide on Lake Guntersville, has added The Tackle Trap, Chevrolet of Boaz, G.Loomis, Shimano and Power Pro to his sponsor portfolio.

“I will be running a 2014 Chevy Silverado wrapped by Chevrolet of Boaz,” said Davis, who will be a sophomore on the FLW Tour. “My boat wrap will be The Tackle Trap, a tackle store near Lake Guntersville as well as an online tackle store. I’m so glad to have some great backing for the 2014 FLW Tour season.”

“I’m very excited to being working with Alex in 2014,” said Brain Franks, owner of The Tackle Trap. “We have been great friends for a few years and I’ve watched his career start; he’s a great angler who will represent my busines very well"

“I was very excited to get this opportunity with Brian and then the Chevy opportunity opened and that just topped off my offseason,” added Davis, who also shot a 155 3/4 whitetail deer this fall. “I got to drive the new Silverado to the Big O for the Rayovac FLW Series opener and wow is all I can say. I don’t dread driving long distances now. I can’t express how grateful I am to be working with Chevrolet of Boaz in 2014.

“Last year was a great learning experience on and off the water and I think I will be much more prepared for the conditions and lakes this year. I can’t wait to start the FLW Tour season in a few weeks and I’m glad I have a ton of support this year.”

A-Rig On Deep Stuff Was Key To Davis' Triumph

Courtesy Bassfan

Alex Davis is a full-time guide at Lake Guntersville who bills himself as "the Spinnerbait Kid." However, it was the Alabama Rig that carried him to victory at last week's Southeastern EverStart on his home water.

The 26-year-old amassed 81-12 over 3 days to edge FLW Tour pro Justin Lucas by a little more than 3 pounds. The A-Rig accounted for 12 of his 15 weigh-in fish.



Ironically, he believes the A-Rig cost him a win at last October's Guntersville FLW Tour Open. That tournament was the coming-out party for the umbrella-style contraption and he was the only Top-10 finisher who wasn't throwing it on the final day, opting to stay with his grass pattern.

"If it hadn't shown up until a week later, that one could've been a whole different ball game," he said.

It was the key weapon in his own arsenal this time, and he employed it with deadly precision. He caught a 30-pound bag on day 2, then added 27 on the final day to hold off a desperate charge by day-1 leader Lucas.

The win was the first at the triple-A level for Davis, who plans to fish a full Tour schedule in 2013. Here's how he did it.

Practice

Davis' life could be characterized as one continuous practice session for Guntersville tournaments, as he's on the water (either guiding or fishing on his own) 6 days a week. He'd competed in a BFL there the previous week and said he lost several quality fish en route to a 25th-place showing.

"I can't blame anybody but myself for that one," he said. "I had the fish on to end up in the Top 3, but that's one of those 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' kind of deals."

Plying the lake's ever-abundant grass was the key to faring well in that event, and he thought that scenario might carry over to the EverStart. But once the EverStart got under way, it quickly became apparent that post-spawn fish on the ledges were the ticket to contention.

Competition

> Day 1: 5, 24-09
> Day 2: 5, 30-02
> Day 3: 5, 27-01
> Total = 15, 81-12

Davis started day 1 in the grass, thinking he could box 20 pounds without too much difficulty. But when he only had 13 after several hours of concentrated effort, he knew he had to move to the depths and throw the A-Rig.

He went to a ledge where he'd enticed a couple of big ones while prepping for the BFL and sacked up his 24 1/2 pounds in about 10 minutes. That put him in 8th place – a little less than 5 pounds off Lucas' pace.

He had about 23 pounds after the first 2 hours of day 2 when he told his co-angler they were "going practicing" (i.e. visiting deep spots that he knew about, but hadn't fished recently). The first one yielded 20 pounds in 10 minutes, but none of those fish helped him. The next one surrendered 30 pounds in less than half an hour.

He started day 3 with a 4-pound edge over 2nd-place Casey Martin. The fish at his first stop quit biting after he'd amassed about 20 pounds, and then he caught all of his weight at his second stop.

"I threw back a bunch – I think on the day I caught 20 fish that (combined to weigh) almost 100 pounds," he said. "Some were in 12 feet (of water), some were in 20 feet and I could see some on my graph in 30 feet, suspended at about 15 feet. I'd have to make a lot of casts for those and count down the lures, and once in a blue moon I'd get it right."

Once he began fishing the depths, he focused on a 15-mile stretch that included Honeycomb Creek, Brown's Creek and Seibold Creek. He fished approximately two dozen locales along that run.

"I'd stay for a bit and if I was catching fish, I'd just sit on them. If I wasn't, I'd just run to the next one."

Winning Gear Notes

> A-Rig gear: 7'11" heavy-action iRod or 7'6" heavy-action Halo rod, Abu Garcia Skeet Reese Revo or Shimano Curado E7 casting reel, 65-pound Vicious braided line, 1/8-, 1/4-, 3/8- or 1/2-ounce Strike King or Buckeye J-Will jigheads, Strike King Shadalicious (chartreuse shad) or unnamed swimbaits (shad).

> Soft jerkbait gear: 7'6" medium-heavy Abu Garcia Veritas rod, Shimano Curado E7 casting reel, 17-pound Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon line, 3/4-ounce Revenge jighead, Strike King Z2 (shad).

The Bottom Line

> Main factor in his success – "Figuring out that the grass wasn't happening anymore and going and fishing places that I knew about, but didn't fish in practice."

> Performance edge – "My Humminbird electronics. I'd turn the sensitivity way up and I could see the suspended fish and see where the bait was. For fishing deep stuff, you need that real bad."

Notable

> Those interested in booking a guided trip with Davis can contact him through his website, www.SpinnerbaitKid.com.

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