After a few weeks of preparation, Matt and I figured we had a game plan for our participation in the Jared Roe Memorial Walleye Tournament down at Angostura. While we hadn't found any big fish, we at least had some places that had a good chance of getting us on the board for our first open water tournament.
With his brother completing our 3-man team, tournament morning came with sunny skies and a bit of a breeze. Temps would be in the 70s with winds at 10-20 mph, good for a slight "walleye chop" as some call it.
72 teams lined up along the starting point, waiting for the take-off signal. We were going to start fishing in a bay behind the starting point, so we would let the boats go past us, then turn around and head for the bay. What a sight it was watching 71 other boats take off at almost the same time!
Well the bay provided us with smaller specimens, but nothing we could throw in the live well and as we trolled along the bay, the winds picked up across the lake. It was no longer a walleye chop. The main lake body was in full bore white capping swells of between three to five feet thanks to the gusting 30+ mile an hour winds and presented us with our biggest challenge of the day. After the first boat soaking trip across the lake, we donned rain gear for the remainder of the day.
We tried several places throughout the day, but the wind didn't allow us to stay in a few of them very long. For the first five hours of the tournament, we only caught three fish to weigh in and they weren't the biggest. We needed three more good sized keepers to weigh in our six fish.
Our last spot proved to be our best. With the trolling motor battery almost drained, thanks to wind, we anchored to a submerged tree and pitched jigs in all directions. In a little over two hours, we probably caught over forty fish, the majority under 13". But we did manage to catch our final three fish for weigh-in, the biggest one being just over 20" (I'd still like to know how big the fish was that I lost. Would've been well over that from how it felt).
Our total weight was 8.92 pounds, not enough to place us in the money ranks, but it was good enough for 11th out of the 72 teams there, only a few ounces out of the top 10, which I felt was pretty good for our first ever open water tournament. It was a long day and the winds beat us pretty good, but we still enjoyed the experience and I'm sure we'll look to try again next year!