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Mc Donald's Tournament
Lake Fork Pro Jim Reaneau
This article will cover a little on most peoples mind in the month of September. The Mc Donald tournament is at the end of the month. I have been getting emails as where and what we need to throw. September can be a magical time. If the weather will help out a little and send a couple of cool snaps it will spark the fish into some major activity. We are seeing some schooling activity now. We have had people win this tournament on every thing you can think of to throw. The big fish are starting to move now. We had a 13 plus weighed in this week and I have heard of several other fish in the double digit class being caught. I would spend a little time right now putting some brush out on my favorite spot. Remember there will be atleast 2500 entries in this event and most will hit the regular spots. Some will spend the nite on their spots. Remember this is big fish tournament so don't get caught up in running and gunning. Also listen to your radio and don't weigh your fish in if it won't win you anything. I see people every year get so excited when they catch a fish that they can weigh they forget to see what spot they can place in. The most important thing is have a decent scale to get you close to the actual weight and "FOR SURE" have a board to measure the length with. We now have to be over 23 inches to be legal. Every year I see people getting tickets because of illegal fish. If you plan on fishing the tournament be sure and go over your boat and check all your life jackets and kill switch to insure it is working. The tournament directors will. Most of all be courteous to everyone as they want to win to.
Now where to fish. The jig and big crankbait would be two of my favorite lures. The Carolina Rig would be another. As I said earlier I would find me a place in a creek bend or on the end of a point and drop some brush. I would add to it a week before the tournament. Pick and area you have caught some fish from that you have confidence in. Don't pick a spot where you will be out where people are running by. You would probably not be able to get on the spot the next day. During this time of year the fish can be from 3 to 35 foot deep. The 13 I mentioned was caught over 35 foot of water. I have caught fish suspended down to15 to18 foot on rattle traps so don't rule out these fish.
I would get my partner and come to the lake and fish oneday like you plan on fishing the tournament to get a plan made. Don't go to your spot you plan on fishing for the tournament and fish the day or two before. If a big fish is there she will usually bite then and then you have no chance there during the tournament. I remember one year to fellows hired me to take them to a couple of spots they could fish during the tournament. When we got there they wanted to fish. This was the day before the tournament. I told them this was not a good ideal. They wanted to fish so fish we did. The guy caught an 8 and lb. bass end of story.
Remember your partner is just as important to you as you are to him. Go over your starting the boat drill with life jackets and kill switch on. This is a major question should you place. Check your boat registration and fishing license to insure they are current. Secondly when operating the boat have your buddy help you watch for the other fisherman as you travel spot to spot. Everyone will not be thinking straight.
Well good luck and be safe.

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