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Forrest Wood Cup

Luke Clausen Ė Competition Wrapup
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Photo: Megabass

> Day 1: 5, 12-05
> Day 2: 5, 11-14
> Day 3: 5, 12-13
> Day 4: 3, 6-11
> Total = 18, 43-11 (10th place)

On day 1 I started shallow in the morning and I caught four on the Megabass Pop Max, and then I dropshotted 4-inch Z-Man Floating WormZ in neon pink. That's what I threw most of the time, and I just worked out kind of a program fishing both shallow and deep with those baits.

On the second day I didn't catch anything shallow Ė they were all deep. On the third day, I got six more keeper bites out there.

I started deep on the last day, but my execution was just terrible Ė I broke off a few and lost another one. I thought I could get another 12 to 14 pounds like I'd been catching, but it just didn't pan out.

You just really can't make mistakes like that when you're getting as few bites as I was.

Jay Yelas Ė Competition Wrapup
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Photo: FLW

> Day 1: 5, 12-04
> Day 2: 5, 18-04
> Day 3: 5, 6-10
> Day 4: 5, 11-02
> Total = 20, 48-04 (6th place)

I had a good Cup. It wasn't a perfect tournament, but it was good. I was close to having a shot at winning the thing, but I just made a couple of poor decisions over the course of the event that kept me from having that chance.

In practice I had a couple of things going. The first was flipping up the Chattahoochee River, and then I had some schooling fish down lake. After practice was over, my fatal mistake was thinking my best chance was on the schooling fish. I'd literally seen hundreds of them through my Typhoon sunglasses, including dozens of 3- and 4-pound bass. Up the Chattahoochee, there was really nothing that led me to believe I could catch a 20-pound bag.

I fished for the schooling fish the whole first day, and the 12 pounds I weighed was less than I thought I would catch Ė I was thinking 17 or so. That really cost me because there was a big bite up the Chattahoochee on the first day and I didn't chase it until the second day.

With a 10-pound deficit, I knew I had to get off those schooling fish and head upriver. I had a good, solid limit by noon and it ended up being my best day. It put me in 2nd place and the deficit was down to 3 pounds.

The third day was the most frustrating because nothing worked. I went to where I'd caught the 18-pound bag the day before and caught a 6-pound limit. Then I went back to the schooling fish and they were essentially gone, even though I managed to catch a couple of 15-inchers. My charge to the lead had broken down and I realized that it wasn't my tournament to win. My deficit was 11 pounds, so I conceded the Chatthoochee water to (eventual winner Jacob Wheeler).

On day 4 I went way up the Chestatee, trying to find a similar pattern to the one I had going on the Chestatee. When I look back on the whole thing, I was close. I had what turned out to be the winning fish up the Chattahoochee, but I didn't appreciate them for what they were. I thought the schooling fish were my best bet on day 1, and I dug too deep of a whole for myself.

I flipped a Berkley Gripper Jig with a Chigger Craw trailer and on the last day I caught some on a Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper worm. It was odd Ė I caught that 18 pounds on day 2, and I fished the rivers both of the next 2 days and I never got another keeper largemouth.

Luke Clausen - Practice Recap
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

There are a lot of fish here and a lot of places to fish. You just have to keep hunting. Iím sure there will be a lot of places that get a lot of pressure with guys back and forth through them. Itís hard not to be seen, though, with a lot of guys just idling around.

On Tuesday, it didnít seem like many guys were out there. Maybe they were in different areas. You never know until the first day. Iíve just spent so much time idling around, marking stuff and graphing stuff. Iím not really sure (how I feel). I wonít know until the tournament starts. I might catch one or I might catch 15 pounds. I just donít know.

Iíll see how many other boats are fishing the same stuff and what kind of rotation you can get into. Another big factor is what the weatherís going to do. I may fish some shallow and some deep. I plan to do a little bit of everything.

It seems like the fish are deeper on the deep stuff and shallower on the shallow stuff. Itís still fairly similar. The water being lower has them positioned differently out deep.

Jay Yelas - Practice Recap
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The last couple days were more productive than my first day. I have a couple different patterns that are working and feel pretty good about. I actually like my chances in this thing.

Itís all going to depend on the weights and whatís going to be needed to win. If itís similar to 2010, I could do well. If itís going to take a lot more than that, itíll be somebody elseís tournament to win.

My thought process was not to get multiple things going. I had one primary pattern that I wanted to get going and I got that working over the first 2 days and (Tuesday), I stumbled upon something that was really quite good. That was a little bonus pattern I figured out. Those are always good when you come across something you werenít even looking for on the last day of practice.

Luke Clausen - Day 1 Practice
Sunday, August 05, 2012

FLW/Brett Carlson
Photo: FLW/Brett Carlson

ďI came down for a day and a half right after ICAST and really idled around mostly. Today wasnít anything spectacular. I canít say I figured out anything star-studded. Itís going to be a grind here and I think itís always a grind here in August. Itís not easy to catch them. I spent a lot of time idling today and found some areas I hope have some promise.

ďI fished shallow a little bit and tried a lot of different things and fished a lot of different baits. Youíre hoping to find one little thing that you can rely on for at least a portion of the day. I canít really say I found anything spectacular today, but maybe itíll happen tomorrow.

ďNow that everybodyís on to that deal, thereís going to be a lot more pressure on a lot of the (brush) piles. Itís going to be a big timing deal. You can make the right little run and in an hour all of a sudden you have a decent bag or you can spend 8 hours and not get but a couple bites all day. It can go either way Ė what depth of piles to fish at which time of day. Itís definitely a timing deal.Ē

Jay Yelas - Day 1 Practice
Sunday, August 05, 2012

FLW/Jennifer Simmons
Photo: FLW/Jennifer Simmons

ďThe waterís about 8 feet lower and it seems like there are more largemouth now. You couldnít even get bit by one then. Several (1-day) tournaments have been won on largemouths here this year. Thatís better and could factor in, but this place is still one of the premier spotted-bass fisheries in the world. For a 4-day tournament, if youíre going to play the numbers game here, itís a spotted bass lake.

ďThe waterís still warm and the clarityís about the same. There are lots of baitfish and the lake seems real healthy. I caught several bass today, but I donít have a feel yet for what kind of weights to expect or whether the fishingís better or worse than it was 2 years ago. Iíd hazard a guess the winning weight will be about the same.

ďI just fished one part of the lake today and I have a lot more looking around to do. I found fish a little bit deeper than where I caught fish 2 years ago, but Iíve caught fish at the same depths as I did back then also. I still have some more work to do on the deep bite. I spent some time on that today and spent some time shallow. I need to get a little more dialed in to catching the big ones deep. I still have a couple days to figure out the key depths for those quality spots.

ďThe brush is always the key here and you just have to find that good brush at the right depths and youíll be in pretty good shape. I expect it to fish real similar (to 2010).

ďThe Alabama Rig is something that could be a factor here. Thatís something different from 2010 that we didnít have at our disposal. Iím curious to see how thatíll play out. Itíll be a subplot to the story. We still are in the first year of learning about that bait and no oneís ever fished it in August before. Itís a wild card for this event.

ďThe lakeís still got all the boat traffic itís ever had. Today was an absolute zoo with it being one of the last nice weekends before school starts.Ē

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