2009 Tournament Season

This tournament season has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. With the weather being so unstable this year sometimes I wonder if the fish knew what they were supposed to be doing from one day to the next. The water was very unstable too. On several occasions we were fishing in water that was almost 20 foot above normal pool for the lake. Not only that but the trash and logs floating made navigation hard. The high dirty water made the most of the fish come down with a sudden case of lockjaw. It made pre-fishing almost pointless sometimes. So what did we do….. we  just went fishing and somehow… someway… we managed to find a few that would bite.

The season started in mid April and the regular divisonal season ended last Sunday.   The season started off a little bumpy for my partner and I. Luckily several of the other teams had a rough start too. That made us feel a little bit better knowing that it wasn’t just us. After taking a couple on the chin we finally got our heads on right and did much better.

We finished third in one tournament…should have gotten second but had a .5lbs dead fish penalty and lost second by .2lbs. Still don’t know what happened to that fish, didn’t last 2 min in the livewell. The rules say that you can’t cull a dead fish so we had to keep it and take the penalty. I still believe we did everything we could to keep the fish alive. We did however get big bass on that tournament. Which, by the way lasted as big bass for the entire season.

Tournament Big Bass

We finished second in the last tournament. This was quite a day. Started off with a real good topwater bite. We just had an execution problem….. couldn’t land a darn thing. We bounced around from place to place trying to make something happen. The tournament ended at 2:30 and we had to be inside the marina marker buoys by that time. So…. at 1:00 and nothing in the boat so far we were trying to stay positive and not give up. Good thing too. At a few minutes after 1:00 we tried a place that we had already hit. We knew there would be fish holding off of this windy point as shad blew up to the bank. Sure enough…..we timed it just right this time. In a matter of 10min we had all but one of our fish in the boat. It only lasted for about 10min and we made several passes back thru but got nothing. With about 30min left to fish we had just enough time to go back to the original place we started at and try for some of the fish we lost that morining. At 2:15 we boated our last fish, put her in the well and packed up real quick. We had 15min to make it to the marina and had about 15 miles to get there. Lets just say we had that Yamaha running hard and that Skeeter high in the water. We had 2min to spare. Don’t know if you can see the PTO logo on the top left of my shirt. Shown with me in the photo is Mark Byrd. He runs their family business “Byrds Pecans”.  We have been friends since before either of us can remember.


We did stray away from our circuit earlier this year and fished another open tournament “The Hawg’n Classic”. This is quite possibly one of the best days we’ve had on the water. Every fish we caught was a real good above average fish. We had our limit by 10:00am and was able to cull several fish. This is when you know that everyone else better be on their “A” game to keep up. I had pre-fished the day before and luckily the dropping water and cold front didn’t spook the fish I had found. We had to make a 35 mile run to get there but was well worth it….We WON. I can’t find the pics from this tournament , but I’m still looking. Post the pics when I find them.

So…. the last tournament is the regional in October. We have to make the top 40 cut in order to continue on to the Circuit Classic. The Classic is on Kentucky Lake next spring. I really want to go. They are giving away several boats as the top prizes, and lets face it who doesn’t need a new boat. I have several weeks to think,plan and pre-fish for the regional tournament. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Please feel free to contact me about any of the companies listed below. They really are great!!!!!

Thank you for reading,

Chad Wiley

PTO field-staff

Tightlines Pro-Staff

SavePhace Field-Staff

Byrds Pecans

About the Author

Chad Wiley

Chad Wiley

Chad Wiley lives in Missouri and has recently started tournament bass fishing, which has become an obsession.