top of page

Tourney Stop #3 – Bull Shoals Results


Tournament Day

We decided to hit many of the same spots we fished the day before, but focus directly in and around the spawning pockets.  My plan was to throw the nail-weighted wacky worm again.

Upon our 7:00am launch, we made our way to the first pocket in the back of a creek.  With a boat already fishing in the spot we wanted to fish, we hit a pocket on the other side.  About 15 minutes of fishing later, I had our first fish in the boat.  A chunky keeper spot that was barely hooked.  My dad thankfully grabbed the net before the fish could come off.

We worked the rest of that pocket without any luck but by that time the other boat had left. And since I am not afraid to fish behind others, we hit the same pocket they just fished.  That’s when fish number 2 came out to play.

Again using with the weighted wacky worm, I threw it along the shore at the mouth of the pocket.  With the slightest ‘tap’ the fish took the worm and I set the hook.  The net got tangled in one of my rods but I was able to lip him and get him into the boat.  While barely 15 inches and thin, he still counted.  Nothing else came out of that pocket.

On our way out, I wanted to hit the point that separated the two pockets we just fished.  I started by using a wacky worm, but before we left, I pulled the boat out into deeper water and worked the point with a Texas-rigged creature bait.  That decision resulted in a comedic series of events I wish I had on camera.

I get a bite right on the end of the point and set the hook.  It was immediately heavy and not moving.  I said to my dad, “It’s just a tree.”  Then suddenly the tree felt like it was moving... “A fish!”  Then heavy again, I uttered, “No wait, a tree?”  Then it pulled and it all made sense.  I had hooked a fish in a tree.

After a little convincing, I was able to pull in a 2.6 lb. smallmouth, along with part of the tree he was hiding in. We had 3 in the boat by 8:30! At least I had hope at that point.

We made a quick run to a final pocket in the creek we were fishing.  This is where we saw several bass the day before.  We fished slow, hitting any cover we could see or feel with our baits.  Back in the pocket, Dad would contribute in a big way.

I fished one side of the pocket with a wacky worm and he fished the other with a Texas-rigged lizard.  With my back turned to him, I heard his drag start to scream.

I quickly dropped my rod and grabbed the net.  He was fishing this lizard on a spinning combo with 6-lb test line and a broken rod tip.  All impediments aside, we were still able to get the two-and-a-half pounder in the boat.  That would end up being our second biggest bass of the tournament.

After making another run, we hit a creek with a good-looking pocket in the back.  We started fishing the gravel point at the front with Texas-rigs. As the wind really picked up late in the morning, we found it was more challenging to fish the wacky rigs.

Once we got in the back a little more, the wind was blocked and I again pulled out the wacky worm. 


I threw the worm again into a submerged bush and set the hook.  The fish gave us a quick showing.  Probably a 3 pounder.  Halfway to the boat, he got off.

After shaking off the loss, I threw my lure back into another bush.

I was redeemed, thankfully.

The very next cast, I hooked into a 2-pound largemouth.  This one did not get away.  Now we had our limit of 5 fish by 11:30am.

We fished the rest of the pocket and caught one more small spotted bass then ended up being thrown back.

With 5 fish in the boat and the wind picking up, I decided to throw caution to the wind. I fished a River2Sea S-Waver for most of the remainder of the day.  Not so much as a sniff from anything as we continued to fish the same types of water we had fished all day.

In the end, we weighed in 5 fish for 10.27 pounds.  We ended in 9th place overall and now held the second-place spot in the Fisher’s of Men National Tournament Trail Ozark Division.

Even if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have changed much in my plan.  The biggest change I would have made was investigating more main lake and secondary points after getting those 5 fish in the boat.  Maybe throw a swimbait or Texas-rig on those gravel points more than going deep into the pockets. It was a fun tournament and my dad enjoyed subbing in for my buddy.  Here’s to the next tournament!

bottom of page