Hello out there to all you fishing fans! This is the TerraX Team coming at you from the Sports Center with the latest updates from the Three-River Throwdown.
And the team really showed up this week, let us tell you! Carson and Grant had to put in the work to reel in a good catch. It wasn’t easy, but they pulled through yet again. With a score of …
Ahhh, did you really think we were going to just share the scores right up front? Where would be the drama in that?!
Don’t worry, we’ll get to those stats in just a little bit! But first, let’s pop over to the TerraX Weather Channel for a quick recap and forecast.
Let’s Check the Weather
Hey there, Xplorers! We here at the TerraX Weather Channel have just one word to describe our weekend at Lake Martin:
Those of you reading from parts far-away may be thinking, Um, aren’t you in Alabama? It doesn’t get super cold down there, does it? Yes, that is fair, but hey, these things are at least a little bit relative, right? We’re used to temperatures in the 70s, at least! So …
On Saturday morning, when Kenny drove the boys down to the lake and sent them off in the boat and temperatures were in the low 30s, they knew it was going to be a long, cold day! All of the kids had to bundle up pretty well, and Kenny was more grateful than ever that he got to go home to a warm, comfy bed for a little while. The kids knew they’d be okay, though. Fishing is all about getting out in nature, and sometimes that means braving a little inconvenient weather. No worries! And if chilly temperatures were going to be the biggest obstacles of the weekend, everything was going to be just fine! (No, we’re not foreshadowing anything at all …)
It’s important to note, though, Xplorers — colder temperatures don’t just make for uncomfortable fishermen. They make for uncomfortable fish, too! As all good anglers know, the temperature has a pretty big effect on where the fish are most likely to be caught. On the hot, balmy days we’re used to down here in the south, the fish don’t have to work very hard to stay warm. But on cold days like we had out on the lake at the tournament, the fish have to seek out those warmer spaces … and that’s exactly where Grant and Jackson found them during their prefish.
The Game Plan
Grant and Jackson? Uh… where was Carson?
Don’t worry, folks! Carson’s just fine. He had a couple of major tests to take at school on Friday that he couldn’t get out of, so Grant and Jackson had to tackle the pre-fishing on their own. Still, even without their third man, they set out super early Friday morning to get on the water and strategize.
Now, we’re archaeologists, not ichthyologists (fish experts!), so we don’t understand all the habits and patterns of fish, but we do know one thing: Rocks hold heat from the sun a lot better than water, and fish like to hang out where the heat is. So, it made sense that the boys would check out parts of the lake that contain large, rocky, underwater ridge spurs. They cast out a few lines and managed to catch some decent-sized spotted bass — a solid start to the competition.
Still, they hoped to find a few of the bigger largemouth bass. A few two or three-pound big catches can go a long way toward building up your score — and your team’s overall ranking in a tournament. So, Grant and Jackson decided to do a little extra searching, and boy were they successful! It turns out, boat docks near the edges of a lake like Lake Martin make for nice, comfy spots for fish like those largemouth bass, and during the pre-fish, our team found a few just waiting to be caught.
And with that, they had their game plan: Stick to the ridges, reel in some good catches, then, in the afternoon when it was sunny and warmer, check the docks to see if they could exchange any of their smaller fish for bigger ones.
The day of the tournament arrived, and the air was crisp. This week, it was Kenny’s turn to pick up Grant and see the boys off onto the water, so you can bet he was up EARLY. As expected, the temperature was in the low 30s, so the boys made sure to bundle up well before they set out. As usual, once the sun had risen just enough that the tournament officials could declare safe daylight, the kids were off!
Carson and Grant stuck to their strategy. They headed out for a ridge spur where they were sure to start making some catches, and soon, they started reeling them in. These were spotted bass, usually between one and two pounds – a great base for a good day in the competition!
Meanwhile, you can bet Kenny went back to sleep! We’re sure a warm house and cozy blankets sounded nice after being out in freezing temperatures before sunrise.
As the day wore on and the temperatures only barely rose, Carson and Grant decided it was time for phase two of the strategy — hitting the docks in hopes of catching some of the bigger largemouth bass. Jackson carefully started maneuvering the boat in that direction, the time got excited about all the giant fish they were about to catch …
… and it started raining.
Yup. The clouds rolled in, the rain came down, and the fish, rather than venture out to explore the waters near the docks, stuck to their warm, happy ridges. So much for the game plan!
Nevertheless, our favorite anglers soldiered on! They kept casting and reeling, casting and reeling, and ultimately, they caught about 40 fish. Now remember, they could only have six fish in the boat at any one time, and they could only weigh in six fish for their final score at the end. However, it’s super helpful to catch as many fish as possible during the day! The more you can catch, the better chance you have of being able to switch out your smaller fish for bigger ones throughout the day.
As usual, some time between 2 and 2:30, the boys brought the boat in and lined up to have their catch weighed. And that means it’s time for…
Checking the Stats
That’s right Xplorers, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Let’s dive right in and check the scores.
At the end of the day, our boys brought in 8.52 pounds of fish, including one weighing 1.77 pounds, which is not bad at all, considering they lost their opportunity for those extra large ones due to the weather! (Rain, rain, why wouldn’t you go away?)
For this round, that put Carson and Grant in 13th place. 13 out of 122?! Color us impressed! And remember, folks, these two are in the seventh grade, which makes them two of the youngest competitors in the tournament. There were plenty of high school kids who fell far behind the TerraX team! Truly, we couldn’t be more proud if we tried.
But what about the school? Where is Benjamin Russell in the standings? Hold your horses, we’re getting to that!
At the end of the day, Benjamin Russell sat in second place overall with a score of 876 points. Many props to the excellent anglers of Elmore County, which ranks just ahead of us with 892 points. (Two of their anglers brought in the biggest catch of the day, a whopping 3.6-pounder!) Of course, we like to be on top just as much as anyone else, but we also want to congratulate the winners! (It may sound a little cheesy, but over here, we value good sportsmanship just as much or more than high scores.)
It’s the Final Countdown
So here we sit, with a great score and two of the best middle school fishermen out there! But let us tell you, it’s getting real out here. We’ve got one more round left — the final round of the Three River Throwdown. We’ll be reporting on that ASAP!
Until then, we think our boys have earned some roasted marshmallows, don’t you?
As always, thank you so much for reading along with us on this journey. We’ve enjoyed every minute of our fishing tournaments this fall, and while we’re excited for the grand finale, we’re a little sad it’s all coming to an end! Of course, it’s not really ending — we’ll be back in the spring with more Sports Center updates on the spring tournament season. We’ll continue to follow Carson and Grant as they once again compete for Benjamin Russell, this time in the middle school division. We already can’t wait to watch the boys take on a whole new challenge.
But we can’t be too worried about that yet. We still have one more tournament!
Until then — we’ll catch you next time, Xplorers.
— The TerraX Team