Friday played host to check-in and the casting games. What a swag bag we received at check-in, especially, if you entered early (before 1 May)! We received our choice of Buff from Buff, two flies of our choice from Brothers Flies and Lake Fork Marina, a choice of vendor's hat or visor--TFO, Sage, Redington, and a Skeeter t-shirt. After check-in, Cody Bell had to defend his Distance Casting title from last year, but this year all contestants had to tie on a deer hair Dahlberg Diver. With a side-wind and a big fly, everyone was having trouble getting the distances to which they were accustomed. With about 30 feet less than last year, Cody took home top honors again with 82', this time bringing home a TFO 6-8# Mini-Mag, Prism Reel w/line, and a rod case! I'm proud of my man! Benson Fowler tied with Diane Blair accumulating 300 points in the Accuracy Contest. Benson was also defending his title from last year. Today, after all weigh-ins, they had a cast off that went three-rounds with Diane winning and conceding her TFO 5# to Benson. Pretty good deal for all, including the joke Brian Nims played on me.
When have you ever desired to catch fish under 16"? When you're targeting fish outside the slot! The rules for counting fish were different for the Boaters and Non-boaters. For the Boaters, the slot was 16"-24", and so any fish measured in that category could not count and had to be put back. All fish turned in had to be under/over the slot. I found it hard rooting for fish to be under 16" (I am always wanting fish over 24"), but I was at times hoping that the rod's bend meant a keeper. We only turned in one Largemouth Bass, a 10 ouncer, but Cody caught several fish in the slot, and that was a lot of fun--nice size fish, fighting hard, jumping aerobatically--including the Channel Catfish--with most caught on some type of white popper in shallow, shallow waters, and before 9 a.m. I even hooked up with my personal best Largemouth Bass on a deer hair frog popper. Cody's jumping catfish was caught on a CodyBugger, and so were the two Bluegill.