Cody Meyer – Red River Report – Kentucky Update

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MeyerBlogSo the Red River was far different from the last time I saw. I was there in February of last year and it was much different than last year, much lower. The water level was still six feet above normal pool, but the last time I was there it was so high the event was cancelled so my previous practice didn’t really mean anything. The Red River definitely lives up to its name. The river is muddy and it really forces you to fish in the backwaters that are filtered out a bit and have clearer water. The river itself is a jungle. Snakes, gators, stumps just something out of the show swamp people. I was flipping a mat when out of nowhere a moccasin came after my bait and it was a struggle to get it away from that thing. Out of all the awful creatures I’ve caught fishing for bass, that is one I didn’t want to tangle with.

Before the tournament even started I spent hours on Google Earth looking at possible backwater opportunities. Despite the large playing field the Red River fishes small, everyone finds the same stuff and the spots are very specific little areas that are not conducive to being shared. My practice was fairly tough. I caught two fish the first day, a limit the second day, and the last day I only got twofish. The majority of the time I was throwing a Jackall MC 60 and a Phenix vibrating jig just to cover water and when the opportunity presented itself I’d flip a small creature bait as well. I had the majority of my bites and good water in pool 4, which was really crowded, but I decided it was my best shot at doing well.

The first day of the tournament I locked down to pool 4. The locks are really a nightmare because it’s something we don’t learn out west and timing is very important. Once I got into pool 4 I was pleasantly surprised to catch a limit within an hour, it was amazing. Unfortunately the rest of the day was spent catching shorts or just barely culling up. The first day made up my mind for me that I would stick to pool 4. I burned up only a bit of my good water and figured that with an entire day focused on only five bites I could get out of there and salvage a check.

Day two wasn’t nearly as good as the first day. I fished the same way, a 1/4oz white/chartreuse Phenix Brett hite vibrator jig with a zoom speedvibe trailer and a Jackall Sasuteki Craw, but I didn’t get but four bites the entire day and those fish were good enough for only four pounds. Man it was tough.

Looking back I think there were several things I could have done differently. I learned so much about river systems and fishing dirty water and I feel lucky to get out of there without ruining my boat like several other anglers did.

Over the entire tournament I found the vibrating jig to be the best producer, but the flipping bite was off and on. I was using a Berkeley Chigger Craw and Jackall Sasuteki Craw on a 775 Powell Endurance rod and 17lb Berkeley 100% Fluorocarbon with a 1/4oz weight. When I punched I just switched to 1oz weight and 65lb braidedline. My reel for both was an Abu Garcia Revo Premier Reel.

After fishing the new Phenix Brett Hite vibrating jig I am really impressed with the way that bait swims. Such an awesome bait. Phenix remodeled the bait a bit from their original design, but it doesn’t seem to have changed the way it catches fish. I also threw the new spinnerbait they came out with designed by Tim Klinger. It’s a bass catching bait too, but this tournament the vibrating jig was a far better choice.

Looking ahead to Kentucky Lake I’m really excited for the possibilities of catching some giant bass. You hear all the stories about schooling fish, but until you actually graph a large concentration and get them fired up you really don’t understand what people mean. During pre-practice I went out and fished a school for 20 minutes before I finally got one to go. After that it was a fish almost every cast, they were all jacked up and ready to eat. It makes my Lowrance that much more important in this tournament because I need to eliminate a lot of water before I even make a cast and with the new Structure Scan technology it makes that process so much quicker and more efficient. I think this one could be a slugfest if we get the current we are supposed to have so we’ll see.