Ehrler’s Edge: Red River Round Up

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EhrlerBlogThe FLW Tour Red River event just wrapped up and I’m happy with a top ten finish.

This was my second trip to the Red River. Last year we practiced for 3 days and then the event was cancelled.

My pattern for the event was flipping and cranking. My flipping rig was the Yamamoto Flappin’ hog with a Picasso 3/8ths ounce tungsten weight and a 3/0 Owner hook.

When it came to cranking I had my favorite two baits tied on, the Lucky Craft RC 1.5 and a BDS 1 Crankbait in a variety of shad patterned colors.

One thing I can say about the Red River is that is a “snakey” place. I saw at least 5 snakes a day. I had one eat a frog, but I didn’t hook it. Several times I had a snake swim right to the boat and try to climb in. There was a five footer that was 40 or 50 feet away and when it saw us it made a b-line for us. I had to swat the water in front of him with my rod to keep it from coming into the boat. Now I don’t know the difference between a water snake and a moccasin, but in my opinion they all look venomous when they are swimming at you.

The Red River is a true test to all of your equipment. It’s the “stumpiest”, “snagiest” place you will ever be. I can’t tell you how many times I got stuck. I’d get stuck where my motor was completely out of the water. You’d literally have to rock the boat just to get the motor into the water. Other times I was trying to get into a backwater, I’d hve to trim my motor down into the water and plow my way back into places I probably shouldn’t be. I really felt like I was in a jeep and I could get through anything.

Running the River itself is pretty dangerous as well. I used my 1197 Humminbird zoomed out and I’d literally follow the track line on the screen to navigate through some very narrow channels. I didn’t use the side imaging much in this event due to the depth and water clarity I was fishing in, but that giant screen and GPS definitely came in handy.

I’m up at Kentucky Lake pre-practicing for the event here in late June. I’ll fish here for a couple days before I head out to the Potomac River for the FLW Open event, practice starts on Sunday.

It fishes pretty similar to the Delta, except it has a smaller tidal change. At the Potomac the water level changes 1.5-2 feet while the California Delta has a 3 foot tidal change, give or take a few inches. The primary fishing style is flipping into the pockets of grass at low tide and at high tide I’ll do some shallow cranking.

I’ve been to the Potomac a few times and haven’t done exceptionally well there. I did learn a lot from those trips and I think I have a better chance now that I have better feel for it.

Also, since those events on the Potomac I have fished the California Delta quite a bit and have gotten better in that type of water. Looking ahead, it looks like I will be fishing similarly to how I did at the Red River, flipping and shallow cranking. I might able to get a few frog fish as well.

Following the Potomac event I am fishing a Celebrity event for Yamamoto at Old Hickory in Nashville with some Country music stars.

Currently I sit in fourth place for the FLW Tour AOY race with two events left. Unfortunately, the postponed event from earlier this year has been moved to right on top of the date our baby is due. That could make for an interesting dilemma. If I have a realistic chance for the AOY title and our baby doesn’t come a little early I might not be able to fish that event. I hope it all works out.