James Niggemeyer – Congratulations are in Order Classic, Lake Lewisville and Going Swimming

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NiggemeyerBlogFirst of all, let me say congratulations to two people for their recent wins.

Congratulations to my Strike King teammate Kevin VanDam for his fourth Bassmaster Classic win; an amazing accomplishment. Also, congratulations to Mark Tucker, a former Elite Series colleague who won the first Central Open at Lake Lewisville. Nice job to both of you.

I worked the Classic Expo for my sponsors, and it was a good show. Of course I would have rather been fishing, but New Orleans is a true city of celebration and they make people feel warm and invited, so it was really cool to get to interact with the bass fishing fans of The Big Easy.

Speaking of Lake Lewisville, it had to be one of the toughest tournaments in a Bassmaster Open. Now, I don’t know that for sure, but next to the Havasu Invitational in the 90’s, this the toughest I’ve ever fished. I finished in 20th place after having caught seven fish for a little over 12 pounds and it surprised me to have moved up four places in the standings that day.

I caught most of my fish on while flipping a Strike King Rodent on our new Tour Grade Tungsten. But, I did catch some while throwing a discontinued Strike King balsa Flat Shad crankbait. Of course I felt right at home with my St. Croix Pitchin’ Rod and an Ardent F700 with Sunline Super PE braid in my hands.

It may sound surprising because I’m known as a flipper, but throwing a crankbait is in my top three of my favorite things to throw. When I figured out they were on the crankbait bite; even in that cold water, I was more than happy to go with it.

I did lose two fish on the crankbait that I think cost me. One of them I set the hook on, and got four or five turns of the reel handle on, and it just pulled off. It felt like a really good fish, and I’m sure it could have moved me up into the top 12.

Okay, I’m going to tell one on myself now; I fell in the water while trying to retrieve a snagged lure. I had really cleaned the cap of my Bass Cat Puma FTD really well with spray wax / cleaner and with the carpet being wet from the earlier rain, my feet were wet, and I slipped on the glass.

My Co-angler for the day said he turned around and didn’t see me anymore. I caught myself by the trolling motor bracket with one hand to keep from going completely under, then shimmied around the back of the boat and used my Yamaha outboard, my Power Poles and the safety ladder that Bass Cat installs to get back in the boat.

Once I got in, I had to strip out of my clothes, and change into a new set of rain gear to keep from freezing, but I managed okay, outside of a slightly cut up hand from the trolling motor bracket. I did get my lure back though, so that’s good.

Anyway, it was the first time I got to use my Yamaha 250 SHO in competition, and I am more than impressed. My Puma FTD pops up on plane like an 18 foot boat and has so much power, it’s unbelievable. After I broke it in, I opened it up by myself, and got it up to 76 miles per hour, and probably could have gone faster; this new technology is absolutely amazing.

We’re packing up the camper and heading to Florida for the first Elite Series event, and I’m ready to get started. We’ll talk to you from the road.

To learn more about James or for information on booking him for a trip, visit his website at: www.jamesniggemeyer.com