“FLW Tour” on ”Lake Guntersville”
Tournament Trail: FLW Tour Lake: Lake Guntersville, Alabama
Dates: February 12-15th 2009 Angler: Michael Murphy Gilbert, South Carolina
South Carolina’s Michael Murphy’s name may not be listed in the Top-10 of the FLW Tour, however this National Guard Team member is still riding high on confidence! “I’m really doing everything right and my preparation time is totally focused unto the prevailing conditions during the tournament. It’s just a matter of timing!” With only three years under his belt as a Professional FLW Tour Angler, Michael Murphy is determined to qualify for the FLW Championship!
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Q. Do you feel your practice and preparation for this event went as planned?
A. “YES! Practice Day#1 I headed down the lake to Mud Creek, Practice Day#1 I went up the lake, and Practice Day#3 I concentrated my efforts in the middle of the lake and found this to be my best area. It held big fish and there seem to be plenty of them right where I had anticipated their transitional movement would position them.”
Q. Playing the “Monday Morning Quarterback”, what changes if any would you
make after your 133rd Place finish?
A. “Honestly there is very little that I would change. Obviously I am not thrilled with my results, however when I logically review the areas I fished, the baits I threw and the presentations I made compared to the anglers within the same areas and the overall tournament results, it comes down to one deciding factor! You either caught them or you didn’t! And, in my situation I just didn’t get the bites when I needed them. One factor that surprised me was that these bass seemed to have moved very shallow much faster than I thought.”
Q. You originally predicted covering water with reaction type baits would be the prevalent pattern, and that most bass would be caught on large rattling lipless crankbaits, big bladed spinnerbaits, suspending jerkbaits. Was this the ticket to success and which style, running depth and colors were most productive?
A. “I found that the water was just to dirty for suspending jerkbaits, but lipless crankbaits ran into and ripped through the grass was indeed productive. Large lipless crankbaits in Shad and Gold colors were productive in depths ranging from 5-7 feet. As long as you kept your line wet your chances for enticing a bite was good. You really had to keep moving and locate the concentration of bass.”
Q. Your forecast of needing 20 lbs a day as well as your prediction of 38-40 lbs to make the Top-10 cut was indeed a realistic prediction! As 41 lbs 5 oz claimed the final slot in the Top-10! However, many anglers struggled to get a 5-bass limit on both days? What’s your thoughts on this, was it the Weather conditions or the flights that may have played a major role in these results at the scales?
A. “At this level of competition, there is no room for excuses. With that said, we have to take into consideration factors related to transitional movements, time of day for the better bites, and yes the weather conditions during our tournament hours. As large as Lake Guntersville is it fished much smaller for the FLW Tour Anglers. There was actually a B.A.S.S. event going on at the same time. This added to the angling pressure on the bass, therefore timing was an essential element to success. It’s very possible that an earlier flight may have made a difference for me on Day#1? When I arrived at my first areas there were already boats there. This in turn forced me to start in some of my later areas.”
Q. What final notes will you make in your ‘Fishing Log’ under Lake Guntersville, February 2009 in preparation for the next time you compete there?
A. “I have diffidently made notes of the areas I fished. Their transitional movement into the shallows, keying in on their locations from staging in deeper water along ledges in 6-7 feet to extremely shallow clear water. A ‘Bold-Type’ note that these bass moved in very, very fast! Also, the importance of not being intimidated by excessively large crowds, and to key in on every aspect of an area no matter how small. For example: The areas I fished were also the areas in which several of the Top-10 anglers were also fishing. Finalizing my results coupled with reviewing my maps I came to the conclusion that the bass I had located actually moved within a 200 yd stretch. Unfortunately for me it wasn’t until the last few hours of Day#2 when I relocated them. In this short period of time I landed three bass for just under 10 lbs before I had to return to the scales. Next time my practice will be designed around these areas!”
Q. What’s next on the Bass Fishing agenda for Michael Murphy?
A. “I will be heading to Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. I’m excited about Table Rock as it will be a totally different type of event playing into what I feel are my strengths. Although, the scoreboard may not reveal it, I feel I am fishing great! I am locating the bass, spending my competition time in the right areas, and I’m in great shape physically and mentally!”