Hawkeye’s Pre-Tournament Bass East Predictions for “FLW Stren Series” “Championship” on “Table Rock Lake” Tournament Trail: FLW Stren Series

Championship Lake: Table Rock Lake, Branson, MO
Dates: November 5th-8th 2008
Angler: New Jersey’s Pete Gluszek

New Jersey’s Professional FLW Bass Angler Pete Gluszek struggled, managing to carry only three bass to the scales in two days of competition; Gluszek compares his Tournament Weigh-in Performance to his Pre-Tournament Predictions for Bass East.
www.PeteGluszek.com, www.Rangerboats.com, www.Evinrude.com, www.sftTackle.com

Q. Do you feel your practice and preparation for this event went as planned?
A. The first word that comes to mind is ’Desperation’ and then ‘Stress’ for this event! I was traveling from one tournament to the next. Knowing the magnitude of the Championship, I tried to prepare myself by reviewing, maps, logs and all of my previous information. I then divided the lake into three sections, practiced in these areas and eliminated water, by the size of the bass I was catching. I caught 40-50 bass each day of practice, however finding bass over 15” was a problem. I do feel I established a good fall pattern, considering I had only been on Table Rock two times, and they were both in the spring.

Q. Playing the “Monday Morning Quarterback”, what changes if any would you make, after your 131st Place finish?
A. I’m not really positive at this moment, I need to continue my research into exactly what and where the Top-Anglers may have established that I didn’t? This is a massive body of water and it’s possible that the only difference was locating the larger bass? I only caught three bass over 15”, but still managed to catch 50 bass each of the tournament days! It may have been as subtle as ‘The Spot on the Spot’!

Q.  You originally predicted Top-Water and Crankbaits would be the prevalent pattern, and that most bass would be caught on crankbaits and/or jigs. Was this true and which type of Top-Water baits, Crankbait running depths and colors were most productive?
A. I found ‘Zero’ schooling bass for a top-water bite, however there were baitfish everywhere I went! It appeared that the bass and baitfish were scattered and in-between transitions from summer to early fall. I threw a variety of crankbaits throughout the water column, all-producing bass, but once again the majority of my 40-50 bass days ranged in the 13” to just under 15” size. I still believe that Top-Water, Crankbaits and Jigs played a key role in most anglers’ limits. As for bait colors, Table Rocks clear water clarity lends itself to more nature colors.

Q. Your forecast of 15 lbs a day turned out to be high, except for Dave Curtis’s 22lbs 12oz final day limit! However, your prediction of needing between 55-60 lbs to win the Championship was quite accurate. Still many anglers struggled to get a limit, the Leaders Board reveals19lbs placed 50th collecting a check, while only15 limits were carried to the scales each of the first two-days. Did the Weather conditions play a major role in these results at the scales?
A. I felt the water temperatures were much higher than I expected for a typical November Fall Tournament. Ranging from 67-68 degrees and holding steady, the baitfish were schooling up, but had not moved into the creeks. I think the bass were indeed following the baitfish to some extent, but with both baitfish and bass in summer and early fall transitional states, scattered at a variety of depths and holding on a variety of cover, locating the 15” keeper bass was very difficult.

Q. What final notes will you make in your ‘Fishing Log’ under Table Rock, November 2008 in preparation for the next time you compete there?
A. My number one notation will be 67-68 degree water temperature! Unusually warm for November, scattered bass and baitfish between summer and early fall transitions. I will definitely suggest location deeper structure with a variety of cover such as vertical timber and lay downs, etc. In addition I will scan shallow water more thoroughly. Most importantly I will complete my fishing log notations after reviewing the articles, watching the Tournament on TV, and gathering all of the information I can relating to what I did compared to the Top-10 anglers!

Q.  What’s next on the Bass Fishing agenda for Pete Gluszek?
A. Table Rock in March of 2009, I will be prepared this time!!! Between now and then I will be attending Sportsmen Shows, hosting seminars and promoting my Guide Service. www.PeteGluszek.com


Q. What does Table Rock Lake have for Structure and Cover?
A. It’s a highland reservoir with rock bluffs, standing timber, rocky bottoms as well sand and clay.

Q. What will be the Tournaments Prevalent Patterns?
A. I have only fished there twice before and that was in the spring, I am assuming that it will most likely be an early fall pattern.

Q. Considering Fall Seasonal Patterns, which Techniques will be utilized?
A. Top Water, drop shots and shaky heads, cranking deep docks and rock walls and of course Table Rock is known for having a great jig bite! And, then you have to factor in Table Rock has spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass, with that said anglers just may stumble unto schooling bass following the baitfish.

Q. Which Type of Baits will most of the bass be caught on?
A. The water clarity is clear with visibility to ten feet or better; anglers should be able to use a variety of baits such as jigs, crankbaits, shaky head worms, top water

Q. What do you look for during your Practice Days?
A. Table Rock is massive with over 800 miles of shoreline and 43,000 acres of fishable water. I have divided the lake into three sections: lower, middle and upper, each with specific areas I believe should be holding bass. With five days of practice I will scan each area thoroughly, try to decipher which stage of the fall transition the bass are in within that section, then concentrate on the section that is most productive. Key factors within each area will be type of cover and depth bass are relating to as well as the location of major creeks.

Q. With everything taken into perspective how much weight will you be looking for each day at the scales, and what will it take to win this event?
A. Springtime weights usually average 15lb a day or more, I am speculating it will take approximately 55-60 lbs to win the event. My goal will be to carry at least 14lbs a day to the scales.

The Bass Bureau