Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cave Spring Optimist's Fishing Tournament

I mentioned the other day that I was fishing in an upcoming tournament here on my home water , and I've had some well wishes and a few inquiries about what kind of tournament I'm fishing. Just to bring everyone up to speed , this is the 43rd annual Cave Spring Optimist Club's fishing tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. I've fished it for at least 8 years ( maybe ten ) and it's always a great deal of fun for everyone involved. The Optimist Club does great things for the youth in our area and I'm glad that my entry fees help to further their cause.

Unlike most fishing tournaments where a particular species is targeted , this is a free for all of all the styles of fishing available to us here on SML. The tournament draws anglers of all stripes who flock to the lake in droves to target their preferred species. With roughly $15,000 dollars up for grabs , this is one of the highest paying tournaments held at the lake. First place for each species pays $1,000 , second pays $500 , third pays $300 and fourth will get you $150. Not bad at all for a 40 dollar ticket. Largemouth Bass , Muskie , Smallmouth Bass , Crappie , Catfish and Striped Bass each have there own category and leaderboard , so one ticket gives you 24 chances to win , provided you can get the fish to Gill's Creek Marina alive. There's also a consolation prize of $300 awarded by random drawing at the marina , for those who don't end up on the boards by the end of the weekend. There's also a great kids tournament on Saturday for carp and bluegill.

I'm getting things in order on my boat and spooling some reels in preparation for the kick off at 7:30 Friday. I'm mostly ready now , except for filling the boat up with gas and topping off the batteries. I'm going to break in the new Okuma Citrix baitcaster I won from OBN in a gear review opportunity and break out some of my Striper rods to do some catfishing , bass fishing , and crappie fishing. I wish I could fish for Stripers , but I just don't have a way to keep them alive in this warm water for the ride to the marina.

I've already made a mental map of the holes I plan to fish and I know I'll catch something. Hopefully we'll be able to get some nice pictures and a few video clips , but don't hold your breathe. This is a fishing tournament , not some kind of blogger fun fest. Fishing is serious business.

Maybe not too serious. It'll be great to get my buddy down here and drive him around the lake for a few days. We've fished together for close to 20 years now and it's always a blast when we can get out on the water. I'm just glad I've spent enough time on the water here to be able to find the fish. Smith Mountain Lake can be a cruel mistress.

Wish me luck! I probably won't be back until Monday or Tuesday , unless I end up with a fish on the board and then I'll be back to brag.

Have a great week!


  1. Hi Josh, good luck out there!! Hope you grab a winner!!!! :-)

  2. Thanks Captain! I've had some luck in the past , but always seem to get pushed off the board by a few ounces. We'll see.

  3. Go get 'em. We're waiting to hear the good news. I know you can do it.



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