Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Okeechobee BASS Event

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Okeechobee BASS Event

After experiencing nearly polar conditions at Lake Cherokee a week earlier, I was ready to warm things up on the “Big O.”

Prior to cutoff, I did considerable prep. And I knew the area had been experiencing relatively stable conditions since that time, so I felt what I had learned then would still apply.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Cherokee BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Cherokee BASS Elite

Lake Cherokee is beautiful. Like other reservoirs in east Tennessee, it’s deep and reasonably clear. It’s also full of rock. According to the locals, however, it fishes quite differently.

Having zero experience on Cherokee, it looked to be a challenging week ahead.

Card’s Catch - Previewing the 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Part 1

Card’s Catch - Previewing the 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Part 1

The 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule is diverse and full of great fisheries across the country. I thought I’d take this opportunity preview the first half of the events of the 2017 season and make my predictions for the patterns and weight needed to win.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 B.A.S.S. Elite Series Preview

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 B.A.S.S. Elite Series Preview

Soon, another season of the Bassmaster Elite Series will begin, and with it will come plenty of excitement and anticipation for the 108 pros who will be participating. Each has his strengths and weaknesses, and this schedule is sure to test them both.

With that in mind, here is a preview of each upcoming event. 

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - Lessons Learned 2016

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - Lessons Learned 2016

From the start, I must say that this past season was one of the most confounding and frustrating I’ve experienced in my many years of competition.

Every stop on the Bassmaster Elite Series schedule favored my skillset. All were shallow water venues, yet I managed to blow nearly every opportunity.

That said, here is my account of the past season. Hopefully you will learn  something from my mistakes.

Card's Catch - Late Season Smallmouth

Card's Catch - Late Season Smallmouth

Late fall and early winter are some of the best times to be on the water chasing bronzebacks. I have learned over the years that smallmouth are suckers for a Hula Grub, Shad Shape Worm and 4” Single Tail Grub as winter approaches. Each bait has its time and place and I can always find and catch smallmouth with these three baits throughout the cold months.

Card’s Catch - Find Your Own Approach

Card’s Catch - Find Your Own Approach

Each year after the season ends I take a look back at how I did.  I analyze what tournaments I did best in and take a look at my approach. And while it’s a bit painful, I look closely at my bad events and try to understand what went wrong.  It is something that all anglers should do from time to time if they want to continue to improve. Here is what I learned this year; finding my own personal approach and doing what works best for me.