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Author Topic: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2  (Read 10068 times)

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joshimoto son

Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« on: January 30, 2008, 01:52:32 PM »

The morning of day two had already started off better than day one. It was nearly 20 degrees warmer and the high for the day was to reach the mid 70’s. Although Duane and I had a couple hours less sleep than we anticipated, we were ready to go get ‘em. We shook the cover off the boat and made our way to the launch blasting music to get us pumped up for the day.
Duane dropped me off at the ramp since I was in the second flight, and because he was a later flight, went back to meet his co-angler at the battleship where the later flights would stage to make there way to the launch.

Mark Goines’ boat was easy to spot, it was a red and white ABU GARCIA wrapped boat. I greeted him, stored my gear in the boat and he threw me in the drivers seat as he jumped in the boat and readied himself to splash in. So I did what I do with all my pro’s who have XM satellite radio, I turned the station to some heavy metal, full of angst music and rocked out. It’s always good for a comment at the end of the day.

After the truck was parked and Mark picked me up, we finally had a chance to get to know each other and go over the results of the first day. Most notably, He has a regional fishing show called “Hooked on Fishing with Mark Goines”. It can be viewed in and around the Oklahoma area and also on his website, He told me that his shows are more of a documentary type, something different than just the same old tips and techniques show. Generally showcasing his guests who have an interesting story to tell. One of his favorites is an old rodeo clown who is in his 80’s and still running around the arena.

On the fishing front, Mark’s first day had him too, only spitting distance from the top ten cut and was very excited about the day. He mentioned that his primary spot on day one did not pan out as well due to the multitude of anglers sharing that same area, but his secondary spot produced quite well at the end of the day and had little or no pressure.
His experience and intuition had told him that his secondary place would now move to the top of the list and is were we will be starting.

Mark’s first day co-angler only caught two fish, which made me a little nervous. In my mind, I needed to have at least six pounds. That’s a far cry from the two pounds his day one co-angler had. I kept telling myself to keep a positive attitude and to trust in the Lord. That’s not to say I wasn’t having a few of my own conversations with him myself. I would always pray for the Lord to “help me” do what I needed to do, to give me the strength to stay focused and not get inundated with thoughts of worry and indecisiveness. I always do this once we’ve blasted off and are on our way to the first stop, which fortunately for me was only about four or five miles up the river. No long runs today!

We cut off the main river and headed down a smaller feeder creek that lead up to one the “lakes” located in the Delta. I recognized the stretch we started to go down as Duane and I had spent a little time ourselves fishing part of this creek. The destination was not the lake, but a section of the creek that was only a couple of bends away from the lake and a couple of bends past where Duane and I had quit fishing.

As we touched down I quickly viewed the area and grabbed my frogging rod laced with a black and blue footed Zoom Horny Toad. Mark picked up a crank bait. The area we started in was a little smaller in scale to what I’d been fishing in practice. The creek was only about the width of a four lane highway and had a main creek channel running through it that averaged 9 to 12 feet of water. The banks were loaded with laydowns and the water from the shoreline was no depth gradually tapering to about 4 to 5 feet right at the break of the creek channel. The ledge of the creek channel had sparsely scattered weeds and would play a very important role later in the day as the tide was up and on its way out.

I figured since Mark was throwing a crankbait and not able to probe the laydowns near as well as I could with my frog. My thoughts were that of teaching an old pro some new tricks. My confidence was high and I was putting on a casting clinic on how to properly dissect the timber. Which incidentally was interrupted on the third cast while I grabbed the net for Mark, then on the 15th cast… on the 30th or so cast… then on the 40th or 50th. I think you get my point. And while I was searching through my tackle bag for an ever loving crank bait, Mark put his fifth keeper in the boat. APPARENTLY, MARK WAS HAVING A GOOD TIME!

The closest thing I had to a good cranking rod was my 7 foot medium heavy spinning rod with 8 pound P-line. So I tied on a crankbait that looked the closest to a baby bass color and made my first cast. It was short. About five feet away from the wood. Then another cast. That was a little closer, but none the less, short. Third cast… close to shore, but in open water. I knew what I had to do, but I was not that efficient at casting around wood.

Mark was catching his fish toward the end of the laydowns all the way out to the ledge of the creek channel. With the boat positioned right on the top of the break, Mark would cast at a 45 degree angle to the end of the laydowns or straight out in front of him working the very edge of the break. To watch him, most people would think that he was just sporadically casting and catching his fish “wherever”, but Mark was good, he would alternate his cast so that he was sweeping the area. Run the break line for a cast, then make casts toward the shore and progressively angle his casts back to the front of the boat and then move forward and repeat the process.

So back to my “CD”… crankbait dysfunction. I knew if I didn’t start throwing that thing right, I might as well hang it up, which is exactly what I did on the very next cast. The third worst thing I hate about being a co-angler is having to ask the pro to go back so I can get my lure out of that piece of wood. Mark was kind enough to oblige and I was kind enough to put my crankbait away, I was not about to lose all of my cranks, and out of respect for the guy running the boat. I told myself today was not the day to learn how to throw crankbaits around wood.

So I picked up my shaky head and put on a Robo Worm in tequila sunrise and started working the break behind the boat. It wasn’t long before I had my first bite, I set the hook and something just seemed weird. It felt like I had hooked a stick, I knew in my heart that a fish definitely hit, but what the heck is that? Yep, another species I’ve only seen on TV. I just caught my first flounder! They got teeth ya know. So I just reached down with my pliers and let him go. I got a chuckle from Mark and we went back to fishing. Shortly after that, I caught my first bass on the shaky head, but it was way too small. Then finally, I put my first keeper in the boat. It was just 12 inches and maybe weighed a pound but I was happy.

In the mean time Mark was still putting a whacking to the fish, but was only making small upgrades an ounce or two at a time. I estimated that Mark had caught 15 keepers by the time I put my first fish in the box. And speaking of time I happened to look down at my watch, it was around 10:00am. I looked up at Mark and told him that yesterday I was just getting to our first spot. That’s when it really hits you. Just how much can happen when you’re spending the time to make a long run. It’s a gamble, and you have to have a lot more confidence than just in the spot you’re fishing.

We had made it up the creek quite a ways and Mark had not had a bite on the crankbait for some time. So he picked up a Texas rigged Berkley Powerbait worm in Electric Blue and started throwing it. Again, the fishing started picking up as Mark continued to catch keeper after keeper, throwing most of them back. Needless to say, my cookie started to crumble after his 6th or 7th fish. He could tell the frustration was setting in and told me not to worry, “we’re gonna be fishing here all day Josh.”

So back to the tackle bag I went to find something that remotely resembled a purple worm with blue fleck. “I don’t have anything like that worm you have Mark.” And I swear to you, as Roland Martin as my witness. Mark stopped fishing and turned to me and said, “Son! You mean to tell me you came all the way down here and didn’t bring any Power Worms!” It was like my own little commercial made just for me. “No sir.” I quibbled. “Here! Put one of these on.” Mark reached into his bag and threw me a power worm. You can only imagine how low I felt. It was like I was a rookie co-angler whose wife paid for his tournament fees just to get him out of the house.

I rigged the worm on a ¼ ounce bullet weight with a Gamakatzu 3/0 straight shanked worm hook on 17 lb. mono and made my first cast. I let the worm settle to the bottom and as I picked it up I felt some weight, but it was not swimming off as if a fish were to have it. So I picked it up slowly, hoping I was not snagged on anything. I did not want to lose that worm and I REALLY did not want to ask Mark to turn around to get it. I was feeling bad enough as it was. I continued to pick up my rod and what ever it was, was coming with my bait. Once it surfaced, it appeared that a blue crabbed had taken a liking to my worm. In practice, it did not take much to shake a crab off your hook, but this one was not willing to let go. In fact the thing kept attacking my one and only purple worm slicing it with its pincers. I was terrified. Mark already had a half dozen worms rendered useless to these things and I was about to have the same thing happen. On my first cast.

Mark was laughing at me while I was bent over the side of the boat beating this crab in the head repeatedly with the end of my rod while cussing at it. The crab finally let go and I was able to take a look at my one and only hope of catching a fish. It wasn’t good, but I was able to rig it back up with a little tender loving care. No thanks to Edward Scissor Claws. No kidding, a few more casts later I boated my second keeper. I think Mark was actually happier than I was to see me catch that fish. It was only 11:00am and the mood in the boat had changed dramatically. I felt the pressure lift off my back and then come right back down on me like a ton of bricks as I looked at my worm laying there in two pieces with no tail.

It was then I had to do the second worst thing I hated to do as a co-angler. “Mark? Could I buy a bag of them worms off of you?” I asked.
“Boy! That’s gonna be one expensive bag of worms.” He chuckled.
I held out a 10 spot and he said, “No… just take em. We’ll talk if you happen to need another bag.” I’m pretty sure he was having quite a bit of fun with me right then.

I’m ready now… I’m loaded for bear! We continued to fish as the sun was getting high and the bite had slowed down. I was able to talk to Mark a little bit and joke around with him too. Actually, Mark is a great guy and I wished that I could share with you some of the conversations we had, but that kind of fun must be left on the water.

The one thing I couldn’t put my finger on was why we were not catching fish in practice like he was doing that day. Not until now do I fully understand what we were doing wrong. We were fishing like Yankees. When we were searching for fish, we would throw a spinner bait, when we thought the fish were not in the mood for a search bait, we would go right up tight to shore and flip the wood. That has worked for us up here, but down there, the spinner bait was not the “right” search bait and the cover we flipped was too close to shore and not with the right plastic.

I asked Mark how he figured out to use that specific worm. He said that he was fishing all the same type of cover with the mainstream flipping baits like tubes and craws, but he said through experience that this specific worm has worked for him where ever he goes and he decided to try it. Once he did, he really started catching them. So with only a couple of bags himself, he called his Berkley rep, Tammy Cox, with Pure Fishing and she sent him a big box of them in time for the tournament. I think I need to have Tammy for a friend.

The fish were located in two basic spots; out near the edge of the laydowns and right on the brake line in the scattered weeds. If there were any places where the two met, we never found it, but I can only imagine what would happen if we were. The trick was to figure out how to catch fish behind Mark. He was doing a very good job of mopping up the laydowns and if I did catch a fish, it was short. I didn’t get clued in on what to do until the last couple of hours in the day. While working a tree in the water, instead of winding in once I cleared the tree I continued to work the worm to the boat and the ledge. I hit a small piece of grass and boom! Fish number three went in the box.

Now even more specific, the tide had made the change and water was starting to come back in, and again, I stopped getting bit. It then became very clear to me that if I was not bringing the bait with the current, the fish didn’t want nothing to do with it, and Mark was way ahead of the game. I figured out that he was running the boat so that he was fishing with the current all the time. In order for me to do the same thing, I would have to cast over his shoulder or hit the same areas that he had just hit. I thought about the give them a different look or switching to something smaller approach, but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my day trying to figure it out when I had a bait that was working well. I just needed to figure out how to catch those fish under the boat that Mark was not getting.

I finally got a break, While we had rounded around a small bend in the creek Mark stopped the boat to hit a fairly large laydown. The wind was blowing with the direction of the current and I was able to cast out behind the boat and with a bow in my line, let the wind take my lure down and across the break naturally. In a matter of 10 minutes or so, I was able to catch six fish, two of which was used to fill out my limit. I don’t think I had a fish over 13 ½ inches but I was sure happy to have them and I was going to weigh in with a limit. I figured I was about a half pound shy of making the cut, but I knew I was going home with a check.

It’s really kind of funny how things work out, through out the whole day, When ever I would get frustrated and lost, I would tell my self “trust in the Lord” and then just relax as if I was to give up all intensity. Every time that happened, I caught a fish. For me, it’s way too easy to get overloaded with thoughts and even though I feel like I can’t focus any harder than I can. I’m really just taking myself out of the game. I fished with a gentleman named Nick Gainey from South Carolina once. We had a lot of time to talk one morning while waiting for a three hour fog delay. He’s a very spiritual individual and believes this very same thing. He calls it “paralysis by analysis”. I’ll never forget that.

With a little less than an hour left in the day, Mark decides that we’ll spend it fishing his other area that he started in the first day with the hopes to pick up a kicker fish. Mark had a solid limit by Mobile Delta standards, but he felt that was not enough to get the job done. We headed off and went a couple miles back toward the launch and jumped in a creek that Duane and I had some descent success in, and was also one of our buddy Sparky’s main spots. It was not easy to find a place along this creek to put down without dropping in on another boat, this place looked like the Detroit River in April! We finally set down and fished in and amongst the myriad of anglers. Mark missed a couple of fish and I caught a fingerling largemouth and our day was over. So we headed back to check in.


joshimoto son

Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2008, 01:54:05 PM »

Once we got the boat loaded, Mark jumped in the truck to take us to the weigh in area, and he looked at me and said, “you was bump’n in here weren’t ya son?” He called me a few expletives, chuckled and headed down the road. That’s just his humor.

The fish catch for the day was much lower than the previous day and we did not have to wait long before our bag number was called. We put water in the bags and took turns holding onto the bags as we put our fish in. Now Mark is kind of a vertically challenged fellow (I get to say that for him teasing me about the prices of Berkley Power Worms) and to be nice I told him to jump down and I will hand him his bag. Which he did. He then extended his hand to take my bag, but I figured that I’m a pretty tall guy and I should be able to hop down pretty handily and be on our way.

So I walk to the edge and jumped out… almost. My left foot catches the edge of the boat and I land only on one foot, off balance of course, and tried to regain my footing only to land completely underneath the boat we parked next to. As I laid there looking at the bottom of a Ranger boat, thankful that I didn’t lose one fish, I contemplated staying there. If I didn’t have a limit of fish to weigh in, I think I would have just stayed there and waited for them to run me over when they drove off. The only thing I could think of was to jump up, look around and ask, “Did anybody see that?” I figured everybody did when a guy four boats over said that he did.

Mark was speechless. I slapped him on the back and said, “I don’t ever want you to forget me Mark, my name is Josh Clark.” I earned a few more pet names for that one.

We finally made it to the weigh-in stage and Mark had close to 8 pounds and my limit topped a whopping 5lbs 8oz. Mark hit the top ten in 6th or 7th place and I made it all the way to 2nd. I returned my fish and had to go through the worst/best thing I ever had to do… wait for the rest of the weigh-in. I was so excited and scared at the same time. I talked to McCarter and a bunch of people from home all the while pacing the floor. I will admit I’m not a good nervous wreck; I have to be moving around… a lot.

I called Duane to see if he made it back in without any problems and he was already in the parking area waiting for his bag number to be called. I have to hand it to him, he really knows the meaning of “never give up.” After the day Duane he had previously, it would have been easy to give up, but Duane put it together and went out and caught a limit of fish that went over six pounds. I was very proud of him.

I went back to talk to Mark for a minute, give him some gas money and asked to buy a couple more packs of worms. He said to get with him after the weigh-in and he would hook me up.

The weigh-in was finally over and I had only slipped four spots and ended up in 6th place overall. Mark unfortunately missed the cut by a couple of ounces and ended up in 11th. Because the top ten meeting was right after the weigh-in I never got a chance to meet up with Mark and grab some worms from him, but I wasn’t worried after I found out who I was fishing with on my final day.

I actually knew a few of the pros that made the cut, Nick Gainey… I fished with him, Bobby Lane… fished with him, Matt Saverda… fished with him the day before. And if you remember, I talked about a guy that beat Matt and I to his spot 110 miles up the river and also that guy put the whacking on the fish in front of us. His Name is David Curtis, and he is the guy that I’m paired up with for day three. I’m excited. I know exactly where we’re going and I know exactly what to bring. I’ll be ready.

The top ten meeting was a little tense, they congratulated us on making it, but there was a very big emphasis on what to wear and what to do since this was a camera day. Yep, I might be on TV. They had some really great sandwiches for us to eat and all the A&W Rootbeer we wanted to drink. Yamaha was there and we got a couple more free hats.
Duane finally made it back from dropping off his co-angler and he stopped and listened to the rest of the meeting. There were a few questions asked. One of which was about refueling, the rules were gone over very thoroughly and all questions were answered. I find it very disturbing how certain media venues want to create controversy over something that was discussed and made clear upon at the meeting.

After the meeting I spoke with David for a brief minute and made our plans to meet in the morning. He was very relieved to know that I’ve already made that run and knew what to prepare for. On the cut days when the cameras will be present, FLW will provide a boat for you. I’m guessing FLW brought down close to 40 rigs. All of them Ranger Z20’s wrapped with their tile sponsors and all of them with a matching 2007 Chevy Silverado. We were assigned the BP Fuels boat and it would be waiting there for us in the morning all gassed up, charged up and an extra gallon of oil in the back. We didn’t need to worry about bringing food and drinks either, that would be in the cooler loaded down with ice. Just show up and be ready to fish.

Duane and I ran around trying to find a place to stay close to the launch, but ended up going back to our same hotel and grabbing a room for the night. I was on the phone with everybody while relining, re-rigging and getting ready for the next day. Duane handed me a bag of worms, THE worms. I said to him, “Where did you get these?”
“I stopped by and congratulated Mark and grabbed a bag from him, he said to tell you they’ll cost you!” All I have to say is “Duane’s the Man!”, but knowing where I was going, I didn’t think I would need them, but I was not ever going to be caught again with out my Berkley Power Worms.

It was very hard to get any sleep that night, I must have caught a thousand fish and won the tournament a hundred times before I finally caved in.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 03:03:06 PM by joshimoto son »


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2008, 04:06:46 PM »

Awesome job Josh. Keep it coming. Or should we just call you graceful now.
Remember you don't quit fishing when you get old, you get old when you quit fishing


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2008, 06:45:45 PM »

Good story, but you are going to get more nicknames from this than you are going to remember!!

Live to fish, Fish to live.

Durand Dan

Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2008, 07:36:05 PM »

Joshaclodo, ;D

Great write up. Keep it coming


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2008, 10:47:01 AM »

come on you always have to have at least one bag of power worms, in your tackle. ;D I ve had to dig them out a couple of times, sometimes you got to go "old school" on the fish.


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2008, 12:06:14 PM »

Very nice, Thanks for the great reading...  ;D ;D
2008 Skeeter 20I " Thanks Robin"

Team houston

Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2008, 01:48:56 PM »

Great stuff, can't wait for the rest.


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2008, 02:22:57 PM »

Hey josh gr8t story so far. I had to put a coat on reading the first entry. That could have something to do with the wind chill at 15 below right now. Are you going to have any more in the future? We really enjoyed talking with you last week also. We'll have to do it again when your body parts catch up with you. By the way that strange nock or kind of thwop thwop at your door should be your behind catching up with you. We'll talk later.
Awsome story.
Thanks again, it was worth the wait.
don and kim m


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2008, 04:18:58 PM »

Awesome reading Josh! Sounds like you had a great TRIP last FALL. LOL Seriously though, You have no idea how many guy's, myself included, that would have gladly taken your place under that Ranger under those circumstances. Hurry and finish this story because then you'll have an even bigger write up to do for the FLW Cup! Keep looking to Him!

joshimoto son

Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2008, 04:45:56 PM »

Joshaclodo? I may need some help with that one.

Regarding the nicknames... bring 'em, that just builds character... and grass stains on my pants. :D
I make mistakes everytime I go fishing, I try not to, but it's inevitable. Instead of hiding them or acting like I'm "The Man" I like to make fun of myself and move on. ::)

I'm glad people are still reading it. I'm sorry it took so long, I will try to finish the last entry (part 4) as soon as possible.

I was telling my fiance I wished it didn't take so long for me to understand and write it down in the way I do. When writing, I can visualise the events, make it interesting, pull the usefull information out of it and make it poignant, and even throw a couple twists and turns in.

It's a process that takes some time to cure, unfortunately.

Hopefully, with Dan's Blessing, I will have a nice treat for everyone in two weeks.

Don and Kim, as soon as my rear end catches up to me, I'm sure that we'll make some interesting reading ourselves.

Stay tuned.

and thanks for all the great comments!

joshimoto son ;D

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Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2008, 10:23:57 PM »

There is an old saying "You're a poet and ya didn't know it"
Man you got a great talent for the Pen/Paper!


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2008, 12:43:54 PM »

Ending please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember you don't quit fishing when you get old, you get old when you quit fishing


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2008, 04:25:42 PM »

Still waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember you don't quit fishing when you get old, you get old when you quit fishing

Team houston

Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 09:09:58 AM »

Me to. 


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2008, 09:33:47 AM »

me......4, i mean 7 urrr also.
I am a pre bred mix between a ninja and a polar bear.  A truly deadly combination.

joshimoto son

Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2008, 03:42:44 PM »

If it makes it any better, I think about finishing it everyday.
I'm just in the process of trying to get my taxes and wedding invitations done.


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2008, 04:37:03 PM »

You can only have so many excuses. Your bag has to be getting close to the bottom.LOL

Remember you don't quit fishing when you get old, you get old when you quit fishing


Re: Joshimoto's Stren Championship: Part 3 - TX Day 2
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2008, 06:14:30 PM »

I guess we will never know

"the rest of the story unless we get Paul Harvey involved"
Remember you don't quit fishing when you get old, you get old when you quit fishing
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