BFL Mountain Division – Shawn Overton

IMG_0541By Shawn Overton

Now that all five tournaments in the BFL Mountain Division are over and in the books. It gives me time to look back and reflect on the fishing and my overall experiences fishing in the Mountain Division.
The first thing I would like to say is the Mountain Division has some of the best anglers in the country, and it shows on every tournament day. Whether you’re bouncing deep cranks off rocks in eighteen feet of water or slinging buzzbaits in two feet of water. You have to be able to catch fish with a multitude of techniques. With lakes like Dale Hollow (one of my favorites), Lake Cumberland, and the Barron River on the schedule you can count on fishing some of the most scenic lakes in the region-With some of the best bass fishing to boot.
After the first two derbies, I was sitting good in the standings. Then came Lake Cumberland… Keep in mind I have never fished any of these lakes before. I had a decent practice on Cumberland catching Spotted bass in the trees on the south end of the lake by the dam. But come game day, I laid a big fat zero. I thought I was done after that. There’s no way I could make the regional after blanking. Not against these guys that have been fishing these lakes their entire lives.
I was down but not out. The Barron River was up next for the last two tournaments. The first of the two was a deep bite. My practice partner and I found some good fish on a mini ledge, and they where “chewing”. If you haven’t learned to fish a swimbait, pick some up and you won’t be disappointed. I like the swim baits by a small company out of Alabama called Reflexion. Just choose a weighted hook heavy enough to get the bait down to the bottom. It’s a fairly simple bait to throw. Just chuck it out count it down to the bottom and wind it back to the boat bouncing it off the bottom.
I thought the weights where going to be high and they where, just not for me. I ended up weighing in three small spots but that’s fishing and I’ll take the points. The final tournament was also on the Barron except this time the fish where shallow. Fishing shallow suits my comfort zone more. I needed to move up 13 spots in the standings to make the top 50 and the regional in October on Kentucky lake. All of my bites came from two foot to eight feet of water on buzzbaits and brush hogs. At the end of the day I ended up with three fish and was 11oz out of the final day cut. I moved up 15 spots in the standings to finish 48th overall, just squeezing in to the regional on Kentucky lake!
Over the course of the year, I learned a lot of valuable techniques that I can use to catch fish anywhere in the country. Also, I made new friends that will last a life time. All from stepping outside of my comfort zone.