Alton is itching
Jul 28th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jul 28th, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Skeeter pro Alton Jones is no stranger to the top tier of the Bassmaster Elite Series rankings for the Angler of the Year (AOY). Jones is a regular at the Bassmaster Classic, he won in 2008, so it is generally not surprising to hear Jones’ name when talking about Classic contestants. However, Jones is riding the bubble (he is ranked 32nd heading into the final regular season events) this season and needs to keep his focus sharp to qualify for another Bassmaster Classic.
Jones switched up his practice.
“I normally don’t practice on a body of water before the cut-off,” said Jones. “This year I did for the Delaware River and Cayuga. “I’m especially glad I did it for the Delaware River. We’ve fished tidal rivers before on the Elite Series, but this one is so different than any of the others.
“No other system I’ve fished has such extreme tides. It was surprising how much water gets moved. The practice gave me a great heads up to the tides and to potential areas I want to fish. Of course, it didn’t help me find the fish two months ahead of time, but it sure helped me chart the areas I want to practice in and what lures I think I’ll want to try.
“Plus, it is such an urban setting and so difficult to get around. It’s not like other areas where you head down a single road and find the launch. This place is tough to navigate. Now I have the locations I want to practice in and the launches I will be using on each day of practice.”
Cayuga is more familiar to Jones.
“Cayuga is more in my comfort zone,” said Jones. “Like the Delaware, I’ve never fished this place before, but unlike the Delaware I’ve fished similar places. I know this is a natural lake, clear water, rocks, weeds, largemouth, and smallmouth. I went and looked for what I like.
“Of course, you don’t find the fish months ahead and this scouting trip was no different. I visited during the spawn. I did spend one day of fun fishing for bedding fish. I must’ve caught 60 bass. There were a lot of 3-to 5-pounders. I didn’t learn about locations, but I did learn what lives there and what I’ll need to catch to win.
“The rest of the trip, I had my rear-end in the Skeeter going up and down the lake finding locations I’d like to fish in practice.”
Some change and no change for Jones.
“Some anglers talk about switching up how they will fish to go for points,” said Jones. “I don’t know how to not fish my strengths. I think it is a benefit of being one of the older guys on the Elites with 25 years on tour. I fish my strengths. Changing how I fish never worked out for me.
“One thing I did change, besides scouting before the cut-off, is I left my boat and truck at a friend’s house near Baltimore. My wife and I will fly out to Baltimore then head out. By doing that, it forced me to get everything prepared ahead of time. I have not fished hardly at all since the last event.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with my family and doing map study for the events. I am so ready to go right now and I have very little stress since I did not procrastinate. If I was driving from my home, I wouldn’t have been ready until the night before I left.
“I have such cabin fever right now to get out and fish, it is killing me. I’m itching to go fishing. I’ll do all I can and leave it all on the water. The results I leave in the Lord’s hands.”