Kurt Dove, professional FLW bass angler, co-host of Bass Edge Radio, and member of the Megaware staff, is off to a great start on the 2019 FLW Tour. He has cashed in each of the first three events, and is coming off a Top 30 finish from Lake Seminole, Florida, March 7, 2019. We have loved watching Megaware staffer Kurt Dove on the FLW Tour. Here’s how he did it on Seminole.
Kurt Dove on the FLW Tour – Tournament Practice
“Practice on Seminole was terrible!” lamented Dove. After winning over $10,000, it might be difficult to believe. But he insists he only caught a handful of fish in practice and was a self-proclaimed “mental case” before the tournament began.
When practice ended, “I didn’t have a single spot that I felt confident in,” he explained. “So I didn’t go to water [during the tournament] that I didn’t have confidence in. That would have just spun my head even more. Instead, I went to a community hole that I had never fished once in my life.” This ended up being a $10,000 decision for Dove.
“To overcome the mental challenge of a bad practice,” he continued, “going to new water starts something new and provides a little optimism as well. It is fresh. It always makes sense to spend time in an area that is holding a concentration of fish, and there is a reason a community hole is popular.”
A community hole is a spot on any waterway that is a consistent producer of fish. The problem is that it is also well known by most anglers. As a result, it is often crowded with other anglers.
“No one really likes fishing around other anglers, I am no exception. But, it is better than fishing where there aren’t any fish!”
Weather also contributed to the tough fishing, as a cold front descended on the area during the official practice days. “On the first day of practice,” Dove shared, “the water temperature was 70 degrees. But it dropped 12 degrees to just 58 by time the tournament began.” Bites were so rare, Dove was never really sure if an area was holding a population of fish or if they just weren’t biting.
Kurt Dove on the FLW Tour – Tournament Day 1
Day 1 Recap: 20-05 pounds, 6th Place
“Even though I had never fished this area, I had some knowledge.” Dove revealed, “It is a shallow, grassy backwater in the Chattahoochee River with several ditches running through it. There is some current as well. It really is a good area, but it’s not a secret to anyone.” After a 40-minute run, he found a dozen other boats fishing the same area.
He began tossing a bladed jig. “The good news was I am confident fishing in the conditions we faced,” he said. “I like fishing shallow during the pre-spawn period, and I have confidence in the vibrating jig.”
After 40 minutes of probing the area, he circled behind an island when he caught his first bass. And it was a big one! From there he trolled his way into a pocket and caught his second keeper on the same bait. He was stoked!
About midday, Dove worked his way onto a big flat and caught three more bass on the bladed jig to fill out his limit. “It was amazing to have zero confidence going into the day and then sitting with over 20 pounds midway through.” Unfortunately, that was the end of his action, but the damage was done. He gained confidence in an area, and ended the day sitting in 6th place!
Kurt Dove on the FLW Tour – Day 2
Day 2 Recap: 6-1 pounds, 28th Place
While day one had a midday flurry, day two got off to a great start. Dove began on the same flat he caught the three midday fish the day prior. In the first 90 minutes, he boated two 3-pounders! Stars seemed to be aligning. Unfortunately, that would be his only two bites of the day.
Dove recounted, “I stayed on the flat until midday. I then explored new areas of the backwater, but never had a bite.” The flat had patches of hydrilla between 2-3 feet of water, but while most of the other competitors were casting to the bank, Dove stayed out. “I knew the fish I was targeting off the bank were receiving less pressure. Plus, the fish I caught were quality.” To give an idea on how tough the bite was, the FLW Tour has many of the best bass anglers in the world, and even with just two fish, Dove was still in the Top 30, and qualified into the next round.
Kurt Dove on the FLW Tournament – Day 3
Day 3 Recap: 6-2 pounds, 28th Place
Even after the struggle on Day 2, Dove ran 40 minutes to the same backwater. By 11:00, he only had a single keeper that weighed two pounds. At that time he made a critical decision, “Mentally, I was struggling. After the awful practice, the high of Day 1, then struggling again, I knew that I needed to go somewhere different to renew my confidence.”
He ran into Flint River and began flipping hyacinth mats; something he had not done once throughout the tournament. Shortly after, he caught a 4-pounder! A bit later, he hooked, but lost, another that was of equal or greater size! He made the right move to stay competitive, and had he landed that last fish, he would have finished among the Top 20.
Kurt Dove on FLW Tour – Lesson of the Day
The bite was so tough, that with just nine keepers in three days, Dove remained in 28th place. He also won $10,500 against one of the most competitive fields in the world.
“The lesson of the day,” Dove shared, “was with a bad practice, you can still strategize effectively. I used what I learned, which is what wasn’t working, and tried something different during the tournament. Had I gone back to the same areas I covered in practice, I likely would not have finished as high.”
He adds, “Whenever you’re struggling, you have to increase your odds by placing yourself around fish. In this case, I wasn’t able to find any on my own, so I swallowed my pride, fished the community hole, and saved my trip.” Dove used the knowledge that the community hole had fish, and then applied a technique and pattern he has confidence in.
You can see why we have confidence in Kurt Dove as Megaware staffer. The dude is smart, adaptable, and all around a likable guy. And if you want to have confidence in your boat, be sure to protect it with Megaware’s full line of products.