You may have heard that Keith Poche won the Bassmaster Central Open on a tough Red River. But many haven’t seen his social media posts on Instagram discussing what he faced on the final day. Here are two videos he posted to share his ordeal. Basically, another disgruntled angler didn’t like that he was fishing in a backwater area that he had to access via a small ditch. Someone during the night between the second day and the last day went and pushed rocks into the opening of the ditch to try and stop Poche from entering what would ultimately be his tournament-winning hole.

Pocket fishing all year round on an 18 footer Gator Trax boat. This matches his style of fishing in remote areas as often found in Louisiana, his home state. Some anglers think it’s an unfair advantage but he uses the boat all year round. It is therefore often at a disadvantage not to be able to do big runs on large bodies of water. He bets he can find shallow areas to fish on his own.

What are your thoughts. Comment on our Facebook page when we share the story.

Here are the details on how Poche won the BASS tournament:

You could say Keith Poche channeled Frank Sinatra, because the Pike Road, Ala. pro absolutely made his way en route to a three-day total of 37 pounds, 12 ounces that won the St. Croix Bassmaster Central Open at Red River presented by Mossy Oak Fishing.

After catching 13-3 on Day 1, Poche trailed the leader by just 6 ounces. Tied that weight again on Day 2, he took the top spot by a 14-ounce margin over Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg Hackney. Although the championship on Saturday saw Poche weigh his smallest sack at 11-6, he trailed Hackney by 2 1/2 pounds.

“To do it the way I like to do it; to get back to my activities, I fish more comfortably that way,” said Poche, from nearby Natchitoches, Louisiana. “They say fishing is (largely) mental and it is. It’s about making good decisions on the water — and when you’re comfortable, you’re going to make good decisions.

Poche spent most of his time in a small backwater area about 10 minutes from takeoff. Having found the area with a drone during pre-training, he described it as a long, narrow ditch that led to a deeper backwater with riparian vegetation and deposits.

Approaching the area required Poche to traverse a treacherously shallow area. This barrier, he said, would likely prevent a heavier fiberglass bass boat from reaching the fish, but the Pocket vessel was perfectly suited to the task.

“I run an 18-foot Gatortrax boat with a 90 horsepower Mercury and it’s the toughest aluminum boat on the market,” Poche said. “This boat is perfect for getting to small places like this. I do what I do — it’s a style of fishing; it’s who I am.

“There are so many things that can go wrong; you can crash, you can get stuck. I’m so glad it worked. »

Poche caught his bass flipping a 3-inch Berkley Havoc Pit Boss rigged with a 3/8 ounce weight and a Berkley Fusion 19 4/0 hook. Pumpkin green was his favorite color, but when he ran out he found black/blue also produced.

On Days 1 and 2, Poche got the weight he felt he needed, then left his backwater to fish the remaining hours on the main river structure. Both days he made key afternoon takedowns returning random coverage, but on the final day Poche committed in his first place.

“You have to manage those fish when you come back to those places,” he said. “I didn’t have much in there; it’s not like I’m running around and fishing a lot of spots. It’s just one of those deals where you go with it and see what happens.

“It wasn’t just this hole that got me to victory; it was making good decisions to deal with those fish and going into the main river and getting those big bites to carry me to the last day so I could hold on and catch whatever I could catch.

Poche took home the top prize of $48,100 and was invited to compete in the 2023 Sports + Outdoors Academy Bassmaster Classic, to be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 24-26.

Hackney placed fifth on Day 1 with 11-14, then moved up to second after weighing in the heaviest hold of the event – ​​13-10. In the final round, he added a 9-12 limit and settled at 35-4.

Spending most of his time in Pool 4, Hackney found his bass by looking for areas of greatest current flow. September on the Red River typically sees slow water movement, but surges for lock openings have often triggered pitting.

“Whenever I fish in the state, I like to do it,” Hackney said. “I like to fish at home and I don’t have the opportunity to do so because I travel a lot. But it’s been a good week; It was funny.”

Noting that he caught his fish on a spinnerbait, a Strike King Sexy Frog and a Texas-rigged Strike King Rage Bug, Hackney said the key to his success was getting around concentrations of baitfish.

“The river is really healthy now,” he said of the upward trend in the Red River, after changing the floods of 2015 and 2016. “It’s crazy how many shad are in the river. I have been up to pool 3, pool 4 and up to pool 5 and each pool is exactly the same.

“There is so much bait and the vegetation is coming back. There is grass and pads in the backwaters.

David Gaston of Sylacauga, Ala., started the final day in third place and finished there 31-1. The first two days he caught limits of 11-8 and 12-7 but missed two fish on day 3 with 7-2.

Focusing on shallow backwaters, Gaston alternated between a 3/8 ounce Nichols swim jig with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed ​​Craw, a Spro Bronzeye Jr. frog, and a Texas-rigged Zoom Speed ​​Worm.

“It was really difficult; the secret this week was water and sunscreen,” Gaston said. “Three fish is what I thought I had on day one and day two so I needed a crash and it was a good day to do it as I could only finish 10th.”

Day 1 leader Todd Risinger of West Monroe, Louisiana won the $750 Phoenix Boats Big Bass prize with his 5-1.