Top Rod Series casts off on local lakes
For years several bass tournament circuits passed through this area competing on our lakes and Old Rivers.
We had anglers from all over Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana casting for high payouts and accumulating points in each event that led to a two-day championship offering a fully rigged boat and/or a lot of cash.
Around the year 2000 the circuits stopped coming here. That was about the time the area largemouth bass population was falling off.
The protected slot length was removed from Lake Concordia, the largemouth bass virus killed a lot of fish and we had a two year drought.
Our lakes’ bass population has slowly rebounded thanks to the many sportsmen and ladies practicing catch and release.
We still have a few annual benefits and open tournaments but nothing that offered anglers a chance to fish for some real money and earn points to go to a championship.
We now have a new bass tournament circuit and word is spreading fast.
The Top Rod Series will kick off on Lake Bruin Saturday.
The format is singles only — only one person per boat.
This four-tournament series is a non-profit event directed by Casting for Cash and hosted by Eddie’s Marine and Tackle.
We have several local and tackle sponsors as well. As soon as we get the sponsors list complete we will list those sponsors.
One-hundred percent of all fees collected will be paid out to the top five contestants weighing in the heaviest five bass limits, and the angler with the single largest bass will take home some big bucks.
Based on a 50-boat field, first place in each event is $2,250, second is $1,250,third is $750, fourth is $500 and fifth is $250. The contestant with the single largest bass will take home $500.
The payout will be adjusted according to the number of entries.
This is the best payout offered in our area in a long time. I have contacted hundreds of fishermen and ladies via e-mail, so I feel sure we will meet or exceed our goal of fifty entries in this first event.
After the Lake Bruin tournament, we will be on Lake Concordia out of Lakeview Lodge on April 14. From there we’ll go to Lake St. John out of Spokane Landing on May 12.
Spokane Landing is under new ownership. The ramp is repaired and there’s a really neat boardwalk all the way around the property’s water front.
The parking lot is fully repaired and Spokane Landing is looking great.
On June 2 we’ll head back to Lake Bruin and catch a great top water bite.
Since no money is withheld in the Top Rod qualifying events the point leaders will be offered a chance to compete in a two-day championship that will require an entry fee, but we will have lots of neat things to give away.
The points will be determined by the contestants total pounds weighed in throughout the series.
The pound leader will receive a custom built Top Rod and reel as well as a gas card and numerous other gifts.
When the series ends, we will establish another four-tournament series of Top Rod events that will probably cast off in August or September.
This area really needs a circuit like this. It will give us a chance to earn a nice payday for a day of hard work and bring money to this area from visitors.
If you have never fished a tournament you cannot imagine the mental and physical stress bass tournament competitor’s experience.
It will be nice to actually win a tournament and come out with some cash in your pocket and not just enough to cover your expenses. For more information you can contact me by e-mail or at Eddie’s Marine in Vidalia.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.