Top Rod Series coming soon
The 2012-13 Top Rod Series bass tournaments will cast off Nov. 3 at Lake Bruin from the State Park Landing.
We created Top Rods early this year to give the local bass anglers a chance to cast for a higher payout — the highest payout series of any bass tournament series in this area. Back in the 1980s and ’90s, several statewide and national bass circuits used to come through our area. They don’t anymore, which left us with nothing but club tournaments and a few open events in which to compete.
Top Rods is a non-profit series offering a 100 percent payout of all fees collected. This series of five events will be a bit different from the last series.
We will fish five events and withhold a percentage of the fees from each tournament for a championship fish-off in April of next year.
The top five anglers with the most total pounds will not have to pay an entry fee to the championship. The contestants that do not make the top five can still fish the championship with an entry fee.
After the Nov. 3 Lake Bruin event, we will head to the Saline/Larto Complex on Dec. 8 out of Uncle Bud’s Cabins launch ramp. The Saline/Larto event will be a battle of heavy weight five bass limits.
Of all the lakes in this area, the Saline/Larto Complex produces the heaviest winning weights.
In a bass club event held there last year we weighed in six bass weighing over five pounds each. That has not been duplicated in over a decade from any of the other lakes.
On Jan. 5 we will head back to Lake Bruin for good reason. Lake Bruin produces more bass during the colder months than any lake in the area. On Feb. 9 we will be closer to home on Lake Concordia out of Lakeview Lodge.
In early February, Lake Concordia’s bass will be in the pre-spawn stage, and we should see some big bass at the scales. This will be a great time to see what Lake Concordia has to offer.
From there it’s off to Lake St. John to fish the bass spawn on March 2. Lake St. John’s bass tend to spawn a few weeks later than bass in our other lakes, so expect pre and spawning conditions during this tournament. This event will be held out of Spokane Landing.
After these five tournaments the total pounds will determine the Top Rod Champion.
John Bruce (Team Go-Mart, Team Eddie’s Marine) of Vidalia is the reigning champion from the last Top Rod series, and Bruce will be back to defend his title.
In April, on a date and lake that will be determined prior to the Lake St. John event, there will be a championship fish-off. The top five-pound leaders will not be required to pay an entry fee. The championship will remain open to all that want to fish and pay an entry fee.
The entry fee into each of the qualifying events is $125. This is a singles only circuit — meaning you are on your own. There will be only one person per boat.
All fish presented to me at the weigh-in will be released.
Entry forms are available at the Sports Center in Natchez and Eddie’s Marine in Vidalia. You can enter from now until the Friday before each event at Eddie’s Marine or on tournament morning without a late fee.
The competition will be tough. The last series drew contestants from Monroe, Baton Rouge and other areas. This is a chance to test your bass fishing skills against some of the best anglers around. Come join us for the 2012-13 Top Rod Series. For more info contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (318) 336-5133.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at email@example.com.