A cold March greets us

Published 12:01am Sunday, March 3, 2013

The month of March cast off a bit of the cold side. In fact I believe Saturday morning was the coldest morning we have had this winter.

It was warmer than this during the entire month of February. The controlling factors of a great day on the water have a lot to do with water temperature and water clarity and, on some lakes, we lack both this weekend.

After a couple weeks of being closed — again — due to high water, Lake Concordia is now open. I am not sure about Lake St. John and the Black River Horseshoe Lake, which were closed again as well.

Saturday morning, 25 to 30 boats blasted across Lake Concordia in the final Top Rod Series qualifying event of this five-tournament series. Some think we are crazy, but you have to know the sport of bass tournament fishing to be as dedicated as this group of veteran bass chasers. Many contenders in the TRS tournaments have been fishing bass tournaments for over 30 years.

The TRS is singles-only and not a team effort. It is designed for the advanced anglers, and that is the group we draw. To win or even place in one of these events is an accomplishment to be proud of. One hundred percent of all fees collected are returned to the anglers in the form of cash prize money to the contestants that weigh in the heaviest five bass tournament limits.

The top five competitors with the most combined weight in this series will fish a non-entry fee event for a good payout on a lake and date to be determined by a draw from the lakes we visited in this series.

I am really proud of these veteran bass anglers. In all the tournaments we host and direct there is a mandatory “live” release rule, and so far we have a 100-percent release average with no dead bass, not including Saturday’s tournament. You can’t beat that.

That’s one reason I do not host bass tournaments in July and August. Not only is the heat extremely hard on the anglers, it really stresses the bass out, making a 100-percent live release program a bit more difficult, which is why I avoid the two hottest summer months. This release rule is backed up by a stiff .25 pound deduction for any dead bass presented at the scales.

Saturday was not an easy day. Lake Concordia is high and the main lake is muddy, but there are some pockets of stained to somewhat clear water in certain areas of the lake. Don’t let the muddy water fool you. I boated five bass in a February event from the muddiest water on the lake weighing over 19 pounds, including the big bass of the day, but it was not easy. In nine hours of fishing, I only had eight strikes and six hook ups, and I boated five. One of the lost fish looked to weigh close to 6 pounds, naturally. You cannot catch them all, but that one hurt.

Going into Saturday’s tournament, I expected about the same amount of strikes or less. The culprit is surface water temperature. There was actually a slight chance of a dust of snowflakes Saturday morning. It’s not much, but the chance was there.

I will post the results of the tournament on our website, www.eddiesmarineandtackle.com, and my personal Facebook, page as well as Eddie’s Marine and Tackles Facebook page. Have a great day, and try to stay warm.