J.R. Roberts Memorial Team Bass Challenge to cast off February 2

Published 12:30 am Sunday, January 13, 2008

The 22nd annual J.R. Roberts Memorial Team Bass Challenge will cast off the 2008 bass tournament season at Lake Bruin February 2.

This event began in 1987 and is held each year in memory of my dad, the fisherman J.R. Roberts.

Over the years the Memorial has really grown. We now average somewhere between 80 and 110 teams each year making this the largest open team bass tournament in the area.

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This year our host marina is Lake Bruin Resort. Contestants can launch from any landing but must come by the host marina for boat check before 6:00 a.m.

Entry forms will be mailed to all contestants that have participated in the past or you can pick one up at Eddie’s Marine and Tackle 805 Carter St. Vidalia just across from Concordia Bank and Trust.

We will be open for business this coming Tuesday. Contestants can enter by mail or drop by our place for registration starting on Monday Jan. 28th till Friday Feb. 1.

The hours for registration are Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. till 6 p.m., and Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. That Friday night on February 1st we’ll register contestants at Lake Bruin Resort from 6:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m.

The entry fee is $100 per team with an optional $20.00 Big Bass Division. While this is considered a prestigious event the pay out is very good.

Based on 100 teams the first place winners will take home $4000 in cash. Second place is $2000, third $1000 and we’ll award cash places down to 10th place. The angler that lands the single largest bass of the day will win $1000 for their efforts.

Three cash places will be awarded in the big bass division.

The lake is off-limits to all contestants the week prior to the tournament.

The off-limits periods really helps keep the fishing from getting beat up before the event. I get a few complaints from some that would like to pre-fish down to the wire but most like the off-limits period.

Many bass anglers have already started practicing on Bruin. I heard several good reports on catching numbers of bass in the 2-pound range but not much on the big fish.

The numbers are coming from shallow water so the big fish must be deep. They should be. Water temps average about 50 degrees and that’s cold.

The deep-water bite is slow and requires lots of patience and a super slow presentation but when you get a deepwater bite deep it’s usually from a big bass.

It probably turned some heads when I mentioned registration at Eddie’s Marine and Tackle.

My wife Stacy and I have decided to go out on our own with a tackle and boat business. It’s something we been working on for several months.

The store is located just across from Concordia Bank in Vidalia. It’s a small building and shop but we hope to grow fast. Stop by anytime for coffee and a visit.

We’ll host several bass and white perch tournaments this year and have big plans to provide Miss-Lou boaters and anglers a great place to shop for sales and service. Come see!

Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at fishingwitheddie@cox.net.