First ever Okhissa Lake Bass Open Tournament set for April 26

Published 2:33 am Sunday, April 6, 2008

The first ever Okhissa Lake Open Bass Tournament is set for April 26, and this one you don’t want to miss.

Okhissa Lake opened with a bang in November of 2007 and 100-bass days were common. The fish are a bit more educated now but you can still have a great day on this man-made bass fishermen’s paradise.

Due to the size of the lake, about 1,800 acres, and the limited parking space we had to limit the tournament the first 150 boats and it’s filling up fast.

Email newsletter signup

Entry forms were made available just a few days ago and they going out at a very fast rate so get your entry in as soon as possible.

You can pick up an entry form and enter the event at our outdoors place, Eddie’s Marine and Tackle in Vidalia.

The entry fee is $100 per person. You can fish alone but we urge all to fish with a partner due to the limited field.

Awards are based on each of your largest bass weighed in during the four bi-hourly weigh periods.

Only your largest bass per weigh period will count toward any awards. Each of those fish will qualify for the over-all prize money where you can place more than once.

The contestant that lands the single largest bass of the day will take home $5,000 and an additional $500 for winning the weigh period.

Second place will receive $3,000, third $2,500, fourth $1,200, fifth $800 and we’ll pay down to 10 places in the overall big bass division.

Four cash places will be awarded per bi-hourly weigh period. First will receive $500, second $400, third $300 and fourth place $200.

That’s a total of 26 cash places. Fishing hours are 6 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Okhissa Lake Tournament is hosted by the Homochitto Heritage Club of Franklin County and is made possible by a special use permit issued by the Forest Service.

This is non-profit event to help the HHC raise money for scholarships to be awarded to graduating seniors and other community improvement projects.

We’re really excited to be involved in this first-ever event held on such a fine lake.

A word of warning to all that fish Okhissa. Be legal. The park officials do not tolerate infractions of lake regulations and they are quick to issue citations.

The 16 to 20 inch slot limit on bass will be enforced. Each angler is allowed only one bass in the live well over 20 inches and if you have one over you can only have nine under the slot but nothing shorter than 10 inches.

I ask that everyone fishing the event please practice safe boating and obey all park regulations. Good sportsmanship, courtesy, safety as well as conservation are expected from all contestants.

Running a tournament or just fishing on a federal lake is a bit different than state lakes. The Park Rangers will write tickets, not warnings, so just be sure you are legal when fishing Okhissa.

March is out of here, thank goodness. It was good month for catfish and white perch but tough for most of the bass fishermen.

The bass spawn is now in full swing so things should be much better this month.

Lake St. John continues to produce a few big slab white perch mostly on yo-yos baited with live shiners.

The bass are spawning on either end of the lake and along the mid lake areas with shallow cypress trees.

April is a great month to catch fish. Please practice safe boating and help us keep our lakes clean and free of litter.

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