J.R. Roberts challenge coming soon

Published 12:01 am Sunday, February 1, 2015

Today is the last day for contestants competing in Saturday’s 29th J.R. Roberts Memorial Bass Challenge to sign up.

Entries are coming in and as usual, and the majority of early entries are from out of town. Hopefully, we will catch a break in the weather, but if you want to catch fish on Lake Bruin, the worse the conditions above the water create the best conditions below the water.

Lake Bruin produced more weight for the local clubs and out of town bass clubs that fished there in January. A five-bass tournament limit weighing 15 to 16 pounds won those events. The water temperature at that time ranged from 48 to 50 degrees. We had a bit of a warmup this past week that raised the water temp a few degrees, but cooler weather is in the forecast for the next few days. We could see the upper 20s early this coming week, followed by a slight warm up. Right now, I would predict the water temp to remain in the 48- to 50-degree range for this long-running event. That is not bad.

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The best day I ever had on Lake Bruin the water temperature was a cold 39 degrees. Icicles were hanging off the base of the cypress trees, and the bass went crazy that day. Lake Bruin is just a good cold water lake if you know how to fish cold water.

So many stick with cover that is visible from the surface which does produce fish sometimes, but the visible cover gets beat up fast when there are more than fifty boats in the water. That is when you need to know the ledges, the drop-offs on Bruin that hold bait fish. Find bait fish in water depths in the 20- to 30-feet deep range and you will find the bass.

Jigs with a plastic trailer rule on this lake, but there are a few other lures that can help you put together a nice five-bass tournament limit. The rat-L-Trap or any one of the many Trap copycat lures will catch fish, as would a jigging spoon if you are fishing the drop-offs.

As usual, it will probably take a combination of fishing the visible cover, as well as mid-range depths from 8- to 15-feet and the deep water from 15 to 28-feet to win this one.

The first place team could take home as much as $4,000. The payout is based on the number of entries received.

Last year’s winners took home more than $3,000. The entry fee to this non-profit event is $120 from now through Friday, and you can enter at Eddie’s Marine in Vidalia until 5 p.m. Friday. Late entries can be paid at the Lake Bruin State Park on tournament day with a small $10 late fee.

If you enter on tournament day, the fee must be paid in cash only. I will be at the state park well before sunrise. If you paid in advance, you can launch anywhere on the lake and start casting at 6:30 a.m.

All contestant must be back at the park by boat before 3:30 p.m. for the weigh in and awards presentation.

Good luck to all. We are looking forward to seeing all of our fishing friends and casting off a new season of bass tournaments. For more information, contact me at 318-336-5133.


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