Memorial tourney was a blast
Published 12:03 am Sunday, June 7, 2015
June is definantly here.
If this month does the normal, we will go from one extreme to another. The persistent rains will stop. The heat will turn up, and the humidly will go off the scale. That is life in the Deep South. We do not have to fight the ice and snow, but we pay the price for four months of heat and humidity. It does not bother office workers, but it sure is hard on the guys and ladies that have to work outside all summer.
Our rain chances have already diminished. The highs for the next week are in the low 90’s which means in the upper 90’s, and the humidity is rising. The early morning bite when fishing will now excel.
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That is exactly what happened last Saturday during the 5th annual Relay for Life ‘Team Carry-on” bass tournament held in memory of my loving mother-in-law. She fought a short battle, and we lost her to cancer six years ago. She was 55. I host and usually get to fish this event, but have to quit early to get the weigh-in equipment set up. I quit at 1:30 p.m. The weigh-in starts at 3:00.
While I did have a good day, it certainly was not an easy one. I hung with a surface lure early looking for big bass. The first three strikes were three- to five-pound bass and all three missed the lure. Go figure. I looked at the water clarity and changed colors and not lure style. Color is way down my list of importance in fishing, but it does play a role in your success, sometimes. The bass ate the lure when I changed colors. I caught a four-pound bass, then began a run and gun pattern all over Lake St. John to areas that produced during the 40 years I fished this lake. I bet I deployed and retracted the trolling motor 100 times. You just about have to do that these days to win a bass tournament while other times straight line fishing works better. It just depends on the lake you are fishing.
Now and then you may get lucky and catch a winning five bass tournament limit in one area. A friend pulled alongside my boat to talk when he saw I was my rod was all bowed up while I was in the middle of fighting a nice bass. He watched as I netted the five-pound bass, which later on won big bass of the day worth $400. Hats off to Robbie Buckles. Unlike some other fishermen who would have stayed in that area, Robbie left me alone, and I never saw him the rest of the day. A true sportsman indeed.
I am proud to say I do the same if I run across someone in same area catching fish, and I was not there first. I quit at 1:30 p.m. with five at 15.94 and won the event and pocketed $1,450. The defending 2014 champs came close to a repeat with five at 13.01. Matt Wiggins and Shane Maples places 2nd. Congratulations to Maples and brother-in-law Wiggins.
We had a good time despite a rain during the weigh-in. If we would have caught that rain early in the day, it would have took five at 20 pounds or so to win. I had 20 pounds worth of strikes that I missed until I changed lure colors. The Mississippi River just won’t let up.
We usually have a June rise, but the river is normally lower before we get a rise. That did not happen this year. The river dropped to about 39 feet, then the June rise came downriver. Looking at four different river prediction charts, we could see 47’ at Natchez before we see a fall. That is only one foot below the 48-foot flood stage. The good news is once the river falls we should have a great year fishing the live oxbow lakes, the Old Rivers.
Just keep an eye on the river stages. Once we hit 38 feet and falling the bass, will be easier to locate and catch. The bream will be on at 35 feet and falling. The white perch fishing excels at 28 feet and falling but you can locate the perch at a higher level.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.