May was a busy month and it looks like June will be the same.
The American Bass Anglers hit the lake May 1-2 and despite terrible weather and high winds Travis Merritt of Iowa, Louisiana put together stringers of 12.24 pounds (Sat) and 13.54 (Sunday) using Stanley Wedge spinnerbaits, Stanley Ribbits and crankbaits to take the win.
The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail ended its last tournament of the year May 1st on TB with anglers Keith Worthy and Chuck Sheffield winning the event with 24.60 pounds. Huxley Bay Marina held their 32nd Annual Take A Kid Fishing Tournament in early May and over 600 kids (age 3-15) participated.
American Bass Anglers Bassmaster Weekend Series hit the lake May 8th with Pineville, Louisiana angler Jason Robertson taking first place honors (and $3000) in the boaters division by flipping trees and bushes with an Oldham jig.
Bass-N-Bucks saw father and son Derrick and Dave Mong take home more than $17,000 with a 25 pound bag of bass that were taken on football jigs and deep diving crankbaits.
The month ended up with the McDonalds Big Bass Splash held out of Cypress Bend Marina setting a new TB record with 2,230 entries. Layne LaCaze of Robeline, Louisiana took top honors with a 11.48-pound lunker that was also worth a new 2010 Dodge truck and Triton bass boat. The big bass was taken on a Carolina-rig and worm near a grass bed that had a 30-foot drop nearby. Second place with an 8.83 pound bass was Scott Joes of Gilmer, Texas who won a Triton bass boat. The fish was caught on a wacky worm in 6-to 8 feet of water that was thick with hydrilla. Third place with an 8.61 pound catch was George Clay of Deer Park, Texas who won a Dodge truck. Clay’s bass was taken on a Carolina-rigged Trick Worm fished in 17-feet of water. Fourth place with 8.27 pounds went to Jim Campbell, Many, Louisiana and Fifth place and a Stealth ATV was taken by William Stueart of Texarkana, Texas. Miss Myrtle Smith who is 102 years young and still fishing the Big Bass Splash events was presented free entries for the rest of her life to any of the Sealy tournaments. Miss Smith’s great grandson also competed this year in the Little Anglers Division.
Fairmount Bass Club had a rescheduled tournament on May 1st with Richard Bolyard taking first place with 14.90-pounds. Jim Binns placed second, Kurt Godso third, Chuck Earwood fourth and Dave Nelson fifth. Fairmount Bass Club was on the water again on May 15th and the fishing was tough. Once again Richard Bolyard took first place honors followed by Patty Lenderman, Clint Walker, Jim Binns and Chuck Earwood.
Wow! What a month and the July 4th holiday is right around the corner.
That will get us caught up on what took place in the fishing world last month on Toledo Bend so let’s look some stats and a forecast for June.
Lake Conditions: 06/5/2010 6:30 AM
Lake Level 169.52
Generator 1 Currently running 6hrs. 6pm. – 9pm
Generator 2 Currently running 6hrs. 6pm. – 9pm
Spillway Gates Closed
Current Waterflow 204 CFS
If you look at the weather report it would seem that everyone is getting some rain. As most of you know, that is unfortunately not true. Some of the showers we experienced have been “gully washers”, but only lasted a short period of time. It sure would be nice to start having those nice slow showers each day that can soak into this rock-hard ground.
Water surface temperatures range in the 80’s and I would rate the clarity in the southern part of the lake as clear to very clear.
Bass – If you snooze you lose. There is a good topwater bite early but once the sun gets up it’s all over. Local angler Jack Martin has been just hammering the fish early and most have come on a topwater lure. Topwater baits that have been effective are Stanley’s Ribbit, the Yellow Magic, Chug-Bugs, Pop-R, Snag Proof frog, buzzbaits and the Heddon Torpedo. If you are looking for a fun bait to fish try the new Yum Money Hound. It’s buoyant, you can cast it a mile and its 3 ½-inch “walking the dog” design is pure dynamite.
More and more bass are showing up on the main-lake ridges and humps. I recommend using a football head jig (1/2-to 1-oz) in a watermelon or black/blue color and a Strike King “Rage Tail” or one of the new Stanley Y-Not’s as a trailer. The grass is reaching the surface in many areas and is starting to mat, so it won’t be long before flipping the grass with a 1-oz jig will be “THE” technique to catch the big ones.
Better keep a Texas and Carolina rig handy during the upcoming months because both can be very effective. Many bass clubs will start their night tournaments soon and either rig can put some hefty bass in the boat. For Texas-rig fishing I like to use a larger slip sinker (makes more noise) and a big worm when probing the edges of the creek channels and humps. Best colors are watermelon-red, watermelon-candy and black.
Another great technique to try is a weightless Crème Wacky Stick fished around and through the grass. This bait casts well using a 3/0 hook and the technique is to patiently allow the bait to sink to the bottom and then just work it back to the boat in short twitches of the rod trip with lots of pauses in between each twitch.
Crappie: If you remember last month I said these guys were here today and gone tomorrow? Well nothing has changed… unless you have a good brush-pile to fish. Those anglers catching crappie consistently are the ones using live shiners (some jigs) and fishing them near or in brush-piles that are located in 18-30-feet of water. Save those tree limbs, etc. as you do that pruning and make your own brush-pile. Just wire the branches together, add enough weight to make it sink to the bottom, place a jug “float” at the top to keep the brush-pile upright and then make sure you have GPS coordinates or can triangulate in on the spot to be sure you can accurately fish it each time you are on the water. Putting out a brush-pile can be lots of work, but can pay-off with some great catches.
Bream/Perch – Fish the boat docks. Lots of bigger perch are starting to show up and all of them want a big, juicy nightcrawler.
Catfish – Trotlines are beginning to produce some better size fish and most of the folks I have talked to are using soap for bait. On a good night about 15-to 20 fish can be taken but the real big guys are not coming in …… yet.
See you out on the water — JB