Fishing & Boating News

Duck Tales

Another Tournament Season Has Started

by: Duck Wright,

(Monday, February 08,1999 - )

Duck Tales

Well, another tournament season has started, and 1999 looks like it could be full of surprises.

For instance, the Angler's Choice Pro-Am which was held on Sam Rayburn on February 6th and 7th. Would anyone think that, with a field of 150 top Pros and 150 accomplished Amateurs that there would not be a stringer on the first day that did not weigh 20 pounds? Boy I wouldn't have. The size of the fish that were weighed in were, to say the least, small. I have no explanation for this, and I don't think anyone else does. The elements were perfect for the usual monsters to cross the weigh-in, but the fact of the matter was, that 7 pound bass were the largest to cross the scales.

Everyone that I talk to, seems to think that the large fish-ikill we had this past summer, is to blame for the large fish dying, but the size of the fish we had this past summer, is to blame for the smaller stringers. I don't know. Toledo Bend, also had the same problem with the large fish dying, but the size of the fish there are staying in the same weight groups, as are normally being caught this time of year.

Water temperatures, on Rayburn, are in the lower 60's and the hydrilla is in good shape. Spawn is just around the corner, but the bigger fish have not moved up into shallower water, as they normally do this time of year.

Pme cam pm;u hope that the bigger fish, are still suspending in deeper water, and will soon move to the banks, to produce the same famous sized bass that Sam Rayburn is noted for. I think that we as anglers, need to become more aware of several things in the preservation of the black bass in East Texas. First and foremost, we need to take better care of the large fish, that are caught, taking extra measures that these fish return to the lakes in good condition. I know of several people on Rayburn and Toledo, that take fish home with them, each and every time they go fishing. Don't take me wrong, I enjoy a good batch of fried fish as well as anyone else, but what is wrong with catching some white perch or catfish, when you are hungry for fish, and return the bass to become bigger and stronger. Also, Rayburn and Toledo Bend have an abundance of Kentucky bass or spots that can be taken for food, and by the way, they are better eating than the black bass anyway.

In the same conservations about the black bass population on both lakes, you hear many times that tournaments are the cause for the lower amount of big bass being weighed in. I totally disagree with this notion. The tournament directors, that hold tournaments on these lakes, go to great extremes to protect the bass, and return them to the lakes in good condition. You can watch one of these weigh-ins, and you will see, that very few, and I mean very few fish die, at release. The reason for most of the dead fish at the weigh-ins is usually the anglers fault. Faulty aerators, or deep hook sets are the number one reasons.

Well until next month,