On the Water: Slow go in team tourney

Mar. 09, 2014 @ 01:44 AM

Fishing was slow for Curt Tindall, my friend from Vermont and tournament partner last weekend, and I in Brandon Gray's Bass Team Tournament Trail Tournament.

We caught only one fish Friday while out scouting for Saturday’s tournament. The spot where we caught that one usually holds plenty more, and with the weather calling for slightly warming weather, I was hoping to catch a few good ones there.

Curt and his fiancé, Dianna, had been on vacation in Florida to thaw out from the severe winter they’ve had up North. They decided to stop off in North Carolina on the way home for a few days to ease the transition back into the frozen north — kind of like a deep sea diver rises back to the surface in stages to prevent getting the bends.

The south end of Lake Champlain where they live is frozen so thick you can safely drive big trucks over it. When the lake starts to freeze, the ferry between Ticonderoga, N.Y. and Vermont is taken out of service. Soon thereafter, people begin to drive across the lake right where the ferry used to dock.

Down here, last weekend was plenty cold and my boat engine was running great at the end of the day Friday.

Curt and I planned to make a 10-minute run first thing Saturday to the rocky bank in hopes of catching a hawg. Plans changed at the Occoneechee launch when the boat shut down and refused to restart.

It turned out later to be a bad coil, but that meant we’d be competing on the trolling motor which turned out wasn’t all that bad. Not only did we not freeze flying down the lake in 20-degree temperatures, but many of the top-finishers fished most of the day near where we were. They caught bigger fish where we could manage only 2-pound keepers.

Several large sacks of fish were brought to the scales, including two over 20 pounds. It took over 16 pounds to make a top-5 check.

The team of Morgan/Colwell brought in five bass weighing 21.86 pounds to win almost $1,500. They also had the 5.63 big fish of the event. Second place went to the team of Owen/Lemar with 20.02 pounds, followed by Jason Houchins and his dad, Danny, with almost 19 pounds of fish.

Curt and I weighed five at 9.39 pounds which wasn’t bad for fishing on the trolling motor. Jerk baits worked better early in the day and then it seemed the fish moved shallower and wanted a small crankbait biting a No. 5 shad rap in a shad color.

Kerr Lake fishing report – Bass are starting their spring move to the bank in preparation for the upcoming spawn. They will be on small points, especially those with rocks.

Upcoming area tournaments – There’s a Fishers of Men team tournament on Mayo Lake next Saturday, March 15.

Next week’s report – Unfortunately I am stuck again in the house until next weekend. We had about 5 inches of heavy sleet in Walnut Cove and the repaired boat is blocked in the garage. If it melts some, I may get on Belews Creek Lake Sunday — otherwise, I will be arranging tackle all weekend.

Tip of the week — Enjoy the warm weather when it comes.

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com, on Facebook under Walt Bowen, and on Twitter at @WaltBowen.