N.C. team claims annual border battle

Feb. 01, 2014 @ 11:53 PM

If you competed in last weekend’s sixth annual Ice Bowl catfish tournament on Kerr Lake, my hats are off to you.

In fact you can have any of my hats. With a low Friday night of 16 degrees greeting anglers at the ramp early Saturday, you really had to be a diehard fisherman — or woman (and there were some) — to get to the ramp for take-off.

Eighty-one teams paid $40 each for the privilege of representing their state in this North Carolina/Virginia rivalry for bragging rights and a first place prize of over $1,030.

First place went to the N.C. team of Todd Swain, Adam Beane and Michael Quike who brought in a monster weighing 39.8 pounds after a cold, windy day on the lake. There probably would have been another 20 or more anglers if not for the extremely cold weather.

Most were using live shad or cut crappie for bait and fishing on their secret honey holes for that monster needed to take the prize.

After five years of listening to jeers from the Virginia boys, Team N.C. finally won the overall tournament, which is calculated based on the top team totals from each side, along with catching the biggest fish.

Hopefully this is the start of a string of N.C. victories, so get out there and find your own honey hole. The giant blue catfish are usually found suspended 30–40 feet over deeper water near the main lake at the mouths of major creeks like Eastland, Butcher and Grassy.

I on the other hand spent the weekend holed up in the house with my grandson John II and Susan, and the fire sure was warm.

Kerr Lake fishing report – Folks are catching big blue cats, but the cold and muddy water has slowed down the bite somewhat. Largemouth remain huddled up in tight schools at about 25-feet deep, and a blade bait or jigging spoon will provide some great catches.

Upcoming area tournaments – No bass tournaments for a couple of more weeks but they are coming. My first event of 2014 is a small tournament on Shearon Harris Lake on Feb. 15, which is also Susan’s birthday.

Next week’s report – Hoping for a day out on Belews Creek Lake before watching the Super Bowl.

Tip of the week — If you are using the weed-less worm hooks with a wire weed guard that slips under the hook point you should try switching to a wide gap offset worm hook inserted into the worm. You’ll have better hook ups and to me they are better at going through brush.

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