November Bartletts Ferry Tournament

On Sunday, November 25 nine members of the Spalding County Sportsman Club fished our November tournament at Bartletts Ferry. After eight hours of casting we brought 27 keeper bass to the scales weighing about 32 pounds. There were two limits and one zero.

Jay Gerson won it all with five weighing 9.22 pounds and his 4.09 pound largemouth was big fish. Wayne Teal had four weighing 6.84 pounds for second, my three at 5.60 pounds was third and Billy Roberts had five weighing 4.60 pounds for fourth.

Driving to the lake the fog was so thick it was a slow trip. I thought I would have to change my plans of running about five miles to start on a point I like where I caught fish in September, but when we got to the lake there was little fog on the water, a surprise.

I should have changed my plans anyway since I did not get a bite for almost two hours. At 8:45 I landed a 3.12 pound largemouth on a shaky head so that fired me up, but I didn’t get another bite for two more hours, then lost a solid keeper that jumped and threw my jig head worm.

About ten minutes later I hooked and landed another good keeper largemouth, making me feel a little better. But two hours later I had not gotten another bite until a keeper spot hit my worm. That was it, I got no more bites before having to go in. I was surprised to place in the tournament with just three fish, but everybody had a tough day.

I was happy to see 14 of the 27 bass were largemouth. And three of them weighed more than three pounds. Back in the 1970s and 80s we caught a lot of good largemouth there, many in the five to six-pound range. Then spotted bass invaded the lake and for years we had a hard time catching largemouth.

Spots are not native to middle Georgia lakes and when they get in one they are so aggressive they tend to crowd out the largemouth. That has happened on Jackson, West Point and Bartletts Ferry.

Hopefully the spots are getting reduced and the largemouth are coming back some. One reason Bartletts Ferry has changed is the hydrilla there. That underwater weed offers largemouth great habitat but not so much for spots.

The Chattahoochee River feeding Bartletts Ferry has had a lot of hydrilla in it for several years and it had spread to the lower lake. Last year there were thick beds of it, helping the largemouth. Unfortunately, the Alabama DNR sprayed and killed most of it on the lower lake. I wish they would leave it alone.

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