Fishing A Tournament At Lake Allatoona

Each month I write a “Map of the Month” article for Georgia Outdoor News. In these articles I go to a lake with a local expert and we discuss the patterns for bass fishing that will work during the month. Then we mark 10 spots on a lake map where you can fish those patterns, and describe how to fish each spot in detail.

On a Sunday a few years ago the Flint River Bass Club had a tournament at Lake Allatoona. Although I have done several “Map of the Month” articles there over the years, I have never fished out of my boat there and never fished a tournament on that lake. I did not have a chance to go up and explore the lake and try to find some fish before the tournament.

I pulled out a copy of my article on Allatoona in August, 2002 with David and Pansy Millsaps. I read it Saturday night and rigged baits they suggested. On Sunday morning I headed to hole number 1 in the article and started fishing as instructed. I quickly caught a 14 inch spotted bass on a tube jig on a boat ramp.

I kept fishing that spot and caught a two pound spotted bass on a Carolina rig. I felt pretty good with two keepers in the boat on the first place and I had nine more to fish. As I idled to the second spot I read the instructions again – fish around the point with a jig and pig, then throw a crankbait before leaving.

After fishing around the point twice, first with the jig and then with a Carolina rig, I had gotten no bites, so I started to leave. I remembered about throwing the crankbait so I picked up a rod with one tied on and hooked a good fish on the first cast. It was a 3.65 pound spotted bass and turned out to be the big bass of the day.

When I headed up to hole number 3 skiers has churned the lake up pretty bad. I fished it and caught a short bass but no keepers. It was rough fishing in the waves, and the sun was getting hot. When I headed to hole number 4 I had to idle under a bridge and the shade felt good, so I stopped and fished there.

I quickly got a hit on a small jig and pig and landed another two pound spotted bass. About 30 minutes later I caught another solid keeper on the jig and pig. That gave me my limit. I fished one more spot from the article but caught nothing there before heading to the weigh-in.

We had 14 members fishing the tournament and my five bass weighing 10.8 pounds gave me first. The 3.65 pound spot was big fish for the tournament. Bobby Ferris had a five fish limit weighing 5.12 pounds for second, Don Schafer had 4.92 pounds for third and Kwong Yu came in fourth with 4.78 pounds.

In the tournament three members caught five fish limits but there were six people without a keeper. We landed 26 bass weighing 33.61 pounds and there was only one largemouth weighed in.

For many years Lake Allatoona has been called the “Dead Sea” because it was so hard to catch a bass there. The population of spotted bass has increased over the past few years, and now some decent catches come out of Allatoona. I was real lucky to have the article I wrote three years ago help me out in my first tournament there. That information really helped.

Another tournament fishing the same places didn’t work as well.

On a Sunday a few years ago eight members and guests of the Spalding County Sportsman Club fished our September tournament at Lake Allatoona. Three of the members managed to land five fish limits and there were two members that did not catch a keeper bass.

Javin English had a limit and won with 5.55 pounds. Brent Terry fished with me and beat me out of the back of my boat with a limit weighing 5.48 pounds. I had a limit weighing 5.21 pounds for third and Jason Wheeler had two bass weighing 3.71 pounds for fourth. He also had big bass with a 2.73 pound fish.

Many members caught a lot of bass shorter than the 12 inch limit. Although Allatoona has been called the “Dead Sea” because of its tough fishing, the eight of us weighed in 20 bass, but they were small. It is still a lot of fun to catch that many bass. Alltoona seems along way away since you have to drive right through down town Atlanta, but it was only 74 miles from my house, about the same distance as Sinclair or West Point.

I caught my fish on a jig and pig and a jig head worm. Brent caught his on a Carolina rig. We caught most of them fairly shallow toward the backs of creeks.