Four trips in the past week were fun but the weather was very different on each. I’m glad I now have suitable clothes for all kinds of weather. At Lake Martin in Alabama last week, it was very cold and the wind howled all day. But Anthony Vintson, an Auburn Bass Team fisherman, showed me how to catch a lot of bass there for a January Alabama Outdoor News Map of the Month article.
On Friday Tucker Sweat, a Georgia College Bass Team fisherman, showed me how he catches bass on Sinclair in January for my Georgia Outdoor News Map of the Month article. It was a beautiful day, warm, sunny and calm. Very different from the Tuesday three days earlier.
On Saturday the Potato Creek Bass Masters fished our December tournament at Jackson, the last one this year. It poured rain all day and was cold. Then on Sunday the Flint River Bass Club and the Spalding County Sportsman Club fished a two-club tournament at Jackson for our last tournament this year in those clubs. It was warm all day and sunny after about 10:00 AM. That is four totally different weather conditions on the lake in just six days!
In the Potato Creek tournament, after eight wet hours of casting, 17 competitors brought in 43 keeper bass weighing 80 pounds. WE don’t keep up with numbers of spots but almost all I saw were spotted bass.
Niles Murray came back strong from his medical leave to win with five wedging 12.14 pounds, Doug Acree placed second with five at 9.96 and had big fish with a 4.69 pounder, Tom Tanner was third with five weighing 9.75 pounds and Buddy Laster came in fourth with four weighing 9.12 pounds.
Everything I did was apparently wrong. I caught a keeper spot on a crankbait 15 minutes after blast off and thought I was on something, but two hours later I had not had another bite. I went back to the truck to try to find some dry matches and went back to where I started.
I caught a keeper largemouth beside the same rock where the spot had hit over two hours earlier. It hit a shaky head worm. Although I didn’t ride around a lot in the rain, I fished a variety of places with different baits but never caught another fish.
On Saturday, 16 members of the combined clubs fished for eight hours to land 37 keepers weighing about 56 pounds. There were only 12 largemouth weighed in. Four people had five-fish limits and there were five zeros.
Raymond English won with five at 10.49 pounds and had one of the biggest spots I have seen from Jackson, a 4.23 pounder, for big fish. Billy Roberts placed second with five at 7.92 pounds and Jay Gerson placed third with five at 5.70 pounds. Thanks to a tip on Saturday to use a smaller crankbait, I had five weighing 5.28 for fourth. Of course, Billy said he beat me with a very big crankbait.
Both days the water was stained a little and in the low 50s. That is usually a good combination this time of year, but fishing was tougher than hoped, as always.