Lake Oconee September Tournament

Last Sunday (in September) 10 members of the Spalding County Sportsman Club fished our September tournament at Lake Oconee. We landed 14 keepers over the 14-inch minimum limit weighing about 33 pounds. There were no limits and four people did not have a keeper.

I made three lucky casts and won with three weighing 10.39 pounds and my 4.18 pound largemouth was big fish. Raymond English placed second with three at 7.18 pounds, Russell Prevatt came in third with three at 7.19 pounds and Randall Sharpton was fourth with three weighing 4.81 pounds.

JR Proctor met me at the ramp and we blasted off behind everyone else at 7:00 AM since I was acting tournament director. We stopped at a lighted boat dock and JR caught a hybrid on a crankbait but that was the only bite. Our next stop was another lighted dock but we got no bites.

At the third stop, a riprap bank on the main lake, I caught two short fish on a topwater plug. We then went to a dock that I knew had some brush in front of it but got no bites, but I saw brush down 22 feet deep, further out than I thought, on my depthfinder, as we fished the more shallow brush.

After working past the dock with no bites I hooked another bass on top but it came off as I swung it into the boat. It would have been close to a keeper. After fishing to the back of the cove, we cranked up to leave, but I decided to idle to the dock with brush and fish the deep stuff I had been directly over the first time.

My first cast to it with a jig head worm resulted in a thump. I knew it was a good fish when I set the hook since my drag slipped and that was the 4.18 I caught, landing it at 8:20. We wore that brush out with a variety of baits but got no more hits.

Our next stop was at another dock with deep brush but we got no hits. Then we went to a narrow rocky point that drops into the old river channel. On a cast with my jig head worm a fish almost pulled the rod out of my hand when it hit the bait as it sank and took off. Somehow, I hooked and landed that three pounder at 9:40.

We fished several more places, catching some short fish but no keepers. Then, on a fairly shallow rocky point I got a thump and landed a third keeper, another three pounder, just before noon.

We fished hard the rest of the day and caught several short fish but no more keepers. I ended up landing 16 bass, several close to the 14-inch limit but not over it, but only three keepers.

I have no idea why those three big fish hit my bait and not JR’s. Just lucky casts, I guess. It was strange to catch so many fish but nothing between 13.9 inches long and those three over three pounds each.