The reason bass fishermen look forward to April was emphasized at the Potato Creek Bassmasters tournament at Lanier last Saturday. We had 26 members fishing for nine hours to land 162 bass weighing about 239 pounds. There were 16 five fish limits over the 14-inch minimum length, and two fishermen did not weigh in a fish. I did not see any largemouth at all.
Ryan Edge won with five weighing 14.12 pounds and his 5.30 pounder was big fish. Raymond English had five at 13.80 for second, Trent Grainger was third with five at 13.68 and Wes Delay came in fourth with five weighing 13.65 pounds. It took 11.57 pounds to place tenth.
We hit an ideal day with nice weather and water temperature and moon phase having big spots up shallow looking for a place to bed. It was a fun day for fishing and catching.
I thought I had a good catch until weigh-in. A ten-pound limit will usually place you in the top four in the club, and I figured I had about that weight by 8:40, but not this time!
I started on a main lake rocky point, but lack of wind was a problem. I caught several short spots on a crankbait but quickly decided to try something different.
Going back into a creek, I stopped on a long shallow point that runs out in front of three small spawning coves. I caught my first keeper at 7:20 on a Carolina rig on the point and at 8:40 I landed my fifth keeper on a shaky head in one of the spawning coves. All hit one of those baits going around the bank, casting to four to six feet of water.
A couple of the spots were good fish, over two pounds each, so I felt pretty good. Over the next two hours I tried similar places and caught five more keepers and many 13-inch spots. All of them fought very hard, as is usual for spotted bass. It was fun fishing.
At 11:00, contrary to the weather guessers prediction of no rain, it started pouring. I eased under a dock and sat there about an hour until it stopped. But something changed. The wind picked up and
I did not get a bite for the next two hours fishing shallow.
Since the wind was blowing, I went back to the main lake point and tried spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
As I rounded the point, I met another boat with two fishermen casting those baits coming the other way. They cranked up and left when we were about 50 yards apart.
As I continued down the bank, I noticed some brush under the boat in 12 feet of water and dropped a shaky head worm into it. My biggest fish of the day, a 2.97 pounder, almost jerked the rod out of my hand. That gave me three good fish over two pounds each, at 2:30 with an hour left till weigh-in.
At 2:45 I caught a short spot, then another fish over two pounds. I started to go in early but was having fun catching fish. It is amazing how catching fish can overcome pain.
In the next 30 minutes I caught two more keepers, one that culled one in the live well weighing less than two pounds, and two more short fish. Even a 13-inch spot will stretch your string and are fun to catch.
I felt good with five weighing 12.07 pounds but ended up in eighth place.
Lanier is a fun place to fish right now.