28 teams fished, 11 teams weighed in and 3 places were paid.
The 2010 Wednesday Night series got off to a fast start as 28 boats came out to see if a little St. Patty’s Day luck would come their way. The weather cooperated and much to our amazement, so did the pleasure boaters. Many of the anglers planned on sight fishing for bedding fish on or near the main lake, and the light boat traffic had most of the field buzzing prior to take off.
Our first place finishers, Lance Hale and Barry Mott, fished out of a boat they weren’t familiar with. “NitroLance”, as he is known on the area boards, had his beloved namesake in for repairs. But he really wanted to fish the opener on Lake Austin and was able to borrow a much smaller G3 aluminum boat with a 50hp motor. Staying away from the potentially rewarding but oftentimes frustrating bed pattern, the team focused on outside grass lines in 10-12 foot of water and threw a variety of soft plastics. We spoke to Lance, who caught the big bass of the night at 7.90 pounds.
“I set the hook, and immediately knew this was a good one. I was happy to catch it. If you’re gonna catch one keeper, make it count I guess!”
Barry and Lance took home $560 for their first place finish and Big Bass and have set the Power Tackle Rods Big Stringer at 20.48 lbs and Big Bass at 7.90 lbs. Lance, you might consider hanging on to that G3 another couple weeks!
Finishing in second place and earning $250 was the team of Jamie and Cathey Sladen. Jamie was amazed the four fish bag of 12.49 pounds fared so well for them.
“This time of year, you know somebody’s got some bed fish locked down. I didn’t, so I just went out to go fishing.”
However, they did start out with the intention of trying for some bed fish around the Dell residence. But seeing only small fish with minimal interest in biting, after 15 minutes they decided to go to plan B: watermelon candy weightless lizards on outside grass lines.
“They were just nibble bites, like a perch most of the time and then your line would just get tight.”
Things got a little tougher for them right at dark, but then picked up again around 9:15; that’s when Jamie landed their fourth and final keeper. They had some missed opportunities as Jamie had 3 or 4 short strikes and a possible giant head toward the channel, snapping his 15 pound Trilene Big Game. If you’ve ever used this line, you know that doesn’t happen often.
“I’ve been fishing Austin a long, long time. I’ve never had that line break out here before…who knows.”
Coming in third and bringing in a limit of fish at 10.31 pounds were TTZ team members Robby Crabb and Dan Taylor. Robby found 25-30 pounds of fish on beds on the upper end last week; but as light as the boat traffic was considering the weather and spring break, Robby told us it still produced enough chop to entice them to abandon this area early.
“We went to another location that was a bit more protected and had a larger grass buffer to protect those inside beds, and we were able to get three keepers to bite before dark. There was an easy 8 pretty committed, but we just couldn’t get her to eat.”
These fish were caught on wacky Senkos, but after dark Robby and Dan hit shallow docks with Brush Hogs to finish out their limit. As good as it feels to get a check, there was some disappointment as both anglers reported losing a good one. Robby’s fish broke off after a few head shakes near a dock and Dan’s just pulled drag for a bit and let go.
Closing out the pay line and winning the tackle pack were Brandon “Big Fish” Houston and his partner Doug Blackstock. They threw flukes in and around shallow grass to trick their limit of 8.96 pounds into biting. Jacky Roberts of Fish Finders Marine, and new owner of Pro’s Choice bait company, was in attendance and generously provided a very healthy supply of Pro’s Choice baits to the tackle pack. Additionally, Corey Johnson and CenTex Reel Service provided a reel cleaning certificate valued at $20. Congratulations Brandon and Doug, and thanks to Corey and Jacky for your contributions!
Those in attendance were given the opportunity to register for two Power Tackle rod prizes presented at the end of the season. Our Big Bass and Big Stringer of the year will each be awarded a Power Tackle rod of their choice. All you have to do to qualify is sign up for the Power Tackle e-newsletter through TTZ (we’ll have all the details at each event so be sure to sign up at next week’s tournament if you haven’t already done so). Thanks to Power Tackle for their incredible support of our area anglers!
We’d like to remind everybody of the 10 o’clock sharp deadline to have your boat beached at City Park for weigh-in. Additionally, dead fish will be weighed, but at a 1 pound deduction. Please remember to review the rules in the tournament section if you have not done so already. We really look forward to seeing everybody out next week, and stay tuned for the Travis Tuesday nighters coming in just a few weeks!