Tournament Reports June 2005
Montie Walters win Oconee Bassmaster Series; big sacks at Hartwell HD Marine tourney.
May 22: Bassmasters Series, Oconee
Flipping docks was the primary pattern during the May 22, 2005 Bassmasters Series tournament at Lake Oconee — just not for the winner.
Montie Walters of Warner Robins won the tournament with five fish that weighed 16-lbs., 11-ozs.
“I took a chance to win,” said Montie, who fished the area around the Oconee River, Apalachee River split.
“We hit nothing-looking banks and fished around stumps on shallow ledges,” he said. “We were in about 5 feet of water casting up into a foot of water and pulling a lizard off into 3 feet. The bass weren’t hitting hard. They would just pick the lizard up and swim off.”
According to Montie, the winning bait was a Texas-rigged Zoom green-pumpkin lizard.
His catch was anchored by a 5-lb., 11-oz. largemouth that he caught around 11 a.m.
Montie said he ended the day fishing docks in the mouth of Sugar Creek and was able to cull two fish.
“Flipping docks seemed to pick up later in the day,” said Montie.
Mike Cleveland finished second with 15-lbs., 9-ozs. by flipping docks in the mid-section of the lake. Scott Peterman placed third with 12-lbs., 8-ozs.
Big fish, at 6-lbs., 1-oz., went to Gary Snipes, who took fourth place with 12-lbs., 4-oz.
May 21: Guys & Dolls, Eufaula
Fishing was tough for the Guys and Dolls tournament at Eufaula last weekend. With 65 couples fishing, only 40 couples weighed in 109 bass, and 8.82 pounds got you a check.
Sandra Coursey with Guys and Dolls said the first-place team was throwing a Devil’s Horse and a Shad Rap in front of grasslines up the river.
Other patterns in the top five were jerkbaits on the rocks, jigs, Ol Monster worms, Carolina-rigged green-pumpkin lizards around docks, spinnerbaits and drop-shot rigs.
May 15: HD, Hartwell
Paul Burchfield was so choked up when he called his wife to let her know he and his partner, Chris Houck, had won the HD tourney at Hartwell that he couldn’t even talk.
“There was lots of schooling,” said Paul. “Everybody thought they were hybrids — we watched two boats come by and not even fish it.”
Paul did say that the schooling on the main lake was mostly hybrids, but they fished back in a cut off a major creek on the Georgia side — on the lower end of the lake. Although he wouldn’t identify the area exactly, he said there was a big Auburn Tiger paw print on top of a barn back there.
“We’d catch them between all the rain,” said Paul. “We started culling at 10:30, and I bet we culled 15 to 20 fish in the 3-lb. range.”
They were fishing 50 to 75 feet off the bank, and they were catching their fish over grass in eight feet of water. They caught their first few fish on a leadhead Fluke but then changed to a weightless Fluke in pearl white. They only moved 200 yards all day.
“Every time it would quit raining they’d come up on top — we were reeling a Fluke as fast as we could on top, and they were ripping it.”
May 14: R&R, Seminole
Keith Scarbrough said he and Wes Meadows fished Zoom Horny Toads all day around the grass mats to win the R&R tourney.
“We fished the cuts and pockets off the Flint from the mouth of Spring Creek to about two miles above Jack’s,” said Keith. “You’d throw up in the mat and as soon as it’d hit an opening they’d nail it.”
They stayed in six feet of water and threw up shallow, and they stuck with watermelon-red and grey-ghost colors.
“There were some boats who said they were sight fishing for bedded fish,” said Keith.
On Sunday Keith and Wes finished eighth in the Valley event. For some reason the fish would hit while the bait was on top of the mat. This caused them to lose some fish.
May 7: BFL Bulldog, Eufaula
Fishing for bedded bass won this BFL tournament for Donald Brinson.
“On Friday we found some fish on the grass feeding on shad early,” said Donald. “I like to bed fish, and I just decided to go to the shallows, and I saw two or three laying there. The more I stayed in shallow, the more I started to see. For the tournament, we were about the next to the last boat out. I knew that since I found them somebody else would be in there, but nobody came in on us.”
Donald was fishing a Georgia pocket south of the causeway in the mid-lake area. He was fishing with a Zoom watermelon lizard with a chartreuse tail.
“Some of the bigger ones were moving up later in the day,” said Donald. “We caught them all day long off the bed.”
Donald said there was no wind, which could have hurt the majority of the field who were on a grass and shad-spawning pattern.
Basically Donald took a chance, and it paid big dividends.
May 7: BFL Sav. River, Hartwell
Jeff Ensley will tell you there was a little bit of luck involved in his BFL win. The day before he had found some schooling fish on a main-lake hump in the Seneca River. His plan was to go there first. Unfortunately, he was boat No. 133.
“There were two boats on it, so I left and went in a pocket and waited on them to leave,” said Jeff.
Within 10 minutes after the boats left, the fish began to school, and Jeff had a limit within an hour. He threw a Spook.
“I never caught a fish unless they were coming up,” said Jeff. “I had three fish in the boat and had like 12 pounds.”
He caught fish four and five on the same cast — one on the front hooks and one in the back.
May 7: Berry’s, Oconee
Mike Harris and Ed Williamson had a 17-lb. limit by 8:30. After making a few productive stops along some rocks at Great Waters, they headed to the mouth of Richland Creek and began throwing spinnerbaits at standing timber.
“We caught probably 35 fish,” said Mike.”
Mike threw a white 3/8-oz. Terminator spinnerbait at trees in 15 to 30 feet of water. The fish were suspended about four or five feet down. Last year the fish really liked cedar trees, but for the tournament the fish came off other types of trees.
“I don’t think we caught any on cedar trees,” said Mike. “We caught them more in relation to how far off the bank the trees were — they’re not way off the banks yet. We fished some trees 75 yards off the bank and didn’t catch a fish.”
May 7: Fisher’s of Men, Clarks Hill
The father-and-son team of Julious and Edmon Lively fished two blow-throughs and two points around the mouth of Soap Creek to win this tournament.
“They’d blow up on the Spooks, but they wouldn’t take it,” said Julious. “I threw a double-rig Fluke and fished it real slow.”
There was no wind for the tournament, so the fish didn’t bite strong at the blueback imitations.
May 7: So. Bassin’ Couples, Allatoona
Janice Brookshire and her husband Sammy won the Allatoona Southern Bassin’ Couples tourney. Janice had “Her Big Fish.”
“My husband was throwing around the docks at Victoria Landing Marina, and I just threw in the middle of the pocket and caught it on a Pop-R,” said Janice. “Sammy caught all the other fish, and he caught them on a green-pumpkin Finesse worm Carolina rig across from Galts Ferry boat ramp in the back of a pocket.”
Janice said the bite was in three to four feet of water, and the fish they caught were postspawn.
April 30: UCP, Allatoona
Brothers Brandon and Tony Howell won this tournament thanks to some practice before the tourney.
“We found some bedded fish Thursday and Friday,” said Brandon. “We caught three fish off the bed.”
They used a combination of jigs, tube baits and Trick Worms to catch their fish.
“We fished the mid-lake area around Galts and Victory,” said Brandon.
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