Live now : PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE 2020 Indian

Brighter outlook balances continued concerns

Brighter outlook balances continued concerns
Clear skies greeted anglers at the start of day two, but persistent wind promises rough rides.

DENISON, Texas - Before a brilliant sunrise cast gilded streaks across Hiport Marina, countless stars twinkled as brightly as the hopes of anglers preparing to launch for day two of the Stren Series event on Lake Texoma. Unlike the stars, though, human hope will be subject to more than atmospheric clarity.

Day one saw cloudy skies and high winds, which turned Lake Texoma into a washing machine. The day-two forecast calls for sunny conditions but more wind. This will stir lake waters and present navigational challenges.

Waco, Texas, pro Steve Palmer said mental preparation factors greatly into how anglers cope with and perform in adverse conditions. "You have to psyche yourself up for it, because it can get rough and it can get dangerous. The wind yesterday was scary. Today's going to be scarier."

Texas pro Jim Tutt heads the Kellogg's boat northeast from the day two checkout.Palmer's advice: "Get on top of the waves when you can, and if you can't, just roll with it. Of course, keep your life jacket on and tell your partner to hold on."

On the upside, wind piles baitfish against shorelines, and when bass move in to feed, anglers often find concentrated groups of fish in highly aggressive moods. That's the way day one shook out for pro leader Ronnie Hopkins Jr., who bagged a 17-pound, 14-ounce limit by targeting shallow shorelines ripe with feeding fish.

At today's checkout, the field split just about evenly with half running westward up the Red River, while the rest headed northeast. Some in the latter group may attempt to fight their way around the Preston Peninsula and into the Washita River or down toward the Denison Dam.

Palmer said he'll seek sheltered waters within Little Mineral Creek below the Preston Peninsula. Working the same pattern that he pursued on day one, he'll throw spinnerbaits, crankbaits and small worms.

"I'm fishing in the backs of pockets and coves - anywhere there's any timber or stick-ups," Palmer said. "Most of the fish are coming off of cover. If you find some cover, you'll find fish. Rocky points are good, if there's some cover on them."

The shaky head worm will be one of the top producing baits for much of the field.Many anglers will likely employ the strategically generic tactic of "junk fishing" - throwing a variety of baits in hopes of finding a productive pattern. Topwater plugs, crankbaits, swimbaits and the ever-popular shaky-head worm will see lots of action.

Ben Matsubu of Hemphill, Texas, placed ninth on day one with 12 pounds, 5 ounces. Today, he'll fish a Yamamoto Sugoi Splash (topwater) in 1 to 2 feet of water and a shaky-head worm in 8 to 15 feet. Lake conditions may end up determining where he fishes.

"Most of my better fish are up in the Washita River, but I've been staying down by the dam to stay out of the wind," Matsubu said. "I might make that run (to the Washita) if I get into trouble later on this afternoon. Hopefully, I can make it back."

Although clear skies may offer more pleasant fishing conditions, Matsubu noted that increased clarity will often stymie the fishing. "The cloud cover did make a difference in practice. It seemed like when the sun came out, the fish shut off."

Tournament logistics

The Stren Series event, which runs Oct. 17-20, represents the last of four regular-season Texas Division events. The total purse for the Lake Texoma event is $275,225. The winning pro could earn as much as $65,000 in cash and prizes if various contingencies are met, and the winning co-angler could earn as much as $35,000.

Action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. Central time at Hiport Marina, located at 120 Texoma Harbor Drive in Pottsboro, Texas.

Wednesday's conditions

Sunrise: 7:34 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 59 degrees
Expected high temperature: 80 degrees
Water temperature: 72-73 degrees
Wind: WNW at 15-20 mph
Humidity: 23 percent
Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2007-10-17-lake-texoma 

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