UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Burns’ bass-like strategy

Burns’ bass-like strategy
Third-place pro Chris Burns plans to use slip corks and leeches in his secret honeyhole Saturday morning.

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. - It happens frequently in tournament bass fishing, high water creates new backwater areas that are suddenly accessible and incredibly fertile. But it's a rare phenomenon in the walleye world, especially on a natural lake like Devils. But Davenport, Iowa, pro Chris Burns has found a new bay that's not even on his Lowrance GPS unit. And it happens to be loaded with sizeable walleyes.

After a 20-mile run yesterday, Burns arrived at this secret spot around 7:30 a.m. By 7:50 he had seven of his eight allowed fish in the livewell and the best five weighed over 18 pounds.

"It's a pretty cool little valley," he said. "I bet there's been water there before, but I don't think tournament boats have ever been able to access it. When I enter, the water at the mouth is only about 2 feet deep. It's only a one-boat spot."

Burns described the area as a little nursery that has a good concentration of minnows and leeches. Most of the pocket has a sand bottom, but one side has a more clay-like composition. On that end, there is a shelf with a few isolated trees. And surrounding the trees is thick bulrush.

"I fished a lot of different trees before I found this spot and what I've really discovered is that the fish prefer trees with thick bark. If it's just bare trunk, it's not as good."

The top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers pause for the playing of the National Anthem Saturday morning.Burns is hoping for a little south wind in his area.

"The wind kind of pushes them right up against the break and then we drop our corks in 10 to 12 feet next to the trees. I've tried fishing just the bulrush but the trees seem to concentrate them. I guess they give them something to feel comfortable around."

When bobber fishing on Devils, the general rule of thumb is to use jumbo leeches. But Burns noticed in practice that the fish in his area were spitting up mediums. So he switched, and that drastically improved his bite. After catching his first seven on mediums yesterday, he switched to jumbos hoping for one big kicker. But all the action on the corks seized so he returned to mediums and the bobbers immediately started popping down again.

"I've got so many jumbos that I can't even get rid of them. Mediums have been the best size and pure black has been the best color."

With less than a 2-pound deficit, Burns hopes today is the day he clinches his first tour-level win.

Pro leader Jason Feldner"I hope so, I really do. I've worked at this for over four years. With a little bit of wind I think we can do it."

The final weigh-in will take place today at 4 p.m. Central time at Lake Chevrolet, located at 123 5th St. N.E. in Devils Lake. Prior to weigh-in there will be a free family fishing clinic, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The winner in both the Pro Division and Co-angler Division is determined by the heaviest three-day weight.

Saturday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:10 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 68 degrees
Expected high temperature: 87 degrees
Water temperature: 74-78 degrees
Wind: S at 8 mph
Maximum humidity: 59 percent
Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: brett-carlson  morning-story  2010-07-29-devils-lake 

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