UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Ground Fog Day

Thick fog delayed the start of day-one action on Lake Amistad.

DEL RIO, Texas - How appropriate it was that on Groundhog Day, the sun did not want to emerge from its den. Indeed, the very day on which the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is scheduled to forecast winter's remains, a thick layer of atmospheric obscurity presented EverStart Texas Division anglers with a fog delay.

At the scheduled takeoff time of 7:30 a.m., FLW Tournament Director Ron Lappin said that the morning's decreased visibility necessitated the delay, due to safety concerns. The delay lasted two hours and 20 minutes, with the first boat released at 9:50 a.m. Missing that critical morning bite is a bummer, no doubt, but Texas pro Dave Mauldin said the day will offer a second round of opportunity.

"During practice, there has been a good morning bite and then it shuts off for about three hours," he said. "Yesterday, I didn't have a bite until 11:30 and then I caught a limit in 30 minutes. You can't get discouraged."

Bass fishing legend Denny Brauer agrees, adding: "That's pretty traditional on this lake that the Bass fishing legend Denny Brauer will use a Strike King Series 5 crankbait if he moves closer to the bank today.afternoon bite is better during the winter. You can fish all morning and not have a bite and then the switch comes and the fish go nuts. Some guys are going to go from a terrible day to a really good day once the afternoon bite starts."

Opinions vary on where that late bite will be best, but Brauer said he'll be prepared to engage the fish wherever they decide to bite. He'll fish a football head jig and a Strike King 6XD crankbait offshore and a Strike King Series 5 crank if he moves shallow.

Recent dam activity has dropped the lake several feet and Mauldin said that declining water level will continue to push more fish to deeper structure. Projected winds of 25-mph will also challenge anglers by roiling the lake and making it difficult to maintain boat control over offshore targets.

Dave Parsons, of Yantis, Texas, will tough it out on the deeper stuff because he dialed in a consistent Yantis, Texas pro Dave Parsons will spend a lot of time working a jig in deep water.pattern in 25-40 feet during practice. Deep running crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and Carolina rigs delivered best, so he'll keep that mix active during the tournament.

"I had a couple of 25- and 30-pound sacks a couple of days ago but I haven't been back to those fish," Parsons said. "I'm hoping those fish are still there. I've heard of some guys catching 35-40 pounds in practice, so I'm thinking it's going to take a high weight (to make the day-3 cut)."

Stephen Johnston, of Hemphill, Texas will rely heavily on a 1 1/2-ounce Cyclone spinnerbait. With the spawning movement not yet underway and a lot of fish holding in standing timber, his strategy is to just buzz a set of blades past the fish enough times to trigger a response.

"I'm going to start out shallow in 10 to 15 feet and when the wind picks up after lunch, I'm going to get out deep in 15-25 feet," Johnston said. "In the shallow spots, I'm going to throw that big spinnerbait and tearStephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas will put his faith in a 1 1/2-ounce Cyclone spinnerbait. it through those trees. A lot of those fish are suspended in those trees and they won't react, but if you get that ounce-and-a-half Cyclone spinnerbait down there, tearing it through you can get a reaction strike.

"When it's calm, you can look down and visually see those fish in the trees but they just won't feed. The wind is our friend on this lake, so if we can get that wind blowing, it will put those fish in a feeding mode."

Mauldin and others reported catching practice fish on jerkbaits - a tactic that could prove strategic during those midday lulls. Topwater plugs and buzzbaits may also see action today.

"The weather's going to dictate how we're going to be able to fish and what we're going to do," Brauer said. "The one thing about this lake is that if you're not getting bit doing one thing, you probably better change because they are biting."

Logistics

Texas pro David Mauldin had good practice results with a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait.Anglers will take off from the East Diablo Launch Ramp located at Highway 90 West HCR 3 in Del Rio, Texas, at 7:30 a.m. each morning. Weigh-in will be held at the East Diablo Launch Ramp on Thursday and Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 2410 Dodson Street in Del Rio beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will fish for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Amistad is being hosted by the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce.One of the top baits for shallow action will be a topwater plug.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:32 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 59 degrees
Expected high temperature: 73 degrees
Water temperature: 56-57 degrees
Wind: SE 15-20 mph
Humidity: 73 percent
Day's outlook: Partly cloudy and windy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2012-02-02-lake-amistad 

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