UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Act 2 on the way

Act 2 on the way
EverStart anglers will be looking for a new wave of spawning bass to move up this week on Bull Shoals.

BULL SHOALS, Ark. - A warm week and a big moon on Friday - that should hasten a wave of spawn-ready bass to the Bull Shoals banks just in time for the EverStart Series Central Division tournament.

Missouri pro Tom Murphy said he expects most anglers will catch plenty of fish today, as the opportunity level runs high: "The first wave of fish has already come up and they've spawned and moved out. The second wave is on its way up now. We're getting ready for a full moon coming up and the fish are really going to go on the beds hard. There are fish in every part of this lake right now."

Mike "Cowboy" Foree said he'd like to maximize this opportunity with topwater wakebait presentations. He's tentatively planning of surface fishing early and then heading to the bank in theWakebaits and other topwater presentations will remain effective throughout the day once the cloud cover arrives. second half of his day.

"Yesterday morning we had some really good fish that were coming up and eating the topwater really good," Foree said. "Later in the day, we're going to try to find some beds.

"There are hundreds of beds here, but the fish are so spooky that if you even act like you're going to throw at them, they leave the bed," Foree said. "This is the spookiest I've seen bed fish. I've talked to the locals and they say that it's like this every year. But I found about eight fish I can work, but the rest of them, you just can't keep them on the beds."

When he targets bed fish, Foree will throw a small white jig with a pearl paddle tail trailer. This compact rig is less intimidating to spooky fish, but the trailer design gives it plenty of action. The all-white color, he said, helps with the visual strategy.

Mike Foree will target bed fish with a small white jig."This is something I can watch so when it disappears, I set the hook," Foree said.

Today's forecast calls for mostly sunny skies through late morning, but midday will likely see clouds building and a good chance of thunderstorms. Foree said that the day's meteorological makeup may determine his tactics.

"I'm hoping for the clouds," he said. "If it stays cloudy, I can catch fish all day on the topwater. There are some decent fish out here on topwater, so that's what I'm hoping for."

Murphy had been sight fishing in practice, but with the coming cloud cover expected to last through day two, he'll have to rely on memory and GPS. He's hoping to do his damage with Senkos and wacky-rigged finesse worms.

"It's going to be difficult to see them, but I did mark them on the bushes so I can look at my marks andMissouri pro Tom Murphy plans on targeting spawners by dead sticking wacky-rigged finesse worms and Senkos. know where the bass are at," he said. "But there's a lot of cruisers coming in right now, so what I'm doing is just throwing out in front of the buck brush and just letting it dead stick down."

Murphy will also mix in some topwater action with a Cordell Redfin or a Megabass Giant Dog X.

Arkansas pro Mark Rose said he struggled in practice and could not dial in the formula for Bull Shoals bed fish. He won't invest much time looking at shallow fish; instead, he'll stay back and try to pick up the ones that are on their way to the bank. Prior to takeoff, Rose was rigging up an Alabama rig with 4-inch swimbaits.

"I'm going to throw this a lot because I really didn't get on a whole lot in practice," he said. "I'm catching After a meager practice turned up only small bed fish, Arkansas pro Mark Rose will target prespawners with an Alabama Rig.a lot of fish by flipping bushes, but I don't think it's the kind of weight I'll need to win this tournament. I'm just seeing a lot of 2- and 2 1/2-pound bass doing that and I have yet to figure out the big (largemouth) females.

"That's what I'm trying to do here with the Alabama Rig - just step back and punt a little bit and try to figure something out. All you can do when you have a practice like that is take the way you didn't catch those big females and go out and try something new and hopefully figure it out during the tournament."

Rose said he's also rigging up a few things for some big smallmouth. Anglers are allowed to keep five legal bass but only four may be smallmouth.

Logistics

Anglers will take off from the Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock located on Eastwold Cove in Bull Shoals, Ark. at 7:00 each morning. On Wednesday and Thursday, weigh-ins will be held at the Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock beginning at 3 p.m. Friday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart, located at 168 Walmart Dr. in Flippin, Ark. Saturday's weigh-in begins at 3:30 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 Z518 Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard if Buck brush will be one of the common habitats that anglers will target today.Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower 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.

Competitors took off in different directions at the day one launch.The EverStart Series tournament on Bull Shoals Lake is being hosted by Ranger Boats.

Wednesday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:51 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 60 degrees
Expected high temperature: 76 degrees
Wind: South 5-7 mph
Humidity: 60 percent
Day's outlook: Partly sunny early, thunderstorms likely

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2012-04-04-bull-shoals 

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