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

Blustery start on Texoma

Blustery start on Texoma

POTTSBORO, Texas - The tail end of a brutal weather system that swept across southern Oklahoma delivered strong predawn storms and sent temperatures plummeting approximately 30 degrees on day one of the EverStart Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma.

Showers had declined to a light drizzle, but the American flag at Highport Marina stood like a sheet of plywood, as anglers went through boat check dressed in gear more befitting the division's prior two events at Lake Amistad (January) and Toledo Bend (February). Ranger pro Stephen Johnston said the day-one scenario will be a great departure from the conditions in which anglers have practiced.

"Through the practice days, our (daytime) highs have been 85-88 degrees and the (day-one) high will be in the low- to mid-50's," he said. "The fish are really in three different stages: you have some still sitting on beds, there are fish that are just moving up and then there are fish that are done (spawning). I think the fish will still bite, if you can get to where you're going."

That, Johnston said, will depend heavily on the northwest winds of 20-25 mph that will surely alter many a game plan.

"The way this lake is laid out, a northwest wind blows right into the marina where we take off," he said. "The lake's south side (where we launch) is solid rock so when the waves hit it will just be like a washing machine. It'll back up and it's going to be treacherous.

"I know that for the guys who are trying to bed fish, it's going to be hard to move around the docks and situations like that. Some guys are going to run up north to Oklahoma and fish some protected marinas."

Johnston said he plans on throwing a Cyclone Lightning Blade (chatter style bait) and a V&M swim jig. He'll work marinas and isolated boat houses in hopes of tempting bass hanging close to the structures to feed on the shad that are starting to spawn.

Today will see clouds remaining through mid-afternoon, as clearing skies signal the dreaded post-frontal "bluebird" conditions. Despite today's blustery conditions, the bass will likely bite fairly well, as they sense the approaching high pressure. Day two will likely see a great downturn in productivity, so those who battle through the wind and waves of day one will position themselves well for reaching Saturday's final round.

"This weather is definitely going to affect my game plan," said Strike King pro Phil Marks. "I was planning on fishing down the lake and fish some more eastern shoreline. I was hoping for a north wind, but it's going to be more west-northwest, so I'm probably going to punt and go run.

"I don't want to get out of the wind altogether, but you still have to be able to fish and keep your trolling motor in the water. I'll throw squarebill crankbaits and just go powerfishing. On a day like today, with the front hitting, they ought to be biting pretty well."

Coming off a second-place finish at Toledo Bend, Dustin Grice, of Hewitt, Texas hopes to tempt the fish with his custom spinnerbait that features a chartreuse and a white willow leaf blade, along with a chartreuse/white skirt. The 3/8-ounce bait, he said, brings a little more visibility for today's turbid conditions.

"Not a lot of people throw colored blades (for largemouth); they mostly just use them for targeting Dustin Grice customizes his 3/8-ounce spinnerbait with chartreuse and white willow blades and a chartreuse/white skirt. smallmouth," Grice said. "I'll throw this around docks, windy points - anywhere I find off-color water.

Texas pro Todd Castledine said he expects to catch the majority of his bass while sight fishing. Actually, seeing each fish won't be critical, as Castledine said he located plenty of bedding bass during practice. As long as the rain hasn't displaced any fish, he believes he can catch fish by flipping a Texas-rigged Kicker Fish Kicker Craw. His backup plan is to cast the new Kicker Fish swimbait around spawning areas.

"I'll get there - it's just a little more of a hassle," Castledine said. "I'm not too worried about being able to see them."

Notably, Castledine had a fiberglass push pole strapped to his deck. He said he'll use that as a quiet way to avoid bumping rocky shorelines while fishing shallow beds.

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Highport Marina located at 120 Texoma Harbor Drive in Pottsboro, Texas, at 7 a.m. each day. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will be held at the take off site beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart, located at 401 N. U.S. Highway 75 in Denison, Texas, beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 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, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Texoma is being hosted by the Denison Area Chamber of As a backup to his sight-fishing plan,  Todd Castledine will also keep a Kicker Fish swimbait handy.Commerce.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:52 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 40 degrees
Expected high temperature: 55 degrees
Water temperature: 55-56 degrees
Wind: NW 20-25 mph
Humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: Morning cloudy and rainy, sunny by afternoon

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2013-04-18-lake-texoma 

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