UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Solving the Seminole Puzzle

Solving the Seminole Puzzle

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Seminole presented by Mud Hole Custom Tackle and hosted by the Bainbridge Convention & Visitors Bureau kicked off this morning out of the Earle May Boat Basin with a strong, crisp north wind welcoming anglers to Georgia. Not exactly the welcome you want on this famed fishery, but the show must go on, and there will still be plenty of giants plucked from these waters. 

The record-sized field for this lake of 215 pros will battle heavy winds and post-frontal conditions as they vie for the $60,000 top prize.

 

About the fishery

Lake Seminole was created after the completion of the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam back in 1952. It backed up the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers and created more than 37,000 acres of prime bass habitat. Seminole is relatively shallow and features vast expanses of flooded timber and flats covered in hydrilla. Generally speaking, the lake offers more stained water, while the back bays and portions of the rivers tend to be slightly cleaner.

 

JT Kenney

Current conditions

The big factor that has been brought up throughout many of the FLW events so far this season is the weather over the winter … or lack thereof. Without any major cold snaps during the last few months, the bass on Seminole haven’t been forced to group up and wait to spawn in waves following warming trends. Instead, it's been a free-for-all.

“The fish on Seminole tend to spawn closer to March in a normal year, or at least the majority of them do,” says JT Kenney, who holds a pair of top 10s on Seminole in FLW Series competition. “With the warm winter we have had I know that there have been fish spawning periodically since January. There are beds all over the place, but I haven’t really seen any fish on them. I haven’t even seen any fry.”

Kenney notes that while he made an effort during practice to look for spawners with little success, he doesn’t doubt that there will be fish caught off of beds during the tournament.

Another thing going against finding any spawning fish is the cold front that is rolling through as of this morning. Temperatures have been in the 80s for the last week or so with south winds, but for the next few days the wind is forecasted to blow out of the north, and the highs will only reach into the mid-60s.

The positive thing about the fishing on Seminole right now is that there are still plenty of prespawn and postspawn bass that should be grouped up on the outer edge of the grass. Given that the second day after a front is usually the toughest, that means today is the perfect opportunity for anglers to try and get off on the right foot before the challenge increases later in the tournament.

 

Tactics in play

For the pros who found some spawning fish during practice the usual suspects will be in play in terms of baits, with drop-shots and Texas-rigged plastics getting the most attention.

Swimbaits, vibrating jigs, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits should also see a lot of action this week in order to help the pros dissect acres of hydrilla and stumps. Basically, pros can pick their favorite shallow-water technique and go have fun.

 

Critical factors

  • Pressure – Seminole has plenty of fishy-looking water, but with a field of this size the lake shrinks immensely. Being able to manage spots will be crucial in this tournament.
  • Weather – With winds blowing out of the south throughout practice but switching to the north for the tournament it will likely dirty the water up for guys who found spawning fish protected from the previous south winds. Add in the lower temperatures and it no doubt will throw a curveball to the competitors. Adapting and adjusting day by day should help carry someone to the top of the leaderboard by day three.

 

Dock talk

Unnecessarily griping about how tough the bite is before a tournament is almost standard issue, and this tournament is no different.

“I heard from guys I know and people I’d never met before during the registration meeting about how good the fishing was last week down here,” Kenney explains. “Then, Saturday evening the water level on the lake was dropped about a foot and a half. You could see it on the dock pilings the next day when I got out for practice. After that things got tougher.

“Though it is tough, I think there are prespawn fish to be caught on the edge of the grass in, say, 6 to 8 feet of water. There will be some good bags caught today, and, honestly, I’m excited to see how people catch them.”

 

Tournament Details

Format: All 215 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7 a.m. ET

Takeoff Location: Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin, located at 100 Boat Basin Circle

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m.; Day 3 at 4 p.m.

Weigh-In Location: Days 1 and 2 – Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin; Day 3 – Walmart at 500 E. Alice St. in Bainbridge

Complete details

Tags: costa-flw-series  southeastern-division  lake-seminole  kyle-wood  morning-story  2017-03-02-lake-seminole 

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