BASSMASTER CLASSIC DRAWS HUGE CROWDS
Both the Houston Boat Show and the Holder Fishing Show are much anticipated by both fresh and saltwater fishermen all across the state, but this past weekend bass fishing alone ruled as the Bassmaster Classic was front and center from downtown Houston to Lake Conroe Park.
Larry Cole said, “We attended Friday and Sunday and never ran out of something to see or do.I thought the trip from the Park to downtown Houston was going to be a nightmare, but Hwy. 105 proved to be the most problematic.Not so much the traffic as the fact that we had to darn near park in another county!”
Jordan Lee, a 25-year old Alabama pro camped out on a single point all day long on Sunday and milked it for a whopping 27 pounds 4 ounces.The huge catch enabled him to catch and pass two day leader, Brent Ehler, on his way to the most coveted trophy on the circuit and a $300,000 payday.His winning total was 56 pounds-10 ounces. That number will continue to grow very quickly, however, thanks to new sponsors, speaking engagements, etc.
Lee said that he found his school of big bass stacked on a nondescript point with no specific structure to target.He fished several different lures, but caught every bass the final day with a football jig. As it turned out, his decision to fish that one point from start to finish was his only option as he broke down and had to be towed into the weigh-in.
While Lee’s 27-pound catch was especially impressive considering the pressure, there was a time when Lake Conroe consistently churned out eye-popping bass. I fished there several times in the early 80’swith Dr. John Lee, a very good friend and fantastic fisherman and it was even better than advertised.
I caught more bass over eight pounds on the first trip than I had caught in ten years of guiding on Toledo Bend.The second time we fished together we had ten bass that weighed 76 pounds and John had two fish that pushed the ten pound mark!
We fished only at night and those bass just loved an eight inch lizard crawled through the hydrilla. Ironically enough, that same grass very quickly choked off too much of the lake and homeowner associations panicked. The solution to their problem was the introduction of white carp and they did indeed eat the grass……all of it.Addicted bass fishermen were forced to target docks and man- made brush piles, but the user-friendly big bass bite was history.John moved on to Houston County Lake and Lake Fork and I returned to Toledo Bend. To this day, I can’t believe those carp ate all of that grass.
Earlier this year our bayous, back lakes and cuts off the river were almost completely choked off with water hyacinth and some giant salvinia as well.Because giant salvinia sucks up water, disipates the oxygen supply and chokes off sunlight, it can quickly ruin a shallow marsh lake.
Massive spraying efforts by the Parks and Wildlife quickly killed acres of the floating hyacinth, but the salvinia in the back lakes continued to grow.Enter the South America weevil. Introduced by the TPWD, the weevils went to work and made short work of the invasive plant in several controlled areas.
It takes a lot of weevils to eliminate a single acre of salvinia and there is still a lot to learn about the long term helpful qualities of the little critters.What is their life expectancy, what effect does weather have on them and what will they eat next after they have eaten all of the giant salvinia?
Thus far, they have proven to be good at what they do in smaller shallow lakes, but the challenge may be too daunting for the tiny rascals in the deeper massive impoundments like Rayburn and Toledo Bend.Not unlike hydrilla, salvinia can be introduced to other bodies of water via the bottoms of watercraft.
Defeating this invasive plant is not over until its over!
Jonathan Simon and the folks over at Simon Outfitters will host a team tournament this Saturday, April 1^st , out of the Orange public launch located on Simmons Drive.Fifty percent of the entry fees will go to children that cannot afford “back to school” supplies.The entry fee is $100 per team.
You can pre-register at the store on MacArthur Drive or on sight at the launch Saturday morning.Nice weather has been forecasted and it will be a good tune-up for the popular Tuesday Evening River Tournament series starting April 4^th .