Those anglers vying for the coveted North Central Region spot at the B.A.S.S. Nation Divisional Tournament found tough conditions faced them at Tournament stop #1 – Lake Austin, and even tougher the next day at Tournament Stop #2 – Lake Belton. A massive cold front hit the area hard on Friday, with winds gusting up to 30 mph, made it difficult to locate those fish on beds at Lake Austin the next day. Some anglers found limited success, however, the overall weights that had been highly expected, were down considerably. Gary Martin, with the HOT Bass Assassins (Waco area) came out on top with a big fish weighing in at 9.15 lbs, which pushed his five bass tournament limit to an overall 18.02 lbs. Bryon Albrecht with the HOT Bass Assassins came in 2nd with a five bass limit weighing 15.33 lbs. Most anglers reported that the bite was off considerably and that the conditions were tough for the day. Some reported having success fishing shallow with a variety of baits, and catching a lot of small non-keeper fish.
The next day, Anglers were met at Lake Belton with still “brisk” conditions and wind, however, a warming trend did develop later in the day. Early reports indicated that some fish could be caught shallow in isolated areas, and that a decent cranking bite was coming along. Anglers hit the water to find that those fish were definitely in an “off” mood, and bites were limited during the tournament period. Most anglers reported slow fishing, and those that found success indicated that the fish became more active later in the day. Fish were caught with cranks, T-rigs, C-rigs, shaky heads, and jigs. One angler that finished in the money, indicated that he didn’t have a keeper at 1:30 pm, but action heated up for him in the next two hours. Ray Ramon with the Texas Anglers (Copperas Cove area) did land a real nice smallmouth which weighed 3.81 pounds. Most of the other fish that came through the weigh-in were largemouth bass, and leading the way was Bryon Albrecht with the HOT Bass Assassins, with a five bass tournament limit weighing 12.61 lbs, and the overall big fish which weighed 5.18 lbs. Following a close second was Tony McBride with the HOT Bass Assassins, which weighed 11.43 lbs.
Overall, everyone enjoyed the tournaments and the increased participation this year. The next event is scheduled on April 7, 2013 at Lake Waco, with take-off at safe light from the Twin Bridges ramp location. Lake Waco is a regional favorite lake for many anglers with five fish tournament bags exceeding 20lbs occurring frequently. The goal of reaching the 2013 Championship event is within the grasp of all anglers, so come on out and get in on the excitement that is already brewing.
North Central Region Director
Texas B.A.S.S. Nation