Louisiana South to battle in the bayou
ATHENS, Ala. – The Louisiana South Division 13 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will open its 2014 season Feb. 1 in the Bayou Black area near Gibson, La.
The competitors will run out of Bob`s Bayou Black Marina, located at 251 Marina Drive in Gibson, beginning at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Jan. 31, 2014. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=823. To enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co-anglers paying $100. In addition, ABA members enjoy these other these other benefits:
- No more dual membership to fish the Weekend Bass Series.
- No more credit card processing fees for tournament entries.
- Liability insurance requirements have been reduced to an acceptable level for weekend anglers.
- Increased payback at divisional events from 20 percent of the field to 25 percent of the field.
Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Anglers competing in this tournament will need a Louisiana fishing license. For Louisiana fishing license information, see www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses/fishing or call 888-765-2602.
In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co-angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See www.americanbassanglers.com and click on "Contingency" for details on how to qualify for these bonuses.
At the end of the season, the best WBS anglers from across the nation will fish the 2014 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., from Nov. 15-18. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and possibly up to $50,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. The co-angler champion will win $50,000 and possibly up to $25,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money.
As a special Ray Scott Championship bonus, the Boater Division and Co-Angler Division champions will each receive entry fees and sponsorship into the one of two professional bass fishing series of the angler’s choice. The sponsorship includes entry fees into three professional events and sponsorship support. This sponsorship will put the champion within striking distance of one of two professional bass fishing championships.
The collective Louisiana Delta between the Atchafalaya River and the Mississippi River ranks Number 59 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. In the Louisiana Delta, anglers can run for hundreds of miles by boat without covering the same water twice. Well known for producing abundant numbers of bass in the 1- to 3-pound range, the Louisiana Delta can also produce some bass in the 5- to 8-pound range with an occasional larger fish.
The Atchafalaya River siphons off 30 percent of the flow from the Mississippi River and creates the Atchafalaya Basin and it flows toward the Gulf of Mexico. To the north, the longest river swamp in the nation spreads over more than one million acres of natural lakes, cypress-lined bayous, canals and swamps. At the southern end near Morgan City, the 14,000-acre Lake Verret connects to the 11,500-acre Lake Palourde and the 1,024-acre Grassy Lake through a labyrinth of canals and bayous.
The Intracoastal Waterway links the marshes of southern Louisiana from west to east. Via the Intracoastal Waterway, anglers can reach the 44,800-acre Lake Salvador, 9,280-acre Lake Cataouatche and 12,000-acre Lac des Allemands, which all connect to each other southwest of New Orleans. The Davis Pond diversion project near Luling, La., helps freshen the water in the brackish coastal marshes. The project pumps fresh Mississippi River water into Lake Cataouatche.
In February 2011, Kevin VanDam won his fourth Bassmaster Classic while fishing a stumpy area on the west side of Lake Cataouatche. Using chartreuse and white Strike King spinnerbaits and shallow-running chartreuse and black crankbaits, VanDam set a Classic record with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 69 pounds, 11 ounces for a 4.65-pound average.
During a Feb. 2, 2013, ABA tournament out of Bob’s Bayou Black Marina, Luke Fears of Morgan City, La., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 10.83 pounds including a 3.62-pound kicker. Fears caught most of his fish by punching through matted vegetation in two to five feet of water with a baby craw in Bama bug red color attached to a 1/2-ounce tungsten weight. Randy Rader of Morgan City topped the Boater Division lunker list with a 4.16-pounder.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Caleb Sumrall of Broussard, La., landed a three-fish division limit going 6.76 pounds. He caught his fish on a 7/16-ounce jig in peanut butter and jelly with a Rage crawtail and a junebug lizard on a 1/2-ounce tungsten weight fished in about eight feet of water. Kirk Goodwin of Independence won the tournament lunker contest with a 5.25-pound bucketmouth.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at 318-201-3474 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Weekend Bass Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.