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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started pre-fishing for Bass Champs. It was really tough out there. It was great weather all weekend but bad fishing. I only managed two keepers on each day. I felt like I was on Travis with all the 13 and half inch fish.

Don't have to give any details but did anybody else do any good? I am just curious how bad I sucked out there this weekend.
 

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FISHING IS HIT OR MISS OUT THERE, WE WERE THROWING A LOT OF DIFFERRENT BAITS, MAINLY JUNK FISHING. NOT MANY KEEPERS BUT SEVERAL UNDER SIZED FISH. A LOT OF FISH CAME OFF WORMS IN 15 TO 20 FEET. WE FISHED FROM THE DAM AREA TO COWHOUSE CREEK AREA, CAN'T GIVE EXACT LOCATION BECAUSE OF CHAMPS COMING UP. I DID SEE A HUSBAND AND WIFE COUPLE FISHING A POINT AND WATCHED HER BOAT A NICE 3LBER, NOT SURE IF IT WAS A BLACK OR A SMALLIE. DON'T GIVE UP OUT THERE, WHEN THE FISH ARE ON THEY ARE ON. :-X GOOD LUCK.
 

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Had a chance to go out as well on Sunday. Didn't get out till lunch but did better than expected. First three keepers I caught were a total of 7 1/4 lbs. and I thought I was on it. Did a lot of running and gunning and did manage a limit. But, the only problem was the last two were just swimmers. Lookin good and looking forward to Champs! Whoo hoo ;D sure it's all going to change but it's good to try and get ahead of 'um.
 

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ALWAYS DOES CHANGE, BUT SOMEONE WILL GET ON THEM SOME HOW. LIKE THAT GUY LAST FEBRUARY, HE SAID HE NEVER FISHED THE LAKE SO HE PICK SOME SPOTS OFF THE LAKE MAP AND WENT OUT AND FISHED THEM AND WON THE TOURNAMENT. WHAT LUCK, OR WAS IT SKILL, MUST BE A GOOD MAP READER TO DO THAT. GO CHECK OUT THE STORY HE POSTED ON CHAMPS FROM THE BELTON TOURNEY LAST FEB, YOU WILL GET A KICK OUT OF THAT.
 

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HERE IT IS CODY.

Mario Hernandez single handedly wins 1st place on Belton
By: Patty Lenderman


Mario Hernandez single handedly wins 1st place on Belton
by Patty Lenderman

22 degree temperatures
+ blue bird skies and high winds
+ rising lake levels
= one tough day on Lake Belton for 202 teams of Bass Champs Central Region anglers. Their morning began with ice on their boats and gear, then continued as they tried to get cold sluggish fish to bite. Although the weights may have been low, top money was paid out, totaling $55,750 in cash and prizes. Lone angler Mario Hernandez won 1st place and $20,000 with nearly a three pound margin!

This was the first tournament of the season February 3rd for the Central Region. It was a test of grit and tenacity to tough out the weather conditions and stick with it to find a bite. Only five limits were brought to the scales, and in 27 places paid it only took 5.08 pounds to grab a check.

Mario Hernandez fished by himself and won 1st place with only four fish. “I think what helped me the most today was a lot of pre-planning. I haven’t fished this lake much, so I asked some locals what the lake has been doing lately, and found out that the lake has come up about four feet recently. I also studied maps. I figured that if I were a fish, and the lake had just come up, I would want to venture to the fresh water areas with new vegetation. After a lot of studying, I marked several places on my map. Today, I took my plan to the water.” Using a shallow swimming Bandit Lure (3'-5') with a 7 ½ foot G Lumis rod, he headed to the freshly flooded banks. “I threw my lure right on the bank and slow rolled it back. Working it really slow, I’d twitch it here, twitch it there. By 10:30 I had my biggest fish in the boat and two others. Then the bite quit. I never gave up, never deviated from my plan. About 2:00, I got another bite at a tree line. I guess I got too excited and pulled the bait right out of its mouth. Finally, at 3:20 I caught my fourth and last fish. My goal was to make top 10 - I had no clue that I would win!” His winning weight was 12.60 lbs, and he was presented with a check for $20,000! “I’d like to thank South Austin Marine. They are really nice guys, and fixed my Skeeter boat with utmost professionalism.”

Jeff Epling had held 1st place with his 9.94 lb sack up until the last 15 minutes of the weigh in. “I was in being polygraphed when my weight was beaten. That’s alright, though - I still got a nice check!” He took home $5,000 for his three fish. “It started out real cold. There was ice on my boat.” Epling also fished by himself. “I didn’t have a single bite until 12:30. I was fishing main lake areas just like a lot of other guys, and they weren’t catching anything either. Finally, I decided I’d better make a move and do something different. I found a subtle rock ridge that no one else had been fishing. In 30 minutes, I caught all three of my fish.” The first two he caught on a Carolina rigged watermelon Lake Fork creature bait. The third was on a jig & pig. “I didn’t get to do any pre-fishing, so I had no expectations. I just wanted to catch enough to gain a few points in the standings. Once I had those three in the boat, I knew I’d be somewhere in the top 25. I had no idea I’d finish 2nd!”


The next Central Region tournament will be March 3rd at Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis. Don’t miss out! For more information, call 817-438-3274 or click to www.basschamps.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. Sounds like I have a lot of work to do. This weekend doesn't look like it's going to be very nice out either. It is what it is though. Maybe I will go out and try to "match the hatch". I will try like Mario and study the map really hard and take my plan to lake. I will let you guys know if I fair any better this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I went back to Belton and my day started out pretty tough. I thought it was going to be a disaster again, I was thinking that I should have stayed home and watched the Daytona 500, but I ended up finding a really good spot. I caught 9 keepers in one spot! I couldn't believe how they were stacked in there. I caught a lot more but only 9 keepers. My biggest was about 4.5 pounds but the others were good chunks. I took pics but I got to get them developed.......I need a digital camera. Did anybody else go out to Belton today?
 

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The Mr. and Mrs. Bass Club fished Belton on Sunday, Feb. 17.

First place had 5 fish, 10.?? pounds.

We had 4 pounds-something and only two fish. We fished early at the dam, then near Morgan's Creek and then near Cedar Ridge Creek campground.

Belton has never been too kind to us. That was the first time we ever brought fish to the weigh-in. My husband caught both of them. I can't seem to catch a cold lately!
 

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Pretty much all the lakes, but Lake Austin and power plant lakes are in the same zone of prespawn.  Fish the outside of the flats next to deep water and also cover the shallows as the males are starting to scout bedding spots.  If there isn't a flat on the map in the area then the bass will be on the point somewhere.  The longer points that extend out into the lake are going to hold better fish. Good luck.  Power finess, don't under estimate the power of a 1/4  or 1/8 oz spinnerbait on light floro line with a high speed reel.   ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry to hear about your bad luck H2O. I started fishing mid lake in Cedar Ridge but I didn't catch anything until I got more towards the dam. My spot I found was between the dam and Temple Park (I think that is as close as I will get you since Bass Champs is coming) Thanks for report Gizmosmom. 10 lbs sounds good out there right now. I think I just got lucky on Sunday, I bet my best 5 out of that spot would have gone about 13 lbs. Of course I will be out there again this weekend. I bet it's going to be crowded this coming weekend, supposed to be nice weather. :D

Oh, and good luck at Amistad H2O, let us know how you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ctRe: Belton

How did you do at Amistad H2O? Did you make it back out to Belton on Sunday?

I went Saturday and Sunday to see if things were still working for me. Unfortunately they weren't. My spot was empty. In fact, I only caught three keepers all weekend. I had to cover a lot of water to get those. I think it will be a tough tourney. I am thinking about 14-15 pounds to take champs. I will be lucky to cut a check though.
 

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Fished Amistad, came in 42nd spot with 15lbs and some change. Got back Saturday night, got a little sleep and woke up to hit Belton on Sunday. Tough day for me, on Belton, manage to catch a few keepers but nothing to brag about. I'm sure it was tough for everyone though. I think it will be about 10-12 lbs that wins this weekend at Champs. Needless to say it will be tough. I will say it will probably be won off main lake points with a rig or drop shot, just my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry you didn't do any better H2O, you'll get'em next time. I have to agree that Belton has been tough but 10-12 poundsto win champs is hard to beleive. Somebody always seems to wack them good on tourney day. Always makes me mad when I can't catch anything and somebody else is catching fish like crazy! I still think 14-15 pounds will take it. :D
 
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