Lake Gaston hosted Leesville BASSMaster's 8th tournament of 2019, launching from the Steel Bridge ramp at the far western end of the lake. The temp was 65 at blast-off, rising to an unseasonably cool 73 degrees by weigh-in with solid clouds, scattered, intermittent light rain, and a steady, sometimes gusty north-northeast wind. The day's conditions kept most pleasure boats and jet skis off the water for the majority of the day, which was a pleasant change for a typical August day on Gaston. Water temps ranged from 78 to 82 degrees.
All but one of our anglers brought fish to the scales today. After all fish were weighed, Leesville rookie Gray Williams chalked up a strong first win with a five fish limit of 13.89# after being the runner-up in the previous two tournaments. Second place went to Mark Cannon (5 fish, 9.22#) who also took big fish honors with a 5.02# chunk, and just squeaked past Mike Heitzman (5 fish, 9.21#) in third place by one-hundredth of a pound!
Our next stop takes us to grassy, gin-clear Mayo Lake on September 21. We're expecting the bass will be following the shad as the cooling water temps draw them toward the backs of the creeks and cuts. Mayo should provide the perfect backdrop to our first tournament of the fall, and we're looking forward to some full sacks of bass.
Roanoke Rapids Lake hosted Leesville BASSMaster's seventh tournament of the 2019 season, with temps in the low 70s at blastoff, rising to the low 90s at weigh-in with a heat index over 100. Water temps were in the upper 70s to low-mid 80s. Dominion Power began releasing water from Lake Gaston into RoRap around 9AM, and the flow continued until weigh-in time.
All but one of our anglers brought fish to the scales. When all fish had been weighed, Duke Bevard scored his second win in 2019 with a five fish limit of 11.17 lbs. Following in 2nd place was Leesville rookie Gray Williams (5 fish, 8.41 lbs), and Wes House in 3rd (2 fish, 6.70 lbs). Wes also took big fish with a 4.99 lbs chunk, his fourth big fish win of the season. Duke caught most of his fish after the water started flowing, keying in on surface boils near weedline edges signaling underwater cover deflecting the current. A weightless wacky worm cast upstream and drifted past the underlying cover did the trick.
We're back to Lake Gaston on August 24 for the next stop on the second half of the 2019 season, launching from the Steel Bridge ramp. The upper part of Gaston usually provides some good summertime action, especially if the Corps releases water during the day, and we're looking forward to another great day on the water.
Leesville BASSMasters launched from Stonehouse Creek at Lake Gaston for our sixth tournament of the season. Temps were in the low 50s at launch rising to around 80 at weigh-in. We had partly to mostly sunny skies and water temps in the mid 70s. A brisk breeze made running on some portions of the main lake a little sporty, and as a result, many of the jet skis and water skiers were pushed back into the creeks.
All of our anglers brought fish to the scales today, and quite a few were spotted bass. After all of the sacks had been weighed, Wes House captured his second win of the season with a five fish limit weighing 8.91 lbs, anchored by a 3.64 lbs which also took big fish for the day. Following closely behind in 2nd was Leesville rookie Gray Williams (5 fish, 8.48 lbs). Duke Bevard rounded out the Top 3 in 3rd (5 fish, 7.56 lbs).
With the first half of our 2019 season completed, Wes House leads the field in 1st place, followed by Mark Cannon and Duke Bevard, but we still have a lot of water remaining to fish. The second half of our 2019 trail leads off at Roanoke Rapids Lake near Thelma, NC on July 13. RoRap is one of the few major lakes in the area that still has a healthy crop of grass, and we're looking forward to pulling some nice sacks out of the salad.
Leesville BASSMasters arrived at the Upper Barton’s ramp at Falls Lake for our fifth tournament of the 2019 season. Falls was just short of normal pool with water temps in the mid 80’s. The air temp was a very comfortable, almost chilly 62 degrees at blast-off, a nice change given the muggy overnight lows in the upper 60s to low 70s and daytime temps near 100 in the days leading up to the tournament. By the time we arrived back at the ramp to weigh-in, temps had climbed to around 80.
The Piedmont trail’s final qualifier of the year was fishing out of the Ledge Rock ramp at the northern end of the lake. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of fishing pressure and Falls Lake’s famous summertime boat traffic increased throughout the day as the jet skiers and pleasure boaters finally got out of bed around 10AM.
All of our anglers caught weighable fish during the day. When all the fish were brought to the scales, Mark Cannon chalked up his third win of the season with a five fish limit of 9.07 lbs. Wes House followed in 2nd place (3 fish, 6.74 lbs) and Duke Bevard took 3rd (3 fish, 5.94 lbs). Big Fish honors for the day went to Mike “Coppertone” Lee’s 3.32 lb anchor fish.
Our next tournament takes us to Lake Gaston on June 15, and marks the midpoint for the 2019 season. Docks with deep water nearby should play big at Gaston this time of year, with other offshore structure coming into play, especially if Dominion is pulling water
Leesville BASSMasters fished our fourth tournament at Jordan Lake near Apex, NC. Temps were in the mid 60s at blast off with partly cloudy skies, rising to the upper 70s by weigh-in with mostly cloudy skies. Water temps were in the low 70s. While rain was forecast, it held off for the day with sprinkles just starting to show up when we left for home.
All but one of our anglers brought fish to the scales today. After all fish had been weighed in, Mark Cannon chalked up his second win for the 2019 season with a five fish limit of 12.20 lbs. Following in second was Wes House (5 fish, 10.04 lbs) and Mike "Polecat" Pelchat (3 fish, 9.33 lbs) took third. Polecat also took big fish honors for the day with a 6.92 lbs tank, which regrettably arrived to the scales DOA. However, the big girl won't be going to waste...Polecat took her home for a swim in the hot grease jacuzzi.
Our next tournament takes us to Falls Lake on June 1. The fish at Falls should be emerging from the post-spawn and transitioning toward their typical summertime haunts. Falls also marks our transition from a 3PM to 2PM weigh-in during the summer months.