IB Hooked - April 20, 2007
Lake Fork: Ya’ll might wonder why I’m writin’ about bass fishin’ this week, it’s cuz I’m tired havin’ to write about marine fishery management crap. And I spect’ that our distribution wizard Victor has the rag paperin’ some good bass haunts up the valley. One piece of advice for you rasaca bass busters, even if the critters don’t glow in the dark don’t eat the beggers unless you’re infested with boll weavels or chinch bugs or some weird kind of lice ya can’t fish with.
As it is, I blew town at an invite to cover the Toyota Texas Bass Classic in my ol’ stompin’ grounds and boy I want to tell ya’ll, the DPS were thicker than flies around a seasoned cow patty. After the storms we had Friday evening they’ll probably be stakin’ them suckers out when we all depart cuz they’ve got the manpower for some hellacious surveillance.
The host of this shindig is an upstart .org called the Professional Anglers Association founded by a bunch of disgruntled pro bassers, they were moanin’ about the fact that the pro bass circuit is one of the only big money tours where ya gotta pony up some serious dinero just to enter and you ain’t guaranteed nada, not even a cheap go juice card.
Enter Gene Ellison from New England of all places, he cobbles together some deep pocket sponsors like Toyota and Enterprise Rent-A-Car to name but a few and then he sits down with Dan Friedkin and Donato Ramos, both sittin’ commissioners on the TP&W board. From there things got down right surreal per some staff biologists whom ya’ll don’t need to know.
Until the emergence of California as a monster bass fishery, Lake Fork was Mecca for those lookin’ for a shot at a 12-pound largemouth. The reason for this is that Lake Fork was designed for this purpose in the most politically incorrect manner imaginable by today’s “enlightened” standards. The lake had it’s Genesis well outside the view of the Great Unwashed or anybody else not high up the chain of the Sabine River Authority or in the chain of some well healed Texas “investors” with sportin’ blood and East Texas interests. A very quiet experiment had been goin’ on from the latter sixties to the early seventies with Florida strain bass imported to Tejas under the cover of darkness and with the wink-wink approval Parks & Wildlife in private “Club” lakes. The boyz with surface interests around Fork Creek started buildin’ berms in 25-100 acre plots on the bottoms and diverted water to fill’um. Then came the brood stock that, to make this short, were introduced along with forage and left alone for about a dozen years to do their thing until the ponds were inundated. The rest as they say is history and by the way, the only reason that the left coast has bigger bass is cuz they feed’um high protein trout that wont live in the warm waters of Fork.
Sorry for the tangent but I felt it necessary. Soooo, the guyz sit down and chat about why the most storied bass lake in the world, if you ask the Japs, had never hosted a professional tournament. The reason is the 16-24 inch slot limit, so they start considerin’ usin’ an IGFA certified observer format for the 40 four man teams that’ll fish and cut a deal. All fish under 2-foot will be weighed and released at boat side, the big girls’ll come to the stage so the crowd can coo at’um. Damn, I’ve run out of room. TBCNW.
Cut line- Terry Scroggins from Palaka, Florida raises the crystal challis and cut up a quarter mil with his padnuhs; Chris Daves Hopewell, VA. Frank Ippoliti Smithsburg, MD and Frank Niggemeyer from Van, Texas. They won with 244 pounds 12 oz. I got everything crossed includin’ my privates hopin’ to see the Texas Clipper head to the bottom off the East Bank next week.