2008 Elite Series - Lone Star Shootout Falcon Lake - Zapata, TX, Apr 3 - 6, 2008

Just what is happening at Falcon Lake?

Byron Velvick

"I don't know what to say. Normally, I'm a pretty talkative person, but right now, I'm speechless."

 That's how Byron Velvick described his second day of competition on Falcon Reservoir, when he brought 41 pounds, 11 ounces to the scales, giving him a near unbelievable total of 76 pounds, 9 ounces.

 And he's not even leading the tournament.

 He's three pounds behind Aaron Martens, who brought 42 pounds to the scales during Thursday's opening round, and added 37 more today, and has a two-day total of 79-13.

 Even more amazing, Velvick and Martens are sharing the same spot, meaning it has produced more than 150 pounds of bass, plus what their non-boaters have taken — over 50 pounds -- and while their total area might be 200 yards wide, the absolute sweet spot they're both keying on is less than 30 yards across.

 No, Velvick isn't the only one who's speechless here. Everyone knew this would be a great tournament, but no one expected these kinds of numbers.

 "Post spawn fishing is all about location, location, location," noted Mark Davis, a three-time BASS Angler of the Year and former Classic winner, whose second day catch included an 11 pounder and three more over 6 pounds. He's in third with 68 pounds, 13 ounces.

 "The majority of these bass spawned here several weeks ago, have left the flats, and are now concentrating in different areas where they're also roaming and feeding heavily. These are pretty specific spots, normally, and it's easy to miss these types of fish, but when you do find the spot, the catches are pretty awesome, like we're seeing Aaron and Byron making."

At the same time, there are also a few pre-spawn and spawning bass, as well, and while many are in shallow brush where the flipping pros can catch them, some of the pre-spawners are actually out with the post-spawners. Davis, who isn't flipping shallow brush, brought in his 11 pounder, Martens had a 9-7, and Velvick caught a 10-10 today.

All three pros are reporting catching more than 50 bass a day en route to their heavy weights, although some, like Kelly Jordon, who brought in 34-1, caught their fish quickly. Jordon had 25 pounds in the boat in his first seven casts, and that does not include the 9-15 he added later.

"It can be very precise casting, because the bass are so bunched up," added Paul Elias, who brought in 39-1 today, including a 9-13 and sits in fourth with 67-6. He had more than 25 pounds of those fish in less than an hour.

"On my depthfinder I can see V's moving across the screen, and at first I thought they were some other fish, but I threw out a drop shot and caught one," said Martens. "It was a four pound bass. All the V's were bass.

"They're just cruising and feeding, which they do after spawning. I have also noticed huge balls of baitfish in the water, as well as some of the biggest crawfish I've ever seen. These fish have plenty to eat, and we're here just when they really want to start eating again after the spawn."

Falcon has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the finest bass lakes in Texas, but that reputation has also been tarnished at times by the lake's water fluctuation, caused by having to share the water with Mexico's agricultural industry as well as by regional drought conditions.

 Today the lake is 21 feet below full pool; if it drops nine more feet, virtually all the boat ramps — and there aren't many here — will be unusable. That has happened several times in recent years, and sometimes Falcon will stay low for months.

While the spring drawdowns by Mexico have not helped the fishery — many beds get left high and dry because the drawdowns occur quickly -- those fish that have survived have not had heavy fishing pressure. There is an enormous population of bass in this 83,000 acre reservoir.

 Today's low water conditions may be helping the pros in that it has pulled bass out to the specific structure features Martens, Velvick, Elias, and some of the others have found.

 Like Davis said, post spawn bass fishing is all about location, and that's exactly what is happening this week at Falcon, and it's why pros like Velvick can hardly believe what they have found.

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