A Professional's Approach: Byron Velvick On Falcon Lake

Byron Velvick on Falcon Lake

 

Lone Star Shootout follow-up: What happened with Velvick?

 "It's out of control down here. I've never seen anything like it in all the time I've been bass fishing," says Byron Velvick, Elite Series angler, struggling to contain his enthusiasm. "Guys are whacking them shallow, deep and everywhere in between. They're big, too. There's no telling where this one will go.""Down here" is giant bass venue Falcon Lake. Located near Zapata, Texas, near our border with Mexico and site of the 2008 Lone Star Shootout, the 78,000-acre Rio Grande impoundment is reputed to be a better bass fishery than its upstream sibling, Lake Amistad, where 100 pounds is just a pretty good catch over four tournament days.Velvick reports that prefishing is so good it's hard to know where to start or exactly how to fish the tournament. "I've talked to several other guys, and the reports are basically beyond belief. Guys are routinely catching upwards of 35 pounds per day. And, they're doing it in water 2 feet deep and 25 feet deep There's no rhyme or reason to it. These postspawn bass are everywhere and they aren't picky. They'll eat darn near anything you throw. If that sounds extraordinary — maybe too good to be true — consider that one of Velvick's fellow anglers boated five bass that weighed 52 pounds on Monday."I wouldn't have believed it except that the guy who caught them is a straight shooter. When he says something, it's true. I know it happened. I can't tell you who he is because he wants to maintain his privacy, but if I did you'd know it was right."Asked for a winning weight prediction Velvick says that it'll take at least 44 pounds just to make the first cut on Friday evening. And, he theorizes at least six anglers will launch on Sunday morning — the final day — with over 100 pounds already on the board.

 How, you ask? Well, Velvick says it'll be a product of the fishery and the anglers combined. "Falcon is full of 5 pound plus bass and they are hiding everywhere from shallow to deep and around all kinds of structure and cover."That'll create something that can't be duplicated anywhere else. Every Elite Series angler will be able to fish his strength. Guys who like a particular bait, at a particular depth, around a particular type of structure or cover will just be able to fish it. No one will be pushed into fishing their weakness. That'll create insane weights."Velvick flatly predicts that either the single-day total weight record or the four-day total weight record will fall. "It's going to happen," he says. "I flipped an 11-pounder on Monday and then caught several big ones on Tuesday below 20 feet. I'm telling you, the records are history. This thing is going to get ugly."Like most anglers, however, Velvick tempers all this with a caveat, a "but" that creates some wiggle-room."Falcon is notorious for having high winds. If the wind kicks up to 30 or 40 mph it'll hold the weights down and my predictions will go out the window. Don't get me wrong; there will still be some very heavy sacks but just not in the record-setting class. It's too hard to travel and fish in that kind of wind."When he looks at his own prospects Velvick sees a good tournament. He admits to prefishing weights of more than 30 pounds per day and believes he has a solid game plan — one that will get him a check if not a victory."I plan to fish shallow early in the morning and then move deep with the fish as the day goes along. I'd think by late morning I'll be fishing middle depths, and then later in the day I'll be deep. But things change, you never know for sure until you launch."Beyond that I don't want to say much, especially about my lure choices. I'd prefer to keep that to myself for now. But on Sunday, after the tournament is over, I'll tell you all about it."

 

Lone Star Shootout follow-up: What happened with Velvick?

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