Preuette and Blackett are targeting fish in junk mats next to the bank. These mats consist of leaves and twigs mostly that floated up from the forest floor due to the flood waters. The key here though is next to the bank. There are very few places on the river right now where you can fish an actual bank. Most places theirs a hard edge of trees with water extending back in to them a couple hundred feet. With a little extra effort, ULM can skip a soft plastic bait back into the trees here and actually target fish sitting under these mats along the bank.
Caught up with Day 1 leaders ULM as they were making their way into their second stop of the morning. After a 30 minute run upriver I was just nearing the mouth of the backwater they told me they'd be in when they came scooting by. Lucky that they did because I would have never found them otherwise. Basically we just idled through a forest, over a concrete barrier and then popped out into a lake that I had no idea existed.
Day 1 of the Central Regional was more of a game of "who can leap the high-water hurdle" -- and the team who managed it best was that of Preuett and Blackett.
Images from Day 1 weigh-in of the 2014 Carhartt College Central B.A.S.S. Regional on the Ouachita River.
Not exactly what you want to find on the other end of your line! (Photo by Drew Porto)
We take you out on the water to see how the anglers adapt to a high and muddy Ouachita River.
So far I've covered 15 miles of river and I've stuck my head in a few backwaters. I've only seen 3 boats and zero fish. Looks like a lot of teams made a long run.
Here we are on the beautiful Ouachita River for the Carhartt College Series Central Regional. Due to heavy rainfall, the river has burst out of its banks and is rolling along over 10 feet higher than its normal pool. Muddy, cold, swift water isn't exactly ideal when targeting bass so these college anglers definitely have their work cut out for them.