Heating up for Horne

If timing is everything, as it oftentimes is in tournaments, the time might be coming for Harvey Horne to seal the deal.

Overnight temperatures were warmer than any other night thus far due to the approaching weather front. The warm spell has apparently triggered a wave of spawning fish into Horne’s area, which features gravel bottom conducive to making beds.

The report from photographer Gettys Brannon is that Horne is coaxing a pair of bedding 4-pounders into biting. He believes those are the males preparing the beds for what could be the incoming, bigger females.

Stay tuned, this could get fun for Horne, and especially should he catch those fish before the weather turns nasty.

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Leader Harvey Horne on spot

Photographer Gettys Brannon is on leader Harvey Horne, so look for his on-the-water gallery later today. 

It is no secret that Horne, like many anglers, is targeting backwater areas in search of spawning fish. This week that can be a gamble that is worth the risk. The reason is the bass are in prespawn mode and are on the move toward the beds. Timing is everything and Horne hopes to intercept migrating bass as they pass through his area.

Horne has found the best of scenario of them all in his chosen area. It’s a backwater bayou with a gravel bottom, which is prime habitat for the bass to make their spawning beds. What is more, the water is prone to warming up faster due to the hard bottom, another plus for attracting spawning bass. Finally, and really important this week, is the area is protected from the wind. 

Horne is intent on waiting things out in anticipation of bass moving into his area. That is a wise move if you thing about it. Waiting on the come is much better than being in chase mode, spending time running around seeking bass that might never show.
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Fire, wind and bass

Throughout practice the anglers have battled the wind, which is a normality in these parts during April. Earlier in the week sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts to over 30 whipped the river into a muddy froth. While these Okie bass might be used to such conditions the anglers were hindered with the basics of boat control. Even so, photos submitted by anglers to the blog prove the fish are in spawning mode. 

Two factors coming up in the next few days could spell even better news for the fishing. The wind has subsided, by Oklahoma standards, and that will help improve water clarity, boat control and navigation. Second, daytime temps are forecast to rise each day. Low 60s are forecast today with the mid 60s in the mix for Friday. Warmer water and sunshine will help motivate spawners to move into place, making them easier to find and hopefully catch. 

Another battle is being waged on shore. Evidence of just how windy it’s been here is with the Rhea Fire, a “megafire” that has burned more than 260,000 acres since last week. It’s nearly contained but there are hotshot crews from as far away as Florida on hand to pitch in. This morning at breakfast in the hotel I met some of those guys, many of whom are bass fishermen. 

Let’s hope the fires go out and the bass fishing heats up.