Blaylock bed fishing

“The goal is to catch five 6-pounders,” said Stetson Blaylock after boating a solid Lake Fork bass.

The Arkansan is bouncing around from one bedding bass to another. Moments after boating his fifth keeper, he idled over to a fish that he described as a giant.

Early this morning, Bill Lowen started in the same area as Blaylock but just left.

Blaylock is one of the best sight fisherman on the Elite Series, so expect him to have plenty of fish located.

'I can break his record'

“Dean Rojas had better watch out, because I think his record could be broken this week. I know I could’ve done it the first day of practice.”

And with that, Drew Cook made a comment that could likely happen, whether it's him or not. Wave upon wave of spawners are moving inward. The conditions are at their best for Rojas' record to fall.

For the record, Rojas brought in the heaviest five-bass limit in B.A.S.S. history. His catch weighed 45 pounds, 2 ounces. The record was set at Lake Toho on Jan. 17, 2001.

Back to the present day, Cook is not necessarily paying homage to Rojas. However his bait of choice, and the only lure he told me he plans to use, is a Big Bite Baits Dean Rojas Fighting Frog. With a twist.

Check out the photo taken this morning prior to the launch by James Overstreet. Cook is marinating his frogs in an unknown solution for added strike appeal. Will Cook chum up the fish to beat that record? We shall see.

Feider moves to the beds

Seth Feider was among a group of anglers taking advantage of the shad spawn. The group rotated across rocky shorelines and points where the spawn was occurring.

Now, the group has dispersed and Feider is fishing for bedding bass, a sure sign of things to come.

 

A fat fish: 7-2 weight, 21-inch length

Remember, the anglers can bring only one bass to the weigh-in this afternoon. It must be at least 24 inches long. Brandon Cobb caught a bass at 7:20 that exemplifies just how healthy the bass population is in Lake Fork. He landed a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth that measured “only” 21 inches long.

When Cobb won here in 2019, his winning weight of 114-0 included the big bag of the tournament of 37-15. Cobb and Patrick Walters are on an early pace to top 30 pounds with a five-bass limit today. Cobb has two that total 13-7. Walters has two that total 14-3.

Lester all smiles with 6-3 start

If you’re following this event, either through the BassTrakk Twitter feed or on the BassTrakk scoreboard, you’ve already seen proof of what an explosive tournament this promises to be. Brandon Lester was all smiles when he landed this 6-pound, 3-ounce largemouth just after 7 a.m. There were already numerous 6-pounds-plus bass on the scoreboard at 7:15, topped by Caleb Kuphall’s 7-4.

Shad spawn!

Seth Feider just confirmed what many of the anglers told me yesterday when Andy Crawford and myself were doing Dock Talk.

A shad spawn is underway, which quite literally adds fuel to the fire of what is a full spawning cycle underway. As the shad spawn, those baitfish will be fed upon by hungry prespawners moving toward the beds.

Later this morning I will be out on the lake flying our drone. Hopefully, I can capture some of this hot action in the shallows with everyone with the gallery.

Here we go! Walters lands 7-1

The expected fireworks at Lake Fork have officially begun. Brandon Cobb and Patrick Walters have won the two Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments held here the last two years. Cobb began his day with a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass, and Walters topped it minutes later with a 7-1.

“My hands are shaking,” Walters said.

Cobbs’ winning weight in May 2019 was 114-0. Walters won in a runaway last November with 104-12. New Bassmaster century belts, for every angler topping 100 pounds, will undoubtedly be ordered after this week.

Cobb on the board with a 6-5

Brandon Cobb has been pleasantly surprised already this morning. He landed a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass right at the 7 o’clock hour on a topwater lure.

“That’s crazy because this hasn’t been working all week,” Cobb said.

The bass gave Cobb a battle. “That’s the hardest fighting fish I think I’ve ever caught,” he said as he was reeling it back to the boat. “It’s not that huge.” When a 6-5 is “not that huge” you know you’re on a special lake.

Fun to fish, interesting to watch

An Elite Series tournament at Lake Fork requires a special format. And every aspect of this tournament this particular week promises to be special. As Patrick Walters said yesterday, “It’s going to be fun to fish and interesting to watch.”

The uniqueness of this event begins with the fact that there will be judges, not marshals, in all 99 anglers’ boats. Judges will officially weigh each bass caught, record it and release it. Therefore, BassTrakk will be, for once, an accurate gauge of the tournament standings throughout the day. An angler can bring only one bass to the weigh-in, and it must be a minimum 24 inches long.

Adding to the fun is the fact that we’re in the middle of possibly the height of the spawn on Lake Fork. As Keith Combs noted yesterday, a shad spawn has increased in intensity throughout the week, but bass are ignoring them, so far. “Lucky shad,” Combs said. “They get to spawn and nothing is bothering them. (Bass) just don’t have eating on their minds right now.”

So this promises to be a master class in how to fish for bedding bass.

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