GRAFORD, Texas — For just the second time in its young history, the Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX will head to Possum Kingdom Lake June 3-4 — and while Texas angler Mark Pendergraf thinks the bass might be in a postspawn funk when they arrive, anglers will still have the opportunity to catch big bass.
Located east of Fort Worth, Possum Kingdom flies under the radar compared to some of the other powerhouse lakes in Texas. But, as kayak anglers proved during the 2021 National Championship that Pendergraf won, Possum Kingdom has impressive numbers of lunker bass.
This will be the third of five regular-season Kayak Series events in 2023, and anglers will be competing for Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year points as well as a spot in the 2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series National Championship.
Those who fished the 2021 Championship will likely have to come up with a different strategy for this event, as that tournament was fished under high-water conditions.
Overall, Possum Kingdom is a rocky reservoir and it features all three major species of black bass. Largemouth, however, are the only species likely to help anglers win tournaments.
Compared to other reservoirs in Texas, the Brazos River impoundment is much deeper. That means the bass tend to spawn later in the year, and when kayak anglers arrive for tournament competition, they will find the lake in transition from spawn to summer patterns.
“It will be about the secondary points and docks. We are looking at the transition into the postspawn,” Pendergraf said. “There are tons of creek channels with secondary points they will stack up on and they will stack up on the boathouses on the main channel. They will be everywhere.”
With only a little bit of vegetation, the bass will mostly be set up on hard cover like docks, standing timber, bluffs and rock. As more of a postspawn event — and with different water conditions — Pendergraf anticipates the bass to be more spread out than during the 2021 event.
“The bass will still stage in the usual spots, but there won’t be the piles of fish like I and a couple of other people ran into,” Pendergraf said. “There (likely) won’t be flooding and they won’t have to tuck up under things.”
Many of the bass will be targeting gizzard shad. Those shad could be spawning depending on how the weather is trending.
Big, ribbon-tailed worms are a popular choice that time of year for anglers, as well as crankbaits and stickworms. Topwater baits like poppers will catch fish in the morning hours.
With 484 points after two regular-season events, Rus Snyders is leading the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year standings by just one point over Nick Dyer. 2022 Bassmaster Kayak Series national champion Eric Siddiqi and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg DiPalma are both sitting in third place with 481 points.
The event will follow a catch-measure-release format. The live leaderboard can be found on Bassmaster.com throughout the tournament with the awards streaming live on the Bassmaster YouTube channel June 4 at 4 p.m. CT.
The tournament is being hosted by the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.