17 pounds a day possible on Dardanelle

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The B.A.S.S. Nation’s best anglers will face a difficult test trying to pinpoint transitioning bass at Lake Dardanelle during the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, Oct. 24-26.

“That is really not fall then in Arkansas,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kevin Short, who calls Arkansas home. He said he believes Dardanelle bass will be between the stages of late summer and early fall, which could make fishing tough.

However, Short foresees a bright spot for the championship contenders. “The lake is probably fishing better than I have seen it for at least 15 years,” said Short, who noted the lake was hit hard by the largemouth bass virus, also known as LMBV, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“It has really turned around,” Short added. “I would expect someone will figure out a way to catch 16 to 17 pounds a day. A lot of keeper fish are in there now. Catching a limit should not be a problem. Catching those 3- to 3 1/2-pounders might be a little bit of an issue.”

A variety of patterns could be productive during the championship. “A guy could possibly win it on five or six different baits,” said Short. “It is just wide open.

“The bite could be centered on the grass,” said Short. “There still could be a frog bite in the lily pads. If I were going to fish there that time of year, I would be concentrating on somewhere between 5 and 8 or 9 feet, whether it was pads, grass or channel drops. Typically that time of year, you don’t have to fish real deep.”

Short added he would look for a buzzbait or crankbait bite, or he’d flip soft plastics.

Keep up during the championship at Bassmaster.com and on Facebook.

Lake Facts

Forage base — threadfin shad, gizzard shad, sunfish

Surface acreage — 34,300 acres

Average depth — 7 feet

Shoreline mileage — 315 miles

Expected water clarity — 4 to 5 feet

Dominant structure/cover — ledges, creek channel bends, standing timber, lily pads and milfoil

Predicted winning weight — 50 pounds, 10 ounces