MORGAN CITY, La. — It’s hot on the Atchafalaya Basin for the 2012 Cabela's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Divisional, and the anglers aren’t the only ones feeling it. Last week the bite was solid. Some of the competitors reported catching 50-60 fish a day with almost half of them measuring the required 14 inches. That’s no longer the case.
With the heat, the catch rates are down to eight or nine fish a day in most areas. The size has also decreased. But that may not be the full story. There are rumors of better catches north of Morgan City in an area known as The Swamp. But no one is willing to confirm that — maybe because they don’t want to talk, maybe because it isn’t happening. We’ll know about that later in the week.
Mississippi State Team member David Bond, who fishes with the Jourdan River Bassmasters, has spent the last several days on the water getting ready for today. And, while he thinks he has a couple of things put together, he’s very cautious about how the tournament will play out this week.
“It’s gotten tough. There’s no doubt about that,” he says. “There’s a topwater bite back in the bayous early in the morning and a crankbait bite at the inlets off the river later in the day. Other than that I can’t say much about how things are going to unfold. We’ll have wait and see.”
It’s Bond’s opinion that the tournament will probably be won by the angler, or team, with the most spots. He reports catching around 30 fish over the last few days with maybe a quarter of them being big enough to keep. That figure includes two over 5 pounds.
“I don’t know about weight,” he replies when asked what it’ll take to win. “Based on what I’m doing, I’d say if you have 12 pounds a day you’re in good shape. Truthfully, based on what I’ve done, I’d say if you can catch three limits you’ll be in good shape.”
There are other anglers who disagree with that assessment. They say that the bite picks up when the tide or the river moves water out of the basin. Based on what they’re seeing they move the weights up 2 or 3 pounds a day to something around 14 or 15 pounds. Either way, it looks to be an exciting event with close weights and fierce competition.
Weather doesn’t look to be a factor other than the obvious — heat. It was in the low 90s Tuesday and is expected to stay that way the rest of the week with a chance of scattered and isolated thunderstorms each day. The humidity is expected to drop somewhat later in the week, though, so that should bring much-needed relief to the anglers, if not to the fish.
It should be an interesting week for the anglers fishing the 2012 Cabela's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Central Divisional.