RUSSELLVILLE – The only thing clear after the practice round of the Bassmaster Junior World Championship is that the Arkansas River has produced no clear patterns.
As B.A.S.S. Nation anglers competed Friday on Lake Dardanelle, their junior counterparts practiced on Pool 9 of the Arkansas River, the section of river just below the dam that creates Lake Dardanelle, which is an impoundment of the Arkansas River.
While Dardanelle usually fishes more like a lake, Pool 9 fishes like a true river, meaning the 12 contenders for the Junior World Championship, six in the 11-14 age group and six in the 15-18 age group, can’t simply rely on the patterns established by B.A.S.S. Nation competitors on the other side of the dam.
“We haven’t really been able to put anything together,” said Trevor Yates, who represents the Central Division in the 15-18 age group. “We’re just junk fishing, really.”
The Junior World Championship contenders will fish Saturday for more than $20,000 in scholarship funds. They’ll need to decipher a fishery that’s notoriously tough, and a pool of the river that can produce good bags but that isn’t typically as productive as Lake Dardanelle.