LEWISVILLE, Texas — Fall brings a time of transition and one of the most significant changes that popular recreational lakes experience is a decline in boat traffic. Pro angler James Biggs believes this will help set the stage for anglers competing in the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open at Lewisville Lake.
Competition days will be Nov. 19-21 with daily takeoffs from Lewisville Lake Park at 7 a.m. CT and weigh-ins each day at the park at 3 p.m.
Biggs, who guides on Lewisville, said his home lake sees loads of summer activity and it’s not always compatible with bass fishing. With shortening days and declining temperatures, he has seen the crowds thinning.
“Now that we’re in the fall and we’re getting some cold weather, the recreation numbers have gone way down,” Biggs said. “Anglers will enjoy that part because if they came in the hot summer, it is party boats, wakeboard boats and cabin cruisers like crazy.”
This decreased congestion will help balance the seasonal challenge facing Lewisville. A warm fall has only recently seen significant cooling and with water temperatures in the low to mid-60s, this transitional period could present a daunting scenario.
“Pretty much everywhere (in the South) is fishing tough right now and Lewisville’s no different,” Biggs said. “It’s fishing a little tougher than I expected it would be. The lake turned over and now it’s stabilizing, but the fish are just scattered.”
As Biggs notes, Lewisville’s water level has fluctuated with recent rains. Currently, the lake stands about 6 inches below full pool.
This 29,592-acre reservoir on the Trinity River's Elm Fork was created by the Lewisville Dam. It offers a significant amount of fishable water that will surely attract multiple boats.
“A jig or a shaky head is probably the most consistent way to catch ’em on the dam,” Biggs said. “You can catch them cranking, but the dam generally gets so many boats on it that it’s hard to cover water with moving baits. You’ll have a boat in front of you and behind you.”
Elsewhere, Biggs said anglers will have plenty of room to spread out and find a scenario to their liking. Following the standard formula, stained water awaits in the upper end, while the lower end holds the clearer water.
“One thing that the decreased recreational traffic will do is open up the marinas to anglers,” Biggs said. “There are (several) marinas on the lake, so skipping docks and boat slips will be a major pattern. Every marina on the lake has tournament-winning fish; you just have to figure out how to catch them because they get a lot of pressure.
“There’s also some timber, rocks, there’s offshore structure, shallow wood. I feel like the way this tournament is setting up, you can really fish your strengths and do well.”
Biggs expects the entire lake to be in play. From his recent observations, he says there are fish already in the backs of creeks, some still on the main lake and some everywhere in between.
“There are many sections of the lake to fish and before the tournament’s over, I’ll probably fish them all,” Biggs said. “I feel like it’s going to be hard to pull up and sit on one spot the whole time.
“I think versatility will be the key. A guy might get on something where he can ride one pattern, but I think the winner will probably be doing a few different things.”
Biggs said he’s looking for 12 pounds a day to make the final-round cut and approximately 47 to win the $35,000 first-place prize. Big bites will be the difference-makers and Biggs is confident that one or more of the weigh-ins will see some of the lake’s top-end quality.
“I will be surprised if somebody doesn’t bring an 8- to 9-pound largemouth to the scales,” he said. “Spotted bass will be limit-fillers, but a big spotted bass on that lake is 2 1/2-pounds. They will be a bonus fish, but nothing you’ll target."
Since this is the final Central Open of the season, the Top 4 anglers in the Central Division standings after the event will be in line for invitations to fish the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series. The division’s current Top 4 includes Jason Christie with 547 points, Darold Gleason (540), Lee Livesay (539) and Marc Frazier (533). Justin Atkins of Florence, Ala., leads the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year Standings with 1,009 points.
The tournament is being hosted by the Lewisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.