I'm Jim Root, one of the most published anglers on the topic of fish behavior as it relates to weather conditions. If you have questions let me know!
By: Jim Root , 10:09 PM GMT on April 27, 2014
As tournament bass season rolls on there are more events taking place each week. From Arizona Virginia anglers will be competing at various levels across the county. Here are a few tournaments that I picked to give some predictions on for the upcoming week.
Toledo Bend, Many Louisiana.
This lake has been on fire recently, but an incoming cold front could dowst those flames and reduce the likelihood that we will have our first 100lb tournament of 2014. With the lake association reporting a record number of Largemouth in the 10lb class, the fish needed to make this event one for the ages are there if the anglers can get them to eat. Expect the best fishing to be in the afternoon, with anglers in later flights having the best chance at having heavy bags. There's a heavy concentration of post=spawn females located in healthy grass beads in 5-8 feet of water, or schooling in the main lake. While it's not a must to use finesse baits for this event, it might be the key to getting those early morning bites until the temperatures warm up enough in the afternoon to trigger those big bite baits.
Smith Mountain Lake, Huddleston VA,
The lake I love to hate is the next stop on the FLW college tour. Smith Mountain offers two rivers or a main lake to choose from, but I'd bet 90% of events are won out of the Roanoke. Being that the Oakley Big Bass Tournament just had their annual event this week, look for large numbers of heavy fish to be located in the upper portion of that river near the bridge. State Park is traditionally known for being a great place to target fish as well. As of this weekend there weren't many fish committed to spawning yet, but that should change as the week moves on, particularly if you're looking for Smallmouth, which should've been left relatively unmolested by the Oakley anglers and offer your best opportunity to catch a top-ten limit. Look for them to spawn off any banks with red clay, and target them with a drop shot in 15-30 feet of water. Your best bait there is a green pumpkin finesse worm, my personal favorite are called Bass Snax, by Bass Attacker Lures. For largemouth, flip a Havoc craw in green pumpkin red or use a carolina rig on main lake points for prespawn fish.
James River, Richmond VA
The next stop in the FLW Rayovac Series (formerly the Everstarts) happens this week at the James River. While the competitors will launch from the James, 90% of them will make the long run to the Chickahominy River where understanding how to run the tides will be most important. The best tide for bass fishing is high tide, going out. This means you'll want to be sure you pace yourself to be where you need to be as the water changes from place to place. It often forces you to run when you're on your best fishing. But beware, if you leave too soon or too late, you'll ruin your day in a hurry. The Navionics app for your iPhone or Android is great for checking the tide as it applies to your exact GPS location, so you can get an accurate prediction for wherever you happen to be fishing in either the Chick or the James. Concentrate on the submerged weedlines and rip lipless cranks through them. My personal favorites for that lake are the Rat-L-Trap Knock-n-Trap and Natural Series in the Texas Craw color (red). For guys who prefer fishing soft plastics, you'll also do well there with a 7 inch ribbontail worm in a nightcrawler color with a chartreuse tail. Warning: be sure to give yourself plenty of time to make it back to the launch should you decide to make the run. If you get caught pressed for time you can find yourself in extremely rough water and not make it back in time.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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