Whitney closure forces TABC to Lake Bastrop
Anticipation was high among the anglers of Texas Anglers Bass Club heading into the month of June. Lake Whitney was the venue for the monthly club tournament and everyone was dreaming about catching chunky largemouth on a lake most had never fished. Then it happened; rain, more rain, and finally enough rain to float an ark. In a period of 24 hours almost every lake in Central Texas reached maximum capacity and some lakes, including Lake Whitney, were suddenly closed because water submerged every ramp on the lake. Lake Whitney eventually reached more than 20 feet above full pool. Luckily for TABC we pick an alternate lake every month. “Lake Whitney is closed, no problem. We’ll just fish the alternate lake,” most said. Well insert another problem. Belton Lake, the alternate lake, was also at full pool, and rising fast. A week after the epic downpour every ramp on Belton Lake was closed except for one. Fast forward one more week and every ramp on the lake was closed. TABC held an emergency vote to pick a new lake and ended up on Lake Bastrop.
Heading to Lake Bastrop was only fitting because June marks the midpoint of the season and TABC kicked off the 2015 campaign at Lake Bastrop. Although the lake was the same, the contest could not have been more different. When TABC attacked Bastrop in January the water was cold, the vegetation was sparse and the lake was crowded. This time around the water was warm, the vegetation was thick and TABC had the lake all to themselves. Despite the wide variety of changes, the most drastic difference this time around was sunlight, or lack thereof. TABC anglers took to the water at sunset and fished until the early morning hours in search of Bastrop lunkers.
Water temperature at the North Shores Park launch site was a stout 92 degrees when TABC anglers lowered their boats into the water. Temperatures hovered around 92 degrees on the discharge side of the lake while the intake side registered a few degrees cooler at 88. Skies were mostly clear to start the night however, clouds rolled in late and blocked out the paltry amount of moonlight anglers relied upon up to that point. The barometer was steady and water clarity was just slightly off from the normally clear conditions on this small lake.
Some anglers got into healthy Texas largemouth as soon as the event started only to taper off as the night wore on. Others still took a little while to get into the groove but managed to rally towards the end of the night. When the boats were finally on the trailers and anglers were wandering the parking lot like zombies, Bryan and his guest Willie ended up with the win. Bryan and Willie caught ten fish for a total of 32.69 pounds. Tim and Ivan were the first losers with nine fish for 28.35 pounds while Brooks caught five fish for 18.6 lbs and after adding his ghost weight, ended up with a team total of 23.25 pounds. Tim edged out Linwood by 1/8 of an inch to win the big bass prize. Tim’s chunk weighed in at 5.18 pounds. TABC caught a total of 36 fish with an average fish weight of 3.24 lbs. Congrats to Bryan and Willie on the win.
Undeterred by the high water, TABC will try again to fish Lake Belton in the month of July. Although most club members live within spitting distance of Lake Belton the water will still be high and it will no doubt fish “like a brand new lake.” If the all knowing Army Corps of Engineers cannot lower the water level by the second week in July, TABC will head south to Lake LBJ. Good luck to everyone in the month of July…especially if you’re riding in the black and white bug!