Last week, the Walmart FLW Tour plied the waters of the Chattahoochee River on Lake Eufaula. This week, the Rayovac FLW Series moves 60 miles south on the “Hooch” to Lake Seminole for the final event of the Southeast Division presented by Evinrude.
Running offshore brush piles was the dominant theme on Eufaula last week, leaving some to wonder if a similar pattern could work on Seminole, since the two legendary lakes are connected by the same river.
“I certainly tried it,” says Clent Davis, who finished third at Eufaula. “I spent several days of my practice on Seminole ‘side-scanning,’ looking for stuff to fish like I did at Eufaula. But Seminole is a much different lake. Eufaula has a nice clean bottom, except for the brush people put in it. This lake is nothing but a flooded swamp. The bottom is totally junked up with tons of stumps and timber – it’s just a jungle down there in the deeper river flats. Plus this lake is full of grass, which is where most of the fish live. I wanted to fish like I did at Eufaula, but it’s not going to happen for me. I’ll be fishing the grass the next two days.”
Davis believes at least a couple of guys will catch big bags out deeper on ledges, but the majority of the fish will be caught out of the green stuff.
Seminole is just now returning to normal after high, muddy water flushed through the system a couple of weeks ago due to excessive rain.
“Since we had all that muddy water, the outside grass is not as crisp and clean as it normally is,” says Trevor Fitzgerald, who is runner-up in the Southeast Division Angler of the Year point race. “The muddy water dumped a lot of silt on the grass and stunted its growth in some places. There will still be plenty of fish caught from grass, but it’s just not as thick, green and matted as it usually is by this time of year.”
Val Osinski, winner of the Southeast Division season-opener on Lake Okeechobee, says some bass are still shallow on a bream spawn pattern, and what’s left of a shad spawn, but by the time anglers reach the main lake from Bainbridge after a 6:30 a.m. takeoff time, the sun will be high in the sky.
“I think a lot of guys are going to catch a few fish in the first couple of hours of the day,” he says. “There are some shad spawn and bream bed fish to be had, especially early. But after about 9 a.m., it’s going to get tough. The guys who figure out something to produce fish during the midday lull are the ones who will pull away from the pack.”
Drew Benton knows his way around Seminole pretty well and has found the fish grouped in small bunches.
“There is a lot of dead water out there,” he says. “What fish I’ve found are in little groups. I can get two or three bites out of one little spot, and then it’s hours or miles ’til I find the next little bunch.”
With water temperatures in the mid-80 and air temperatures pushing 90 degrees, summer is in full swing on Seminole, so it’s a good bet the deeper fish will be what makes the difference for the winner. Whether those deep fish will come from deep grass, a 20-foot river ledge, 30-feet of standing timber or suspended with hybrids over 25 feet remains to be seen.
Overall, the consensus is that the bite is pretty strong on Seminole. Several pros expect to see a couple of mid-20-pound bags at weigh-in today and a top-10 cut of 32 to 33 pounds after two days.
Sunrise: 6:41 a.m.
Water Temperature: 85 degrees
Air Temperature at Launch: 67 degrees
Forecast High: 92 degrees
Weather Forecast: warm with northwest wind of 10 mph
All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.
Presenting sponsor: Evinrude
Host: Bainbridge Convention & Visitors Bureau
Takeoff time: 6:30 a.m. ET
Takeoff location: Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin, 100 Boat Basin Circle, Bainbridge, GA
Days 1 and 2: 2:30 p.m. ET
Day 3: 3:30 p.m. ET
Days 1 and 2: Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin
Day 3: Walmart, 500 E Alice St., Bainbridge, GA
For complete details and updated information, visit the Rayovac FLW Series tournament page. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.