The cold front that blew through Southwestern Georgia Thursday night has slowed the bite on Lake Seminole and anglers largely seem to be struggling during day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine.
With a sustained warming trend prior to the tournament raising water temperatures and a full moon perfectly timed for this week’s competition, the stage seemed set for a big-time spawn event. We may yet see some of that, but with air temperatures dropping about 10 degrees in 24 hours and the dreaded post-frontal bluebird skies dominating the day, the bass seem in no hurry to move shallow.
Even in stable conditions, spawning events typically see the fish moving up later in the day, after the sun has had time to warm the shallows. That’s even more important today, as the fish have a greater temperature deficit to overcome.
Water clarity is a big issue, as the front has turned much of Lake Seminole to chocolate milk. Finding areas with clear water and good sunlight penetration will yield promising afternoon conditions. Also, a lot of fish will spawn in deeper hydrilla and throughout the stumps and standing timber scattered across flats like those of lower Spring Creek.
Despite the overall sluggish morning, we saw pockets of activity with a couple of anglers getting off to a strong start. Matt Baty had an estimated 20 pounds, while Jeff Sprague reported 16 — both by around 11 a.m.
Buddy Gross, who won this event last year, was grinding through a slow morning, but about 8:30 a.m., his co-angler Josh Martin stuck a solid 3-pounder that momentarily wrapped the line around a tree before coming to the net.
Other anglers on the board as well. John Brazzell has a trio of 3-pounders and a keeper. Nick Thliveros had three keepers in the box early. Jim Austen had one good one to start with and co-angler Alan Hults was on the board with three. Peter Thliveros had two keepers in the boat early as well.
Anglers were fishing a mix of crankbaits, swimbaits, bladed swim jigs and Texas-rigged plastics. If the afternoon warmth spurs a bedding movement, Seminole will see targeted sight fishing with worms, creature baits and craw baits.
Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days, with the winner in each category determined by the heaviest cumulative two-day weight.
Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. ET
Takeoff Location: Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin, 100 Boat Basin Circle, Bainbridge, Ga.
Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m. ET
Weigh-In Location: Days 1 and 2 at Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin