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Author Topic: Fishing for Freedom Bass Tournament Belton Lake Central Texas 14 Oct 17  (Read 225 times)

Donald Garner

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Greetings to everyone,

The tournament started at 5am Saturday morning with launching at the many ramps on Belton Lake.  We all had to be at Blora on Ft. Hood by 7am.  At safe light we had a prayer and singing of our National Anthem.  Once we got our caps back on and trolling motors stowed  (226) Bass Boats of every make and model with Yamaha's, Mercury's, Evinrude's and Johnsons were fired up.   

Once our boat number was called we idled by the Tournament Director's pontoon boat for a livewell check, life jacket and kill switch check and return time brief.  Next stop was to idle out to the Coast Guard Release boat and once cleared it was hammer down we were on our way.   After fishing this event the previous 4 yrs in howling winds, rain blowing side ways with thunder and lighting.  We had partly sunny skies with the temps in the mid 70s with a slight South wind.  You couldn't have asked for better weather.  Here's a few pictures from the tournament.

Man it dark and look at all them boats at 6:45am Blora at Ft. Hood.



I didn't get the chance to take any pictures during the launching, boat inspection or take off.  It was like herding cats once those boat numbers were called  lo :surrender:  I also didn't take any pictures while fishing I was too busy catching all those short fish  :'(   :surrender:

We were in the 2nd flight boat number 32.  We were under way by 7:10 and our return check in time was 1:15 pm.  My plan was to fish the North Bluff right across from the launch.  By the time I got there (3) other boats had parked out where I wanted to start.  We fished a small cove and worked our way out to the front side of the bluff.  We played leap frog down the bank line for an hour without a fish.  I told my partner we were moving up into Cowhouse Creek and fish.  After the short run I counted about ( 8 ) boats from the mouth of the creek up to about 2 miles inside of the creek.

Belton Lake looks big on the map but you put 226  boats it fishes real small.  Cowhouse creek isn't that big and you're limited to where you can fish.  Once you get to East Range Road Bridge you have to turn around.  Everything West of the bridge is in the IMPACT AREA  :surrender: 

We spent the rest of the morning fishing crankbaits, swimbaits, spinnerbaits, flipping jigs and Texas Rigged soft plastics.  I'd fished this area back in the Spring with Carl and we done pretty well.  Couple weeks ago Carl and went back and caught a few then also.  Joe and I managed to put ( 10 ) in the boat flipping and pitching but our only keeper measured out at 14.5 inches.

We made one last stop at the North Bluff with about (30) minutes to spare and struck out.  There were still a lot of boats pounding that 2 mile stretch.  After checking back in we got the Stratos loaded onto the trailer and drove over to the weigh in.  These guys that run the weigh in have been doing this for the past (4) years.  They got it down right.

Weigh In line


Randy Howell our Weigh In Master


Got fish?  Get your picture taken.  Coach Langley and his partner with ( 5 ) keepers


Who's in the lead?


Finished weighing in let's eat.  They had grilled sausage links, hot dogs and all the fixings waiting for us.


Want some FREE STUFF have a seat.  What they didn't raffle off or passed out Friday night got given away during the weigh in.




In every tournament some one or some team catches the weigh.  The winning weight was (5) bass 20.67lbs.  The fish were caught jerking jigging spoons over deep submerged trees.  The 1st Place prize was a New Triton 2018 TRX189 valued at $ 28,495 dollars with a 115 HP Mercury outboard.  Big Bass Pot was $4,520.00 dollars.  The 1st Place Team not only won the event they had Big Bass 6.49lbs also.

Not a bad pay day for a No Entry Fee Tournament. 
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Oldfart9999

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Re: Fishing for Freedom Bass Tournament Belton Lake Central Texas 14 Oct 17
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 06:22:02 AM »

It's tough when you're not in the first flight, all the good areas are mobbed. Looks like everybody either had or should have had a good time. Congrats to the winner!!
Rodney
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Donald Garner

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Re: Fishing for Freedom Bass Tournament Belton Lake Central Texas 14 Oct 17
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 07:02:29 PM »

It is tough getting on to the good spots after the 1st Flight leaves but that's alright.  There's a lot of fish caught behind other fisherman some times.  For sure everyone has a great time you just can't help it. 

Guys here's the final piece of information about the tournament.

We had 229 teams (3 were filled after the banquet)

Total fish caught:  401

Total fish released alive:  398

Total weight of bass:  790.44lbs

Avg. fish per Tm:  1

Avg. weight per Tm:  3.47lb

Avg. weight per fish:  1.97lbs
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Mike Cork

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Re: Fishing for Freedom Bass Tournament Belton Lake Central Texas 14 Oct 17
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 09:45:06 AM »

Those are some pretty tough stats :o

I do like the 2 pound average per fish caught though ~c~ represents a very healthy lake.
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Donald Garner

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Re: Fishing for Freedom Bass Tournament Belton Lake Central Texas 14 Oct 17
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 05:48:05 PM »

Those are some pretty tough stats :o

I do like the 2 pound average per fish caught though ~c~ represents a very healthy lake.

Yes sir it is / can be a tough lake to fish at times.  I can't tell you how many 'Short Bass' were caught during this event.  I know we caught ( 9 )  Coach Langley had something like (10 - 15)  Carl told me him and his partner has (10 ) or so also. 

The lake has some quality fish in it just check out Skeeter Bass Champs, Texas Team Tournament and Tuffman Circuit tournament results.   The lake fishes a lot better when the lake is up and the fish get in those bushes and behind those boulders.  There are hundreds of sunken  brush piles and other deep water hide out all over the lake.

Just like any other lake we have those weekly Fruit Jar Tournaments. They usually fish on Thursday nights on Belton and Tuesday nights on Stillhouse.  It takes almost 20lbs now to even win those fruit jar events.
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