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Author Topic: Stratos at the Fishing for Freedom Tournament 6 Oct 18  (Read 203 times)

Donald Garner

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Stratos at the Fishing for Freedom Tournament 6 Oct 18
« on: October 07, 2018, 10:33:48 PM »

Greetings to everyone,

Saturday morning started early 4am getting the Stratos ready for the Fishing for Freedom Tournament on Belton Lake. I linked up with my Service Member Sgt. David Jalbert at Blora Bass Ramp at 5am.  We got his equipment loaded up and got the Stratos Launched.

Weather Conditions at Launch 5:15am
Partly Cloudy Skies; Air temp 73dgrs; Wind direction SE @ 3mph.

Lake Conditions:
Surface temp 81dgrs depending on your location
Water is stained
Lake level is 4.85ft below Summer Pool

Siting at the dock waiting for safe light

Boats beached along the shore line

At Safe Light we had our Morning Prayer and the National Anthem Played.  At 7:15 the Tournament Director launched the First Flight boats 1 -25.  My boat was # 20 when called to move forward we idled through the Safety Inspection Point (Kill Switch, Live Well Check and Check In Time).  While passing through we had a photo opportunity to take part in.  While clearing the Inspection Site we had to idle out to the Coast Guard Security boat.  Once we cleared it we put the hammer down and the day began.

We fished the North Bluff area directly across from BLORA (Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation  Area).  I counted about 10 boats sitting along that bluff before I got to the mouth of Cow House Creek.  There were (3) boats parked at the mouth of the cove that I was going to start in.  We shut down prior to the cove and got the first cast out of the way.

North Bluff area shore line looking South East towards BLORA.  There are ( 8 ) boats in this picture.
The boats in the far back ground its about a mile to that point they're fishing.

My partner started off with a top water bait, I started out with a buzz bait.  After the 5th cast I switched baits to H2O Med Diving Sexy Shad Square Bill.  We started working some submerged timber when we got into a school of largemouths.  My second cast of with the Square Bill got our 1st Keeper bass it was 15 3/4in Largemouth.  The school didn't stay around very long my partner managed a short fish and that was it.   This action occurred at 7:25am.  We didn't catch our 2nd keeper till around 9:30am.

We didn't fish any other areas during this event.   I just dropped the trolling motor and started fishing.  Belton Lake looks big on the map but fishes small when you got 250 boats on it.  The area I fished is about 2 - 4 miles long there abuts and has various types of structure on it.  The whole North bank is nothing but gravel with some bushes and huge boulder lying in the water.  There's places off shore where there's a line of submerged trees.  You can see the tops of them now beings the lake is low.  There are a number of dead trees (laid downs) coming off the bank into the water at different location along this stretch of the bank.

We fished pretty hard throughout the trip.  Once I got back in the cove we flipped and pitched, threw a spinnerbait a little with out a single strike.  We did manage to boat ( 7 ) bass but they were all short 13.5 inches long.  It was a strange day all our fish were caught on that Square Bill.  The wind did pickup a little and figured the Spinnerbait bite would pickup but it didn't.   All of our fish were caught in depths between 9ft - 26ft of water.

We checked in at 1pm and got the Stratos loaded back on the trailer and headed to the weigh in. 

Weigh In Site

Weigh in Picture with my partner

One more picture before releasing them into Live Tank and Weigh ticket

Both fish were caught on a H2O Express Square Bill 3/4oz Crankbait

After the weigh in we had lunch there.  The Elk Lodges provided Free hot dogs, sausage wraps, chips, donuts and ice tea.

Equipment used during tournament
Crankbait setup:  Rod> BPS Extreme 7ft (M) casting rod; Reel> Abu Garcia Orra Winch 4:5.1 ratio; Line> Berkley Big Game Clear 15lb;  Crankbait> H20 Express 3/4oz Crankbait in a Sexy Shad Color
The UB Fishing Machine
2004 Stratos 285 PRO XL Dual Console w/ Yamaha 150 VMax; Lowrance Hook 7 Electronics; Minn Kota Fortrex 80lb TM

:toot: The Stratos ran like a mean junkyard dog  ~bb ;)
Belton Texas part of God's Country
Stratos 285 Pro XL Yamaha 150 VMax


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Re: Stratos at the Fishing for Freedom Tournament 6 Oct 18
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 06:32:38 AM »

Great report and an awesome event Don!  ~c~
Stratos 285 XL Pro 150 Evinrude ETEC

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Re: Stratos at the Fishing for Freedom Tournament 6 Oct 18
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 01:17:58 PM »

Great report Donald!!! From the smile on his face it looks like your partner had a great time!!!
Old Fishermen never die, their rods just go limp.
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