The hot summer weather continues, and fishing has not been great of late at either Lake Sinclair or Lake Oconee. However, a round of fall fishing tournaments began last Saturday. Even though the fall season does not officially begin for another month, the popular Berry’s Tournament Trail produces their fall tournaments for largemouth bass beginning in August on both Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair.
Those fall tournaments began Saturday, Aug. 10 at Lake Oconee, and 38 two-man teams gathered at Lake Oconee’s Sugar Creek Marina and competed in the hot weather under very tough fishing conditions. Only four teams managed to bring a five-fish limit to the weigh scales.
Many of the anglers are regular tournament anglers on local lakes, so the results should make the weekend angler feel a lot better. Fishing results for all anglers, especially those that only occasionally hit the lake, has been very tough this summer, especially in August.
The winning team of Barry and Lance Collins caught a five-fish limit weighing 13.54 pounds. Second place went to Jerry Jones and Johnny Ralston with five fish weighing 13.23 pounds. Rounding out the top-3 places with five fish weighing 11.86 pounds was Dylan and Donald Peppers.
One nice largemouth weighing 5.74 pounds was weighed in by the team of Derek Johnson and Kevin Lewis and took big fish honors. Many of the fish brought to the scales were small and several of the fish did not survive to be released back into the lake due to the hot water conditions.
Each fall for the last several years, the Berry family have conducted a fall tournament series on both Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair. The trails for the two lakes are separate and teams can compete in one or both trails.
Teams must fish all four tournaments to qualify for the angler pot at the end of the season. A team must be represented by at least one team member at all four tournaments and a team member can fish alone or have an alternate angler.
The entry fee is $120 per team for each tournament and $10 of the entry fee goes to the big fish pot at each tournament. The tournament hours are safelight until 3 p.m.
The remaining tournaments at Lake Oconee are Sept.14, Oct. 5 and Nov. 2. The initial fall tournament at Lake Sinclair will be on Aug. 24, with tournaments to follow on Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Nov. 16.
If you enjoy fishing competition but the weather has been too hot for you, the schedule offers competition over the next few months when cooler weather arrives. For additional information on these fall tournaments call Bobby Berry at 770-787-6179 or go to www.berrysbass.com.
For tournament anglers and weekend anglers, cooler weather will surely come and the fish will be more comfortable and inclined to bite. Just a few more weeks of this dreadful weather and everything will change.
Good fishing and see you next week.
Outdoors columnist Bobby Peoples can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.