LAKE OCONEE — The weatherman predicted that temperatures might reach into the low 70s for the Saturday, Dec. 8 Berry’s Tournament Trail event on Lake Sinclair and that prediction was right on the money. It was shirtsleeve weather in mid-afternoon when the anglers pulled into Lake Sinclair’s Little River Park to weigh their day’s catch.
This was the first tournament of eight that comprise the 2012-2013 Berry’s Tournament Trail. One hundred forty-five two-man teams showed up to compete in the kickoff tournament on Lake Sinclair.
Five-fish limits were the order of the day as just about everybody caught fish. I heard stories from anglers who caught upwards of one hundred fish from their boats during the tournament. The fish were biting and they were biting a wide range of lures including crankbaits, Carolina rigs, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms, jigs, Shakey Head worms and Alabama rigs.
According to many of the anglers the fish were caught anywhere from one foot of water down to twenty feet and the fish were caught from all over the lake. The weird and warm weather has the fish biting and from shallow water to deep water. This was an excellent tournament catch for a tournament conducted in the month of December.
The winning team of David Ellison and Bobby Jones had a nice five-fish limit weighing 19.52 pounds. Jones said they caught their fish up the Oconee River arm of the lake and they used a variety of lures to catch the winning weight. Ellison and Jones took home a check for over $3500 in prize money.
Finishing in a close second place with 18.94 pounds was Willie McMullen and Chad Stahl earning the pair of anglers over $1700. Rounding out the top three places and taking home a check for over $1100 was Andy Norman and Frank Kitchens with 17.96 pounds. Less than two pounds separated the top three places. The top twenty-four teams in the tournament received a check.
The big fish of the tournament was caught by Alan Wicks and that largemouth weighed 7.79 pounds and Wicks went home with a check for $1450. Several bass over six pounds were weighed in on Saturday. The fish caught during the Saturday tournament appeared to be plump and healthy which is a good sign for the Lake Sinclair fishery.
The tournament was the first of eight regular season tournaments conducted by the Berry’s Tournament Trail on Lakes Sinclair and Lake Oconee. Berry’s Tournament Trail is the top tournament trail in middle Georgia and this past Saturday it continued to prove just how popular the trail is to anglers. No other tournament trail in middle Georgia comes close to this trail in number of participating anglers and prize money.
The second tournament of the season for the Berry’s Trail will be right back at Little River Park on Jan. 5. Then the trail will then move to Lake Oconee on Feb. 16 and that will be held out of Sugar Creek Marina. Future dates for tournaments on Lake Oconee are March 9, April 13 and May 18 and on Lake Sinclair they are March 30 and April 27.
Anglers who register and compete in at least five regular tournaments will qualify for the season ending two-day classic that has a potential $10,000 payday for the winners. Anglers can also choose to just fish individual tournaments and compete for prizes in those individual tournaments which pay anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 depending on the number of anglers.
If you are interested in fishing competition with other anglers, you can contact Berry’s Trail tournament director Bobby Berry by phone at (770) 787-6179 or go to their website at www.berrysbass.com. Good fishing and see you next week.
Bobby Peoples can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.