LAKE OCONEE —
Colder and rainy weather preceded the Berry's Trail tournament that was held on Lake Sinclair Jan. 5, and the fish had near lockjaw. One hundred twenty-nine teams arrived at Little River Park to fish the second tournament of eight that comprise the 2012-2013 Berry's Tournament Trail.
Back when the first tournament of the season was held in December, five-fish limits were the order of the day as just about everybody caught fish. The second tournament of the season was totally different as only 44 teams were able to bring five-fish limits to the weigh scales and only a total of 379 fish were caught.
The colder weather and heavy rain that preceded the tournament made the bite very hard to come by for most anglers. However, as always some anglers were able to catch some good fish regardless of conditions. During the first tournament in December, the tournament anglers caught fish on just about every lure possible but at this second tournament the lures that were effective were very limited.
Only jigs, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits were able to fool most of the bass and in fact those three baits were used by the top three teams to catch all their largemouth bass. Medium water depths of 4 to 12 feet produced the most fish. Those 379 fish that were fooled into biting on this difficult day of angling weighed 686.7 pounds which averaged out to 1.8 pounds per fish.
The winning team of David Lowery from Milledgeville and Hilbert Lowery from Columbus had an excellent five-fish limit that weighed 18.38 pounds. The fact that one of David Lowery's fish weighed 7.70 pounds helped and allowed the team to take home a check for $3,740 for their first place finish and then a check for $1,290 for the big fish of the tournament. The Lowery boys caught their fish using jigs and spinnerbaits.