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Home > Blog > Top Patterns at the 2012 Lake Powell STQT

Top Patterns at the 2012 Lake Powell STQT

Posted by on May 23, 2012

1_2012_STQT_Powell_Group.JPG     The Colorado Bass Federation Nation State Team Qualifying Tournament at Lake Powell, April 25-27, 2012 is done, but now that it is we’ve had the time to approach some of the qualifying anglers and ask a few questions about how the tournament played out for them, and what making the State Team means.  Of course it means getting the opportunity to represent Colorado at the B.A.S.S. Western Divisional in 2013, which rumors say will likely be at the California Delta, near Sacramento, a big fish factory if there ever was one.  Can anyone say “FROG BITE?”

     The State Team qualifiers were all sent a short questionnaire regarding their experience at Lake Powell and the responses from those that replied are included here.  Also, there will be a short profile included on the State Team page for each of the anglers.  Keep in mind that as this year goes on some of the team members may change.  If anyone is unable to attend the 2013 Western Divisional, then other participants will move up to fill the vacant position in the order that they qualified.

4_Club.Year_Trophy.JPG     From only a cursory glance at the standings it is easy to see that Southwest Colorado Bassmasters regained the Club Trophy with over half of the entries and 9/13 State Team qualifiers from that club, including the top 3 finishers.  Congrats to SWCB and what a great job they did!

     The primary question the anglers were asked: What does being on the State Team mean to you?  The universal answer was the chance to move up the Federation qualifying ladder for the opportunity to go to the Western Divisional, then the Federation National Championship, and finally the ultimate goal, making the Bassmasters Classic.  The most recent successful Federation Angler to do so was Idaho’s Brandon Palaniuk, who finished 4th in Louisiana and is now fishing as a sponsored Pro on the Bassmaster Elite Trail.  Colorado has had several anglers in past years make it to the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.

     Technique questions: What was the primary lure and technique?  What type of water and cover did they look for: (Shallow/deep, rocks/wood/brush, clear/muddy, etc.?) What other aspects were keys to your success?  What did you learn from this tournament?  And what equipment did they use.

     We’re not looking to give-away spots or secret lures, and obviously some are reluctant to talk about techniques that they may feel are unique.  One of the goals of Bass Clubs and the Federation is also to teach new anglers ways that they can be successful, and most were pretty frank about what worked for them.  Keep in mind that many fish were on beds, the majority of them smallmouth with some largemouth, too, and that many of the larger fish were pre-spawn staging bass.

Jeff__Powell.jpg     Jeff Jones, from the Denver Bassmasters, who finished in 8th Place with a total of 37.20 pounds, caught most of his largemouth on a ½ oz. custom shad pattern spinner bait made by Falcon Tackle, cast shallow in and near heavy cover.  And when the wind was blowing, and it did much of each afternoon, some of the better smallmouths were caught on shallow wind-blown main lake points and flats with the spinner bait.  One good largemouth came from a bush on a jig, and several bed fish were brought in caught on the same, a 5/16th oz. finesse jig made by Falcon Tackle in Missouri Craw color.  “I did not use a trailer on the jig because some of the bed fish would pick up the trailer and not get the hook.  Without the trailer the fish was more likely to get the hook in its mouth.  The spinner bait was the opposite; more than half of the smallmouth caught on the spinner bait only got the trailer hook.”  Shallow water was the best.  “I keyed on drop-offs next to shallow water, and shallow cuts in coves but next to deeper water.  Beds were visible and shallow; the jig fish in heavy cover were not visible but the cover was at least next to shallow water.”

     “I had several bedding areas picked out, but a small cove found during pre-fish produced several decent largemouth bass each day for me and my daily partners.  Also, my day 1 partner helped me to understand that the larger fish were still staging.”  Jones says he learned to be flexible and to adjust to changing conditions, and from his day one partner, George Melarsie, “I learned that blindly fan casting in a known
bedding area can produce better than trying to see the beds first, especially in early low-light

     Jeff used a Fenwick Techna-AV flipping stick for the jig and a Fenwick 5 ½ foot pistol grip rod for the spinner bait, both with Abu Garcia Revo reels.  “The short pistol grip let me make accurate casts into and next to heavy cover that resulted in more bites, yet still make long casts in the wind for fishing the points.”  The jig reel had 15 pound Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line and the spinner bait was cast with 17 pound Trilene XT.

faber.gardner_bfopen.JPG     John Gardner of Southwest Colorado Bassmasters, used big tubes in brush and looked for stained water with rock and brush for his total weight of 37.32 pounds and to finish in 7th Place overall.  John ran a bit farther than some, and he says what he learned is to, “Slow down and bring a lot of gas.”  John used Quantum rods and reels spooled with McCoy fishing line.  John and partner Ty Faber also stayed after the STQT to fish the Spring Bullfrog Open and they won that event.  “Ty and I won the bullfrog doing totally different things in different areas than the state qualifier.”

     Dave Gerhardt of the Southwest Colorado Bassmasters has made many State Teams and this year ended up in 3rd with 45.33 pounds.  Dave used flukes for staging fish, senkos and tubes for bedding fish, and flukes and senkos for post-spawn suspending fish.  He also caught a few on spinner baits and crank baits.  He looked for clear to off-color water, 2-10 feet deep.

     To bring in the better size largemouth, Dave had to focus on, “staying clear of the thousands of smallmouth beds!”  Dave primarily used a Dobyn’s 7’ 4” MH with a Shimano Chronarch reel spooled with Seaguar InvisX line.

     Dave also says, “What a blast!  Powell is fishing better and better over the past few years and we hit it just right; lots of good fish to be had by all.  We targeted primarily largemouth in and around spawning areas.  Fishing the deeper water nearby the spawning areas was the key to getting the larger staging fish, which were reloading daily.  Some good post-spawn fish could also be found suspended at about 10’ in deeper water.  The bed fish rounded things out.  We found more numbers up lake, but better quality closer to home.

1_John_Beranek_Big_Bass_5.42.JPG     And finally the winner of the event and another Southwest Colorado Bassmaster member, John Beranek, who’s full report can be found on the home page.  John weighed in a total of 48.30 pounds as he steadily moved up the ranks each day, increasing his bag size each day.

     Day three, “turned out to be an epic day.  When I went to weigh in at the end of the day, I had no expectations of winning. The leaders had been consistently bringing in good bags and knowing their talent, I thought for sure that my best hope was for third place. When Johnny Parks told me he hadn’t caught a good bag and the fish had moved off the beds in clear water, it finally hit me that my 18 pound bag was going to be enough.”

     John caught some fish on a spinner bait and with a tube, but his best lure was a senko.  He avoided the heavily fished clearer water and looked for dirtier water where the fish were not as pressured.  Casting his senko past bushes and then letting it settle at the base, in hope that a bed was there, proved to be the best pattern.  This paid off as he moved up the leader board each day to take the win!