While the debate continues about the Atchafalaya Spillway’s 14-inch minimum-size bass limit, fishermen at the recent Anglers Against Autism tournament talked about abundance–and the action.
“Man, I’m excited. We caught lots of fish,” tournament veteran Don Hutchinson said, “And we caught them most all day. The Spillway is alive and well.”
Hutchinson teamed with rising-tournament angler Corey Wheat to win the 42-boat event (five bass, 15.04 pounds), and Wheat’s near 5-pound largemouth was the tournament’s big fish.
While any winner would be living large after collecting a first-place check, it was more than that for Hutchinson and Wheat.
“There were small spots in Grand Lake that held lots of fish,” Hutchinson said. “We caught 40 bass, and how many people would love to catch that many fish in a day much less in a tournament. We caught three keepers (14-inch-plus bass) early on Tony Landry’s Humdinger spinnerbaits, the gold blades with white (skirts), but there was a lot more than that. We caught fish on five different baits.”
Wheat said his tournament lunker came when he “punched a (Sweet) Beaver” — putting the soft-plastic lure on a heavy jig, usually one-ounce in weight — and using the weight to get the bait through heavily matted hydrilla or tightly bunched water hyacinth.
“We also used a jig later,” Wheat said. “The bigger fish came later in the morning and we culled the first fish we caught earlier. We improved (stringer weight) all day and we stayed in Grand Lake all day.”