W[/drop]elcome to 2017.
Well, okay, we know you’re most likely reading this in December, 2016. But while you’re leafing through this issue, relaxing between bursts of Tree Trimming energy and gift list checking, we’re already working on the February issue. So, to us, it’s next year. Such is the nature of publishing deadlines.
While working on 2017, we couldn’t help getting excited about one theme that will resonate through all issues of the coming year: Texas Bass Fishing.
In fact, 2017 will be a landmark year for bass fishing in The Lone Star State.
Texas will host the Bassmaster Classic in March, a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament at Toledo Bend and Bassfest at Sam Rayburn. In addition, B.A.S.S. will host a Central Open at the Sabine River in Orange.
Meanwhile, the FLW tour will be hosting one of its stops at Lake Travis.
We are now at the point where some of the largest tournaments in the state are high school tournaments with the SETX group having at times more than 400 teams fish a single event.
And, for two years running, Toledo Bend has been ranked the number one bass lake in the nation.
As the main outdoors information source in Texas, we plan to be all over this “Year of the Bass.”
In fact, we were “all over it,” covering the full spectrum of bass fishing during these lean years well before the entire bass fishing world focused on Texas.
You may recall several articles back in the dark days of the early twenty-teens, when much of East Texas was in the thirsty throes of a historic drought. Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn, Conroe and Fork were all suffering record low water levels. Our articles examined the “new lake effect” that occurs when waters recede in an established lake, exposing previously long-flooded lake beds. While dry, these areas experience the growth of new vegetation and other chemical and biological changes. When weather patterns return to normal and the water levels rise again to flood those areas, they can become supercharged breeding grounds for popular gamefish, especially bass and crappie.
As predicted, the rains came back, the lakes re-filled, and an explosion in fish production rocked the world of bass fishing.
Toledo Bend, at almost 50 years of age, had fallen into bass fishing mediocrity before the drought. The massive water body that occupies nearly one-fourth of the Texas-Louisiana border responded to the New Lake Effect with a vengeance. Toledo made such a rapid comeback from its low-water period that it leapfrogged to the top of the aforementioned list of bass lake rankings. And stayed there.
Lake Conroe, which will host this year’s Bassmaster Classic, is especially near and dear to us. It’s virtually in our backyard. Plus, Roy graduated from Conroe High School the year the lake was under construction and, while working for his dad who was Montgomery County Surveyor, he actually ran many of the elevation lines in the original lake bed survey. So, Conroe is essentially TF&G’s “Home Lake.”
It’s an exciting time to be a bass angler in Texas. Expect us to be right in the thick of it, with more articles, special sections and plenty of online coverage and videos documenting the Year of the Bass in the Lone Star State.
Meanwhile, enjoy your Christmas and have a happy New Year, once you get here!