Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bass Master Classic 2011: Lake Cat

Bass Master Classic: Post Tournament Assessment
Lake Cat's Wow Factor
Tuesday,  February 23, 2011
Louisiana Delta
New Orleans, La.
By Luigi De Rose


The Master!
Photo: James Overstreet (BASS)
Lake Cataouatche (Lake Cat) was the place to be Classic week. The true magic location was the "Tank Pond" section of this lake. It really was on fire. Arriving at the Delta and having hundred of miles of water to choose from is a daunting task. Amazingly, many of the Classic competitors visited this magic place only to discover frigid, low water. Only a few had the faith and vision to recognize it's worth. Kevin Van Dam, Aaron Martens, Scott Rook and Derek Remitz, along with a few others, instantly knew it was the place to be.

Last Wednesday, the last official practice day before the Classic, Aaron Martens discovered the water warmed, its depth increased and the baitfish were plentiful. Van Dam admitted catching an 8 or 9 pound bass in practice and knew it had great potential. Both soon would discover the phenomenal fishing they would unlock.

During the Day 1 press conference, when asked how he knew Lake Cat was a the right place to start, Scott Rook kidded, "because Van Dam is there." After a second of reflection, Scott explained, “its the best spawning areas in the Delta, bar none. It's known for big fish and they're there and coming."  Kevin interjected saying, "I'd be stunned if it is not won there (Lake Cat)."

Kevin explained in greater detail why his winning area produced so well. "It’s a special place. It has a lot of hard bottom and protected areas with all the stumps. The moon dictated that they were getting ready to spawn." Wednesday's moon was big and full and the water temp was on the rise. All signals that bass were coming shallow.

The Strike King KVD square billed crankbaits was key to triggering territorial aggression from the pre-spawning and spawning bass. The Tank Pond area was stained to muddy. Van Dam said in the post tournament interview that he had to make 8 or more casts to single stumps before the bigger ones would bite.

One question I and many others have is why stick with cranking? Why didn't they start pitching the hell of the area of Lake Cat? Most of us would abandon a reaction bite if we didn't see results, especially after hours of nothing. For me, that crank or spinnerbait would be long gone. It seemed strange no one switched to Senkos, jigs, or anything slow. They just relentlessly cranked and cranked over the same stumps trying to make the perfect angled run with the bait. Not only does this illustrate the importance of power fishing and creating a reactionary bite but the importance of fishing your strengths. Like I said before, Kevin Van Dam is Vader with a cranking rod.



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