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weekend tournement pressure and bass

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i am taking the week off next week for rayburn for my first time. apparantly there is a major tournement going on this weekend and from what i am reading lots of tournements every weekend since toledo bend is so low.

so first doesnt the tornements kill the spawning activity since the fish are not released immediately?

and how will the fish respond for the first few days after being pounded all weekend by others that are releasing the fish right away?

how should i work these situations into my pattern?


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I would find out what ramps the tournaments are using for the weigh in then I would fish those areas where fish were released the weekend before.

Some of those bass that were released will stick around the area for a week or so.

Look for points in the immediate area also look for the first drop off out from the bank and any visible cover.

In most tournaments the weigh in area is offlimits to participants so those areas don't get a lot of tournament pressure.

Hope this helps.  

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Guest ouachitabassangler

I'll second that advice and add some. Check with the DNR about whether a release boat was used. Some states are beginning to supply one for large tournaments to prevent "stockpiling" bass at weigh-in ramps. Unfortunately there is no reasonable way to return bass to their beds but at least they are not left to compete with resident bass for food. If not redistributed then those ramps are usually the best catching areas on the lake. The longer the bass stick around the hungrier they get due to resident bass having all the best ambush spots. None of the released bass on large lakes are able to return to their regular spots or beds unless caught very nearby. Some manage to take up resisence, displacing smaller bass, or they roam the lake very slowly, feeding along the way, until finding a suitable home. If they don't set up home somewhere quickly and get back to heavy feeding they suffer greatly come winter. Having to swim 1000 feet between meals has a negative growth effect.

I've found that bass return to normal activities by Monday or Tuesday following a weekend tournament. It depends on water temperature and how fast their metabolism is running.


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As you know, many tournaments are deliberately held during the nucleus of the bedding season

to beef-up the stringer weights. In your experience, how does the displacement of high numbers

of buck bass during the incubation period affect the bass population? Wouldn't that gravely affect

the mortality rate of the eggs?


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