Texas Anglers Finally Fish Lake Palestine
Originally scheduled as the 2011 season opener, the Lake Palestine event turned into the regular season finale for the East Texas Division 11 of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers.
First planned for Feb. 6, the tournament was rescheduled because of dangerous winter weather conditions. The tournament will now be held on July 9, 2011. Anglers will run out of the Villages Marina, located at 18270 Singing Wood Lane in Flint. Registration begins at 4 p.m. July 8 at the Gander Mountain, located at 151 Market Square Boulevard in Tyler. Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass.
Situated on the Neches River about 15 miles southwest of Tyler, Lake Palestine covers 25,560 acres. Impounded in 1962, the lake drops to about 58 feet deep in places. Lake Palestine can produce some big bass. Ronald George Ebaugh caught the lake record largemouth, a 12.51-pounder, on Feb. 24, 1991.
Many anglers fish the vegetation and flooded timber above the Texas Highway 155 Bridge on the main lake. Other good creek arms include Highsaw, Ledbetter, Cobb Creek, Stone Chimney Creek, Saline Bay and Flat Creek. Some anglers also fish the structure up the Neches River and Kickapoo Creek. Crappie anglers placed numerous brush piles between the dam and the bridge, making good places to find bass.
With water temperatures approaching or exceeding 90 degrees, summer patterns prevail in the lake. Look for bass deep. Work over holes and channels that offer deeper, cooler temperatures. Vertically fish drop shot rigs with 4-inch grubs or jig chrome spoons over holes. Also drag Texas-rigged black and blue worms around deep structure. Over humps, work deep-running shad-colored crankbaits.
During a February 2010 BWS tournament, Scott Kelly of Watauga won the Boater Division with five bass weighing 20.04 pounds for more than a 4-pound average. Upping his average, he anchored his bag with a 5.50-pounder. Kenny Lively of Grapeland took second with four bass going 19.04 pounds and landed the 7.68-pound tournament lunker.
In the Co-Angler Division during that February 2010 tournament, Scottie Owen of Hamilton won with three bass going 9.33 pounds topped by a 4.06-pound kicker. Corey Freeman of Tyler took second with two bass at 9.29 pounds, but his 5.96-pounder took division big bass honors.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at (318) 201-3474 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.