What were you doing from 2 – 4 a.m. Friday night? It’s a good bet that you weren’t out fishing. But some folks were, and at least three of them are glad they were.
While most of us were sleeping, a trio of anglers landed three bass this past weekend in the Majestic Big Bass tournament that weighed a combined total of more than 30 pounds, and on Lake Claiborne no less. Claiborne is a great fishing lake, but not known as a lunker bass haven.
Stockton Roberson of Dubach led the pack with an 11.50-pound largemouth caught around 3 a.m. Tyler Lewis caught a 10.38 pounder around 4 a.m. and Craig Kolb caught a 9.39 pounder around the same time. Roberson and Lewis won big bass of the hour for their respective catches. Roberson also won the overall big bass prize. Kolb’s catch was good news/bad news. He landed it the same hour as Lewis and came in second in hourly big bass despite an enormous fish.
Eight hours pays off
The key to the big ones in the 16-hour long annual marathon hourly big bass event, which begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, was night fishing. And patience. Robertson sat on the same spot, a small hump off the end of a boat dock in deeper water, the entire tournament.
“We had been catching some good bass there at night and I knew if I sat there long enough, it would pay off. I had sat there and cast in the same area for eight hours when she finally bit,” he said. “I had caught one small fish at 8:45 and then didn’t get another bite until the big one. I was just sitting there zoned out and fishing on cruise control. I felt the bite and it woke me up and I set the hook. When it set, I knew she was a big one. When she broke the top of the water, I knew by the sound it was my personal best.”
Roberson, a 24-year-old employee of Stallion Oil Field Services, caught the fish on an 8-inch black and blue PlasmaTail plastic worm. It’s a worm he has to order because he can’t find it in local tackle stores.
A great surprise
Lewis said fishing for him was slow as well, but he got the right bite at the right time.
“I was fishing in an area off the bank, but not too far from the docks,” he said. “I only got five bites the entire tournament and this one kind of surprised me. I felt the bite and as soon as I set the hook, she dove down and wallowed around on the bottom, then came up like a marlin and jumped as far out of the water as she could trying to shake the hook. She came to the boat fairly easily, but when she saw the boat, she took off again on a couple of runs.
“When I finally got her in the net and in the boat, I sat down and was shaking so bad I couldn’t even retie my line,” he said. “God just blessed me. I’m no better than any other fishermen, I was just blessed with this big one.”
It was also his personal best. He caught his bass on a 10-inch Blue Fleck worm. He lives in Homer.
Local angler and tournament director Dale Taylor puts on Majestic tournaments each summer on Lake D’Arbonne and on Claiborne. The majority of the tournament hours are at night because the bite is better and the anglers get a break from the heat.
Lake Claiborne is a 6,400 acre lake created in 1970 located just outside of Homer.