Cataract 2012 Tournament
The 2012 Indiana Slab Masters Cataract Lake Tournament will go down as one of the hottest, steamiest tournaments since the 2011 Raccoon Tournament. The weather was much better than earlier in the week with the string of 100 degree days, but for the 31 Slab Masters teams it was still hot enough that keeping fish alive in the livewell was almost as big of a challenge as catching the crappie. The fishing became tougher and tougher as the day progressed, and once again the cream rose to the top as Glenn Gill and Tom Hankins pulled off an unprecedented 3rd victory in a row with a 7 fish limit of 5.78lbs. Glenn and Tom were spider rigging lake fork live baby shad with Juiced Up bait applied to them, tipping with minnows in the morning, and using plastic only after the morning bite fishing in 8-14 feet of water. Glenn and Tom also tied with Jim and Bob Raymer for the Ted's Big fish award with a .95 lb. crappie. Tom and Glenn stated theyhad at least 3 fish that were near a pound die in the last hour of the tournament in their livewell from the butal conditions.
Finishing in 2nd place and locking up 2nd place in points for the year was the team of Don Licht and John Williams with a total weight of 4.92 lbs. Don and John were trolling curly tails in the lower end of the lake to finish in the top 5 again this season. Congratulations on locking up 2nd place in points men!
Finishing in 3rd place was the always tough team of John Quinn and Gale Risner with a total weight of 4.73 lbs. John and Gale were drifting Southern Pro tubes coated with Juiced up Baits to capture their 2nd top 5 of the year. Great job Men!
Finishing in 4th place in breaking into the top 5 for the 1st time this year was the team of Ron Bilbrey and Don Mandrell with a total of 4.46 lbs. Ron and Don were spider rigging using their sponsors Driftmaster trolling racks, and using Jiffy Jigs in 8-12' of water. Ron and Don have been showing steady improvement in the Indiana Slab Masters this year, Congratulations Men!
Rounding out the top 5 was the team of Doug Laake and Ryan Rohl with a total weight of 4.45 lbs. Doug and Ryan were long line trolling to capture 5th place! Nice job guys!
In closing, after having high fish mortality rate at this tournament and other tournaments where we fish very high water/ air temperatures during the heat of the summer, the idea has been circulating around the club officers that when the schedule is set for next year, we may try to skip July and August tournaments for the 2013 season, and possibly have the last event of the season in September with the Classic in October.
That way we will be fishing the bulk of our season during water temperatures where we feel we can release fish back to the lake alive. This tournament we encouraged members to take home their catch to keep from releasing weak fish back into the lake.
Our next event is at Brookville in August where there could be similiar conditions again. If this is the case, be prepared to alter our fishing hours to assure we don't stress our catch too much.
Another thought is for the officers to contact some potential sponsors that may be interested in sponsoring the club that have products to help with keeping the fish lively and less stressed. The very best way is to buy bottled oxygen from a welding supply and regulator and slowly add oxygen to the livewell while recirculating the water and cooling it with frozen water bottles or gallon milk jugs. Ideally you would want to lower your livewell not more than 7 degrees or so below surface temperature.
If any members have suggestions on livewell techniques, suggestions, etc. please don't hesitate to email or talk to me at the next event.
One last note. When this club was started, part of the passion was for members to learn strategies and techniques to make them better fisherman. I have noticed that many of the members have adapted their styles of fishing to spider rigging etc., so they can feel they are more competitive. I definitely don't want any members to not feel like we are doing all we can to improve your fishing skills, so stay tuned! This off season, we are going to be putting on workshops on different methods of fishing and they will be lead by some of the teams that are very successful at it. We will try to have the workshops in areas so if you are interested, you will have the ability to get to them. We will also be having our annual banquet this year the night before the Classic at Patoka Lake Marina, so keep visiting the website often after the next tournament to see all the details start to unfold!
I hope many of you can make the next tournament as there are still a lot of teams that can still make the top 10 in the B'n'M points race and receieve a plaque for your efforts this year!
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