I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying this spring that the bass fishing at Smith Mountain Lake is as good for nice-sized fish as it’s ever been.
It’s hardly a secret.
This past weekend’s Oakley Big Bass Tournament drew a whopping 502 entrants. That’s a record for the tour, which visits such other bass-crazy states such as North Carolina and Texas. A record was also set for the number of fish weighed in, and the average size was up from last year, too.
I love seeing numbers like that because they show just how important bass fishing (fishing in general, really) is in these parts. That helps justify the amount of time and newspaper and blog space I spend covering fishing, and is important if any of the head honchos here ever try to tell me that I do too much fishing coverage.
The tourney featured a likeable winner in Phillip Cox, whose story I told in my column this morning in The Roanoke Times. I wanted to post a shot of Cox with the Nitro Z7 he won, but just realized that I left my camera at home. I’ll try to add one later.
And, like last year’s OBBT, it featured a disqualification of a leader who did not complete a polygraph test.
Tournament officials declined to provide specific details about the test or the circumstances that brought suspicion on the 6.45-pound bass submitted by Perry Brown. They said that he declined to take the test. There are lots of rumors flying around out there, non of which I will repeat here because they are only rumors.
I sure wish one of these DQ cases would end up in criminal charges, because that would sure help squash the rumors that are inevitable. I should point out that putting a case in court might also help an angler whose rep is shot by a DQ like this clear his name, if so deserving.
The Optimist tournament is coming up in two weeks. Anyone want to put odds on whether we’ll see a DQ in that tourney for the third year in a row?