Anti Negativity Rant: PWT Bull Shoals
Jun 26th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 26th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
The subject of WalleyeFIRST's second ever rant is, surprisingly, the same subject as our first rant. What is it with this PWT event at Bull Shoals that has the walleye community saying such strange things?
Our second rant focuses on some of the coverage out there. Headlines from the first two days like "Zeros Galore" and "Limits Scarce Again" make me wonder out loud, "Have these guys ever walleye fished, or followed the tours when they make their occasional visits to 'progressive' walleye waters?" Zeros Galore is, say, the Illinois River six feet over flood stage (there's nothing wrong with 5th place), or for you history buffs, a GNWC WI Championship on Green Lake, WI (that's $4723.93 per pound) – not the usual handful of empty baskets every tournament seems to have.
The answer … when you look for negative, that's what you'll find.
Bull Shoals is a southern reservoir, far out of the traditional walleye range, one of a few reservoirs in the south along with Norfork that contains a fishable walleye population.
Conditions are far from ideal. The lake is 35 feet over normal pool after a hellish spring and early summer filled with more rain than you can imagine. The weather is oppressively hot. The fish have the option of burying themselves so far in the now flooded timber that you can burn through 100 cranks in the blink of an eye attempting to pry one out. There is an 18" minimum size limits that makes the majority of normally keeper-sized fish off-limits.
As one pro put it, "We can't fish memories from '04 and '05, since neither the fishermen or the walleyes have ever experienced the water conditions we have at this event."
Despite all this, over the first two days of the event 35 double-digit weights have crossed the stage out of a 56 boat field. Four of those were over 17 lbs, a very respectable weight just about anywhere. Compare this to some of the other PWT and FLW events over the past several years on better known bodies of water. Moreover, guys like Bill Ortiz and Mark Brumbaugh are putting on a show – showing us why they are pros – demonstrating how they attack a lake during high water conditions that have never been seen on this lake in its history.
Bull Shoals isn't exactly a walleye destination, but with action like this maybe it should be?