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Phenomenal bite’ predicted for Mark’s Outdoors Lay Lake Open
By Pat Robertson - 05/05/2010
Fishing in Lay Lake should be as good as and possibly even better than it was last year this time for the Mark’s Outdoors Lay Lake Open, said Blake Harlow, the tournament manager at Mark’s Outdoor Sports in Birmingham, Ala., which sponsors the tournament.
“The fish definitely will be in post spawn by the time of the tournament and the lake looks in awesome shape. It’s full of water and the grass looks good. There is going to be a phenomenal bite,” Harlow said. “I predict the weights will be about the same as last year.”
And the tournament last year was the best ever, he noted.
“We had three fish that broke the 7-pound range and we had more fish weighed in last year than we ever weighed in before. We had more than 400 boats out of 500 weigh in.”
A major bonus, he said, was that only three fish were weighed in dead.
“That is a huge, huge success with that many boats weighing in.”
Harlow said a lot of fish will be caught cruising following the spawn, swimming a jig, and punching down through the grass mats.
“The topwater bite is going to come on real hard and heavy and they will also catch them throwing weightless flukes because the fish are going to be guarding fry. The spinnerbait bite will be good and the catch on swim baits in shad patterns ought to be just ungodly!”
The excitement for anglers will be even higher than in the past because of the increased participation this year by professional anglers, Harlow said.
“We’ve got 15 pros fishing so it’s going to be a really cool experience,” he said. Among top pro anglers committed to fish the tournament are Alton Jones, Boyd Docket, Byron Velvick, Fred Roumbanis, Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon and Randy Howell.
“If an angler wants to call in and sign up to fish with the pros they can get on the list and if they get drawn they get to fish with that pro for free,” he said.
The entry fee is $125 per boat and Harlow said the total guaranteed payout is $85,000 with payback through 60 places. The prizes include $25,000 for breaking the tournament big fish record of 9.29 pounds, $25,000 for the first 7-pound largemouth bass weighed in, plus bonus prizes of $250 for the top parent-child and top mixed couple team.
A lucky angler can also win a Skeeter/Yamaha boat rig by test driving the boat before the tournament. GMC is also giving away a GMC 1500 pickup but you have to test drive it, too, at the same time you test drive the boat.
“There is the possibility you could drive away from this tournament with a new truck and a new boat,” Harlow said.
Proceeds from the tournament are used to replenish bass in Lay Lake. Since 1992 more than 2.5 million Florida bass have been stocked in the lake.
Entries are already being registered for 2011 and 2012. For details call Mark’s Outdoor Sports in Birmingham, (205) 822-2010 or toll-free 1-877-979-6275, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark''s Outdoors Lay Lake Open
Sat. May 1, 2010