Lake Athens Tournament Roundup PLUS How to DIY This East Texas Lake

| April 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

lake athens texas fly fishing tournament Johnny Martinez

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Heck of a deal. That’s all I could say – but not all I will say, of course.

I didn’t make it there on Friday to take part in the sunfish event that took place on Friday, but after the monster bluegill I caught Saturday? I wish I were focused on those power-packed little sunfish on a more regular basis. Ounce-for-ounce, they’re hard to beat, and the one I caught Saturday was bigger than my hand – the biggest I have ever caught.

The Lake Athens Event – Women Steal the Bass Show!

Saturday was the bass event, and it was quite simple; big bass wins. In event of a tie, which will probably never happen, the number of total inches of fish caught would be the tiebreaker. My 12” and the 16” fish I took did no good against the eventual winner at 22”. I don’t know how much math readers do, but that is a GOOD fish.

The Athens event is fun at the size it is now, but I can almost guarantee you it will get bigger for many years ahead. The only thing I would think to do differently is actually start adding to the “winners” by having more places besides only first (how capitalistic is that!), and also add another category that keeps us on the water longer: a “most inches” category starting at 12” fish measured and up from there (less than 12” don’t count).

This event was started by Johnny Martinez of Johnny on the Fly guiding fame, and Johnny definitely qualifies as one of the “nice guys” in Texas fly fishing. Running this event solo, is a feat, but to have it come off so well is pretty amazing.

HOW TO CATCH on FLY AT LAKE ATHENS

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THE CONTEST

I definitely like the fact that the standings are updated in real time, as participants use their phones to photograph their fish (with proper ID), and text the images in to the organizers. Simple, and brilliant. Back at the boat launch (there’s no marina), there was plenty of swag from sponsors, door prizes, a raffle, food and beer. Dallas Fly Fishers had a significant presence, and it was good to see Ted Warren from the Lake Fork Bass on the Fly World Championship tournament – set up and selling flies. I can see this tournament growing by leaps-and-bounds if it gets past the bottleneck boat ramps. Otherwise, the facilities are great. I’ll be back there soon – ON A WEEKDAY.

Seeing, and talking to Ted Warren – organizer of the Bass on the Fly World Championship at Lake Fork, gave me an idea. I did tell Ted that I would be ready to spearhead a bass on the fly tournament on Lake Ray Roberts next year, but I didn’t tell him that I thought his tournament, Johnny’s Athens tournament and this new Ray Roberts tournament could benefit from being unified into some kind of “points chase” … a tour championship of sorts. Maybe I’ve been watching too much WFN? I can imagine a No matter what, it’s great to see more tournament opportunities now that I have a skiff to actually be somewhat competitive. By the way, the kayak division sleighed the fish at the Athens tournament.

THE BASS RESULTS

Kayak Division

Lee Kodat Wins both categories.

Most Fish – 5 fish at 68 inches

Biggest – 15.5 in

Big Bass Boat division

Jimmy Smith 22 inches

Most Boat Bass

Tied on count.

Tie broken by overall inches.

Kimberly Panick 6 fish 96 inches

Janet Baca  6 fish 77 inches

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Category: Adventure, Culture on the Skids, East Texas, Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass, On The Road, Paid Reading Content, TECHNICAL, Technique, Tournaments and Contests

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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