With Skeeter owners from around the country converging on Lake Fork, Texas this weekend for the 16th annual Skeeter Owner’s Tournament, breaking the largemouth bass state record may not be obtainable, but a spot in the top 50 could be within reach, according to Team Skeeter and Mineola, Texas native Kelly Jordon.
“Getting into the record books could happen this weekend, but it will take the right technique to do so,” says Jordon, who placed second last weekend in the Bassmaster Elite Series River Rumble on the Mississippi River. “The first hour of the tournament is key, as the big fish transition from night feeding in shallow waters back into deeper waters. Shallow water that has deeper water nearby should hold some large fish,” says Jordon.
Jordon recommends a deep diving crankbait, such as Lucky Craft’s D-20, any shad pattern swim bait, or traditional techniques such as a Carolina rig or the Lake Fork Creature. “Skeeter owners may also want to consider fishing near grass and shallows with a frog, or opting for a 10”-12” worm,” adds Jordon.
Lake Fork currently holds the state record for largemouth bass – 8.18 lbs. – set in 1992. The lake holds the top six spots in the top 10 state record books, and owns 34 of the top 50 spots. At more than 27,000 acres, Lake Fork is considered the perfect bass habitat. “Its average depth is 12-15 feet, and consists of underwater structures, including timber, brush piles, flooded dams and farm ponds. Top water fans will appreciate the vast amount of Hydrilla, Milfoil, lily pads and duckweek,” says Jordon.
Jordon will be joined by several other Team Skeeter professional anglers and Lake Fork guides during the Owner’s Tournament meeting and greeting fans, conducting seminars, and participating in the tournament’s “Guide to Green Shoot Out,” matching Saturday’s hourly big bass winners in a twohour, five-fish-limit shootout with Team Skeeter professional anglers and local Lake Fork guides. Joining Jordon for the Owner’s Tournament will be Bassmaster Classic Champion Alton Jones, Harold Allen, Todd Faircloth, Brooks Rogers, Lance Vick, Zell Rowland and Brian Clark, among others.
“Skeeter boats are manufactured in the heart of bass fishing country, with Lake Fork, Toledo Bend, the Red River, Sam Rayburn and hundreds of other great bass fisheries only a short drive from Kilgore,” says Ben Jarrett, Skeeter’s National Sales Manager. “Lake Fork has such a great reputation for producing quality largemouth bass, that folks come from around the country for a picture perfect lunker,” adds Jarrett.
As with previous years, Bass Champs will be on-hand filming the tournament for The Outdoor Channel, a highlight for many competitors. “Skeeter owners who fish this tournament get to feel like a professional angler, if just for a weekend,” says Chad Potts, President of Bass Champs. “Competitors have the opportunity to weigh-in and walk across the stage for an interview with Fish Fishburne, which gives owners a tremendous sense of pride,” says Potts.
This year, Skeeter will give away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including a Skeeter ZX200 powered by a Yamaha VZ200 to the overall big bass winner. Cash payouts will total $3,550 per hour, with each top hourly winner receiving a check for $700, providing 130 chances of walking away with a check during the two-day tournament. Each person registered for the tournament will have the opportunity to win a Yamaha 350 4x4 Grizzly in a random draw. Prizes will also be awarded to top anglers in the Junior and Ladies Divisions.
Skeeter hopes to yet again break attendance records at its annual Owner’s Tournament. Last year’s event was one of the company’s largest Owner’s Tournaments in corporate history, with 1,630 anglers competing from 808 Skeeter boats. Owners may register on-site at Lake Fork Marina, June 18-19, and before 6:00 a.m. on June 20.
Competition begins at 6 a.m. on June 20 in an hourly big bass format. The tournament continues at 6:00 a.m. on June 21, with an awards ceremony that afternoon. Cost is $80 per person for tournament registration only, or $120 for registration plus a Limited Edition Kistler 6’9” Medium/Heavy Casting Rod. Hourly payouts are based on 800 boats. For more information about Skeeter Products, Inc., visit www.skeeterboats.com.