In a game winning play every bit as exciting as a 4th quarter drive into the end zone, Alan Howatt set the hook on a largemouth bass that garnered he and team mate Bryan Carroll a top 15 finish in last month's Bassmaster College Series Wildcard tournament held on Pickwick Lake in Alabama. The finish will advance Horwatt and Carroll, both seniors at Clemson University and the flagship team of Clemson's Bass Fishing Club, to the prestigious Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship being held this week-end on Lake Chatuge in northern Georgia.
"We knew we needed another 2 pound fish to finish well enough to advance to the Championship," said Carroll. "We were in the final 5 minutes of the Pickwick tournament when Alan made the last cast of the day and stuck a 2 pounder and hauled him into the boat. If it wasn't for that fish, we probably would not have made the cut."
On Monday, the pair reported for practice at Chatuge, a deep, clear mountain lake that straddles the border between Georgia and North Carolina. With three days of open practice under their belts, and one day of competition fishing yesterday, the Clemson team will fish hard today and hopefully make the cut at the end of today's fishing that will allow them to stay in the tournament for the narrowed down field and compete in the final round on Saturday.
"Throughout the year, anglers put their skills to the test in hopes of earning a chance to fish the Bassmaster College Series National Championship, and this year's qualifiers are a true representation of the best college bass fishermen in the circuit," said Hank Weldon, B.A.S.S. college tournament manager.
In the world of college bass fishing, each team competes as one angler, and are only allowed to weigh one five fish limit that will score as one team. After the championship round, the top four teams will be divided up, and each angler will be placed individually into an eight-angler bracket. They will fish for three days, Aug. 3-5, in a single elimination format until only one remains. The winning angler will be invited to fish in the biggest event in bass fishing – The Bassmaster Classic- which will be held next February on Lake Hartwell with weigh-ins taking place in Greenville at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
"Last year, a team from Auburn University had to fish head-to-head to see who got to fish with the big boys in the Bassmaster Classic on Guntersville," said Horwatt, who will individually be making his third appearance in the National Championship. "I'd like to see that happen again this year since both Bryan and I consider Hartwell to be our home lake."
One variable that has weighed heavily on the minds of the college contenders has simply become known as "the rat." In the 2013 National Championship fans watched as Auburn University at Montgomery's Tom Frink and Jacob Nummy heaved a 6-inch chunk of wood known as "the rat" and enticed some of the biggest fish in Chatuge to jump onboard for a ride to the weigh-in. Though the unusual bait was only one punch of a two-part combo that included drop shotting, the big lure stole the show. It piqued enough interest that a mass-produced composite rat — the BBZ-1 Rat — was just released by Spro at the ICAST trade show in July.
Teams will take off from The Ridges Marina in Hiawassee, Ga., at 6:30 a.m. ET today. Weigh-ins for the championship will be held at Young Harris College and are set to begin at 3 p.m. ET.
ESPNU will present coverage of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship beginning Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. ET, and the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket will air beginning Aug, 17 at 11 a.m. Fans can follow the action live at www.bassmaster.com/tv-schedule.
In Other News
Summer is not over! With plenty of warm weather left to enjoy, safety around the water is essential. Sign your family up for a free boating safety class through the SCDNR. Upcoming classes are as follows:
July 29 at Sycamore Town Hall
July 31 at the Fort Johnson DNR Office
August 7 at York County Law Enforcement Training Center
August 9 at Clemson DNR Office
August 11 at Murrells Inlet Fire Department
August 16 at US Coast Guard Auxiliary Class Daniel Island Library
September 6 at the Fort Johnson DNR Office
You can also check our website for other classes and outdoor educational opportunities offered by the SC Department of Natural Resources at http://www.register-ed.com/programs/43 or call 1-800-277-4301.
The Clemson Tigers Bass Fishing Team will be represented by Bryan Carroll (left) and Alan Horwatt (right) in this week-end's Bassmaster College National Championships on Lake Chatuge in north Georgia. Photo courtesy Alan Horwatt.
I’ve long held with the belief that 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish. The reason that saying rings true is that those 10 percenters understand that 90% of the fish are found in only 10% of the water. Professional tournament anglers have a process they go through while pre-fishing for a tournament that they refer to as “eliminating water”.
While that process sounds more disgusting than it really is, “eliminating water” means verifying that fish either are or are not holding to a given pattern in the 10% of the water that se anglers seasoned anglers would expect them to be in.
During the summer months when fishing can become extremely difficult, much of the 10% of the water that anglers are looking to find fish in is related to a thermocline.
A thermocline is a layer of water more often found in a large body of water, where the temperature gradient is greater than that of the warmer layer above and the colder layer below. To understand the concept, a quick physical science lesson is in order.
A typical reservoir may have uniform temperatures throughout the lake, from top to bottom, for only a short time in the spring and again in the fall. In the summer, most lakes with sufficient depth (usually 30 -40 feet) are stratified into distinct, non-mixing layers of different temperatures. The top warmer layer is referred to as the epilimnion and the colder bottom layer is known as the hypolimnion. These two layers are separated by the metalimnion layer. The metalimnion, better known as the thermocline, is a zone of rapidly changing temperature.
You’ll understand the concept better if you have ever dove down into a lake while swimming and found substantially colder water several feet below the surface. Fish thrive in this cooler layer because it has the best balance of dissolved oxygen. The colder water below, the hypolimnion layer, is actually devoid of oxygen. Because little sunlight reaches the hypolimnion, photosynthetic oxygen production is negligible and decomposition of dead plant and animal matter on the lake floor leads to declining oxygen levels as the summer progresses.
At this time of year, any lake that can and will develop a thermocline has done so. This means that 90% of the fish will most certainly be holding at specific depths in stratified reservoirs to take advantage of the cooler water that provides the highest dissolved oxygen.
To understand the seasonal movements of fish in our local reservoirs – striped bass, largemouth and spotted bass, and even larger catfish species, during the expansive summer months, you have to be constantly on the water monitoring them. As the temperatures and water inflows change, so do fish movements.
The best way to determine the level of the thermocline is by adjusting the sensitivity on most of today’s modern sonar units. The cooler, denser water will rebound the signal and chart a slight line across the graph, marking the depth level. If fish are present in that area of the thermocline, it will also be the level where most of them are residing.
Another way to judge the thermocline is by the life of live bait such as herring, a typical striped bass favorite, or bait shop minnows, frequently used for bass and crappie. If you raise the minnow up too high, the heated water will quickly kill the bait. If you drop the bait below the thermocline, the lack of oxygen from the decomposition of plant and animal material on the lake floor will also kill the bait. This is an important consideration when fishing any live bait vertically beneath the boat.
The next step to finding fish is locating where the thermocline layer meets suitable fish cover.
Anglers often confuse the terms “structure” and “cover”. Simply stated, structure is any terrain feature that crappie, bass, stripers, or other fish will find favorable given the time of year. Cover is a physical object, a stump, tree, rock pile, bridge piling or boat dock, that usually rises vertically in the water column to either break current or provide a hiding place.
Many professional anglers and guides have made a living fishing break lines – an underwater ridge where the bottom drops away to deeper water. As a method of locating fish at a particular depth, get on a specific break line and just follow it all over the lake. Since we already know that fish are more inclined to suspend at the level of the thermocline, the key is to put your baits right in the top of the thermocline and then follow the break line until you come across the fish holding on or above some kind of structure.
In Other News
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Enoree District of the U.S. Forest Service, will host a special youth dove hunt in Union County on Saturday, Sept. 6.
The Sept. 6 youth dove hunt will be at the U.S. Forest Service Herbert Field about 5.6 miles southeast of the town of Carlisle. Only youth 17 years of age or younger will be allowed to shoot, and youth must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older. Adults must remain in the field and closely supervise participating youth at all times.
For questions on the youth dove hunt, or for more information, contact the Union office of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at (864) 427-5140 or contact the U.S. Forest Service Enoree Office at (864) 427-9858.
Last week the internet controversy over Kendall Jones, a 19 year old Texas Tech cheerleader who has dedicated her Facebook site to exhibiting her kills of big game animals in Africa, hit a critical mass as news reports and public response to the issue from both sides of the right-to-hunt debate mounted. Jones has received death threats from site viewers extolling the villainy of her African safaris. The result has been a galvanizing of viewers and a rekindling of the hunter vs anti-hunter debate in the news media.
The antis rally to the side that any and all killing of animals is wrong. Some leeway is afforded when hunters reply with the argument of money that is paid to participate in the safari hunts goes toward conservation and wildlife management, feeding of the local population, and funding law enforcement that keeps poaching of the animals at bay. However, years of cable television documentaries have swayed the general public to the point that many viewers feel that any big game animal is endangered and should never be hunted.
When pressed for an opinion, hunters will take the same stand with big game hunting in Asia and Africa that gun owners take any time a gun issue is presented, basically the right to bear arms (or in this scenario hunt) shall not be infringed.
To the dismay of some, hunters are harder on themselves and their peers than many outsiders suspect. An example of this is white tail deer hunting. The entire group will rally in support of the right to hunt deer but archery-only hunters in the group frequently look down their noses with disdain at gun hunters who use long range, scoped rifles to basically do the same job the archer does with different gear. In these cases, it’s for the end user to determine what is “sport” and what is not.
You also don’t have to travel to Africa or even outside the state to find the same controversy over what level of hunting some find acceptable and others don’t. For the last 6 or 7 years, the SCDNR has operated a lottery draw system for hunters to apply for tags to hunt alligators in the lower part of the state. Once an endangered species, the American alligator has rebounded back to sustainable populations where the number of human/alligator encounters often makes the news. Wildlife management officials have sought to control the rising population of alligators by allowing limited harvest of these animals.
Regardless of the science behind the motive, anti-hunters frequently come out against the state’s alligator hunters who hunt and harvest a particularly large specimen that garners enough attention to make it into the mainstream media.
An additional hotly contested example is the legal hunting of black bears in both the Upstate and Low Country where biologists cite that number of black bears in the Appalachian chain has reached or exceeded the social carrying capacity. Two week long seasons for bear hunting in the Upstate are provided by the DNR and likewise, when news and photos of bears harvested by hunters hits the mainstream media, the outcry over killing “cute and cuddly” or “defenseless creatures” always rears it’s head.
One side of the Jones debate that even divides the general hunting population is that African safaris costs range in the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for one single animal. Most hunters don’t have that kind of money to spend on a sport and simply write Jones off as a spoiled rich girl out spending Daddy’s money.
The subject of fair chase rarely arises when connected to African safaris. American hunters who hunt high-fence or pen-raised animals for sport are placed on a lower social hierarchy by both the hunting and general public. These areas are maintained as private preserves and the cost to hunt within, as well as the likelihood of success, are high.
Perhaps the general public nor the anti’s would be so quick to judge Jones if she were truly a Sheena Of The Jungle who scouted, patterned, and then stalked and hunted her African prey without the aid of outfitters, guides, and the like. In the meantime, it’s an issue that neither side is likely to sway the opinion of the other over.
In Other News
According to a wildlife biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, dove hunters still have time to plant fields to attract doves during the upcoming season. The Upstate has an abundant population of resident mourning doves and the best way to attract the speedy, acrobatic birds is to plant an abundance of good dove foods in an environment conducive to feeding by doves.
Individuals interested in dove field planting recommendations should contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Small Game Project in Columbia at (803) 734-3609 or their local regional wildlife biologist. A planting guide for dove hunters is available, as is the South Carolina Migratory Game Bird Hunting Guidebook which contains information on field preparation and frequently asked questions.
How would steal from a church? Can you imagine? Televangelist Joel Osteen's church in Houston announced Monday that $600,000 in Sunday donations were stolen from its safe last weekend, MyFoxHouston.com reported. The heist at Lakewood Church wasn't discovered until 8:30 a.m. Monday morning when a church employee and off-duty Harris County Sheriff's Officer noticed the break in, the report said. Investigators believe the theft occurred sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. The donations were from services on March 8 and March 9 and included cash, checks and credit cards. Lakewood has asked anyone who attended services this weekend to pay attention to their accounts and report any suspicious activity. "The funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church," the Lakewood statement said, according to The Houston Chronicle. Lakewood stresses this was not a data breach, but says the theft was limited to donations made in the actual services. More than 40,000 people attend weekly services led by Osteen, whose televised sermons reach nearly 100 countries.That's incredibly wrong! Also impressive that many attend the church and that much collected!
It is so easy to be critical of the Police. I don't like seeing their blue lights come up behind me anymore than any of you. However, I wouldn't do their job for ANY amount of money. Imagine, walking up on a robbery in progress. Walking in on a Domestic Dispute where guns and weapons are drawn and tempers flair. I hear of these "routine" traffic stops that all to often result in violence, an officer being shot and killed on the side of the road. I can't imagine! So before you go bashing the cops think about what YOU would do! Thats all...
This was in today's Spartanburg Herald and was pointed out by a text message to the show. Would you WANT 4 wives? Oka, here ya go!
Mohamed Husain Alimohamed, 83 , passed away peacefully on Tuesday evening, February 18, 2014. Mr. Mohamed was retired from INA Bearing Company, Inc. of Spartanburg, where he worked. Surviving are two brothers and wives Fidahusein Alimohamed and wife Batul and Sajjadhusain Alimohamed and wife Bilkis both of Spartanburg, eightnephews, one niece. And thirteen grandnephews and grandnieces. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spartanburg Regional Hospice, 686 Jeff Davis Dr. Spartanburg, SC 29303. -
The latest trend in coffee may boost your energy and help you lose weight. BUTTER IN YOUR COFFEE! Well, not just any butter, and not just any coffee. The butter has to be unsalted and grass-fed, and the coffee beans have to be low-toxin – not the ones you find at the supermarket or Starbucks. Would YOU try it!?
No, I'm not a big football fan when it comes to the NFL...I DO love
CLEMSON, but I DID so enjoy the game between The Seahawks and Broncos. I actually enjoyed the Pre-game stuff even more; learning about the players, where they came from, etc. ne of the things I usually very much enjoy are the commercials, but that was NOT the case this year. Of course, I loved the Budweiser Puppy and horse but had seen much of it previewed on line before the game. That's something that didn't used to happen. Anyway, what about you; was there a favorite part?
Early this morning I was confronted by a man in a van asking for help, saying he was from another city and had lost his wallet and needed money. I was in the parking lot here at the radio station and I was still in my car, aware that he had follwed me into the lot. I had backed out when I saw him coming and was ready to get outta Dodge which thank GOD I was able to do and NOT have to take further action. I knew what to do and I did it...have your phone, a weapon and the knowledge to do what we know! If I had NOT been able to get away it may have turned out much differently. I am very thankful and so should he be!!!
I can't imagine what those 300 thousand or so folks near Charleston West Virginia are going thru again today. It's day 5 with NO tap water. You can't drink it, you can't bathe in it, brush your teeth with it, wash your hair, do anythig with it because of a toxic spill that got into the Elk River last Thursday. Many schools, restaurants and other businesses will be closed today because of the lack of clean tap water, but Gov. Earl Tomblin says all state offices will be open. This is just ANOTHER reason why you should be prepared!
Are you ready for what today holds when it comes to caring for your loved ones?
Makes you think doesn't it!