ON THE LAKE WITH
An article by
Honey Hole Magazine
would you like to be bass fishing a small lake with moderate boat traffic,
stocked in 1983 with Florida bass? How about one that gave up 23 bass
over 10 pounds in just two-and-a-half months? One of the big fish
was recorded as the new lake record and weighed in excess of 14 pounds.
And keep in mind, the 23 bass we're talking about were the only ones weighed
and documented, it doesn't count those simply released without benefit
of being weighed. Taking the question a step farther, how would you like
to be bass fishing that lake with the angler who caught eight of the 23
bass? Beginning in the spring1997, you can do just that.The lake is Pat
Mayse, located in northern Lamar County off Highway 271. The angler is
Allen Ballard, long-time resident of Paris. He'll be guiding part-time
on Pat Mayse, Crockett, and Coffee Mill. Ballard is an employee of the
Campbell Soup Company in Paris. He's a member of the Family Bassmasters
bass Club which is headquartered in Paris. Ballard has taken the Angler
of the Year title and won the club classic, and has won many open tournaments
held in this area.
As I interviewed him for this story, I looked at the 10 Lunker Release
awards from TP&W. One includes a water body record at Pat Mayse for
a nine-pound, four-ounce bass caught in March of 1991.
When given this assignment, I jumped in with both feet. I had fished around
and against Allen a number of times and knew of his prowess when it came
to big fish. I was now going to get an opportunity to go bass fishing
in the same boat with him. It was too tempting to resist, knowing that
it was going to gime me a ringside seat to pick his brain about his system
of fishing. Since we had only cold weather to deal with, our best option
was a power plant lake. We opted for Welsh for some Freshwater Fishing
since he'd been there recently and caught some nice fish. As we drove
up to the ramp before daylight we realized there were a number of factors
against us. Boats were everywhere, and we knew we'd be sharing the water
with a good-sized tournament. To top it off, the wind was blowing about
20 to 25 miles an hour out of the south, and had been for two days. The
lake was three-and-a-half feet high and extremely clear.
We found an area with a line of reeds in about four feet of water. From
experience, we knew fish were in the post-spawn, and spawning patterns
depending on which portion of the lake we chose. We ruled ot bedding fish
because of water clarity and wind. In clear water, fish tend to
spawn in much deeper water and it would have been almost impossible to
present a bait in the wind we had, much less for long enough to get a
pickup or hit. Due to a major cold front that was headed our way after
lunch, our time was limited so we ruled out the pre-spawn, or staging,
fish on the north end of the lake. This left us with post-spawn fish closer
to the hot water outlet. At least some of the fish should have been back
on the feed and would chase a bait.
The majority of the day we used long casts. Most of the time we actually
threw our baits up on the shoreline and pulled them off into the water
to keet from spooking fish. Our pattern held through the morning and the
front came through right after lunch. We managed to catch and release
14 bass. The keepers came on spinnerbaits and the smaller fish were taken
with watermelon seed lizards and buzzbaits. We also managed to do some
visiting about his big bass system. "My primary baits are jigs,
lizards, and spinnerbaits. Occasionally I'll throw a twitch-type bait
such as a Slug-Go or Long A," he said. You can't argue with success.
Allen has filmed an episode of Honey Hole T.V. Magazine with Jerry Dean.
They were bass fishing Pat Mayse Lake.
I'd just like to say thanks for a good day freshwater fishing on
the lake, Allen.
By the way, Allen can be reached a (903) 517-5207 for guide trip information.
If you want to experience his trophy bass system firsthand, give him a
has also been featured in several other MAGAZINE ARTICLES such as Honey
Hole, Texas Outdoors Journal. You can read about Pat Mayse in the Texas
Outdoors Journal magazine articles, starting with the Oct. issue.
Ballard Guide Service
- 30 Years Experience