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Perkins, Hayes win EMSA Bass Tournament

By Staff
May 25, 2001
Hank Perkins and Jimmy Hayes had another big day on Okatibbee Lake last Saturday in the annual East Mississippi Sportsman Association bass tourney. This talented duo caught a 7-fish limit of bass that weighed a whopping 18.40 pounds. When the bass are in shallow water, this fish-catching pair is always a threat to win on the lake. On this day they found their fish in water less than a foot deep. First place in the event was worth a hefty $2,000.00.
Perkins caught the lunker of the tourney right off the bat. As soon as they got to their first spot and started fishing, he cast out a chartreuse buzz bait that was literally inhaled by a 5.24-pound bruiser. That nice bass was worth another $580.00 bringing their total winnings to $2,580.00.
Ten minutes after they landed the big fish, they caught their second fish above the slot. (On Okatibbee Reservoir, bass measuring 14 to 18 inches in length must be released.) According to Perkins, they boated fish all day long. However, the big fish were few and far between, and they managed to catch just 2 more bass over the slot, which brought their total to 4 over the slot. Now that's a fine feat indeed on Okatibbee reservoir. Those 2 bass were caught at 10:00 and 2:00 respectively.
Besides fishing in the shallow water, the keys to catching their fish were the wind and clouds. With a strong wind blowing across the lake, the fish were in an active mood. If the clouds appeared, the fish would really turn on. "We caught most of our fish when the clouds moved in," exclaimed Perkins. When the sun came back out, the bite slowed down.
Naturally Perkins was excited about the condition of the lake on this day. He noted that a lot of people don't like to fish Okatibbee, but the lake has a healthy population of 2 to 3 pounds bass that are plentiful. If anglers were able to weigh in the slot fish, it would take over 20 pounds to win most any tournament, stated Perkins.
When it comes to fishing Okatibbee, it's almost always feast or famine with bass. However, there are a few anglers, like Perkins and Hayes, who really know where to find the bass.