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Don't forget Big Bear

By Staff
Kevin Stone
Franklin County Times
This past weekend I had the opportunity to fish a lake that I have not been to in many years. The Belgreen Bass Club held its monthly tournament on Big Bear Lake. I had just about forgotten how to get there, but thanks to the road signs, my memory was quickly refreshed.
I've had the opportunity to fish this lake pretty often with my father and we would usually catch some pretty good stringers of bass, but since the water level has been held low, we have not been back.
I was excited when the club chose to fish Big Bear and that it was determined that the water level was safe for boat traffic. The water levels have been held extremely low for the past few years to assess damage and repair the leaking dam, but the level seems to be about normal winter pool.
We started the tournament at safe light and were hoping for a good early morning top-water bite. We caught a couple of fish early on a buzzbait and had several to blow up on the lure but not take it.
It seemed like it was going to be a pretty long day until my partner (Brandon "Booper" James) and I pulled up onto a rocky point leading into a creek. We sat there and caught fish after fish for probably an hour and a half. We caught them on Carolina rigs and crankbaits, but they probably would have bitten anything thrown at them. Unfortunately, most of the fish were small, but we had a blast catching them.
We didn't do so well as far as the tournament goes but there were some decent fish weighed in. My best was a 2.5-pound spotted bass, and Booper had a largemouth about the same size. Even though we got soaking wet thanks to a downpour that lasted for several hours, we had a great time catching fish. (Here is a tip to remember: If there is a chance of rain and you take along a rain suit, be sure to take both halves.)
With the temperatures cooling down, you can bet that Big Bear is about to turn on. Due to the low water levels, the banks are covered with brush and weeds, and this presents the perfect opportunity to catch bass in the shallows. The bass don't seem to be there yet, but give it a couple of weeks and they will be.
In addition to a being a good fishery, Big Bear is also very scenic. The lake winds its way around rock bluffs and is surrounded by acres of hardwoods and pines. With Cedar, Little Bear, and Upper Bear seeing most of the fishing action Big Bear is often forgotten about. I highly recommend packing up the kids and the fishing poles and spending a day at Big Bear.
Kevin Stone is branch manager and loan officer at Valley State Bank and can be reached at (256) 332-3600.