The 5th Annual South 40 Shootout Fishing Championship will be held at Lake Waco on March 25-26, with headquarters at the Twin Bridges Park boat ramp and weigh-in at the Extraco Events Center, located at 4601 Bosque Blvd. in Waco.

50 qualifiers from the Texas Farm Bureau South 40 Fishing Trail, plus last year’s champion, will compete for cash and prizes that include a 2017 Nitro Z19 Boat (or $12,500) for the winning team.

The runner-up will pocket $5000, and the top 5 teams – plus whoever boats the two big bass of the tourney – will be in the money.

Take-off will be at safe light, and the 3:30 p.m. drive-through weigh-in is also open to the public and promises to provide excitement and entertainment.

In their 5th year, the South 40 Trail tournament series and South 40 Outdoor Expo have raised more than $100,000 to provide scholarships for Central Texas youth.

For more information, call 776-1660.

More species than white bass are abundant in Central Texas

The white bass spawning run is still going strong in Central Texas rivers, but a lot of area anglers are training their sights on other species that are coming into play.

Good numbers of crappie are being marked in shallow water as they move in for their spawn – some on main lake timbered flats and others along the banks of creeks and rivers. Minnows and white or chartreuse jigs are reported to be top-producing baits.

Also on the radar are largemouth bass, which have been popping up frequently in social media photos over the past few days. From looking at the worn-down tail fins in the pictures, it’s evident that bass are going about the business of laying and tending to their eggs.

While they’re on the beds, bass are a favorite target of sight-fishermen. A bass protecting a nest may not be in a feeding mood, but their instinctual defensive strikes will yield the same results. Alternating soft plastics and spinnerbaits across the beds is an effective tactic to sight-fish for largemouth bass. Polarized sunglasses aren’t vital to success, but wearing them will help you see the bites you can’t necessarily feel.

Catfish are being reported caught on main lakes around shallow-water grass beds on punch bait and cut shad, with good catches of channels and the occasional blue cat being reported in the past week. But don’t forget to head upstream for catfish, too. A big yellow cat weighing nearly 50 pounds and measuring 48 inches in length was caught from the Leon River on live shad by Centex outdoorsman Adam Winkler.

46th annual Waco Bass Club Crappie Tournament nears

The 46th annual Waco Bass Club Crappie Tournament is slated for April 1, with tournament headquarters at the Lacy Point boat ramp (Speegleville Creek). The entry fee is $50 per 1- or 2-person team, and take-off will be at safe light. Weigh-in is at 3 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony.

Tournament organizer James Windham said entry forms can be found at area bait shops and sporting goods stores, and teams can also register on site the morning of the tournament.

For more information, call or text Windham at 254-495-2772.

Story coming on former local news anchor

Former KCEN-TV news anchor John Gilbert is making news of his own these days – in a way that’ll please outdoorsmen. Stay tuned to the Tribune-Herald outdoors for his story.

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