You know how every time a Kardashian sister blows her nose you read about it in 18 different magazines the next day? Well, the same thing happens in the bass world when a five-fish tournament sack comes in over the 40-pound mark.
Texas’ Lake Conroe, a body of water about 1 hour from my front door [a 1 hour drive to a Texan is like 15 minutes to people in the rest of the country], is the latest lake to cough up such a sack of toads. Rusty Lawson and Dusty Schultz [Rusty and Dusty? hehe] pieced together a once-in-a-lifetime stringer weighing 45.10 that included two brutes over 10 pounds at a recent Sunday morning event out of Conroe’s Stow-A-Way Marina.
Conroe joins Falcon and Choke Canyon on the list of Texas lakes that have coughed up 40-plus-pound derby limits in the last few years. I know what you’re thinking. “Dude! You’ve got a public lake an hour’s drive from your crib that’s turning out 10-pounders on a weekly basis? Why aren’t you out there RIGHT NOW?”
Because… Conroe sucks.
Falcon = awesome.Â Choke = awesome. Conroe = suckfest.
Yeah, you heard me. Conroe is terrible. If you’re jetski guy or “OMG – Starbucks and Taco Bell on the water!” guy, Conroe is awesome. But if you’re bass fishing guy, go somewhere else. I’m sure you read about these awesome stringers and think, “Dang. If I lived close to Conroe I’d be on that lake every weekend whacking pigs.” Well, sir, you’d be wrong. You see, Conroe is only a great fishing destination if you’re a local. And by local I mean a guy that spends 2-5 days a week checking the milk run of 50 brush piles you’ve planted over the past 3 years.
There are giant fish in Conroe, but if you think you’re just going to launch your rig and go flip up a 10-pounder, or even a 2-pounder, on one of about 5 bazillion docks in the lake, you’re sorely mistaken. There is one, and only one tried-and-true method for consistently catching big bags on this lake, and that is by having a $#!^ ton of brush piles marked on your GPS that nobody else knows about.
I don’t know if I can accurately convey how crazy these locals are about their brush piles. I’m talking about stories of guys launching in the middle of the night to go plant piles in prime locations. I’ve heard stories of guides and tourney anglers using their anchors to drag competitors’ piles 50 yards into shallow or unproductive water. It’s insanity. Just Google “Conroe tournament brush pile” and look at some of the results that come up. It won’t take you long to find some kind of drama.
I’m sure the Conroe VisitorsÂ BureauÂ won’t be pleased with me saying this, but I’d rather drive 4 or more hours to fish lakes like Choke, Falcon or even Amistad [which I hate because of the clear water] than take an hour’s jog up to Conroe for the day. The only exception to that statement would be during the spawn, as Conroe can get just plain ugly when the big girls are on beds.
Kudos to Texas Parks and Wildlife for giving us multiple bodies of water where a 10-plus-pound fish is possible on any given cast, but they can keep Conroe for all I care. If you’re planning a trip to Texas to chase lunkers, stick to the staples like Fork and Falcon and leave Conroe to this crowd…