Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash and Medina Lake

– [Announcer] From CarecoTV one of the longest
running outdoor programs on television today. Exploring the country
and the coast, in search of adventure. (turkeys gobbling) From the mountains of
The Great Northwest, to the shores of
the Atlantic Ocean, this is Americana Outdoors
Presented by Garmin. This week on Americana Outdoors, Wade Middleton is at
Medina Lake Texas, to find out how the lake stands after extreme drought conditions that lasted up
’til June of 2015. But first, we’re heading
to Kentucky Lake Tennessee for the 2017 Cabela’s
Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley. – I think it’s gonna be
a really fun tournament. ‘Cause, with the multiple
sessions, all the prizes, and it’s just kinda laid back, havin’ a good time pretty much. – A regular just five
fish all day tournament, you’re just grindin’ all day
tryin’ to get five bites, Ya know, but this one it’s
like well if you don’t, you have eight chances to win. – Oh it’s a blast. It definitely gives us
an opportunity to get out and just get back
to the kind of roots of why we all enjoy the sport. We get to go out, and you’re not necessarily
patterning fish, and worrying about this
big competitive tournament as much as you are just, finding that one big one. And it’s exciting, ’cause
anybody out here can do it. – [Announcer] We’ve got a
record field on hand this year. There’s an unprecedented
519 collegiate anglers, 84 collegiate
campuses represented, and they’re all
hoping to cash in on the $30,000 total purse. And for those in the hunt for Cabela’s School of the Year, this event is worth
double points. – Yeah, they can change
in the blink of an eye, especially with a
tournament like this, where it’s double
points and all that. I mean, you can see
something shoot up from, that was never even
really in the top 20, it’s just a huge game changer. – This is, by far, the most
points available tournament. And I think basically catching
two fish five and a half plus will put us probably in first. – [Announcer] Conditions
on Kentucky Lake this week have been favorable. With water and air
temps in the 60s, and the bass beginning
to push shallow. But, things are about to change. A big front is due
to push through, and due to the potential
extreme conditions, tournament officials have
made the difficult decision to cancel day two of this event. Weather reports called
for winter conditions to arrive late in the day, but the snow began to
fall just before sunrise. And when it was done, there was more than
four inches blanketing the hills of Henry County. – I’ve fished in sleet,
I’ve fished in rain, I mean, I’ve even fished
in flurries before. But this stuff’s actually,
I mean look at this! Built up all on the console. (laughs) – Hi, I’m Cole Burdeshaw. – I’m Cameron Mercer. – [Interviewer] And your school? – Auburn.
– Auburn University. Oh my god that’s cold! Spring break. This is the start of Auburn’s
spring break right here. – It’s not even. – Space me. – Woo, it’s in the net! – Hey, we’re going
across the scales! (laughs) About a three pounder. Not sure if that’ll
get a top 10 hourly, but it’s a bass! (laughs) They’ll bite in the snow! – Caught a good fish. We were just coming
down through here, kinda beatin’ the bank
and got to a good point, and settled down and took some
time working a little bit, and pulling a trap across it, and stuck into a
pretty good one. Probably around eight pounds, so we’ll see how it goes at
the scales a little later. – [Announcer] And
while some anglers were battling it out
in the blinding snow, others were back onshore, keeping warm, and waiting
for better conditions. Let’s take a look at where we
stand on the leader boards. Gavyn Bridges, fishing
for UT at Chattanooga picked up the first
win of the day. – He’s thinkin’ four and
a half, how ’bout 5.27? New leader, 5.27! Thomas Soileau took second, with one pushing
the scales to 5.32. But it was Spencer Guthrie
from Kennesaw State, stepping up, and winning
session number two. – Yes sir, a 5.74,
hold that fish up! You just took over the lead, that’s the way to get ’em goin’! Hold that up for the
camera, 5.74, way to go! Bethel University’s
Tristan McCormick was up on the stage with 6.44,
but it was a little short. Tusculum’s Corey Neece brought in the biggest
fish of session three. – I’m hopin’ 7 and
a half at least. Let’s do it, 7.57, way to go! Get it out, take a picture! In this session alone,
presented by Cabela’s, you have a $1,000
Cabela’s gift card. Hold that up for Kevin. – [Narrator] Vika Zaderej, fishing for Southern
Illinois University, cashed in on some
great Garmin gear, for winning session
four, with 6.56. After four sessions,
it was Corey Neece, from Tusculum College,
on top of the field. With a bass weighing better
than seven and a half pounds. You can keep up with the
Cabela’s Collegiate Bass series on Instagram, Facebook,
Twitter, and YouTube. Or, just visit Hey, if you’re planning
a trip to Kentucky Lake, then you’ll wanna plan your
stay in Paris, Tennessee. They’ve got all the amenities, and they’re right on the water. – Well, of course Paris
and Kentucky Lake, and Paris Landing is
our main tourism draw, but Paris has a lot
of unique features. It’s an old town
full of history, we’ve got great shoppin’,
unique restaurants, A lot of sights to see, and then even in a one,
within a few hours drive, there’s all kinds
of natural resources for people to see and enjoy. If their family or their
friends are up here, and their kids are fishing,
there’s plenty for ’em to do. – [Announcer] Look them up
at Americana Outdoors Presented
by Garmin, is brought to you by Garmin, Fight your fish,
not your fish finder. Cabela’s, It’s in your nature. Ranger Boats, Still building
legends one at a time. And by Yamaha Marine,
Reliability starts here. Welcome back to
Americana Outdoors. We’re in Paris
Tennessee Kentucky Lake, for the 2017 Cabela’s
Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley. The week started
off clear and sunny, but on tournament morning, anglers launched
onto Kentucky Lake amidst high winds, freezing
temps, and a heavy snow. Now despite the
tough conditions, Kentucky Lake lived
up to it’s reputation as one of the best big bass
fisheries in the country. Allowing anglers to cash
in on some big prizes in the hourly weigh sessions. – We’re actually going trailer, we’re gonna go put in way South. We’re not gonna try to
make the other weigh in and get as much pride as we can, Ya know, all three of us
will be in productive water, see if we can, one of us
three catch a winning fish, and come in the last hour, so. – Yeah, so, you
probably saw the snow. Miserable, wet mornin’. In fact, we pulled the
boat out of the water and trailered it,
and put back in. And it cleared up and
got relatively nice. The wind come, calmed down. So we can fish some of
our main lake spots. He hit that as I pulled
it off that rock. – [Fishing Partner] That’s
what that big one did. – [Announcer] Let’s head back to Paris Landing
weigh in sessions. The team from UT Knoxville
kept the ball rolling, as Scott Ellis stepped
up and won session five, with this Kentucky Lake monster. That fish not only
won the session, it also put Scott in the
overall lead for big bass, and it could be worth several
thousand dollars in free gear. Bethel University’s Cody
Huff brought up to the scale a 6.85, and won session six. And this is Bethel
University’s Evan Owrey. With one more session to go, Evan jumps to the top of
the overall standings. And now it’s time for
the final session. – We are gonna start
this off with KJ. – [Narrator] The team
from Bethel University has made quite the
showing this year, with 18 fish in the money, including two session wins. Here, KJ Queen locked up
fourth, with one going 6.11. Bethel’s Tyler
Black was up next, and he slid into
third, with a 6.49. Murray State University’s
Ryan Lancaster shared third with his
catch weighing 6.49. Kyle Sweet fishing
for Illinois State. He only weighed one fish
today, but it was a good one! Sealing up second, with a 6.58. – Way to go, 6.58! – [Announcer] And on
top of the leader board at the end of session eight, was Nathan Bell
from Bryan College. – 6.81, new leader
for this session! – [Announcer] It’s been a good
week for these young anglers. They’ve picked up some
valuable experience, under some very
challenging conditions. – I’m gonna tell you right now, what I like the most about it is we get to fish
big time tournaments, ya know, stressful
tournaments, with low cost. That’s the biggest thing.
– That’s number one. – We have so much experience
available to us at low cost. – There’s a lot of
business parts of it too, negotiating with
different sponsors, and trying to help everyone out, while helping the
team out as a whole. – The best part
about college fishing is not fishing in the tournament
with ya know, your partner, It’s the nights in the hotel. You get all your buddies
in the hotel room, stay up ’til 12 o’clock at
night just laughin’, havin’ fun. I mean, it’s just, it’s all
around a great experience. – Alright, we’re
gonna start it off, Bethel University, ya’ll
put your hands together for Evan Owery, had a 8.49. He won it all! – [Narrator] In
addition to the $1,000 Cabela’s gift card
he’s already claimed, Evan picks up another
$1,000 Cabela’s card, a $2,000 voucher
from Power Pole, an Engel cooler, a pair
of Costa sunglasses, and a Gill rain suit. Bringing his total for the day
to nearly $5,000 in prizes. – I didn’t really think it
was all that big at first, but then it came up
right at the boat, and I knew it was a big one. I just seen the big ol’ head, and it dove down strippin’
dry and everything, ’til it got it up,
got it in the net, the hook popped right off. But, it was a fun day, we caught some more
big fish after that, partner caught a six pounder, another partner caught
five and three quarters. So it was a good day. – [Announcer] Our final
order of business on the day, is a look at the Cabela’s
School of the Year standings. Bryan College started
the event in fifth, and with the double points
earned, they made a big leap and are now sitting at
the top of the standings, with the University
of North Alabama and Mississippi
State close behind. You can keep up
with the points race at A big thanks to our hosts and
friends in Paris, Tennessee. If you’re headed to the region then check out Well, up next on
Americana Outdoors, we’ll have the update
condition of Medina Lake, after the extreme drought in
the Southern United States. Americana Outdoors
Presented by Garmin is brought to you by Sunline, The strength to
guarantee your confidence. Hobie, Hobie fishing
MirageDrive pedal systems, and by Bubba Blade, The
ultimate sportsman’s knife. Welcome back to
Americana outdoors. Now during the
extreme 2010 to 2013 Southern United States drought, Medina Lake water
dropped drastically. But after heavy rains on
the Medina River basin, and the lake itself in May 2016, Medina Lake is 100% full. In June of 2015, Texas
Park and Wildlife started the process of
restocking the lake. – We’re at Medina lake today. The lake has been really low for the last three
or four years. In fact, it was down
to about 2% capacity at about 600 acres or so. Recent rains brought
it up a lot too. It’s now about 4500
acres, and maybe 60% full. So, the lake’s been for
all intents and purposes, devoid of fish and fishermen
for the last three years because of low water level. And we’re here today
to restock the lake. To kickstart the
bass population. We’re gonna introduce 100,000
Florida bass fingerlings into the newly flooded lake. – This has been an
absolute great fishery. Now this particular lake,
Medina Lake, was built in 1913 when the dam was built and
was one of four I believe dams throughout the country that
was the largest at that time. And then we followed
it up in 1943 with the largest largemouth
bass ever being caught by Mr. McGee I
believe was his name, and it was a 13.5, 13
and a half pound bass. And since then my brother and I have caught many many huge
fish out of this lake. So putting the fingerlings
into the lake again, I don’t know what the
drought has done to it because it basically
was kind of a mud hole for about the last
three or four years. So I know that we did have
some lost fish out here, but these little babies
are gonna be getting all this new flooded
cover out here, and they’re gonna grow so
maybe in two or three years we’ll be able to catch
some fish out here again. – Well what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna stock
the fish by boat. And we’ll get the fish loaded
into our tank within the boat and we’ll boat the fish out to
where we find some good cover and we’ll stock the fish
directly into the cover so that survival
can be maximized. I mean this lake, we
use a set stocking rate, and it’s by shoreline mile, and at this lake’s
current elevation it should, according to
our standard criteria, receive about
84,000 fingerlings. Today we’re putting in 100,000 and we hope to put
another 100,000 in, in the next couple weeks. So to give it a really
super saturated stocking, to really kickstart
the population. – We have 200,000 total
we’re gonna bring out. We’re taking 20,000 at a time to different spots
around the lake and putting ’em in
real good habitat to increase our
chances of survival. And since the lake
has come up so much, It was just almost empty, now it’s better than half,
three quarters full I guess. Lots of good habitat
to put ’em in. We should have some
great survival. The anglers should have
some outstanding fishing in a year or two, from
these little guys. – This lake’s always had a
pretty fair bass fishery. So we expect these fish
to grow really fast, and be about the legal limit, 14 inches in about a year’s
time, this time next summer. So, you know, they’ll
be plenty big enough for fishermen to catch. And I think once they
start catchin’ ’em, the word will spread, and
more people will come fishin’. You know, we’ll look at stockin’ some hybrid striped bass in
this lake because historically, it was a good hybrid
striped bass fishery. We don’t have any ready
right now at our hatchery, but we will for next year, and
get those stocked in there. Given the water level stays up. We get phone calls, ya know,
all the time from fishermen, ya know, wantin’ to
fish Medina Lake, and we have to tell them you
can’t even get on the lake. That’s been our answer for
the last three or four years. But, you know, we expect this
population to really take off. And provide great fishin’,
and ya know, happy anglers, which is what we’re after. – [Announcer] Coming up, Wade
goes checking on the lake two years after restocking. Stay tuned. Americana Outdoors
Presented by Garmin has been brought to you by Spro, Sports professionals. Bit Bite Bait, Designed to
bring the big bite to your line. And by Bradley Smoker,
Food smoking made easy. Welcome back to
Americana Outdoors. Wade Middleton
drives up to the lake and launches his boat
into Medina Lake, which has been restocked
since June of 2015. – It’s always fun to come out and go fishin’ ya know,
in a new body of water. And I say new body of water, I fished this lake
probably for 20 years, but I haven’t been
here in five years. It’s just outside of San
Antonia, it’s Lake Medina. This is a historical lake. Some of the things
to keep in mind when we talk about
this lake right now, is it wasn’t long
ago it was at about, I don’t know, maybe
6% to 10% capacity. It was basically a stream. It was dry, for lack
of a better word, and it flooded and
filled back up. And there’s tons of
vegetation down on the bottom, you can see different
brush piles, and basically probably weesatch, and a lot of different growth
has grown on these flats. And we’re just gonna
kinda go fishin’. The lake has been restocked by
the Texas Parks and Wildlife, about two years ago roughly. So we really don’t even
know if there’s a catchable, sustainable population
in this lake yet. But it’s a pretty day,
springtime is here, been doin’ some
work on the boat, and simply ready to go fishin’. Well, literally
the very first cast we’ve made on Medina Lake
in no tellin’ how long, probably gonna be
one of the fish that was stocked
in here recently, not a big one, but
that’s pretty cool to see a lake that has
gone through such turmoil, such drought, such negative
publicity, and we’re able to fire out there and
catch that fish like that. I mean, I’d be happy to catch
fish like that all day long. You know why I’d be happy to catch fish like
that all day long? I know what’s comin’
in a couple years. How cool was that? Yes, hey come on! Right on that bush,
that wind blown bush. The wind is really blowin’, which makes it a great
jerkbait day in my opinion. Where a guy can run
windy points, run bushes, run things like that and throw
that jerkbait down there, and I’m throwing
the Spro McStick, it gets down about three
to five feet and suspends. Ya know, water temperature
is 52, 54 degrees right now, and that’s to me just perfect for suspending
jerkbait like this. That little guy right there? He’s gonna grow up pretty quick. This lake oughta
be pretty fertile, about as fertile as
Medina probably could be. And this fishery is gonna
flourish and thrive again, and you’ll see bass
fishing tournaments, you’ll see recreational
anglers come back, and that’s exciting for
an area that not long ago was basically lookin’
at bare rocks out here. If you look ahead
on the mapping, you can see the color
shades that I’ve got there. I’ve got it set up
red zero to five, yellow five to 10,
and green is 10 to 15. But you can see all
those contour lines that are up there
in front of us, and basically we’ve got
a big long slopin’ point, it’s more of a bluff it looks
like to me as we get up here. And I can see vegetation
comin’ out off of it. If you really think about it
from an obvious standpoint, look at the wind
blowin’ right across it, blowin’ outta the South. This should be the warmest water that we’re gonna find
over in this area. So it’s almost even 55. So if I’m a bass, and I’m
active and I’m up feedin’, I should be there,
according to the books and the TV guys and all that. But a lot of times the
fish are smarter than me and they’re somewhere else. Oh, there’s two of ’em. Another one was trying
to get it away from him. See him right there with
him, he just took off. (laughs) Come up here. I think the other one was
bigger, I fooled the small one. Oh those little
suspendin’ jerkbaits. How fun is that? Let him go back, he’s cold. He felt a lot bigger than
what should be in this pond. (laughs) A lot of times they’ll
just make a slash at this bait when you’re
jerkin’ it like that, and that’s what he did. We’ve accomplished kinda
what I wanted to do. We were gettin’ out here
playin’ with the boat, run checkin’ on some
new electronics set up, and I just wanted
to see, ya know, what Medina was lookin’
like, after all that drought. Boy, she’s pretty right now. It’ll be full of fish catchin’
sized bass pretty quick. I mean if you’re
lookin’ to have fun, it’s already right there. So, Medina Lake definitely
has bounced back, thanks to efforts
of a lot of people, primarily Parks and
Wildlife for stocking this, and then obviously the
lake fillin’ back up. Hey, don’t forget to visit
us at for in-depth stories
from the fields. And thank you for watching. We’ll see you next time
on Americana Outdoors. Americana Outdoors is
a CarecoTV production.

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