Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Redder Red for Cup?

The good news about the 5-day outlook for the Shreveport area is that it's not supposed to be quite as hot as it has been virtually every day in recent weeks. Highs beginning tomorrow will be in the 80s, which is quite mild for the Red River basin during August. Triple-digits are common during mid-summer, and it has been hot enough this summer that pros who have spent the past couple of days practicing for the Forrest Wood Cup have found water temperatures in the 90s virtually everywhere they have looked.

The not-so-good news is that the forecast also speaks of a fair chance at heavy rain this afternoon and an even better chance tomorrow. Rain between now and the tournament, which runs Thursday through Sunday, isn't all bad, necessarily. Most pros would welcome added current in the river. The problem is that heavy rains can bring more mud, and the river is already running redder than normal for August.

While it's true that the Red is called the Red for a reason and that its bass are accustomed to feeding in dirty water, more mud clearly would mean less viable patterns, and it would take some types of fishing of the equation. That would shrink the playing field and cause more pros to want to fish the same kinds of cover and therefore some of the same waters. And while it's true that official waters are extensive, navigation can be slow, and competitors are fishing against the clock, so the best waters in stretches that are at least somewhat near the launch area still could get crowded.

The other downside about added mud, if it comes, is simply that it alter things. If it arrives, it will begin doing so near the end of practice, so even if it makes some bites better, it could eliminate some of what the competitors have spent three days finding and force them to begin the competition in search mode. If heavy rain does come, it's effects probably will not be equitable. Someone's favorite backwater will get silted in or too muddy to produce, while someone else's river spot will pick up just enough current to ignite a better bite. That's just the nature of a big, complex river system.

Of course, given the sporadic nature of summer storms, it might not rain at all, or it might come on a tournament day instead, creating yet another set of circumstances.

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