Bortner wins event in Illinois

Sunday, August 22, 2004

David Bortner of Cape Girardeau won the Bass Busters of Southeast Missouri tournament Aug. 7 at Lake of Egypt in Illinois.

With a strong cold front in the forecast, Bortner anticipated a slow bite and knew he would need to take full advantage of the short, early morning feeding period. Large bass often feed on bluegill in heavy vegetation near deep summer locations. Bortner found those big fish in heavy, main-lake, matted vegetation on points and channel swings. To pull these big fish out of the grass, Bortner threw a Black Sumo frog with heavy braided line on a 7-foot-6 heavy action Falcon Cara rod.

After the active feeding period, Bortner moved up the lake to dirty water in the Wagon Creek area where he could effectively target shallower fish by flipping and pitching. He used a Southern Pro Pitching Tube in black neon, 20-pound P-line and a 7-foot-10 Falcon Cara flipping stick to catch these fish. He targeted wood cover in 4 feet of water.

Tony Cooper of Advance took second place by targeting matted vegetation on the main lake. Cooper used a spoon he made from a kitchen tablespoon. He fished the spoon slowly over the mats, and the spoon's slow wide wobble proved effective on the sluggish cold front bass.

Bortner also took big bass honors for his 4-pound fish that fell for the Black Sumo Frog.

Weather conditions were brisk and sunny with a slight breeze from the east.

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