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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

• WBT Championship Moved To Cypress Black Bayou

The WBT Championship is no longer going to be held on the Red River. All the area lakes are flooding and the Red River is approaching flood stage. Out of concerns for safety, the tourney has been moved to Cypress Black Bayou in Benton, Louisiana. The WBT anglers will get a shot at prefishing the lake on Thursday and the tourney gets under way at 7am on Friday.

Competitors will be launching from the ramp at 135 Cypress Park Drive in Benton. (click for map)

Links:
Shreveport Times: WBT championship relocated to Benton venue
ESPN: WBT Championship Relocated to Cypress Black Bayou Lake
Shreveport Times: Mother, daughter compete against each other in WBT championship
ESPN: Don Barone - Troubled Water
WBT venue change equalizes event

Although Cypress Black Bayou is also rising from all of this rain, I can understand why they picked this body of water as the ideal alternative. It's a short trip from the weigh in site. Cypress/BB also has a reputation for producing some quality fish. Still, I don't think any area body of water is technically going to be open any time soon. Everything is at, above, or approaching flood stage.

So although I don't fish Cypress Black Bayou and know very little about it, I can offer you a brief introduction so you know what to expect. The official Cypress Black Bayou web site is primitive at best. Cypress Black Bayou is approximately 3,875 acres, about 6.25 miles long, and 3/4 of a mile wide. The lake has a reputation for holding some double digit bass, but it also is just one of the many bodies of water around here with regular drawdowns. Salvinia, an invasive aquatic plant, has also become part of the Cypress Black Bayou experience. There is also a 14 to 17 inch protected slot, so any bass between 14 and 17 inches get tossed back. Anything under 12 inches get tossed back too. Overs and unders only folks. No dinks. No slots.

But here's my question. Cypress Black Bayou is really two separate fisheries. Are they fishing one or both? The local news hasn't said.

With the water level being so high, I really hope they only allow the competitors and boats covering the event for ESPN to be on the water. I'd hate to have locals running and gunning up and down the lake chasing after WBT anglers, doing damage to flooded lakefront property with their wakes.

Weigh ins are still at the same time and place.

Let's hope for the best. I'll post more if I hear anything. I'm not sure what to expect. It's a small lake, busting at the seams, and usually pretty pressured, but it has quality fish.

Previous WBT Championship Commentary

Weather Forecast (via wunderground.com)
Thursday - 79/54, 50% chance of thunderstorms
Friday - 67/49, partly cloudy, 10-15mph winds
Saturday - 65/43, partly cloudy
Sunday - 65/43, clear

Map via Google Maps

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