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Bandits raid Nelson Lake

Badlands Bass Bandits stage April 10 derby on Nelson Lake

Fishermen await the start of the Badlands Bass Bandits derby April 10 at Nelson Lake. A field of 22 boats and 45 anglers participated in the event on the lake warmed by discharge from the Milton R. Young power plant.

CENTER – It was a chilly morning with the early morning temperature dipping into the teens, but that didn’t deter an eager field of anglers. In all, 22 boats and 45 fishermen participated in the Badlands Bass Bandits event at Nelson Lake April 10.

The start of the derby was delayed about 30 minutes as officials determined it was best to wait for sunrise and “safe” light conditions so that boat operators would have good visibility. It also allowed for the temperature to begin to warm a bit.

Following a rules and safety meeting, including a draw for starting positions, the participating boats gathered in the bay at the lake’s southeast boat ramp to await the official start. It was a somewhat eerie scene, with fog lifting off the warm water of the power plant lake into the chilly air. Fortunately, the weather warmed quickly, the wind was light, and fishing conditions were ideal.

At the take-off anglers headed for their preferred fishing spots. Water temperatures at Nelson Lake varied from 56 to 74 degrees, thanks to the warm water discharge from the Milton R. Young power plant. Ice that began building up on eyelets on fishing rods and limiting casting distance, could be removed quickly by swishing the fishing rod in the water. Within an hour or so of the start of the event the air temperature had warmed to a comfortable level that only improved throughout the remainder of the day.

The fishing proved to be very good from the outset, with several teams landing fish early in the event. Teams of two or three fishermen were allowed to put six fish in their livewell but only weigh a single limit of three largemouth bass. The final weigh-in was held shortly after the 3 p.m. finish time.

Tony McKay, Minot, fishing alone, had the best success of the day. His three bass limit tipped the scale at 15.14 pounds, including the biggest largemouth of the event at 6.28 lbs. McKay said his bass all came on a three-eighths ounce football jig.

The next event on the Badlands Bass Bandits schedule is a weekend double-header. The Bandits will be fishing Spiritwood Lake on May 22 and Lake Ashtabula May 23. Further information on the BBB can be found on Facebook or at badlandsbassbandits.com.

Badlands Bass Bandits results

Nelson Lake, April 10:

1 – 15.14 lbs., Tony McKay, Minot.

2 – 13.95 lbs., Brandon, Logan and Scott Bullinger, Bismarck.

3 – 12.45 lbs., Tanner Mallams and John Lancaster, Minot.

4 – 12.30 lbs., Kyle Okke and Lewis Kuppler, Dickinson.

5 – 12.10 lbs., Drew Morgan, Issac Young, Felipe Ferreira.

Largest largemouth bass: 6.28 lbs., Tony McKay

Average weight of fish: 3.44 lbs.

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