SAN ANTONIO, TX ( March 29, 2022) – The playing field for the upcoming Barnett Reservoir Rumble is Barnett Reservoir located in Ridgeland, MS. This 33,000-acre fishery has played host to numerous major professional tournaments in the past, and 2022 will mark the first time the Association of Collegiate Anglers has contested a nationally televised collegiate bass fishing event at Barnett Reservoir. Anglers will be traveling from all across the country to Ridgeland, MS to claim their share of the more than $20,000 in prizes & contingencies, as well as double points to count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.
Barnett Reservoir is a vast shallow water fishery that will be primed for a great springtime event. Abundant shallow cover including rocks, timber, docks, and vegetation will be holding fish as they spawn or guard fry before settling into a post-spawn summer pattern. With an average depth of 12-15 feet, a majority of the elite collegiate field will be focused up shallow and along the fertile banks of Barnett Reservoir.
Weather will have a great impact on the fish patterns during the week of the event. Being hosted on April 9-10, the Barnett Reservoir Rumble is expected to be a textbook spawn/post-spawn tournament. A recent warming trend has seen temperatures in the mid 80’s for several days. However, over the course of the next 10 days leading up to the event, nightly lows will be around 50 degrees with daytime highs not getting above 75. Though this cold front likely won’t be strong enough to make fish back off, it should help to level out water temperatures and keep it around 60-65 degrees during tournament competition.
Taking weather and lake conditions into account, it is safe to expect several different baits to be in play. Flipping will be one of the more prevalent techniques seen in action at Barnett Reservoir. Tying on a soft plastic creature bait with a ½ oz. weight and flipping it around productive areas will warrant quality keeper bites. Slowing down in a productive area and soaking a soft plastic worm around shallow cover has a strong chance at being the winning pattern when all is said and done.
Along with flipping, topwaters, spinnerbaits, and medium diving crankbaits will also yield a few bites. Given the springtime patterns and sprawling nature of this fishery, look for anglers to choose to settle in one area for the day and not run all over the lake to a variety of different spots. For those that opt to run up the river, they will find muddier water and more shallow water targets.
The 2022 Barnet Reservoir Rumble promises to be a great cap to the regular season schedule before the year end Championship in May!