Adapting to the conditions, the creme is rising on Cumberland.

Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons

With the first three limits of the season, and three double digit weights on the weigh live tracker, the NPFL is off and running for 2022. Live coverage is underway on Showdown Saturday and anglers are catching more fish than expected. 

Todd Goade, Jeff Dobson and Ryan Davidson are the first three to a limit, all of which are double digit weights, unofficially. With many anglers fully expecting a tough day, it is nice to see over 40 anglers recording a catch part way through the day.

On the water photographers Tanner and Travis Lyons are reporting more of which is being seen on Live Coverage; anglers are focusing on steep banks in the backs of pockets and utilizing jerkbaits temp the bass. Fishing slow with long pauses, utilizing forward facing sonar, the bite is not fast and furious, but when a fish is willing to bite, there is no doubt.

The key? Finding keeper bass. For spots it’s 12”, largemouth 15, and smallmouth are 18”. We have seen anglers with catches that just touch the legal length lines and several that just don’t make the cut.  

With several anglers reporting one fish for 2 to 4 pounds, it is evident that smallmouth are playing, but to what extent? Several locals say a limit is very difficult but 3 smallmouth weigh more than 5 spots and largemouth . The “mix bag” is the goal of most of the field and we are seeing several guys with a good start with the three flights with still several hours of fishing time left.

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