Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons
ANDERSON, South Carolina – Contrary to day one, we have now seen a day of live coverage to get a better idea of what the top anglers are keying on at Lake Hartwell. While most everyone at the top is employing some sort of junk fishing pattern, we know it’s a lot more dialed than just aimlessly fishing around.
Whether guys are fishing shallow and looking for fish with their eyes, or fishing offshore looking for schooling bass, there are reasons why heavier weights are being caught than the rest. First off, the shad spawn seems to be where a fair number of anglers are beginning their day. Leader Patrick Walters culled several times later in the day with important bites he was able to put in the boat on day two versus losing his bigger bites the first day.
Day one leader Brandon Perkins on the other hand got off to a super-fast start on day the first day catching over 15-pounds of schooling bass before moving shallow to hunt for kicker bass. On the second day, Perkins could only manage a few small bass offshore before making the move shallow. Mike Corbishley fished for schooling bass most of the day and is using his electronics to replicate locations all over the lake due to pressure on his main areas on day two.
Drew Six might be one of the only guys at the top who is not mixing in some sort of schooling fish pattern. Six is 100% looking for shallow fish with his eyes and using a variety of baits to get those bigger fish to bite. Similar to other, Six has located areas where bigger fish are guarding fry, chasing bluegills and some are even locked on beds.
Rounding out the top five, Bryant Smith is fishing the most “aimlessly” but with some keys to the madness. Bouncing between shallow cover, schooling bass on shoals and sight fishing, he has covered water and executed and knows what to look for as he moves along the bank.
The Top 5 after day one looks like this:
1 Patrick Walters 33-14
2 Brandon Perkins 33-8
2 Mike Corbishley 33-8
4 Drew Six 32-4
5 Bryant Smith 31-5
Also compared to day one, the weights are more spread out after two days of fishing. 4-pounds, 10-ounces now separate Walters from tenth place angler Jason Wilson. Further down, the weights do get tighter, and NPFL pro Jordan Nettles sits in 30th spot with 26-pounds, 2-ounces, only 3-pounds, 2-ounces back from cracking the top ten.
With all the anglers fishing all three days, it’s tight enough for anglers to make big moves into check range or to save their Angler of the Year hopes for the season.
How to Watch
LIVE Coverage is available on Saturday starting @ 8 AM.