Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons
After taking the day one lead with 26-pounds, 1-ounce, Scott Siller caught 20-pounds, 15-ounces on day two to take a more than 5-pound lead into showdown Saturday presented by Fishermans Central with a two-day total of 47-pounds. Working on his broken boat until midnight last night, Siller was able to get back on the water and get to work catching fish.
Working through his main area on day two, the bite was tougher for Siller but he is learning what is going on and saved some of his better stuff for the final day.
“I fished the same three areas and probably will have to expand some tomorrow and move around. I have four key spots within, and a lot of the fish are sitting in one spot. I tried not to lean on it too much,” said Siller.
Rotating between two different color dropshot worms, Siller is methodically casting to targets and plans to settle in with a decent lead on Showdown Saturday.
“I am excited to see how it all shakes out and I think it plays into my game plan. I can really get comfortable and focus on catching those key bigger fish,” added Siller.
With his biggest bag of the tournament on day two, Gary Adkins added 22-pounds, 11-ounces to his day one weight of 19-pounds to finish in the 2nd place spot going into Showdown Saturday. With a two-day total of 41-pounds, 11-ounces, Adkins is fresh off a win at stop five and is catching his groove on Lake Erie.
Blake Felix finishes day two with a two-day total of 40-pounds, 4-ounces. Adding 19-pounds to his day one weight of 21-pounds, 4-ounces, Felix had more pressure on his areas than the day before but was able to get on his main spot after working with another angler.
“The guy was sitting right on my spot with his boat fishing some other stuff and he let me idle up and position myself to fish. At the same time, James Watson pulled in and my first cast I caught a five pounder – it was pretty cool,” said Felix.
Felix is not used to the big water and has fished for smallmouth only a few times. After two brutal days of practice, he dedicated time to making a long run and landed on a group of fish he has been able to ride this far.
“I am not 100% about tomorrow. I think I can go catch a limit but they may be small ones or they may be four pounders.”
With only four bass on day one weighing 16-pounds, 15-ounces, two-time NPFL Champion Taylor Watkins brought 22-pounds, 13-ounces to the scales on day two to finish the day in the 4th place with a two-day total of 39-pounds, 12-ounces.
Settling into the same area both days, Watkins has generally had his stuff to himself and if it wasn’t for a few lost fish, would be sitting where he anticipated for the tournament.
“I lost a few key fish and only weighed four fish that first day, so that hurts. Today at about 1 pm I had someone pull right up on me and caught two four pounders before I had to head back,” Watkins said.
Once in his area, he is moving around casting to fish on forward facing sonar and with the wind, it proves to be difficult.
“I think they bite better with the wind but it’s harder to see them. I have to get a general idea and make a cast quick and hope one picks it up. I made bait change today and that helped me out.”
Adding 22-pounds, 4-ounces to his day one weight of 17-pounds, 7-ounces, Taylor Umland sits in the 5th spot with a total weight of 39-pounds, 11-ounces. Returning to his areas from day one, Umland made a few adjustments on day two to get his two biggest fish.
“I caught those two big fish on a swimbait in between a pile of drum and yesterday it was all dropshot,” said Ulman. “I am not making a long run relative to some others and my areas are not getting a ton of pressure. The area still has some fish and I will go out tomorrow and hope for the best.”
With 18-pounds, 14-ounces, Keith Carson is fishing a mix of smallmouth and largemouth to finish day two in the 6th spot. With a two-day total of 39-pounds, 11-ounces, Carson is looking forward to a long day on Showdown Saturday.
“I am spending some time largemouth fishing because the smallmouth fishing is such a grind, but they are the right fish. I caught 30 fish today and 25 were drum. But then I catch a five pounder and it keeps me focused.”
With a long day tomorrow, Carson is planning to fish for largemouth for an hour before committing to his smallmouth for one more day.
Following his day one weight of 22-pounds, Dan Blackert added 17-pounds, 8-ounces on day two and sits in the 7th spot with a two-day total of 39-pounds, 8-ounces. Dealing with a wind change, Blackert found his fish set up in a better position to be caught than on day one.
“The wind was brutal today but I could see them and get a bait to them easily. They problem was the bite was off and they were just nipping at it and it was hard to feel it and get a hook into them,” said Blackert.
With only four fish on the day, one shy of a limit, Blackert broke off his limit fish a couple times and knows if he can get five to bite, he Is around the right quality.
“I’m going to the same stuff tomorrow and just hope it works out. I had a long day yesterday and didn’t need it, and a short day today and needed the extra time – it is what it is.”