Brandon Perkins Extends His Pickwick Lead

Brandon Perkins stays on point with a solid Day Two leading into Finale Friday.

Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons

With 17-pounds, 6-ounces on day two, Brandon Perkins take the lead headed into the final day with a total weight of 41-pounds, 15-ounces. A tougher day overall for the entire field, Perkins kept his head down and added a solid bag to his day one leading weight of 24-pounds 9-ounces. He takes a 9-pound lead into the final day.

“I don’t have a clue,” Perkins said. “I caught seven bass on day one and only five today; at 2:37 I broke off a bait and made three casts with the only bait I had left on my deck and caught my final keeper, right before check in.”

With changing conditions, increasing winds and strong current, like the others, Perkins is scratching his head as to what is happening on Pickwick, but will take it thus far. Unsure if he can gamble on making the long run to his home waters, Perkins will wait until the morning to decide whether he will turn left or right from takeoff in the morning.”

“I saved some stuff for today and didn’t get a bite on any of it,” he added. “The best places I have on this lake I have yet to make a cast and I am not sure if I will get there tomorrow, either. My deals are basically dead right now; besides the few bass I have caught. I may sit at the dam tomorrow or I may head to Counce.”

Perkins is fishing for both smallmouth and largemouth, rotating between jigs, swimbaits, traps and jerk baits and fishing key spots on larger areas.

Tim Cales

After catching 18-pounds, 8-ounces on day one, Tim Cales battled both swift current and dead batteries and added 14-pounds, 2-ounces on day two. With a total weight of 32-pounds, 10-ounces, Cales sits in second place going into the final day.

“I lost two hours this afternoon when my batteries quit,” said Cales. “I spent all day up in the tailwater like I did on day one and only caught five keepers today, and I lost one big one too.”

With no other areas to fall back on, Cales plans to figure out his batteries and keep fishing his swim jig up by the dam.

“I know where they are sitting,” he added. “I just have to get my swim jig up in there and work it by them, and of course they have to bite.”

Louis Fernandes

Adding 10-pounds, 14-ounces to his day one weight of 18-pounds, 6-ounces, Louis Fernandes is junk fishing his way to the 3rd place spot going into the final day with a total weight of 29-pounds, 4-ounces. With his water cooling off, Fernandes stuck with his pattern and was able to keep himself in the top five.

“It got colder on me and the lack of sun made it tougher,” said Fernandes. “I stuck with my game, throwing a mix of winding bait and it worked out. I am not on anything special at all, but after my rough practice, I didn’t think I could carry it this far.”

Dustin Wilkey

Dustin Wilkey added 13-pounds, 10-ounces to his opening round bag of 18-pounds, 5-ounces to finish the day in the fourth-place spot with a two-day total of 31-pounds, 15-ounces. When his main area from day one was covered with local and tournament boats this morning, he was able to catch a few keepers on stop number two before “hopping on the struggle bus and not getting off.”

“Those boats on my main deal was tough to see this morning,” said Wilkey. “I got a few keepers shortly after but it turned into a big grind fest. I anticipated the wind and warmer weather may help out the bite for me but it never panned out and that’s fine. Tomorrow, I need to get off to a good start and keep it rolling,” he added.

Hayden Hammond

In the fifth-place spot with a two-day total of 31—pounds, 14-ounces, 17-year-old Hayden Hammond relied on an 18-pound, 3-ounce start on day one, and a 13-pound, 11-ounce bag on day two to sit in the fifth place going into the final day. Hammond has started both days with a big bite and hopes to continue that fortune on day three.

“Getting a big bite early has been key,” said Hammond. “I have been catching most of my fish in one little area, and after struggling in practice for the first two days, I was able to locate these fish late on day three,” he added.

Hammond is throwing a mix of bladed jigs and traps around grass to catch his fish.

Rest of the Rest
Michael Brewer 29-7
Jesse Wise 28-10
Timothy Reams 27-12
Jason Wilson 27-10
Mike Corbishley 27-9

FINAL FRIDAY – 3.16.23
Join us LIVE @ 8:00 AM (CT) with Luke & Fat Cat in Studio and the Final Weigh-in at 2:30 PM (CT) when the Shield and $100,000 Check is raised.