STOP #1 - PICKWICK LAKE | MARCH 15-17
STOP #2 - WRIGHT PATMAN LAKE | APRIL 20-22
RYAN SATTERFIELD - 1ST
Brad Staley - 2ND
STOP #3 - SANTEE COOPER LAKES | MAY 25-28
PATRICK WALTERS - 1ST
For the jerkbait combo, Patrick Walters used his signature Daiwa Tatula Elite Series Patrick Walters Jerkbait rod. He paired it with a Daiwa Tatula SV 8.1:1 ratio reel spooled with 14-pound Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon. His jerkbait of choice was an unnamed Rapala prototype coming out later this year. For the spinnerbait, Walters used a Daiwa Tatula Elite Series Chatterbait/Spinnerbait rod with the same Daiwa Tatula SV 8.1:1 ratio reel. He spooled his ¾ ounce spinnerbait (unnamed) on 20# Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon.
TODD GOADE - 2ND
Todd Goade targeted flooded timber in the 3-foot depth range with a Zoom Mag II in Plum Apple color rigged with a ¼ ounce Angler Tungsten weight. His set up was made with a 7’ 1” medium-heavy Reinforcer ARK Fishing casting rod with a 7.1:1 ratio Ark Gravity 7 Casting Reel spooled with 15-pound Seaguar Abrazx Fluorocarbon line. Goade caught 14 of the 15 bass he weighed on that set up.
WILL HARKINS - 3RD
For the dropshot, Will Harkins used a Swate medium-light action spinning rod with a Daiwa Exceller paired with a 15-pound Berkley braided line mainline to a to Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon leader. When the fishing slowed down, Harkins would give them a different look with either a chatterbait or spinnerbait. He threw both on the same Lew’s Custom Reel on an medium-heavy action Abu Garcia Veritas rod and 17-pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line.
STOP #4 - SAGINAW BAY | JULY 20-22
Walters’ main setup this week for smallmouth bass was a 7-foot medium-light Daiwa Tatula Cody Meyer drop shot spinning rod and a Daiwa Tatula MQ 4000 spinning reel rigged with Sufix 832 8-pound braid to an 8-pound Sufix Advanced fluorocarbon leader. He fished a variety of plastics on a #2 VMC Finesse Neko Rig hook and tried to give the fish a different look as conditions changed.
STOP #5 - LAKE EUFAULA | SEP 28-30
Lake Eufaula Champion Louis Fernandes focused on main lake brush piles and targeted groups of bass chasing bait adjacent to the piles using forward-facing sonar and a dropshot. For the dropshot, he used an iRod 702 spinning rod with 8-pound P-Line Fluorocarbon. For the bait, he used a Robo Worm. In addition to the dropshot, he used two other combos. A 7’6” iRod Flipping Stick with a G-Money Flipping Jig was his go to for flipping docks. His braid to fluorocarbon leader consisted of a 65-pound P-Line braid to a 12-pound P-Line fluorocarbon. His other presentation on Eufaula was a P-Line 1st Gen Fishing Top Spin Overspin Swimbait head
In third place overall, Patrick Walters slowly increased his position each day and focus his efforts on offshore brush piles. He used a combination of two Daiwa combos, and the first being a dropshot thrown on a 7’ medium light action Daiwa Tatula Elite rod with a Daiwa MQ reel. The other was for a shakey head and he used the same Daiwa MQ spinning reel, with a 7’ Takahiro Omori Shakey Head Rod. He rotated through a variety of Zoom Baits
STOP #6 - LAKE LANIER | OCT 26-28
Walters did his damage this week by utilizing two Daiwa setups that were key to not only this event but his entire season.
The first was a Zoom Mag Shakey Worm, which Walters opted to throw on a ¼ ounce head teamed with the Signature Series Takahiro Omori Daiwa Tatula Elite 7-foot Medium/Medium-Heavy All-Around spinning rod, and paired it with a size 4000 Daiwa Tatula MQ spinning reel along with 10-pound Suffix Braided Line with a 6-pound Suffix Fluorocarbon leader.
His other go-to was a Zoom Super Fluke, which he fished on a Signature Series Chris Johnston 7-foot, 6-inch Hair Jig Daiwa Tatula Elite Spinning Rod with the same 4000 Daiwa Tatula MQ spinning reel with a 10-pound Suffix Braided Line with a 6-pound Suffix Fluorocarbon leader.
Like Walters, his two main baits were key in his success on Lake Lanier. The Bomber Wake Bait, which Harkins can’t recall the name of, was responsible for most of his day one and day two catches. He used a 7-foot medium-action Cashion Icon Series Spinning Rod, with 15-pound Braided Lineto a Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon 10-pound leader.
The other key contributor was a Zoom Super Fluke. Like Walters, when the fish were up in the water column and feeding, the fluke was a bait that yielded some bites.
Goade used the same setup, which consisted of an Ark Reinforcer spinning rod and the new Ark Gravity spinning reel, which he noted would be available soon. He used 10-pound Seaguar braided line and 8-pound Seaguar Invizx Fluorocarbon
For deeper fish, he opted for a medium-heavy action, while using a medium-action for shallower brush. While the majority of his bass came on a Zoom Mag Shakey Worm, Goade noted he did weigh in a few fish throughout the event on the new Morning Dawn Core colored Zoom Trick Worm, which will also be available in stores soon.