Running Lake Hartwell Brushpiles And Herring Pattern Earns $100,000

Mike Corbishley wins NPFL tournament on Lake Hartwell with a three-day total weight of 44-lbs., 1-oz.

Press Release | May 20, 2024

Mike Corbishley won $100,000 at stop No. 2 of the National Professional Fishing League (NPFL) season at Lake Hartwell,

With a three-day total weight of 44-lbs., 1-oz., Mike Corbishley takes the victory at stop No. 2 of the National Professional Fishing League (NPFL) season at Lake Hartwell, hosted by Anderson County, S.C. Corbishley had his toughest day of the week with 12-lbs., 9-ozs., on Day 1, added 17-lbs., 7-ozs. on Day 2, and 14-lbs., 1-oz. on the final day to earn the NPFL shield and the $100,000 top prize.

Embracing a run-and-gun style on Lake Hartwell for three days, Corbishley got stronger as the event went on and made hay when the sun was behind the clouds later this afternoon.

“It was fairly bright out there until 3 p.m., and I was exhausted from running around, sitting down, standing up, over and over,” he said. “When the storms rolled in, I caught a second wind and went hard in the paint. I had 9 pounds at that time and culled up three times in the last couple hours.”

Corbishley, who is from Raleigh, N.C., fished a mix of herring patterns and brushpiles throughout the event, but on the final day, he dedicated his efforts to his “best brush” and burned 40 gallons of gas running circles around Hartwell.

“I had a mix of piles,” he added. “On Day 1, I caught some on a herring pattern and some on brush/rock. On Day 2, it was mostly the piles. My practice was horrible; in the past, when I had a bad practice and could not get things going, I like to run and mark as much good stuff as I can and revisit it throughout the event with Lowrance Active Target 2, and it works out.”

When the action picked up in the afternoon, Corbishley’s first cull was a 3-pounder. On the very next pile, he hooked a 5-lb. largemouth and lost it 10 feet from the boat. His hopes of finally getting it done diminished, but he stayed put and made two crucial culls before check-in.

“I thought I blew it; I thought that was how it was going to end and I was going to come up short again,” he added. “When I was in the weigh-in line, I weighed my fish; I knew what I had. When Big Al told me what I needed, I knew it was going to be super close. It was unbelievable to finally make it happen after being so close so many times.”

With the victory, Corbishley takes him the NPFL Shield and a cool $100,000 payday for his efforts. Now, what will he do with the money?

“It’s life-changing,” he concluded. “My wife and I have been talking about buying land to build a house, and this will make it possible. I want to give a big shout-out to my wife and my sponsors, without them and their support, I would never be able to do this—I don’t know what to say. Lowrance, Mercury Marine, Victaulic, Power-Pole, Dirty Jigs, Nichols Lures, National Coatings and Supplies, Hatterasman, Bajio Sunglasses, 13 Fishing and Cashion Rods—thank you.”

Hartwell Bass On The May Herring Spawn

Hunter Sales

After a tough start to his tournament with 9-lbs., 10-ozs. on Day 1, Hunter Sales added 16-lbs., 9-ozs. on Day 2 and 17-lbs., 5-ozs. on the final day to earn his first NPFL victory with a three-day total weight of 43-lbs., 8-ozs. on Lake Hartwell.

Despite a tough Day 1, Sales made a huge comeback this week with some of the biggest bags of each of the final two days. Staying versatile and adapting as things changed was key to getting his event back on track. Sales, of Blaine, Tenn., is the head coach of Carson-Newman University bass fishing team.

“Any time you have a tough day, it’s easy to look back and think about things you could have done differently,” he said. “You just have to roll with it; God has a plan for everyone. I found a topwater bite late on Day 1, and I wish I could have gotten on it sooner, but it was staying open to change that turned things around.

On Day 2, Sales fully expected to catch fish on topwater, but after a few bites early, it faded, and he had to make a change yet again.

“I threw a fluke on Day 1, and it did not work, but later on Day 2, they got on it. Today, I caught almost everything on a fluke and weighed one fish on a Neko rig. Hartwell is one of those lakes you have to adapt and sometimes it seems like it’s hour by hour.”

One of his best finishes in a tour-level tournament, Sales was disappointed by the second-place finish but is going to use it as fuel to get back to the top the rest of the season.

“It’s the best finish of my career, biggest payday, and I am tickled to death,” he added. “Second stings, especially after my tough Day 1, but God takes care of his people, and He took care of me this week—I am blessed. I was almost not going to be able to fish this week but a lot of my sponsors stepped up to get me on the water—Yamaha Motors, Morristown Marine, Seaguar Line, SaltX, Thompson Truck Group, Z-Man, National Kennel Club, and more, the list goes on and on.”

Kyle Welcher

With a three-day total weight of 42-lbs., 9-ozs., Kyle Welcher, of Opelika, Ala., finished the event on Lake Hartwell in third place. Welcher caught 16-lbs., 11-ozs. on Day 1, had his toughest day on Day 2 with 9-lbs., 10-ozs. and added 16-lbs., 2-ozs. on the final day to wrap up an excellent week.

Knowing he needed a big bag to make up for his slip-up on Day 2, Welcher started his day ensuring he was going to get paid. With a double-digit limit, he set off to find something new, where he may find something to give him a chance at winning.

“I fished free today, running around and looking at new stuff,” he said. “If I did what I had done, I had no shot to win. I caught a 4.5-lb. fish off a bed, and the rest of my fish came on traditional herring-type deals.”

While finishing in third place wraps up a solid week, Welcher had a mental blunder on Day 2 that cost him the win this week.

“On Day 2, I tied on a hook for soft plastics, one I hate throwing, but I knew it worked out here. A lot of people had caught fish on it, and I gave it a shot,” he added. “It cost me big—I lost three big fish on that before swapping hooks, but those bites were why I only had 9 pounds yesterday. That is fishing, I made a mental mistake.”

Will Harkins

Georgia’s Will Harkins caught a three-day total weight of 42-lbs., 4-ozs. to finish stop No. 2 of the NPFL season in fourth place. Despite a costly penalty on Day 2, where he had to release his limit of fish at the midpoint of the day, he salvaged his day with 9-lbs., 14-ozs. Harkins had a weight of 16-lbs., 4-ozs. on Day 1 and 16-lbs., 2-ozs. on Day 3. Harkins is from Blairsville.

Richard Kee

Richard Kee, of Somerville, Tenn., started on Day 1 with 14-lbs., 7-ozs., added 11-lbs., 7-ozs. on Day 2, and 15-lbs., 15-ozs. on Day 3 to finish in the fifth-place spot with a total weight of 41-lbs., 13-ozs.

Rest of the Best:

Jason Burroughs 41-13

Trent Palmer 41-11

Drew Cook 41-9

John Cox 41-5

Bailey Gay 41-4

Full Results

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