Six Wins $50,000 On Lake Hartwell
Saving the biggest bag of the tournament for Showdown Saturday, Drew Six wins big on Lake Hartwell.
Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons
Saving the best for last, Drew Six weighed in his biggest bag of the tournament on Showdown Saturday to capture his first National Professional Fishing League (NPFL) victory. With 17-lbs., 7-ozs. on day one, 14-lbs., 13-ozs. on day two and 19-lbs., 1-oz. on day three, Six had a three-day total of 51-lbs., 5-oz. to secure the victory.
With and copy and paste method, running the same program all week, Six executed a shallow-water sight fishing bite by catching a mix of spawning bass, fry guarders and bluegill chasing bass, different each day.
“Day one we had all three phases of the spawn, day two spawn was wearing off, and today was a new wave of spawners.”
Opting for super light line, Six fished a Z-Man StreakZ 3.75-inch shad bait in the shiner color rigged on a Z-Man Texas eye Jig head on 6-lb. Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon, all available at Fisherman’s Central. Focusing on sharp drops near long points off the main channel, he fished all new water on Showdown Saturday and relied on Lowrance mapping to replicate his deal all over the lake.
“The keys for me this week were that Z-Man bait, the light line and Lowrance C-Map Reveal. I used the exact same jig head and plastic all three days and today I fished all new water and was able to identify spots on the Lowrance map and I would pull up and they all had fish. This is my biggest win, and it was a phenomenal week. By using that light line, I was able to fish behind and around people all week and catch some key fish that others were not able to.”
After losing several key bass on day one, Patrick Walters caught 19-lbs., 6-ozs. on day two to take the lead and added 13 pounds on Showdown Saturday to finish the event in the second-place spot with a three-day total of 46-lbs., 14-ozs.
Keying on the shad spawn, Walters employed a mix of several moving baits to temp schooling bass. Noting he did have some key areas, but the trick to herring fish is to keep moving and covering water until you run into fish that will bite.
With a three-day total of 46-lbs., 14-ozs., Jason Wilson added 17-lbs., 10-ozs. to go with an excellent day one to finish the event in third place. Fishing a primarily shallow sight fishing pattern, the North Carolina pro spent his practice period marking fish on the bed and returned throughout the tournament to catch what was around.
“I had some key areas but basically, I was covering water— would start at the mouth and work through until I saw a fish and lock down and catch it. I caught a 4- and 5-pounder in one pocket today, and I have had a lot of success in previous tournaments on Hartwell, it’s one of my favorite lakes.”
Finishing in the fourth-place spot, California pro Bryant Smith wrapped up a very consistent week by bringing 15-lbs.. 6-ozs. to the scales on Showdown Saturday to finish with a three-day total of 46-lbs., 11-ozs. Fishing the ultimate junk pattern, Smith rotated between herring fish and shallow sight fishing to catch his fish every day.
“The keys for me this week were the really flat points for the schoolers and the flat banks for sight fishing. If there was red clay, it was better, but the flat banks and points overall has the most fish. I was randomly looking in pockets and if the bigger pocket had several smaller pockets, that was where most of the bites would come from.”
Burning over 100 gallons of gas throughout the event, Smith fished a variety of baits including the most important—a soft jerkbait.
“I was using that Lews Custom Lite reel and that was key for making very long casts with basically a weightless bait. I was easily getting another 10 to 15 yards out of each cast.
With his biggest bag of the week on the final day, including a 6-lb., 2-oz. kicker, T.R. Andreas brought 19-lbs., 4-ozs. to the scales on Showdown Saturday to finish tied for fifth with a three-day total of 45-lbs., 1-oz. Sticking to a sight fishing bite all week, Andreas was keying on East facing banks.
“I was basically just moving around looking for fish locked on beds, and I was throwing three baits to get them to bite. A 3/0 Gamakatsu hook with a 5/16-oz. weight and 15-lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon, I was using both a Yum Dinger and a Rage bug on that, and the third was a wacky-rigged green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko. I would rotate through and once I would make a switch, they would bite.”
Bringing 18-lbs., 9-ozs. to the scales on Showdown Saturday, Jason Williamson finished tied for fifth place with a three-day total of 45-lbs., 1-oz. Williamson caught 16-lbs., 6-ozs. on day one and 10-lbs., 2-ozs. on day two before bringing in his heaviest catch on the final day.
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