Eliminator Series: West Point, Clarks Hill April Bass Tournament Diaries

David Millsaps produces a 20-lb. sack of bass at West Point, while a victory at Clarks Hill will send Dave Krantz to a round-two bass match.

Brad Gill | May 1, 2006

The Eliminator Series matches top Georgia bass tournament anglers head-to-head, and the diaries of these competitions offer invaluable bass fishing information to anglers. This months matches took place on West Point and Clarks Hill, and they offer great insight to April bass fishing on these lakes.

You’ve read about the fishing success of the Millsaps family for years. Plain and simple, the whole family can fish. David Millsaps from Ball Ground, who mostly fishes with his wife Pansy, was drawn to fish The Eliminator Series. Last month he fished West Point against Micah Frazier, the hottest 17-year-old angler.

Even though Micah had an impressive bag of fish, David managed to catch an incredible sack of largemouth that weighed 20 pounds! This weight could hold as the best bag in Eliminator history for quite some time.

Now David moves on to face Steven Phillips at Lanier in September. David is good on Lanier, but he worries about Steven, a hometown boy from Jefferson.

The Clarks Hill tournament paired Dave Krantz, a flipper from Albany, against Carolina-rig fanatic Jessie Rodgers from Blue Ridge. The fishing was pretty tough, with neither competitor weighing in a limit, but Dave’s four largemouths went 8.68 pounds and put him on top.

Dave will move on to round two at Lake Eufaula in October. He’ll be facing Mark Massey, who likes Eufaula in October. However, Dave, a 66-year-old angler, has plenty of history on this south Georgia reservoir.

Round 1: West Point David Millsaps vs. Micah Frazier

David Millsaps put together a 20- lb. sack of bass after realizing the fish had pulled onto shallow stumps. David went sight fishing. He’ s excellent at reading a fish, which tells him which fish to spend time trying to catch. When he finds the right fish, he slows his fishing way down and patiently waits for the bass to strike.

“I don’t get in a rush when I’m fishing,” said David.

His competitor, Micah Frazier, became the youngest angler to ever win a BFL tournament, an event he won last April at West Point. This year he has a second and fourth in recent West Point tournaments. When he turned 16, Micah spent every single day bass fishing reservoirs.

“That first summer I got my license, I wore it out. I started figuring it out.”

Next year he plans to attend the University of West Georgia to study business and marketing, knowledge that he admitted he hoped could help in a professional fishing career.

“I can live at home (in Newnan),” Micah said, “and that way I can fish. I’m not leaving my boat.”

Micah fished the Eliminator hard and fast and put together a limit that weighed 11.45 pounds, the second- heaviest weight to date in the Eliminator Series.

Brad Gill rode with David and Daryl Kirby was with Micah.

David Millsaps, West Point

Here are two of David Millsaps five West Point largemouths that he weighed in for The Eliminator Series tournament.

7:21: David starts at the mouth of an eastern pocket in the Southern Harbor area. He throws a 1/2-oz. white Lunker Lure buzzbait. Water temperature is 64.1 degrees.

7:32: At the mouth of the cut David sees a decent fish cruising in two feet of water but loses sight of it.

7:40: David moves across the lake into a western cove that has several pockets. He starts with the buzzbait, then picks up a Swarmin’ Hornet 3/8- oz. jig with a Yamamoto green pump- kin twin-trailer grub. He fishes a tree in a six-foot-deep ditch that runs into a small pocket.

7:50: Coming out of the pocket, he slings the spinnerbait down some rip-rap. “Kenny Jones makes this spinnerbait,” said David. “It’s got a real light wire, which gives off a lot more vibration. I’ve caught a lot of big fish on this spinnerbait over the years. I just bought a hundred.”

8:01: Keeper No. 1, a 16-inch largemouth hits the jig just off a roadbed. “He was in three feet of water,” said David. “I’m just working the jig like a Texas-rig.”

8:17: Working down a clean bank toward the back of a different pocket, David misses a fish.

8:18: He sees the fish. “He keeps coming back to one spot, but I don’t see a bed,” he said.

The fish is in one foot of water. David throws his jig past the fish, reels to it and shakes it a dozen times in its face before swimming the bait back to the boat. Gradually the fish becomes less skittish of David’s jig and starts following it out.

8:36: He switches to a Texas-rigged, sour-grape lizard on a 1/0 hook with a 1/4-oz. bullet weight on top. “I went to a lizard because I see he wants something swimming,” said David.

8:39: To give the fish a break David goes to the back of the pocket looking for another fish.

8:55: He’ s back fishing for the fish with his green-pumpkin jig. He hooks the fish and brings keeper No. 2 over the side. “I was just swimming the jig, and she finally came and got it,” said David. “This fish isn’t on bed, she just pulled up.”

9:24: David goes back across the lake to where he started.

9:29: David spots a good fish. It shows interest in his jig by following the bait to the boat.
9:37: The fish short strikes at the jig, but then disappears.

9:44: David ties on a rootbeer-colored 1/4-oz. Bitsy Bug. “I’m going to downsize on this fish,” said David.

9:48: David sees the fish again. It is positioned right by a stump, making it difficult to see.

9:49: He throws the Bitsy Bug past the fish, and swims it right up to the stump. There was no hesitation, the 3 1/2-pounder enhaled it.

9:51: David is convinced that bass have pulled up shallow and are on his “stump” pattern. “We’re going to Maple if they’re doing this,” he said.

10:12: David pulls into a pocket in Maple Creek. The short pocket had three or four stumps in the back. He sees a decent fish suspended in a four- foot ditch that’s near the back. The fish follows his jig to the boat and then disappears. Then, he spots two fish laying beside a stump. Those fish see the boat and pull out into the ditch and suspend. David notices two more fish in the ditch, one about seven pounds and the other about three. “If I had known these fish were here, I would have come here first thing with a buzzbait,” said David.

Because the fish aren’t holding on a stump, David said they won’t bite.

11:01: David is in a new pocket.

11:02: He sees a fish around a stump and hooks it on the first cast. It comes unbuttoned.

11:05: He misses another fish.

11:18: He moves 30 feet back in the pocket and sees the top of a stump. He throws the green-pumpkin jig by the stump and misses a fish.

11:20: He misses the fish again. He picks up a Bitsy Bug. To make the jig even smaller, he pinches a Yamamoto trailer in half and slides it on the Bitsy Bug. “He’s been short striking the dog out of it,” said David.

11:25: He sets the hook on keeper No. 4 and slings it in the boat. The fish was over four pounds.

11:38: David sets his boat down in a new pocket in Maple Creek. “I’m looking for a stump now,” he said.

11:46: David loses a 2-pounder on his green-pumpkin jig.

11:48: For the next 10 minutes David spots about 10 fish, the biggest one being seven pounds. In a 100-yard stretch of bank every stump had a fish on it. However, these fish would spook from the stump and not return, which told David they weren’t worth taking the time trying to catch. “We have to find one willing to lay by a stump,” said David. “If she runs off but comes back, I can catch her.”

12:05: David returns to the pocket where the big fish were suspended in the ditch. He stops halfway back and starts chunking a fluke in the direction he saw the ditch fish. On his fluke, he was using a 4/0 Mustad hook that has a weight built into the hook.

12:10: David sees two 7-pounders suspended in the ditch, but his focus is on a 4 1/2-pounder that’s holding on a stump. On the first few casts past the stump, the fish would swim off but would always come back inside a minute. David would swim his jig up to the stump and leave it, waiting for the fish to return.

12:22: David has his jig by the stump, ready for the fish to return. When she gets back, David shakes the jig and the fish eats it. Keeper No. 5 goes in the livewell.

When David is sight fishing, he’s very patient once the bass takes the bait, often waiting several seconds before setting the hook. David likes to be sure the fish is chewing on the bait before he sets the hook. Several times in the tournament David was shaking a jig inches from a bass’s mouth with one hand in his pocket. “I spray my stuff with Jack’ s Juice,” said David. “Once they get the jig in their mouth, they won’t let go of it. He could swim four lengths of this boat and still have it in his mouth.”

12:46: David spots a new fish, a decent keeper that would cull his first fish, laying right beside a stump in one foot of water. “One of the biggest keys to this type of fishing is the line I use,” said David. “It’s 20-lb. test made by Vanish. I throw it on every lake.”

12:55: The fish chases the bait out to the boat several times but quickly returns to the stump. At this point, David is making sure the jig is back beside the stump before the fish returns.

12:59: David catches keeper No. 6, which easily culls the first keeper of the day. David stays in the pocket hoping the bigger fish would pull onto the stump, but they never do.

1:50: With 15 minutes to go he stops in a big pocket below Veasey Creek. In the back he sees two stumps and heads toward them. Four 4-pounders swim off one of the stumps.

Two of them return, and he fishes for them to the last minute of the tournament. One of the fish rolled on his jig, but time expired before he was able to get a fish to commit. However, he’s confident these fish would have bit with enough time.

Micah Frazier, West Point

7:06: Only two minutes after blast-off Micah Frazier had a bait in the water. His first stop was rip-rap at a bridge in the Yellowjacket Creek arm, and his first casts were with an Ol-Nelle spinnerbait to a blowdown on the bank before the rip-rap started. “The shad spawn should get started any day,” Micah said as he began casting to the rocks. “The shad were balled up on the bank last weekend. If we find shad spawning, I should be able to catch five real quick. Man, there’s a ton of shad here.”

Micah Frazier’s first decision during the West Point Eliminator match was a winner. The shad were just starting to spawn, and he caught three solid keepers in the first 45 minutes as bass were attracted to the boiling shad.

7:13: A 13-inch bass inhales the spinnerbait. “W on’ t keep, but that’ s a good sign though,” he says.

7:22: Micah fishes past the rip-rap along a red-clay bank with a few blow- downs. Micah is fishing fast. He handles the boat better than most and his bait is out of the water just seconds before he sends it back in one fluid motion — and the casts are pin-point accurate.

7:24: Micah cranks the big 250 hp and zips his Ranger back to fish the other side of the rip-rap.

7:25: Hit, but no hook-up.

7:27: Micah is about to round the corner under the bridge when he looks back to the stretch he just fished and sees a pod of shad erupt right up against the rocks. “When they’re really spawning, the whole rip-rap will look like that,” Micah says as he put the trolling motor on high and heads toward the 20-yard stretch of rocks where the shad are up. “I fished a tournament Saturday and they weren’t doing it, but I figured with the full moon coming they might be doing it. Last year it started on April 10. They’re doing it now,” he said as he headed toward the spawning shad.

7:32: Micah picks up a Bandit 200 series crankbait in the chartreuse/blueback color scheme.

7:34: A 14-inch spotted bass hits the crankbait and Micah swings aboard his first keeper. “A lot of people don’t throw a crankbait on the shad spawn, but I’ve caught two 7-pounders on this crankbait doing it.”

7:36: A better fish, about 16 inches, smacks the crankbait and goes in the box. “I’d like to get a few more while they’ re doing this,” Micah says as he quickly gets his crankbait back in the water, ticking it along the rocks where the shad are boiling.

7:42: The shad activity stops. “Man. I wish they’d come back up,” Micah says as he continues to cast the crankbait along the rip-rap.

7:47: More shad activity.

7:50: He hooks and catches a 15- inch bass.

8:01: The shad go back down, and Micah moves under the bridge to try the opposite side of the rip-rap.

8:11: The shad don’t come back up, and the sun is hitting the water, so Micah makes a short ride down the creek to an old boat ramp. “There are shad all over this one two,” he says as he makes two casts with the spinnerbait before picking up the crankbait. Just a few casts later, he’s on the move again.

8:18: Micah pulls into a pocket and starts fishing a secondary point. It’s the area where he caught 14 pounds three days before and placed second in a tournament. Micah stays on the trolling motor, starting at the point he then moves into the small secondary pocket.

8:22: A 2 1/2-lb. bass hits the spinnerbait on a shallow flat toward the back of the pocket. “Heck yes! Thank you Lord. They’re not dinks — all pretty good fish. Now I need one more of those big ones. Definitely need more than that. David’s gonna come in with a sack of fish.”

8:39: Micah makes several casts with a crankbait to a roadbed in the back of the main cove. Then it’s back to the spinnerbait.

8:49: A fish hits the spinnerbait, but no hook-up. “I saw the mud swirl. That’s a bedded fish, has to be.” He picks up a Texas-rigged lizard. “I hate sight fishing.” Micah makes three or four casts and moves on.

8:56: After fishing all the way into the cove and back out the other side, Micah idles back to the stretch where he caught 14 pounds three days ago.

9:00: Micah starts throwing a Carolina-rigged watermelon candy lizard with the tail dyed chartreuse. He’s using a 1/2-oz. weight and a fairly short, 2 1/2-foot leader. “This is my favorite thing to do this time of year. This is how I won the BFL. I catch some big fish doing this, probably bed- ding fish that you just can’t see because they’re a little deeper.”

9:02: A miss. The fish was swimming with the lizard, and there are teeth marks just below the hook.

9:11: Micah is ready to move.

9:15: He stops at a main-lake point at the mouth of a medium-sized pocket and throws the spinnerbait.

9:24: “It’s about the end of the line for this spinnerbait. It’s a little too still, and this water’s a little too clear.” Micah goes back to the Carolina-rig.

9:28: At a blowdown Micah picks up a Texas-rigged lizard. On his second cast he hooks and boats a 2 1/2-lb. largemouth. In less than 2 1/2 hours he has a solid limit.

9:41: “I’m about to get in big-fish mode. I’m going to go up and find some stained water. I just can’t hardly catch a big fish in clear water.”

9:53: Micah stops and fishes a Carolina rig at a hump at the mouth of Halfmoon Creek. No bites.

10:03: He runs up Yellowjacket to a nothing-looking flat. “This is where I won the BFL last year. This is a spot where I need the wind. It’s kind of a hit-or-miss spot,” Micah says. After fishing the flat with no bites, he adds, “I’m kind of mad at myself for not sight-fishing, but I’m just not good at it. I don’t like to do it.”

10:16: After fishing the flat, Micah stays on the trolling motor and begins fishing a series of blowdowns on the main creek bank.

10:18: Micah catches a bass on the Carolina rig, and he culls the first keeper of the morning, adding about five ounces to his total, which he’s figuring is in the 11- to 12-lb. range.

10:25: Another keeper bass hits the Carolina rig, but this one won’t cull anything already in the box.

10:40: Micah heads farther up Yellowjacket to a cove and begins fishing a pea-gravel point at the mouth of a pocket.

10:44: He catches a short fish on the Carolina-rigged lizard.

10:48: He catches a keeper on the Carolina rig, but it won’t cull.

10:56: Another short fish, this one a spotted bass. Micah decides to move.

11:01: Heads up Jackson Creek toward the back and fishes some rip- rap and a roadbed, alternating between the spinnerbait and a Carolina rig. “I was hoping the water would be muddy up here,” Micah says, but it’s the same clear color as down the creek.

11:22 Micah motors back down Jackson and then up Yellowjacket. For the next hour and 15 minutes, he hits several locations and catches one 14- inch bass on the Texas-rigged lizard.

12:58: Micah arrives in Whitewater Creek. He fishes several spots, catching a 14-inch keeper at 1:43 on the Texas rig in a blowdown, and at 1:51 with just 13 minutes of fishing time left, he catches a 12-inch bass on a Carolina-rig.

Micah Frazier put together an 11.45-lb. limit, the second-best weight so far in the Eliminator Series.

Round 1: Clarks Hill Dave Krantz vs. Jessie Rodgers

The Clarks Hill event happened one day after the full moon in April, and the fishing was surprisingly tough. Neither competitor had a limit, but Dave Krantz’s four fish were enough to beat Jessie Rodgers, who weighed-in just one bass.

Dave praticed for 2 1/2 days and said the fish were pretty tight on the beds, but on tournament day a large portion of the fish were gone. Dave was able to catch two for-sure bedding fish with a Senko and picked up two more keepers fishing areas that were holding some deeper bedding fish.

Jessie Rodgers is from Blue Ridge, and he’s done little fishing out- side of the super-clear mountain lakes of Nottely, Chatuge and Burton. A chemist by trade who fishes with the Mountain Team Trail, Jessie is used to catching spotted bass in deep, clear water, and with only one day to prefish, he wasn’t able to solve the puzzle of Clarks Hill bass that were likely shallow, but not visible in the spawning pockets.

Brad Gill rode along with Dave and Daryl went with Jessie. They put in at Wildwood Park in Keg Creek. Both anglers allowed us to print specifically where they fished.

Dave Krantz, Clarks Hill

Here are Dave’s two best fish, one of them weighed 2.93 pounds.

6:47: Dave starts the day 20 feet off Wildwood Park’s most western dock looking for a 4-pounder he saw the afternoon before. He throws a 6-inch watermelon red Senko on a 5/0
Gamakatsu hook.

7:00: He goes to the back of the pocket, with the Wildwood ramp still in sight. He’s casting to an area that he saw a fish on bed the day before. Dave lets the bait fall and twitches it. It’s still to dark to see the bed, so he leaves.

7:13: Dave stops in front of the single ramp at Petersburg. “I saw a few deep beds here yesterday, I’d catch a glimpse of a bass leaving when I got over top of them,” said Dave.

7:14: Fish No. 1 hits right on the ramp. The fish is close to the 12-inch minimum, but the fish swallowed the hook and starts bleeding. Dave lets the fish go in hopes that it’ll survive.

7:18: Dave moves around the point from the boat ramp and starts heading down the main creek bank at Petersburg. There’ s an obvious grass line under the surface in about seven feet of water. We can see scattered beds. “This should be one of the last places they bed,” said Dave. “They’ll start in the backs of the creeks and bed on the main lake last. I bet most of the big fish bedded in March.”

7:28: Dave hooks a fish, but it comes off.

7:45: Dave skips across the mouth  of a pocket, still keying on main-lake bedding fish. “I never saw anything over three pounds in the back of a pocket,” said Dave.

7:51: Dave fishes a main-lake rocky point.

8:04: Still heading east, Dave fishes a long, rocky seawall.

8:26: Dave moves to a rocky creek bank at the mouth of Chigoe Creek.

8:32: “I’m getting concerned now, I should have had more bites,” said Dave.

8:36: “I caught some fish here Thursday morning,” said Dave. “I did- n’t beat it bad, but it was easy to get bites here.” Dave misses another fish that bit the Senko.

8:51: Still fishing the mouth of Chigoe, this time in a blowdown, Dave misses another fish.

8:54: Dave switches to a 7-inch Senko in watermelon red. He’s still fishing the blowdown.

8:55: He picks up a Zoom Magnum lizard in junebug and pitches it into the blowdown.

8:56: Switching back to the 6-inch Senko, he fishes around the two islands at the mouth of Chigoe.

9:03: A fish picks up his bait but spits it out.

9:12: Dave is back at the Wildwood boat ramp looking for his bedded fish he couldn’t see at daylight. “She was here at 4:00 yesterday after- noon,” said Dave. “It wouldn’t be unusual for her to be gone. I saw one yesterday morning that was gone yes- terday afternoon. In a lot of cases they’ll stay up two or three days.” There are only patches of sun poking through the trees, making it tough to see.

9:22: He sees the fish, but she seems spooky and won’t lock down on the bed.

9:25: Dave throws the Senko in the bed and shakes it.

9:26: He picks up the lizard and pushes the hook barely through the plastic to expose the hook. “If I’m smart I’ll leave the fish and come back to let her settle down,” said Dave.

9:29-9:32: Dave just watches the fish circle around. She finally settles and gets in the bed.

9:33: The fish tapped the Senko twice.

9:36: Dave pulls the Senko into the bed. He shakes it a few times, and the fish bites. Keeper No. 1 goes in the boat and is almost three pounds.

9:38: Dave turns around and sees three fish in the 1 1/2- and 3-lb. range. Dave believes a buck bass is trying to herd a female onto the bed.

9:44: Dave says the three fish are too spooky to catch and leaves.

9:53: Dave stops in a big pocket at Ridge Road. He stays off the bank and throws to white spots, hoping some of them are beds and are holding fish. “They’ve been bedding on the edges of the grass where you see the white spots,” said Dave.

10:20: Dave moves one pocket west.

10:23: Daves chunks his Senko in five feet of water, just past a light spot in the sand. He reels a few times before letting his bait fall, and a 2- pounder jumps on the bait. Keeper No. 2 in the livewell.

10:31: “There’s not near the number of bass on these white spots as there was,” said Dave.

10:49: He moves one pocket west and immediately misses a fish at the mouth of the pocket. Dave wonders if they haven’t pulled off the beds and started heading toward the main lake.

11:03: Dave moves another pocket west. “There was a fish here on bed yesterday,” said Dave.

The fish was gone.

11:46: Dave goes back into the pocket at Ridge Road. He’s still throwing the six-inch Senko.

11:50: He misses a fish. “I’ve had my chances,” said Dave.

11:52: Dave puts a short fish in the boat that was on a white spot.

12:10: He moves one cove east where the Ridge Road beach is. With less than two hours to go, Dave starts to worry about not having a limit. “He’ll whip me on that Carolina rig if I don’t catch three more,” said Dave.

He fishes the only blowdown in the entire pocket.

12:15: Not getting bit on the Senko, Dave eases toward the blow- down and sees five bass in the tree. “This water is too clear,” he said. “We need some good muddy water, you could throw that jig in there and one would bite it.”

12:17: After giving several minutes for the fish to settle, he pitches the Senko where he saw the fish. “One grabbed the tail of it,” said Dave. “There are some six-inch fish in there, but I saw a few 1- and 2-pounders, too.”

12:20: He tosses the lizard in the blowdown, but no luck.

12:25: Dave runs down and fishes the north pocket at the mouth of Chigoe, throwing the Senko at white spots.

12:35: He moves south to fish the mouth of Chigoe.

12:40: Dave catches keeper No. 3, a 12 1/4-inch fish. This area doesn’t have any white spots, it’s just a bank that was holding fish in six to eight feet of water along a grassline. This  was a productive area in practice.

He works the same bank again and misses a fish. He heads back to Wildwood to finish the tournament.

1:18: Dave sees several bass, and they don’t appear to be on the bed. 1:22: He picks up a lizard, which is attached to a screw-lock weight and a 3/0 hook.

1:25: The fish puts its nose on the bait. Dave barely shakes the lizard, trying to keep it in the bed, but the fish leaves.

1:27: The fish is back on bed, and bites the lizard. Dave hooks the fish, and it comes off. “That was a good one,” said Dave. “That’s the way my luck has been going today.”

1:28: Daves misses again.

1:30: Dave switches to the 6-inch Senko and then goes to the lizard.

1:39: He picks up the seven-inch Senko, and the fish jumps all over it. The 2 1/2-pounder goes in the livewell. “She jumped on that with both feet,” said Dave. “That big Senko triggered her to bite.”

Dave finishes the tournament casting along the bank headed toward Wildwood, and he actually gets a bite on the very last cast but doesn’t connect.

Jessie Rodgers, Clarks Hill

Jessie Rodgers of Blue Ridge never got on a flatlander’s pattern at Clarks Hill. His one bass for the day hit a Carolina- rigged Finesse worm.

6:54: Three minutes after the official start, Jessie Rodgers takes his Allison Craft off plane and Daryl begins prying his white-knuckled fingers free from the handle next to his seat (that’s a joke, actually Jessie was very nice and kept his Allison well below its potential all day). Jessie’s first stop is an island at the mouth of Keg Creek. The first casts are into and around a pair blowdowns with a buzzbait with a Zoom Super Fluke threaded on the hook and no skirt.

“I love fishing these things,” Jessie says. “It’s hard to get one to hit sometimes, but it’s usually a good one, and it’s fun as heck when they blow up on it.”

7:03: Jessie makes several casts with a green pumpkin Carolina-rigged Finesse worm. He gets a tap, but the fish doesn’t pick up the worm. On the next cast, “I just had another bite. Maybe it’ s bluegills.”

7:07: Jessie tries a bubblegum Trick Worm in the blowdowns.

7:23: He moves around along the red-clay and sandy back of the island and begins throwing a Rapala DT10 crankbait.

7:30: Jessie cranks the Mercury 225 and makes a move toward Cherokee Creek.

7:46: In Cherokee, Jessie begins fishing a boat dock. “This is a really good-looking lake, but it’s just really different than what I’m used to fishing. There are lots of spotted bass now in the mountain lakes. We fish points, drop-offs, rocky banks, brush out in the deep water — and the boat docks.”

7:54: Jessie tries a white spinner- bait, casting to the bank and around some stick-ups on a shallow flat.

8:03: He has a hit along a dock.

9:00: Still fishing a shallow flat back in Cherokee Creek, Jessie sees what looks like a bed. He casts the bubblegum Trick Worm and sees the fish swirl, but it doesn’t take the worm.

9:05: Jessie moves farther up Cherokee Creek to a stretch with several docks on both banks.

9:25: He finds a brushpile in front of a dock and makes several casts with the Carolina rig. “Now that’s the kind of fishing I’m used to,” Jessie says.

10:01: Jessie looks at his partner and quips, “Are you sure there are fish in this lake? I have a feeling I’m going to see some about 2 o’clock (at the weigh-in), just not where I want to see them.”

10:21: Jessie gets a tap on the Carolina rig, but the fish doesn’t take the worm.

10:27: While fishing the Carolina rig around a blowdown between some docks, Jessie gets a hit and sets the hook. He swings a 13-inch keeper into the boat.

11:04: Jessie makes a move to Double Branches into a short pocket with several docks.

11:25: He sees his bubblegum Trick Worm move to the side, but he never sees the fish.

11:30: Jessie begins fishing a lemon shad Zoom Super Fluke.

12:03: Things get exciting when a fish smashes the surface and inhales the Fluke, but Jessie isn’t happy to see a long body and teeth as he swings a chain pickerel into the boat.

12:15: Jessie decides to make another move.

12:35: After heading up Little River, Jessie heads into Lloyd Creek and stops at a primary point. He fishes the Carolina rig on the point, then begins heading into a medium-sized pocket.

12:55: A fish hits the Carolina rig on a secondary point at the mouth of a small cut, but Jessie’s swing comes up empty.

1:04: Jessie tries a No. 7 Shad Rap, one of his favorite lures for the mountain lakes, and another pickerel promptly makes an appearance, smashing the crankbait as Jessie pulled it down the middle of the small cut.

1:27: Jessie tries one more pocket off Little River. He sees a buck bass near a stump, but the fish isn’t interested in a Fluke.

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