Jordan Lake Provides Plenty of Big Bites in Shotgun Round - Major League Fishing
Jordan Lake Provides Plenty of Big Bites in Shotgun Round
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Jordan Lake Provides Plenty of Big Bites in Shotgun Round

Image for Jordan Lake Provides Plenty of Big Bites in Shotgun Round
Mark Daniels, Jr. shows off his 8-6 largemouth he caught on Jordan Lake during the Shotgun Round of Stage Three.
March 26, 2019 • Mason Prince • Bass Pro Tour

RALEIGH, N.C. – The majority of the anglers on the Bass Pro Tour came into the Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Evinrude with no idea what to expect from Jordan Lake. It didn’t take long for the 40 anglers competing in Shotgun Round 1 to find out that this North Carolina gem has some monsters lurking beneath its surface.

Faircloth Finds the Big Bass

After three periods of fishing, there were 12 bass caught that weighed more than 7 pounds. Todd Faircloth owned the biggest bass of the day with a 9-pound, 4-ounce hog that took him by surprise.

“I didn’t think it was as big as it was,” Faircloth recapped. “But when I got it in the boat and I got a better look at it, me and my MLF official were like, ‘Wow.’”

Faircloth finished the day in second place behind Kelly Jordon with 20 bass for 63-10. The Texas pro only had only fished Jordan Lake once in his career, and that was Monday during practice before Stage Three. However, the mystery of a new lake is what made it an enjoyable experience for Faircloth.

“I had no inclination what was going to happen today and that’s what makes this so much fun,” Faircloth explained. “I practiced on Jordan on Monday and I liked the look of the lake and thought it could really suit my style.”

Daniels’ Above-Average Average

Mark Daniels, Jr. did not catch a large number of fish (only 12 in total), but when he got a bite, he made it count. Daniels averaged 4-5 per fish, which was the second-highest in the group of 40. The Alabama pro figured out a winning pattern thanks to a difficult practice.

“This feels really good because I had a tough day of practice on this lake on Monday,” Daniels said. “The reason I did so well today was because I locked one flipping stick in my hand and flipped a Z-man Turbo Crawz through 1 to 3 feet of water. I only caught 12 bass, but when you got bit it was the right one.”

One of those 12 bass was an 8-6, the second-largest catch of the day. Group that with a 6-6, 6-2, 5-1 and 4-2, that led Daniels to a 52 pound, 1 ounce day. With a flipping stick in hand for the entire day, Daniels stayed sharp all day long.

“When you get bites like this, it really helps with your confidence,” Daniels detailed. “It allows you to focus on what you’re doing and it made me pay attention to every single flip I made. When you’re flipping shallow cover like I was, you can get sloppy and not pay attention one time, and that’s when an 8-pounder beats you. That could cause you to miss the cut or lose a tournament.”

Strader’s Little Lunkers

Wesley Strader finished his day with 15 bass for 47-6, good enough for a sixth-place finish and well above the Elimination Line. Strader’s best catch was a 8-pounder, but he was able to follow that up with a 7-2 later on in the day. These North Carolina lakes are new to the Tennessee native as well, and the size of some of the fish he caught left him in disbelief.

“I just can’t believe how these fish are built,” Strader said with a chuckle. “The 8-pounder I caught was probably 20 inches long but 26 inches around its belly. I have never seen fish built like this. They’re like dwarves, but fat dwarves.”

Just like Daniels, Strader spent most of his day flipping through bushes with a 3/8-ounce Stan Sloan Zorro Flipping Jig and a Brown Orange Zoom Big Salty Chunk on a 22-pound Sunline Shooter paired with a Lew’s Pro-Ti reel. While he chose the right rig for the day and is sitting pretty on the SCORETRACKER, Strader is likely moving on to Falls Lake still scratching his head about Jordan.

“I don’t know what to think of Jordan Lake,” Strader admitted. “You don’t get a lot of bites here, but when you do it’s just a good one. I’m not sure if they’re Florida strain or what, but when they bite you know it’s going to be good. I’m curious to see what Falls is going to be like.”

Practice Pays Off for Vinson

The weather didn’t really seem to cooperate today thanks to a cold front that moved through overnight, dropping air temperatures into 40s and water temperatures into the mid-50s. Still, Greg Vinson had his eyes set on some key spawning areas that ended up working out for him.

“I just pictured what those fish would do based on those spawning coves I found,” Vinson divulged. “They were setting up on secondary points just outside of those coves where the water level dropped to about 13 feet the past few weeks.”

Vinson finished the Shotgun Round in seventh place with 10 bass for 41-10. Vinson was able to land a 7-1, 6-15, and 5-10 throughout the day, which helped push his average to 4-3 per fish. While he was practicing on Falls Lake this past weekend, the Alabama pro was able to pick up on something that might have made the difference for him on Jordan.

“I was fishing with a crawfish imitator because I noticed on the shoreline at Falls Lake all the crawfish holes in the bank,” Vinson explained. “I just assumed with that dirty water that some kind of flipping bait would be best. It was really predictable once I figured out a pattern.”

The cloud of mystery that surrounded Jordan Lake quickly disappeared thanks to the large number of big bites. This wasn’t by accident however, Vinson says figuring out how to attack a new lake is what these anglers were built for.

“This group of anglers is so good at putting it together and that’s what fishing is all about,” Vinson said. “Putting the puzzle together is so rewarding when you go to a lake you’ve never seen before to then finding a good pattern. That’s the joy of fishing to me. Also, when they’re giants like they were today, it makes it even better.”

Group B hits the waters of Jordan Lake on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. EDT. A second group of 40 pros will try to position themselves in the Top 20 heading into the Elimination Round. Group A returns for more fish-catching action on Thursday, but this time they’ll be on Falls Lake outside of Raleigh for the Elimination Round. Tune into MLF NOW! at 10 a.m. EDT on MajorLeagueFishing.com or on the MLF app.