LeBrun headed to Eufaula Championship Round fishing dirty-water “comfort zone” - Major League Fishing

LeBrun headed to Eufaula Championship Round fishing dirty-water “comfort zone”

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Nick LeBrun topped the field with 12 bass weighing 30 pounds, 15 ounces during the Knockout Round. Photo by Phoenix Moore. Angler: Nick LeBrun.
May 4, 2024 • Joel Shangle • Bass Pro Tour

EUFAULA, Okla. – Through five days of fishing at MillerTech Stage Four Presented by REDCON1 on Lake Eufaula, Central Oklahoma’s notoriously capricious spring weather has been mirrored by the clarity of the water and behavior of the bass living in the Sooner State’s largest lake. 

Heavy rains and high, chocolate-brown water greeted the field early in the week, followed by dropping, clearing water and bass rushing to beds midway through the six-day competition. The bite has been equally volatile this week, coming in brief onesy-twosy flurries on just about everything in the tackle box. And with heavy rains and thunderstorms in the forecast for the final day on Eufaula, that’s all just fine with Louisiana pro Nick LeBrun.

Mixing a dash of buzzbait and flipping jig with a hearty dose of a vibrating jig that he wound in and around flooded trees and brush in the Canadian River, LeBrun harkened back Saturday to his days of fishing Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournaments on the Red River, Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. LeBrun connected with 12 fish for 30 pounds, 15 ounces to claim the top spot in the Knockout Round and enter Sunday’s final day with both momentum and a high level of comfort for the conditions.

“With the high, muddy water and the lake being flooded in the trees and bushes, that’s definitely one of my comfort zones,” said LeBrun, who has a string of Top 10s on fisheries known for off-colored water. “It takes me back to fishing BFLs at Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. New fish are pulling up. The water (level) is still changing, but it’s revealing fish and it’s causing some other fish to move up.”



LeBrun looking off the beaten path 

Nick LeBrun kept an eye out for cobwebs, a sure sign that nobody fished that spot recently. Photo by Joel Shangle

Sitting on the front deck of his boat retying a rod during the first period break of the day in Saturday’s Knockout Round, LeBrun delivered a telltale statement about the fishing conditions on Eufaula, and how he planned to conquer them.

“When conditions are tough and things are slow like this, a guy has to make a few casts he normally wouldn’t make,” LeBrun said. “They’re not biting good today just casting down the bank, so you have to take a few chances and throw into places that you might not have an easy time getting a fish out of. You might have to do things a little bit different.”

Less than five minutes prior, LeBrun had hooked a fish that he judged to be 5-plus pounds on a deadeye flip he had made deep into a tangle of cover. He set the hook on that fish and fought it briefly, trying to pull it over the limbs and branches he had cast over, but lost it after a brief fight. It proved to LeBrun that there was potential to access new fish.  

“I call it the ‘cobweb pattern;’ if you see cobwebs across a spot, you know that nobody has thrown there,” LeBrun said. “In my short career, I’ve had a little success fishing like that. I’m going to try to keep doing it (Sunday) – even make casts that I haven’t made yet. I think there are still some fish pulling up and there are probably some fish that just haven’t been thrown at yet, so I’m excited to get back out there.”

LeBrun has done most of his damage this week with a vibrating jig, specifically a white 1/2-ounce Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer with a 4-inch Yamamoto Zako trailer. He caught two fish during the Knockout Round flipping a jig and landed his biggest fish of the day (a 4-14) on a black Buckeye Buzzerk buzzbait. As he heads into his second Bass Pro Tour Championship Round, LeBrun plans to stick with what got him this far.

“I’m all-in on the shallow, power fishing deal,” he said. “I’m going to have a few different rods out. I’m not going to totally live or die with the ChatterBait – there are just some places that you can’t throw that bait without getting hung up, so I’m probably going to implement some flipping, a buzzbait and the ChatterBait. It’s been fun grinding and just fishing, getting back to those BFL roots.”

Championship Round details at Stage Four

LeBrun and the rest of the Top 10 will return to Eufaula for the final go-around Sunday in the Stage Four Championship Round. Weights are zeroed, making the final day a three-period sprint to the trophy and $100,000 payday.

Watch all the action Sunday on MLFNOW! on MajorLeagueFishing.com or the MLF app; on the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app and on Rumble. The livestream will run from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. CT.

You can follow live scoring from lines in through lines out on SCORETRACKER® and can access detailed catch information on SCORETRACKER Insider with a free MLF Fan Pass membership. Log on to MajorLeagueFishing.com/join to sign up.

Fishing Clash Angler of the Year

Jacob Wheeler entered Stage Four with a 17-point lead over Alton Jones Jr. in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year standings, but Jones made up a little ground in the Knockout Round: Jones finished just outside the cut in 11th while Wheeler finished 17th, gaining Jones 6 points on Wheeler. Wheeler leads the race for the 2024 Fishing Clash AOY (and it’s $100,000 payday) with 301 points to Jones’ 289.

Five of the anglers fishing Championship Sunday on Eufaula are currently in the Top 10 in AOY points: Cole Floyd, Drew Gill, LeBrun, Jeff Sprague and Martin Villa.

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.