RALEIGH, N.C. – Big bass and big money are the themes this week at General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops. The 40 anglers fishing this week are divided into two groups of 20 that will fish different lakes during the qualifying rounds.
The event kicks off for Group A on Friday on Jordan Lake; Group B will attack Falls Lake the following day. Those who advance in their groups will move to Shearon Harris Reservoir for the Knockout Round.
Here are some notes from some of the Mercury Pro Team anglers on their practice:
“It’s not like the last time we were here,” Chapman said. “There’s a lot less water and a whole lot more pollen. It makes it tough to fish with the lower water level and you get your boat stuck and bait gets hung up way more. But the quality of fish is still there and this will be a true Heavy Hitters event.”
“I’m interested to see Friday’s results to see if it’s been this hard for everyone,” Sprague said. “I know I’ll catch some, but I don’t know how big they’ll be or how many I’ll catch. The water temperature says the fish should be spawning, but I haven’t seen any on beds.”
“The fish ought to be spawning, but they aren’t up yet,” Rose said. “I think the lower water level is holding them back, so I am fishing more of a prespawn deal. I think that’s the right move until more of them get to the bank.”
“I really wish I could bypass Falls Lake and go straight to the Knockout Round on Shearon Harris,” Browning joked. “It’s the better lake right now because I’m not getting many bites on Falls. The bites I’ve gotten and the fish I have seen seem to be good quality, though.”
“Falls is fishing tough for me,” Coulter said. “I seem to get bit randomly from deep to shallow without any consistency. Every fish in North Carolina should be on the bank, but I think the falling water has them a little stingy. The weather change that’s on the way should help.”