All-American Top 5 Patterns – Day 1 - Major League Fishing
All-American Top 5 Patterns – Day 1
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All-American Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Low water, hot weather seem to have the bass in predictable places
Image for All-American Top 5 Patterns – Day 1
John Shore Photo by Charles Waldorf. Angler: John Shore.
May 31, 2018 • Rob Newell • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

Based on the activity posted to the FLW coverage blog on day one of the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American, the 49 pro qualifiers were scoring some hefty unofficial numbers on Cross Lake. But no one knew just how hefty until Tournament Director Daniel Fennel made those numbers official at weigh-in.

And Fennel said the word “twenty” a lot.

The crowd was stunned as anglers toted one 20-pound bag of bass after another across the stage. As one bystander joked, “Did these boys fish Cross or Toledo Bend today?”

In all, eight limits of more than 20 pounds were weighed in, with five topping 22 pounds. The top weight of the day belonged to Bossier City local Nick LeBrun, who sacked up 26-9. You can read about his day-one performance here.

There was a time when catching 15 pounds at Cross Lake was a real challenge. Today, if you had 15 pounds, you would have been in 22nd place.

Those numbers are pretty strong for a shallow lake on one of the last days of May when the water temperatures have pushed past the 90-degree mark.

Some believe that the lake’s low level (down by about 2 feet) has helped pull a lot of fish out to more accessible cover.

Whatever the reason, the All-American qualifiers put on quite a show at the weigh-in held at Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City.

Here’s a closer look at what the top pros on day one had to say about the red-hot Cross Lake.

Complete results

Day 1 coverage blog

Day 1 on-the-water photo gallery

 

2. Adam Wagner – Cookeville, Tenn. – 22-12

Adam Wagner is hunting down his second All-American win this week with a 22-12 start at Cross Lake.

Like much of the competition, Wagner spent the day targeting scattered cypress trees.

“I’m just trying to fish slower than everyone else,” he says. “There is a bunch of us in there fishing these trees together, so I’m just trying to do something different than what I see other people doing. And for me, going slower is the only thing I know to do.”

Given today’s catches, Wagner believes the fish are replenishing on the trees by the hour.

“I don’t know if it’s the falling water or the hot temperatures or a little of both,” he adds, “but it seems the hotter it gets up in the day, the more they move to those trees.”

 

2. Chris Daves – Spring Grove, Va. – 22-12

Chris Daves had never been to Cross Lake before this tournament, and this morning he started on a place he has never fished before. Fishing blind worked out pretty well for Daves, who sacked up 22-12 and is in a tie for second place.

“I got some bites on some real shallow stuff during practice yesterday,” Daves says. “As I was riding around looking at the lake yesterday afternoon, I saw a place that looked just like the place where I had the bites. But I never made a cast there. It just looked right, so I started there this morning with a worm and caught about 20 fish by 9 o’clock.”

“It’s a small stretch – maybe a quarter of a mile or so – and I beat on it pretty hard,” he continues. “I don’t know if I can do it again tomorrow. Once I left there, I really didn’t catch much else.”

 

4. Tyler Morgan – Columbus, Ga. – 22-4

While many top pros spoke of fishing slow to get the bigger bites, Tyler Morgan is all about the speed, hitting as many targets as fast as he can.

“I like to fish fast, and this place sets up for fast fishing,” Morgan says. “A lot of shallow water; a lot of shallow targets. I’ve got one bait, and I’m just rolling with it. I hit a few targets, then pick up and go. I’ve got three or four stretches I’ll repeat on, and I fill the rest in with new water in between.”

 

5. John Shore – Owasso, Okla. – 22-3

John Shore says he fished “as slow as I could possibly fish” to get five bites for 22-3.

“I think with this water low like this, it’s pulling the fish out of the backwaters into areas that have ditches and depressions with a little more water,” Shore says. “I’ve got about a 15-acre area that’s got a nice mix of trees and duck blinds, and if I fish it slow enough I can get five to seven bites a day.”