“Oh, here comes the curveball,” Skeet Reese said as anglers were summoned out of the trucks and told to gather up for meeting in the hotel parking lot.
“I knew when we started the week at Hubbard, we were going to get a kink thrown in the system sometime this week and this looks like it,” Reese said. “This should be interesting.”
Once assembled, anglers were informed that they would be headed to Lake Winyah for their Sudden Death day, the cut weight would be 22 pounds and they could return to their boats to prep tackle and look at Lake Winyah satellite imagery on their Lowrance units.
Back at the boat, Reese began to examine the Winyah curveball on the Lowrance unit.
“Yep, this one is a lot different than the other lakes we’ve fished around here before,” he said. “Compared to the others, this thing is nothing but a flooded marsh. It’s got a lot of largemouth habitat in it – lots of largemouth potential here. Looks like I’m going to need a few more rods out on the deck this morning – perfect – time to get to work.”
Tim Horton, too, had to start digging for more largemouth gear.
“I just figured we were going to do the same lake rotation we did the last time around, which were smallmouth lakes,” Horton said. “But it looks like they pulled a nice trick play out of the bag here. From the satellite picture, the lake we’re headed to this morning has a lot more shallow vegetation – it has a lot of shallow, weedy flats – which spells largemouth to me. Pretty good little curveball on MLF’s part – get us thinking smallmouth, smallmouth, smallmouth and then drop us in a largemouth pond.”
The next boat over, Mike Iaconelli fired up the Lowrance and began scrolling around on the Lake Winyah image, talking out his thoughts along the way.
“It’s flat, very flat; looks like lots of emergent vegetation; it looks like it’s fed by two rivers – it actually has two feeders flowing into it. Wow, it is flat and shallow for the most part. Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and say this is going to be a largemouth-dominated lake. I’m sure it has some smallmouth in it to, but I’m thinking there will be a lot more largemouth caught here than there was at Hubbard. And the 22-pound cut weight: that’s a surprise, too, seems low to me.”
Keith Poche poured over his Winyah map with eager intensity.
“I like it,” he said. “Lots of flats, lots of vegetation, lots of little ditches and sloughs running through these flats. Looks like one of these rivers even had some muddy water running in it when this picture was taken. I’m sure it’s got some largemouth in it. Down here at the dam I see clearer, deeper water – probably be some smallmouth down here. That should give us some options on how to get to 22 pounds. All in all the lake looks pretty small, which I’m happy about on a day like today – we’ve got high winds today so I’m glad we’re not on some big lake right now.”