David Williams is pretty dialed in thus far, and he’s going to need to be with who’s behind him.
The rest of the top five include some of the Tour’s best. Cody Meyer hasn’t met a spotted bass he can’t catch. Matt Arey is a two-time champion and a springtime master. Greg Bohannan’s wheelhouse is unquestionably highland impoundments. In fifth, Jordan Osborne is rolling and just made his third top-30 of the year.
Basically, all of them are fishing strong and ready to try and catch up if he falters.
2. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 30-4
Random fact: The spotted bass fisheries in California were actually stocked with spots from Lewis Smith Lake. It’s no wonder Meyer feels right at home.
Just as he did on day one, Meyer ran a “random” pattern, even starting in a completely different branch of the lake than he did on Thursday. The result was nearly the same. He caught a limit early and then spent the rest of the day running deep docks and random deeper areas to cull throughout the rest of the day.
“I haven’t caught a largemouth all week,” says Meyer. “I’m fishing where largemouth do not swim.”
While Meyer is more than comfortable thus far, he did say he was surprised how slow he had to fish to get the normally aggressive spots to bite today.
He’s also worried that certain areas of the lake have had too much pressure to be viable for the rest of the event.
“I think some areas have had so much pressure already there’s been too much damage done,” says Meyer. “So I’ll just have to keep looking for new areas.”
3. Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – 30-2
Arey’s game plan has been a mixed bag from the start. That may change, though.
While he still weighed in four spots and one largemouth, Arey is worried his largemouth pattern – mainly bed fishing – may be done.
“I only caught three largemouths today,” says Arey. “Problem is, I don’t see it getting any better. I may have to switch gears and focus solely on spots.”
Fortunately, he’s catching plenty of spotted bass by really focusing on some extra-finesse techniques.
4. Greg Bohannan – Bentonville, Ark. – 29-7
No fishery has had Bohannan’s number more than Lewis Smith. He’s fished here four times prior and finished in the hundreds three of those times.
“I told my wife this lake wasn’t going to get me this time,” says Bohannan.
He’s kept his word by bringing in the largest bag on day two with a two-pronged approach.
Part one is sacking up a quick and solid limit of spots from one area. Today, that meant he was done by 9 a.m. Then from 9 a.m. until he checked in at 5 p.m. he did one thing and one thing only: flip.
“The only way I know how to catch a big fish here is to flip,” says Bohannan. “So, I put the flipping stick in my hand and that’s all I did.”
Yesterday he didn’t get a single bite flipping, but today he got three, with two being quality largemouths to anchor his 17-7 bag.
As for tomorrow?
“I’m going to do the same thing,” says Bohannan.
5. Jordan Osborne – Longview, Texas – 29-0
Osborne admittedly doesn’t know a whole lot about fishing for spotted bass, but he’s coming to love them after Lanier and the first few days at Smith. Having a “crazy” special spot helps that.
“Dude, it’s crazy what I’m doing,” says Osborne.
How he’s fishing is not so odd, but where is the key, as he basically has found one small spot where he “has fishing coming to him from every direction.”
“I have largemouth coming out and spots coming in,” says Osborne. “I really think I could win this thing there. I mean, I jumped off a 4- and a 5-pounder today, and my co-angler caught a 4-14. So, I know there are some really good fish there.
“I can’t remember having a spot like this, but I’m glad I have it now.”