Smith Lake Top 5 Patterns – Day 3 - Major League Fishing

Smith Lake Top 5 Patterns – Day 3

The fishing could be better on Sunday
Image for Smith Lake Top 5 Patterns – Day 3
Matt Arey Photo by Sean Ostruszka. Angler: Matt Arey.
April 28, 2018 • Sean Ostruszka • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

It basically comes down to one question: Can anyone catch David Williams?

While Matt Arey and Cody Meyer have also stayed in the top five all three days, Williams continues to expand his lead every day of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Smith Lake. That lead is now up to more than 6 pounds, which means it’s going to take a giant sack to catch him. Then again, it’s happened here before the last time visited Smith, when Zack Birge surrendered a significant lead on the final day.

So, anything is possible for the other top pros.

Williams’ leading pattern

Complete results


2. Jordan Osborne – Longview, Texas – 44-2

Osborne’s “crazy” magic spot up Ryan Creek produced yet again today … for all of 45 minutes.

“Then it just died,” says Osborne. “I mean, I caught 13 pounds quick, but I think it was just too slick today.”

His bite falling off was not from a lack of trying, as he threw both finesse and power-fishing techniques at them to try and sustain the bite, but once it was done it was done for the day.

Having put most of his eggs in that one spot, Osborne fell back to flipping trash mats in the backs of coves. Sure enough, he found a few takers, catching two good ones but also missing six.

As for tomorrow, he says he has to go back and hope his spot has a little more magic left in it, and if it doesn’t he’ll put the flipping stick in his hand and do his best.


3. Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – 43-15

Arey said yesterday he was going to focus on spotted bass and docks on day three because he didn’t see the shallow largemouth bite getting any better. He’s now singing a different tune.

While Arey held true to his word and focused mainly on deep docks, skipping a wacky rig around them to sack up a quick limit of spots, he did routinely move shallow throughout the day “to keep [the largemouths] honest.” He’s glad he did.

“All of a sudden I started seeing some largemouths cruising the bank this afternoon and even saw some more on beds,” says Arey. “I caught three on a Lunkerhunt Fetch swimbait. It could get really exciting tomorrow after seeing that.”

Arey figures his gameplan won’t change, as his hope is to catch a quick 11- to 12-pound limit of spots before chasing largemouths the rest of the day with his swimbait.

“I need to catch 5-pounders to make up some ground,” says Arey. “The only way I know to do that is to go shallow.”


4. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 43-12

Meyer really “struggled” today. By struggled, he means he only caught 20 keepers.

“Seriously, this is a blast,” says Meyer. “I don’t care what happens tomorrow. I’ve had so much fun this week.”

Nothing has changed from Thursday to today for Meyer. He’s running all over the lake hitting bridge pilings and deep docks. He’d typically only fished the first bridges in Ryan and Rock creeks, but today he ran to all four major bridges in the lake to try and upgrade his quality.

In between, he’s hitting too many docks to count. While he has begun to figure out something key on his better docks, even when they have the right characteristics it is still a random guessing game as to which will produce and which won’t. Added in with all that, Meyer also caught some spots down by the dam.


5. John Cox – DeBary, Florida – 43-12

Cox came into the tournament looking for revenge, and after what he saw today he just may get it.

Back in 2015, Cox was on a solid shallow pattern he felt could win, but on the final day he was thrown from his boat on his run to his first spot and was unable to finish the day.

Fast forward to present, and Cox is again thinking he’s going to make a long run to his special area to try and finish what he was unable to 3 years ago.

“I’m so excited for tomorrow,” says Cox. “I checked that (2015) area in practice, but the water was so high and dirty I never fished it in the tournament. Today, with the water having dropped as much as it has, the fish are moving in prime position for that area to be right again. That’s where I’m going.”

To give the area a little context, Cox was catching more that 16 pounds a day in that area in 2016, including him catching a 6-pounder. And he knew the final day was going to be his best day until his accident occurred.

And if that wasn’t enough, Cox also caught three fish off beds today and located a pair of 4-pounders just before check-in.

“I’ll stop on those fish tomorrow and hopefully catch them first thing,” says Cox. “Then I’m running up there. I know what I can catch up there if it’s right.”