On one hand, Lake Murray was what everyone expected. And on the other, it wasn’t.
With no single pattern or area of the lake outperforming any other, and anglers having numerous patterns available to them, Day 1 of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers event played out perfectly. Down the lake, up the river, sight-fishing, herring spawn, topwaters – you name it, pros did it and caught fish.
Still, as great as the weights looked come weigh-in, plenty of anglers were left wondering what-if by the end of the day. More specifically, what if they hadn’t awoken to 34-degree air temperatures that sent many marked bedding bass running and had the morning bite as cold as the air temperature.
Just look at Dickerson.
The Texas pro hoped to get on a herring-spawn bite first thing, only to find no herring up shallow thanks to the cold. So, then he decided to try sight-fishing. Strike No. 2, and at 11:30 a.m. he didn’t have a fish.
“I was starting to get negative,” says Dickerson. “I was thinking I’ve got to stick with what I knew worked, because I was catching some big fish with the herring spawn. Even if I caught two today, they could weigh 10 pounds and I’d have a chance for another day. Well, the sun came out, and it didn’t take long. I pulled up on one deal and I caught four in about 10 minutes, and one of those was over 5 pounds. I knew what I was doing the rest of the day after that.”
Now, Johns may have had the exact opposite day as Dickerson.
“Blind bed-fishing, fry guarders, a little bit of shad spawn, fishing bank grass – today fit perfectly in my wheelhouse today,” says Johns. “Swim jigging, frogging, flipping and a spinnerbait. It all worked and right away. I figured I could catch 15 pounds easy. But when I caught a 4 and a 5 early, I figured I’d just go for big bites the rest of the day.”
If it sounds like it was an easy day for Johns, it’s because it was. He didn’t even go to his best area, actually. Then again, one of the reasons Johns’ day went better than most may have been the areas themselves.
“I fished the water everyone else leaves alone,” says Johns. “I fished the mud, the nastiest stuff I could. That’s the stuff that gets left alone. I went to areas I looked at on Google Earth. I said ‘I’ll get there. It’s going to be scary, but I’ll get there.’”
Needless to say, he found some very unpressured fish, which makes him all the more excited to get back out there tomorrow, as he wants to see what his best area may hold. As for Dickerson, he’s a little less enthused.
“Tomorrow is calling for clouds, and I need the sun,” says Dickerson of his herring-spawn pattern. “So, we’ll just see what happens. I may have to figure out how to get them to bite, but if the herring are still there, the bigger bass will be, too.”
1. Tommy Dickerson – 21 – 12 (5)
1. Clabion Johns – 21 – 12 (5)
3. Matt Becker – 21 – 09 (5)
4. Miles Howe – 21 – 02 (5)
5. Dean Rojas – 21 – 00 (5)
6. Jim Tutt – 19 – 08 (5)
7. Lance Crawford – 18 – 09 (5)
8. Cody Meyer – 18 – 08 (5)
9. Chase Serafin – 18 – 04 (5)
10. Joseph Webster – 17 – 13 (5)