Going up - Major League Fishing

Going up

One-third of Stren Series field prefers Wilson over Pickwick
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Going up? Like a giant elevator, Stren Series boats lock up to Wilson Lake. Photo by Rob Newell.
June 6, 2008 • Rob Newell • Toyota Series

FLORENCE, Ala. – At the Stren Series Southeast event Friday morning, 53 boats locked up 95 vertical feet from Pickwick to Wilson on the monstrous man-made structure known as Wilson Lock and Dam.

Think of it as a gigantic aqueous elevator for you and 50 of your fishing buddies – and all your bass boats – where floor No. 2 is Wilson Lake.

About the size of a football field, Wilson Lock could hold the whole 161-boat field if needed, but only about one-third of the pros chose to go up.

As for a breakdown of the pros currently in the top 10 going to Wilson, that list includes Ryan Rigsby (2nd), Curt McGuire (3rd) and Jonathan Newton (7th).

These three pros have all found a little something to themselves on Wilson. Both Rigsby and Newton have commented that their best spots are discreet places that others overlooked.

Rigsby’s primary spot is a “very subtle point with nothing on it,” while Newton said a mere 1-foot contour change is all that is holding his school of bass.

As to whether Wilson’s anglers can stand up to those pros fishing on Pickwick remains to be seen. There are still two fishing days left in the Stren Series event in Florence, Ala., and as many well know, Saturday (the final day) is usually an off day for current.

“Locking up through that big old dam is quite an experience,” Newton said. “Now if they’ll just turn those big turbines on, we’ll be in good shape.”

The day-three weigh-in of the Stren Series Southeast event on Pickwick Lake will begin Friday at 3 p.m. from McFarland Park in Florence.

Friday’s conditionsBoats unraft and leave the Wilson Lock.

Sunrise: 5:38 a.m.

Temperature at takeoff: 71 degrees

Expected high temperature: 94 degrees

Water temperature: 82 degrees

Wind: S at 5 to 10 mph

Day’s outlook: hot