MLF pro Marty Robinson maintained his lead after day two of competition on Lake Hartwell in the Toyota Series Eastern Division opener. His primary pattern of fishing shallow-water ditches for largemouths helped him maintain his lead, but the rest of the pack is steadily gaining.
Read more about his leading pattern here.
Here’s how the rest of the top five fared on day two.
2. Derrick Bridges – Greenville, S.C. – 34-5 (10)
With 30 years of experience fishing Lake Hartwell, you can bet Derrick Bridges has seen every condition and situation the lake has to offer. Rainy weather on day one followed by much calmer conditions on day two are nothing new for him, and he has a 17-6 bag from Tuesday and a 16-15 bag from Wednesday to prove it.
“For me, it’s just fishing history – spots I know that will produce and enjoying myself,” he says. “I’m not getting in a hurry, and I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself.”
Bridges added a couple baits he kept close to his vest in addition to the white swimbaits and homemade brown jig that have brought him this far. He’s confident his fishing locations will carry him again tomorrow.
“I think the pattern I’m on will hold out, but this is a herring lake,” Bridges says. “They can make you look so foolish. If we had some sunshine, every angler in line would have a lot more fish.”
3. Cameron Lineback – Mount Airy, N.C. – 28-3 (10)
To say Cameron Lineback has covered a lot of water in this tournament would be an understatement. The pro burned 35 gallons of gas in his boat during competition and admits he had a really tough day, although today’s 11-6 bag added to his 16-13 haul from yesterday was enough to put him in third place heading into Championship Thursday.
“Something different needs to happen tomorrow,” he says. “I would a whole lot rather have wind and rain than a calm day.”
He may get his wish, with cooler temperatures and periods of rain in the forecast.
Lineback’s marathon run has been from the mouth of the Tugaloo River to points north, hitting every good-looking shallow spot he can find on the way.
“I think I weighed four different fish on four different baits today,” he says. “They’re all shallow-water baits, and I’ll be happy to tell you all about them tomorrow.”
4. Thomas Guthke – Townville, S.C. – 27-1 (10)
Local angler Thomas Guthke saays he’d love to see what yesterday’s total of 10-11 would look like if he had not missed some key fish. The angler forced himself to slow down, focusing on some key areas of both deep and shallow water he found earlier that paid off to the tune of 16-6 on day two.
“I didn’t run and gun quite as hard today as I did yesterday,” he admits. “I spent more time shallow than I did yesterday.”
Guthke says he has employed a Carolina-rigged 6-inch lizard in green pumpkin to catch his deep-water fish and a crankbait to work the shallows up close to the bank.
He was disappointed the rain didn’t happen today, because he believes it keeps the fish shallow and puts more oxygen in the water. He has a backup plan for Thursday if the weather turns cooler.
“Cold temperatures might knock the largemouth in the head, so my backup plan is the Carolina rig,” says Guthke. “I caught a really good bass on it today, so I’m hoping that will play out again tomorrow.”
5. Rob Digh – Denver, N.C. – 27-0 (10)
Rob Digh just missed breaking into yesterday’s top five with his 14-6 bag, but he sealed the deal today, landing in the fifth spot with a five-fish limit of 12-10. He says the bass he’s been on didn’t seem to be as hungry today.
“Today was a struggle,” he explains. “I lost a couple of good fish on a crankbait because they were not eating as well as yesterday. The water’s cleared up a little bit, so that might be part of the problem.”
Digh has separated himself from most of the field both days by fishing up the Tugaloo River for the majority of the day, then hitting a couple shallow-water spots in the Seneca River closer to weigh-in time.
“I’m a shallow-water fisherman, so I’m running the bank as hard as I can go and throwing a SPRO Little John crankbait,” he says.
Digh volunteered that he found some new areas today that he thinks are holding better fish and is hoping to get some low-light conditions on the final day of the tournament to prove it.