October 24, 2005 by Matt Williams
Pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., knows it's wishful thinking. But he would love to see water temperatures at Pickwick Lake dip into the upper 50s just ahead of the $1 million EverStart Series Championship set for Nov. 2-5 in Florence, Ala. "Based on past weather patterns, the chances of that happening are pretty slim," Morgan said. "But if it did, I think we would be in for a great championship with lots of big smallmouths caught, possibly some 20-pound limits." Pickwick is a world-renowned smallmouth fishery. When conditions are right, plump bronzebacks in the 4- to 6-pound range are seemingly a dime a dozen. In contrast, Morgan said fall tournament weights have a tendency to crater when water temperatures are warm. "It is at its best when the water is cool and there is plenty of current to get the fish stirred up," Morgan said. "But it is probably going to be a little early for us to see those types of conditions." That said, Morgan predicts the tournament will be won by the pro who locks through to Wheeler or Wilson reservoirs and uses shad-pattern crankbaits, spinners and topwaters to crack the largemouth code. The fish will likely be relating to creek-channel breaks and milfoil beds in shallow water, 5 feet deep or less. Schooling bass also could be a factor. Morgan's call: 19 pounds to make the cut; 22 pounds to win it.