UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Mitchell

Pickwick props for Pickett

Pickwick props for Pickett
Tennessee pro Lloyd Pickett Jr stuck with his trusty Carolina rig to lead day one of EverStart action on Pickwick Lake.

FLORENCE, Ala. - Lloyd Pickett Jr. came from Tennessee to fish Alabama waters with a Carolina rig. The geography lesson may be unintentional, but dragging the old ball-and-chain over deep ledges was anything but, as Pickett handily grabbed the day one lead with 24 pounds, 15 ounces at the EverStart Southeast Division tournament on Pickwick Lake.

A master at the slow dragging routine, Pickett said he decided to employ his signature tactic mainly because of forage positioning. Paying attention to baitfish location, he said, was the key to figuring out how he could tempt the most quality bites.

"I started this morning with a Strike King 6XD crankbait and caught a few fish, but then I went to as Carolina rig because the shad weren't on the surface anymore and they weren't in the mid-range - they were down on the bottom," Pickett said. "The ledges I fished were in about 15 feet of water andLloyd Pickett Jr caught his division dropped off into about 23. The shad seemed to be relating tightly to the bottom today so I went to the Carolina rig."

Pickett said his action started early and he had a 15-pound limit by about 7:30 a.m. From there, he started moving around and searching for larger fish. He improved his bag multiple times, with his largest fish - a 7-2 - biting on his last cast of the day.

"I made one stop and culled three of my 3-pounders and one was a 6-pounder," Pickett said. "On my last stop, I was trying to help my co-angler finish his limit. He only had three and he caught one. I made a cast and caught that (7-2)."

Pickett said he fished Zoom Baby Brush Hogs, Old Monster worms and finesse worms on 3/0 and 4/0 Gamakatsu hooks with ¾-ounce weights. He used watermelon and green pumpkin colored baits.

Pro leader Lloyd Pickett Jr gets some fresh water and Rejuvenade on his big bag of fish.Pickett fished his baits on 15-pound Berkley Trilene Big Game main line and 12 on his leader. He used monofilament for both to effect the proper Carolina rig presentation.

"On a Carolina rig, you really don't want to throw Fluorocarbon because it sinks," Pickett said. "The whole deal about a Carolina rig is that you want the bait to stay up and sink as slowly as it can."

As Pickett noted, the Carolina rig presents an inherently challenging scenario in that you need a rod with the strength to sling a heavy and profoundly non-aerodynamic rig a long way, while maintaining enough sensitivity to feel what are often subtle bites. Pickett credits his custom 7-foot, 11-inch extra heavy Golden Hammer rod with providing the right balance for effective C-rigging.

"Some of the bites I had today, there's no way I could have felt those bites without this rod," he said. "This is probably the best Carolina rig rod I've thrown and I've thrown a lot. It's all about the sensitivity and the backbone to throw a heavy weight a long way."

Fishing history puts Davis in second

William Davis of Sheffield, Alabama reached into his well of local knowledge, pulled out a few sweetThird place pro Will Davis was joined by 4-year-old son Sawyer. spots and worked them hard to amass the day's only other bag over 20 pounds. Davis sacked up 22-4 and placed second.

"The spots that I caught some of these fish on, I found four or five years ago," he said. "One of the spots isn't on the map - I just found it by running and looking at my depth finder."

Davis pointed to boat positioning and casting accuracy as key elements of ledge fishing success. "Sometimes you're trying to hit an area that's five feet by five feet. You can throw all around it and you won't get bit but if you cast there you'll get bit."

The day's extreme heat, flat calm conditions and the lack of lack current made for a slow day in which he just picked through about 30 bites until he compiled the biggest sack he could find.

"It's a grind; it's not like I was just killing them," he said. "(The TVA) isn't running any water during the day so you have an early morning bite and then it's slow the rest of the day."

A last-minute decision to stay on Pickwick Lake paid off for third place pro Curtis McGuire.Davis said he also caught fish on a Carolina rig, along with a jig and a crankbait. He fished in 12-17 feet, had his limit by 7 and then upgraded throughout the day."

McGuire stays on Pickwick, earns third

Third place pro Curt McGuire started day one with plenty of options but found himself debating a key decision right up to the last minute. Having found good fish upriver in Lake Wilson and unsure of Pickwick's potential, he was literally under way this morning before he made the decision.

"It was a weird day," McGuire said. "I took off this morning and up until I (approached) the takeoff boat, I still didn't know if I was going to Wilson or staying in Pickwick. I thought I could catch 18 or so at Wilson, but I really didn't know what I could get on in Pickwick. I got about 100 yards from the lock, spun around and ran back down to Pickwick. It was just a hunch.

"I pulled up to my first spot and caught a good one, but then they quit biting. I ran down to another place and it was slow going - just one every 10-15 minutes. I just kept going around and around in a circle and this afternoon, they started to bite."

Sacking up 19-14 today, McGuire caught his fish in 19-23 feet of water. His bait selection included a jig, spoon, crankbait and Carolina rig.

Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky. placed fourth with 19-10, while Randy Haynes, of Counce, Tenn.Randy Haynes said it was slim pickings on day one, but he figured out something that may help him on day two. was fifth at 19-8.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Pickwick Lake event:

6th: Bobby Padgett, of Lagrange, Ga., 19-5
7th: Jason Lambert, of Pickwick Dam, Tenn., 19-2
8th: Casey Martin, of Huntsville, Ala., 19-1
9th: Jimmy Harrison, of Mariana, Fla., 18-14
10th: Keith Witlow, of Savannah, Tenn., 18-13

Pickett won Snickers Big Bass honors with a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth.

Key adjustment gives Peek co-angler lead

Slowing down his presentations helped Richard Peek top the co-angler division.Despite a slow start to his day, Richard Peek of Centre, Ala. was able to realign his focus, make a necessary adjustment and fish his way into the co-angler lead with a limit catch of 20 pounds, 4 ounces.

"The day actually was pretty frustrating," Peek said. "I had a bunch of fish on early but I couldn't get them to the boat. It seemed like they didn't want to take the bait really good. I slowed down and took a little mental break, got back in the groove and started getting them into the boat.

"I started slowing down. I'm fishing plastics and jigs and I think I was working them a little too fast. When I started slowing down, it seemed like they were eating them a little better. In practice, they wanted a faster bait but today, they wanted it slower."

Daniel Costley, of Memphis, Tenn. caught a limit of 17 pounds, 7 ounces to place second. TimFishing a Texas-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog over a brush pile delivered the event Cummings, of Waynesboro, Tenn. followed in third with 17-3. Lyn Melton, of Florence, Ala. took fourth with 16-9 and James Sharp, of Leesburg, Ga. was fifth with 15-12.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Pickwick Lake event:

6th: Jason Smith, of Killen, Ala., 15-5
7th: Greg Noles, of Lagrange, Ga., 15-3
8th: Aaron Fahnestock, of Enterprise, Ala., 15-2
9th: Scotty, Gasaway, of Dennis, Miss., 15-1
10th: Marty Denton, of Hampton Cove, Ala., 14-14

Costley won his division's Snickers Big Bass award for his 8-7.

Day two of EverStart Series Southeast Division action on Pickwick Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 5:30 a.m. (Central) at McFarland Park located at 200 James M. Spain Dr., Florence, Ala.

Tags: headline-story  2011-06-09-pickwick-lake 

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