UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Defending the lead

Anglers will find sunnier conditions than yesterday helping the early bites.

TRENTON, Mich. - There is such a thing as "going to the well too often," but Indiana pro Todd Schmitz hopes that won't turn out to be the case as he leads the top-10 boats into the final round of EverStart Series Central Division action at the Detroit River.

With a two-day total of 42-12, Schmitz amassed a 4-pound, 4-ounce lead yesterday when he got on a pile of hungry smallmouth and sacked up the event's heaviest catch - 23-2. Schmitz admitted he leaned on `em pretty good to ensure he had plenty of weight to get him to the final round. However, he's confident that his 300-yard area of 4-foot depth at the north end of Lake St. Clair still holds enough quality fish to merit his return.

"I think there will still be some fish there," he said. "The last fish I caught yesterday had some fishPro leader Todd Schmitz will start his day by throwing a spinnerbait. come up with it. As long as conditions stay the same - and we don't have much wind again today - I should be fine."

Schmitz will mirror his day-two bait selection by starting with a chartreuse spinnerbait and then working specific spots with a tube. If his main area fizzles, Schmitz has a solid backup spot in about 16 feet.

"I have one other spot that's pretty good," he said. "We stopped there yesterday and my partner got his biggest fish and I caught one of my biggest there. So, I have two areas to go to today."

Second-place pro Mark Modrak will also, run north, but he'll continue into the St. Clair River, where he'll target smallmouth on shallow flats off the deep river channel. This scenario, he said, means that any bass he finds will be ready to bite.

Starting the day in second place, Mark Modrak will rotate through a combination of crankbaits, dropshots and tubes."I live about 6 miles from the boat launch up there, so I fish the river a lot," he said. "It's the current that the fish like. If the fish are up shallow, it's usually because they're there to eat. The surface temperature in the river is about 68 degrees and the lake is in the mid-70's. They like that cold water."

Modrak will fish a mix of crankbaits, tubes and dropshots. He'll rotate through his baits to keep fresh presentations in front of the fish.

Ohio pro Jared Rhode, led day one and slipped to third on day two when the kicker fish he needed eluded him. Today, Rhode will fish conservatively in the 13- to 18-foot range he's fished the past two days and if things proceed well, he'll then slide out deeper to work on bigger fish in areas of up to 30 feet.

"I'm going to try to get a limit first and hopefully, in the process of doing that I get some 4-pounders," Rhode said. "If I can, I'm going to fish deeper and try to catch some bigger fish. I feel that's the only way I can win. (With 37-15) I'm over four pounds out of the lead, so (Schmitz) would have to stumble and I would have to do really well.

"I'll fish a lot of drop shots and use heavier weights when I fish deeper. There's not a lot of fish deep,Jared Rhode checks his electronics prior to takeoff. but that's what I like to do - fish deep structure. I know of two spots where, if I can get bit, they're going to be big fish."

Starting the day in fourth place Michael Trombly, of Perrysburg, Ohio said he's optimistic about faring better than he did on day two. Yesterday saw heavy cloud cover early and Trombly found his fish unwilling to bite in the dim conditions. He only got five bites yesterday, but today will start with better light penetration, so he believes he'll see more fish in his boat.

"I think we'll have a lot better early bite today," Trombly said. "I'll make a few adjustments because yesterday, I think a lot of fish had moved out of my area. I'm going to move around and try to move with the fish.

Michael Trombly said he"I'll start by snapping a tube and then probably start throwing a crankbait later in the day once that sun gets up. These smallmouths are really sight-oriented. As it gets later in the day, they can see because the sun is high in the sky."

Fifth-place pro Skip Johnson will also fish the St. Clair River. Yesterday, he ran to the river's upper end to finish out a limit and he expects to spend at least part of his day back in the Port Huron area.

Robert Prebeck, of Norwood, Mo. leads the co-angler division with 35-12 and a 6-ounce margin over Mark Myers, of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Prebeck will be throwing a 3 1/2-inch Tender Tube - a slim profile plastic that pulls through grass smoothly for reaction strikes. Myers will also spend some time with a tube, but he's banking mostly on a twin hook goby-style swimbait.

Logistics

Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 23800 Allen Road in Woodhaven, Mich., starting at 3 p.m. Weigh-ins are free and open to the public.Second-place co-angler Mark Myers will try to tempt smallmouth with this goby-style swimbait.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

The EverStart Series tournament on the Detroit River is being hosted by Wayne County Parks.

Saturday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:08 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 72 degrees
Expected high temperature: 85 degrees
Wind: SSE 5-10 mph
Humidity: 40 percent
Day's outlook: Mostly sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-07-14-detroit-river 

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