UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Lieblong Holds On To Lead At Dardanelle

Lieblong Holds On To Lead At Dardanelle

Current events proved perplexing for Jason Lieblong, even though he retained his lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event on Lake Dardanelle. The pro from Conway, Ark., topped the day-one leaderboard with 19 pounds, 10 ounces, but saw his second day’s productivity slip to 14-7 for a total weight of 34-1 and a 14-ounce lead going into the final round.

“The big fish bit a whole lot better yesterday, but today was nothing by smaller ones,” Lieblong says. “I had maybe nine or 10 keepers all day, but they were all about two pounds.

“Then I caught one that weighed 5-12 in the last hour. Yesterday, I caught another 5 1/2-pounder around 1:30. I guess the bigger fish were just feeding on bait schools that time of day, but you stick with what works.”

Lieblong thinks the decline in fish activity likely was due to increased fishing pressure and waning current. Dardanelle has seen significant water fluctuations this week, with the Army Corps of Engineers working to flush voluminous amounts of recent rainwater through the system.

Today, Lieblong lacked the same level of current, which stimulated his day-one fish.

“The lake level looked the same and I thought the water was moving just the same, but later in the day, it seemed like it wasn’t moving at all,” he notes. “Then again, I just caught that big one in the last hour with hardly any current; so go figure.”

Lieblong ran upriver and fished the midlake area where he focused on cuts in backwater and main lake areas. He targeted the same shallow cover he fished on day one, but with largely different results.

“Yesterday, you’d throw your bait in there and catch one 3 pounds,” Lieblong says. “Today, it was 2 pounds, maybe a pound and a half — and they barely ate it.”

On day one, Lieblong threw a mix of topwaters and flipping baits, but today, the fish’s lethargy prompted him to stick with the latter. His big fish ate a 1/2-ounce black/blue jig with a blue chunk trailer.

Earlier in the day, he stuck with bank fishing, as he did in the first round. However, relentless traffic eventually prompted him to move off the bank and target brush in 8-10 feet of water.

“Everybody was covering the banks; I saw them all day today,” Lieblong recalls. “I said ‘that’s it; I’m going deep.’ I already had a limit so I just decided to sit down and relax.

“Whether it would help me make the cut, I didn’t know. I just knew I’d done all I could do. I said ‘let’s go fish a drop,’ and boom, it happened in about five minutes.”

 

After long drought, Heidt cranks his way to co-angler lead

Finding anglers in a cranky mood after going almost all day without a keeper is no rarity. In Mark Heidt’s case, getting cranky was less of a reaction and more of a solution.

In short, the Versailles, Ind., co-angler topped his division with a two-day total of 21-11 — a total made possible by a focused period of afternoon cranking.

“I didn’t have a fish until 2 o’clock today,” Heidt says. “I started out shaky heading just trying to get bites. We pulled up on a spot, the fish were schooling and I (got my limit). It took me about 30-45 minutes.”

Fishing within five minutes of the ramp, Heidt was throwing a Lazer squarebill – a balsa crankbait. His day-two limit weighed 7-12.

“The shad would start busting, we’d throw in the middle of it and they would eat it,” he adds.

Tags: lake-dardanelle  david-a-brown  headline-story  2015-08-13-lake-dardanelle 

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