UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Lake Dardanelle Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Lake Dardanelle Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Focusing on a key area of Lake Dardanelle with fish in all three stages of the spawn proved productive for Todd Castledine, who topped day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Mercury with 22 pounds, 3 ounces.

Castledine used one bait in multiple presentations. Read more about it here.

Learn about the rest of the top performers from day one down below.

 

Complete results

 

2. Greg Jones – Wentzville, Mo. – 19-01 (5)

The action started quickly for second-place pro Greg Jones, who sacked up 19 pounds, 1 ounce. Noting that he caught fish before, during and after the thunderstorm that drenched the lake shortly after takeoff, Jones says he was able to sew up what he needed well before midday.

“Early, before 10 o’clock, was best for me,” he adds. “I had a pretty good bag by 10, so I decided I was going to stop fishing and tried to get my co-angler [Johnathon Forrest] in position to catch some fish.”

Jones focused on a prespawn pattern and caught all of his fish on a specific crankbait.

Although he opted to not disclose the specifics of where he’s fishing or what he’s targeting, Jones did admit that he saw other anglers fishing similar places. The difference was in the presentation details.

“I stayed away from the types of things most everybody else was targeting,” he explains. “I cannot catch them in the grass, so I stay away from grass altogether. I got on a little stretch and caught four good ones really quick, and I kinda put together something and ran with it. Hopefully, it will work tomorrow.”

 

3. Troy Gibson – Mountain Home, Ark. – 18-03 (5)

Troy Gibson started his day targeting bass suspended in standing timber and brush with a topwater bait. However, when a clear morning briefly yielded to cloudy skies and rain, he switched to a homemade 1/2-ounce jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer and ended up securing third place with a limit of 18 pounds, 3 ounces.

“The fish were up there sunning to get their eggs ready for the spawn,” Gibson says. “When it got slick this morning, I switched to a jig and stuck with it. I just methodically fished it and came up with 18-3. You just have to get on it, stick with it and stay confident with what you’re doing.”

Gibson built his jig with a skirt bearing a blend of brown, orange and green strands.

“I wanted something that looked like a bluegill,” he adds. “I fished my jig on 40-pound braid. That timber ‘breaks up’ that braid, so they don’t see it. And once you get them stuck, they’ll get all wrapped up, so you gotta get ’em out of there.”

 

4. David Ryan – Levasy, Mo. – 18-00 (5)

Targeting shallow wood and grass, David Ryan says that many of the fish in his area were hidden by murky water. Focusing on a couple of undisclosed technique points intended to counter decreased visibility, he caught an 18-pound sack good for fourth place.

Ryan’s highlight moment provided a ringing endorsement for the tournament series’ title sponsor.

“In practice, I visually located a stump when the water was lower,” he says. “I flipped to the stump and hooked a big one that swam 15 feet out while I was trying to shake it off. I finally shook it off and hoped I could come back in two days and catch that fish.”

Today, Ryan returned to that creek, found another boat close to the spot where the stump sat mostly obscured by higher, muddier water. The other pro and his co-angler partner passed over the sweet spot, and when Ryan saw his chance, he approached.

“I got lined up, and with my Costas I was able to see the dark outline of the stump,” he says. “I made one flip to it, and boom – caught my biggest fish of the day.”

 

5. Daniel Kweekul – Bryant, Ark. – 16-07 (5)

Fifth-place pro Daniel Kweekul says he didn’t let the morning storm or the windy afternoon interfere with his objective. The result was a solid performance of 16 pounds, 7 ounces.

“My game plan was to go in one area and grind it out,” Kweekul says. “Sunday was my only day of practice, and I found this one area that looked good, so I said, ‘I’m going to commit,’ because everywhere else I looked was no good.”

Making a run up the Arkansas River, Kweekul focused on prespawn fish. The difficult part was trying to entice fish that are just about ready to make their move to the beds.

“They’re really finicky right now,” he says. “They really don’t want to eat. All they want to do is get up there and spawn. They’re in that transition mode. That’s why the bite is tough.”

The key is persistence.

“I’ll throw at a target five or six times before I get bit,” Kweekul explains. “If a grass point looks good, I’m going to cast at it several times and then turn around and cast at it from a different angle.”

 

Tournament Details

Format: All 190 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7 a.m.

Takeoff Location: Lake Dardanelle State Park, 2428 Marina Road, Russellville, AR 72801

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m.; Day 3 at 4 p.m.

Weigh-In Location: Days 1 and 2 at Lake Dardanelle State Park; Day 3 at Walmart, 2409 E. Main St., Russellville, AR 72802

 

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