UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Final Morning of Practice with Hammerbury

Coming off his big win on Beaver Lake, Scott Canterbury is back in the hunt for his sixth-consecutive Forrest Wood Cup qualification after a tough 138th-place showing to start the season on Okeechobee. Hailing from Springville, Ala., the Quaker State pro has a mixed, but mostly successful record on Pickwick to this point. Here’s how he approached the final day of practice for the Walmart FLW Tour presented by Quaker State and hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism on Pickwick and Wilson Lakes.

 

Starting the day out of McFarland Park on Pickwick, Canterbury puts the pedal down and initially heads upriver. In the passenger seat rides his partner in crime, co-angler Maurice Cobb, who has been practicing with Canterbury for going on four or five years.

 

Canterbury starts out fishing right on the main drag, keeping his eyes peeled for spawning shad in the heavy current and tossing a spinnerbait tight to every current break he can reach. Back in 2009, he finished fifth in the Costa FLW Series Championship on Pickwick, banking solely on the upriver part of the lake and helped by at least one big smallmouth each day of the event.

This time, that might not be the case. After two quick stops with no shad sighted and no bites, Canterbury fires up and speeds down toward the lake.

 

The first stop is not the open lake, but instead a small backwater that forces him to duck beneath heavily leaved trees to access it. Canterbury plainly hasn’t committed to an offshore bite. Inside, he pulls out only his second rod on the day and tosses a buzzbait around before bailing on the secluded area.

 

Next up is one of Pickwick’s lush hydrilla flats. In recent years, the Tennessee River impoundment has loaded up with hydrilla, which bass and anglers just love. Many of the shallower ledges and flats on Pickwick are well-covered, and the best-looking grass has concentrated plenty of anglers. Though it doesn’t produce any bass for the Quaker State pro this morning, it might well be a player for someone on tournament day.

 

Still moving quickly, Hammerbury makes a quick stop on a nearby ledge for 100 yards of idling and a couple of casts with a hair jig and then puts it in gear and runs deep into a nearby creek. Once inside, he picks up a jig and finds some wood to pitch. Though he doesn’t expect to win much fishing channel swings in the back of a creek, he is hoping to verify that there are bass present and catchable should he need a final keeper after a day scouring the ledges for kickers.

He puts a keeper in the boat, yet the numbers aren’t nearly what he wants. Time to go again.

 

After burning back out of the creek and making a couple quick stops to idle over likely spots, Canterbury makes it back to McFarland Park and pulls out. His plan is to stop for gas and then put back in farther down the lake to check a few more mid-lake areas before spending the final afternoon down near Tennessee.

 

Back in the water below Natchez Trace, it’s time to get looking on the ledges. Canterbury re-tools with a swimbait to complement Cobb’s Carolina rig and goes to work, sometimes all alone and sometimes within shouting distance of another angler. Though Pickwick is pretty huge, it doesn’t have nearly the number of productive ledges as Kentucky Lake has. Thus, it can get a mite crowded at times.

After marking a few fish and getting a few bites, Canterbury bounces back to the shallows, apparently unconvinced that the deep bite is the only way to go.

 

His first shallow stop has him gushing with praise for an undercut bank lined with wood and trees, but then his excitement dies after flipping a scented-up NetBait Mad Paca. Instead of getting a few bites that might have changed the course of his practice, he fishes through the area and into the creek beyond with nary a nibble. He quickly butts up against a logjam at the far extreme (which John Cox has no doubt figured out how to get behind) then puts the trolling motor on high and heads back out.

 

On the way back to drop me off before the run toward Tennessee, Canterbury makes one more stop on some shallower ledges with a little grass. He ties up a Bull Shad swimbait and a fresh crankbait but strikes out again. Well, not entirely. He does manage one non-keeper, and Cobb catches himself a beauty of a shell.

 

He gone! I hop out, and Canterbury heads down the lake. With a very spotty practice so far, Canterbury is still looking for the juice to make a run at Walmart FLW Tour win No. 2.

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2016-05-05-pickwick-lake 

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