UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Top 5 Patterns from Lake Dardanelle Day 2

Bright, windless skies sent bass on a hunger strike in the second round of the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by T-H Marine Friday at Lake Dardanelle. The No. 1 and 2 anglers in the top five lost weight, but Nos. 3, 4 and 5 gained weight, setting the stage for what will be an intriguing and probably close championship round on Saturday.

Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., maintained his lead Friday, but he lost 5 pounds, 11 ounces on what appears to be a fading pattern in the calm conditions. He's fishing crankbaits and jigs on deep wood in depths of 6 to 8 feet in areas with no current. Houchin, who has 33-13 total, says he desperately needs wind, but wind is not in Saturday's weather forecast.

Here’s how the rest of the top five fared.


Zach King

2. Zach King – Clarksville, Ark. – 33-1

Fishing borderline inaccessible water by jumping beaver dams has allowed Zach King exclusive access to fish that nobody else can reach or is willing to risk their equipment to reach.

That puts him in water that's only about 2 feet deep, which King says requires casts of 18 to 20 yards. He's getting bites by punching thick grass with 1-ounce jigs and Strike King Rage Craws, and when he ran out of Rage Craws King switched to Berkley Chigger Craws.

“It doesn't matter what you throw,” King says. “They'll come out and eat it.”

If a fish follows the jig but doesn't take it, he pitches to it with a green pumpkin/red flake Yamamoto Senko.

Like many others, King enjoyed a flurry of activity early, but endured a long dry spell that lasted most of the day.

“The sun was tough on me,” King says. “Early this morning I caught three big ones right off the bat, but then it took me a while to catch the other two.”

Nevertheless, King says he didn't change anything he did on Thursday. He just had to be more patient.

“I'm in an area with a lot of fish, but the high pressure had them hunkered up,” King says.


Tom Silber

3. Tom Silber – Labadie, Mo. – 31-9

Like King, Tom Silber caught three good fish early, and then struggled for four or five hours to fill his limit, which he did after ditching his game plan.

“It wasn't location so much as what I was doing,” Silber says. “I switched from one power strategy to another.”

Basically, his fish weren't responding in the 1- to 2-foot range, so he sought bites in 3 to 4 feet.

“I think the difference was the sun affected the fish I had been catching,” Silber says. “And, I went more aggressive so they didn't have time to think about it.”

Fishing in the same place both days, Silber says he went from catching 12 keepers fairly quickly on Thursday to only landing three on Friday morning. He stayed alert for a late spree that produced three big fish in only a few minutes.

“I didn't think it was going to turn out quite that good, but I thought if I could get 15 pounds, I might make the cut,” Silber says. “I had four fish three hours ago [before weigh-in] – 10 pounds – and I thought if I could get one 5-pounder, I might have an outside shot. I was just hoping for one big one. I caught three that were 3 or 3 1/2 pounds – bang, bang, bang. It was good. It was really good. An hour to go, and I got four bites in 10 minutes.”



4. Shannon Pierce – Pine Bluff, Ark. – 31-5

This experienced Arkansas River pro has charted the most difficult course through this tournament, but it is profitable.

Pierce says he is locking down and traveling about 25 miles. The long ride coupled with long lock times has limited his fishing time to a total of five hours in two days.

“It's the only way to get away from 200 boats, and you've got to get them fast when you get there,” Pierce says.

He is fishing varied cover in a variety of backwaters. The distance and area he described are similar to what you will find in the vicinity of Sweeden Island and Crain Island.

“Yesterday the water was right, like it should be,” Pierce says. “Today it had dropped about 3 1/2 feet, and it was even better. It put current in places it hadn't been, and that pulled fish off their beds to feed.”

He says he caught his fish on crankbaits and reaction baits.


Brandon Lee

5. Brandon Lee – Alexander, Ark. – 31-4

Like a broken record, Brandon Lee says he caught four keepers by 8:30 a.m., and he didn't get another bite until 3:30 p.m.

“It was brutal, brutal, brutal,” Lee says. “I completely changed and made a big run and caught two little keepers and salvaged the day.”

Lee says he started the day flippin’ a creature bait with a 5/16-ounce weight on wood. He also caught a couple of fish on spinnerbaits.

“I have to downsize some because of all the pressure on the lake,” Lee says of his setup. “I'm using 17-pound line on some rods and 20 pound on the others. I use the 20 if I'm flippin' in real thick cover, and I use 17 in more sparse cover.”

Tags: lake-dardanelle  flw-series  top-5-patterns  marshall-ford  headline-story  2017-03-30-lake-dardanelle 


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