UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Santee Cooper

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Williams’ Final Look at Cumberland

Williams’ Final Look at Cumberland

After fishing on the B.A.S.S Elite Series for a few years, David Williams is now about halfway through his first season on the FLW Tour. He’s off to a fantastic start being that his worst finish so far is 34th on Harris, and he put together a top 10 finish in the most recent tournament on Lanier. As of now, Williams sits second in the Pennzoil Marine Angler of the Year race and is in prime position to make a run at the title. Though this is his first season with FLW, Williams has a stellar resume consisting of over 40 top-10 finishes and four wins – with most coming from the T-H Marine BFL level.

So, I jumped in the boat with Williams for the final day of practice to see how the veteran angler plans to keep momentum rolling through the fourth stop of the season.

To get to know Williams more, listen to the FLW Podcast interview with him.

 

The final day of practice starts off slightly warmer than the previous two, though, that isn’t saying much. It’s a mild 38 degrees when Williams and I meet at a boat ramp in the middle of nowhere around 7 a.m. ET.

After some quick discussion and loading my gear in his boat, we drop the rig in and begin scooting down the lake towards the first spot.

“Today I just want to find a couple more areas with fish,” Williams says. I don’t necessarily want to catch them, just get some bites. I’ll worry about how to catch them in the tournament if I know they are there.”

While Cumberland is a relatively new lake for most of the FLW Tour field, Williams has actually fished a few tournaments on this pond over the years and even made a top 10 back in 2000 during a Costa FLW Series tournament. Despite conditions being much different than his previous visits, the fishing is much better now and he seems excited to get back on the water.

 

It’s a short ride to the first creek we hop in. Williams begins pulling a few rods from the rod locker before he starts working the bank.

“It’s been pretty brutal in the mornings,” says Williams of the bite. “About 10:30 or 11 is when I can start to get bit.”

He fishes for a few minutes before noticing some fish busting randomly out deep and birds hovering around, so he fires up the big motor to idle around the commotion to look for baitfish or bass. After a few passes with the boat he doesn’t find anything that trips his trigger, so he runs us back into the creek a bit more.

 

The morning is very still and Williams is paying a bit more attention to wildlife running around the woods than the fishing. As he listens, he burns down the bank hitting any target that comes in front of him from trash piles to laydowns.

After about an hour of fishing he pulls the trolling motor and we make a move.

 

We work through an idle zone and Williams takes advantage by busting out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he made for an early-morning snack.

 

As we ease up to a point, Williams grabs a vibrating jig and starts slinging. With so much of the lake looking similar, the plan is to put the trolling motor down and fish as much of an area as he can. So, the next 40 minutes or so lead to cast after cast after cast, but still no bites.

“With that sun coming out it is starting to feel nice,” Williams says. “When your hands quit feeling cold, that’s when they start to bite, so it shouldn’t be much longer.”

 

Williams works towards the back of a pocket that looks like largemouth heaven. As his vibrating jig gets close to the boat a 3 ½-pound smallmouth crushes it and water erupts in an instant.

It’s a short fight before Williams manhandles the brown beast into the boat.

“You must be lost,” he yells at the smallmouth. “I’m back here trying to catch a largemouth and I catch a nice smallmouth. That’ll throw a guy off.”

 

After that excitement, Williams works his way out of the pocket to the main point with no more bites to show for it.

He decides to pack it up and run down the lake some more, but first we have to idle past one of the several marinas on the lake that harbor some massive houseboats.

“My house ain’t even that big,” Williams chuckles as we gaze at the massive vessel.

While we continue on the idle, I take note of the few rods he has laid on the right side of his deck. It’s a pretty simple selection of baits, but what is more impressive is that he keeps them contained to one side. Williams prefers to fish off the left side and doesn’t like any clutter in the way.

 

We run a few minutes down the lake before it’s back to fishing. Williams is now slinging a spinnerbait and it doesn’t take long for a feisty spotted bass to crush it.

After a quick picture, its back to the lake for the fat, prespawn bass.

 

While catching the fish was a welcomed sight, the bad side of it was that the spot broke his spinnerbait. So, Williams dives into his tackle to select one of the several that he and hia dad, Gerald, hand make.

After adding a skirt and some super glue to hold his plastic trailer, he’s back in action.

 

Williams idles up around the corner and grabs a jerkbait to fish down what is one of the more bare banks we’ve encountered.

After a few casts, a little smallmouth takes a swipe at his jerkbait and the battle is on. Though it’d keep, Williams would prefer to find its mom come Thursday.

 

The time to rip down the lake has come again, so he cranks up the Mercury and we’re on our way.

The next stop of the day features some more wood in the water and a particular tree grabs his interest.

“That right there is a sign of good things to come,” Williams says of the tree blooming.

No doubt with warmer weather forecast for the tournament, fishing should pick up as bass of all species start to flood the bank.

 

No takers on this stop, so it’s time to put the hood up and make a move. Though the sun has been out for a few hours, some scattered clouds have rolled in making it feel a bit cooler.

 

It’s back to the jerkbait for Williams and it doesn’t take long to find a willing participant. It’s another dandy smallmouth that wouldn’t have kept last year, but thanks to the new regulations this week it’d be a great addition to the livewell during the derby.

He runs a few more points with no success and decides it’s time to bring me back to the ramp.

 

It’s a little after 2 o’clock when we get back to the ramp, and Williams wants to sample a bit more of the middle section of the lake before he pulls out and launches up near takeoff to end the day.

He’s found some areas that pique his interest, but without a ton of bites it’s hard to say how things will pan out. Either way, the laid-back pro is having fun and living in the moment.

Williams hopes to keep the ball rolling on Cumberland and keep his name in the hat for the AOY title, though he wouldn’t tell you that if you ask him. Best of luck this week, David!

 

 

 

Tags: kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2018-04-12-lake-cumberland 

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