UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Table Rock Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Table Rock Top 5 Patterns – Day 1
Hensley Powell

Cody Huff stuck with his practice plan and ran far up the James River where he targeted shallow fish and caught the 19 pounds, 10 ounces to lead day one of the Costa FLW Series presented by Lowrance on Table Rock. Huff is out to a decent lead, but the rest of the field is very tightly packed in the mid- and low teens. So, though the top five is stacked with quality anglers, there could be a lot of shuffling on day two.

Huff’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

2. Mike McClelland — Bentonville, Ark. — 16-12 (5)

Using a diverse lineup of baits and adjusting at the right times enabled Mike McClelland to sack up a second-place limit of 16-12. The Arkansas pro caught fish today on a SPRO RkCrawler crankbait, a SPRO McStick jerkbait and a Gene Larew HardHead with a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog.

McClelland says he fished the jerkbait for suspended fish, shifted to the crankbait for those on the bottom and then rotated to the articulated jig for the stubborn ones. He looked for banks that were close to deep water where fish transitioning from winter patterns could move up quickly.

“I’m just covering a lot of water; that seems to be the key this time of year,” he says. “When I’d get to an area that I knew held fish and I couldn’t get them to bite the crankbait or the jerkbait, I’d pick up the HardHead.”

Noting that the absence of big bags on day one tells him that the fish are in transition, McClelland says he built his plan around hunting down those scattered prespawners.

“My history here allows me to fish by the seat of my pants,” he says. “I fished stuff today where I didn’t make a cast in practice and caught ‘em. I’m not catching a bunch in one place. I may fish a stretch or two of bank and not get a bite and then pull up on another and catch one or two.”

 

2. Hensley Powell — Whitwell, Tenn. – 16-12 (5)

He tied McClelland for the second-place spot, but Hensley Powell was not pleased with today’s unfolding. Recent success gave him high hopes for better productivity than he encountered.

“I’m running a really strong pattern,” Powell says. “I figured it out three days ago and I’ve been averaging 19 pounds a day. So, I was really disappointed with what I caught today.

“I think the cold front last night kept them a little more sluggish today. I would catch one for every 10 bites. They weren’t aggressive at all.”

Powell says he’s targeting prespawn staging fish on transitional banks. His fish are sitting in 12 feet and he’s throwing reaction baits with slow presentations.

 

4. Cody Hahner — Wausau, Wis. —16-8 (5)

Coming into day one with a solid pattern that he’d developed in practice, Cody Hanner stuck with the same general game plan, but made some key adjustments that led him to a fourth-place effort with 16-8.

“I expanded on that pattern from practice,” Hahner says. “The fish kind of changed a little bit, so I had to keep up with them. I ran a couple of spots that I’d found the past couple of days and it really wasn’t working, so I just kind of followed them. They just changed habitat.”

Essentially, Hanner’s fish had progressed farther along their prespawn route, but this, he says, made the big females easier to catch. Hanner caught his fish on moving baits and some dragging presentations.

 

5.  Glenn Harrison — Arma, Kan. — 16-1 (5)

Persistence paid off for Glenn Harrison, as the Kansas pro picked his way through a pile of undersized fish to find five keepers that tallied 16-1.

“I had two patterns, but it took me all day to get a limit,” he says. “I found a few more shorts than I wanted, compared to what I have been catching.”

Harrison threw a crankbait in 8 feet of water and then switched to dragging a Gene Larew HardHead with a Strike King Menace Grub in 8-15 feet.

“I’d throw a crankbait in the morning and then I’d switch over to the HardHead when it got sunny out,” he says. “They both produced equally; I caught a big one on the crankbait and a big one on the HardHead.”

 

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2018-04-19-table-rock-lake 

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