UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole
Aaron Britt

Fishing his third year on the FLW Tour, Aaron Britt is off to his best start yet, sitting at 26th in the points and fresh off a top 10 at Toho. As is the case for many of his peers, Britt has never fished Lake Seminole, the site of the third stop of the FLW Tour presented by Costa. Of course, being from California makes almost every eastern fishery a new experience, so the prospect of figuring out a new lake isn’t daunting anymore. Now, all he has to do is the usual – find enough fish to get paid.

 

The final day of practice for Britt starts in the pitch black of morning with rain and a temperature of about 35 degrees. After a breezy, but warm start to practice, it’s been cold and getting colder ever since. So, Britt and his roommate Casey Scanlon grab breakfast before hitting the water. Fueled up by bacon, toast, hash browns and eggs, it’s time to head to the lake. After moving his rods from the house to the front deck, Britt towels the worst of the rain off and then fires up the truck to drive about 100 yards to the ramp.

 

Despite the pause for breakfast, Scanlon and Britt are some of the first pros in the water, and the ramp begins to fill rapidly after they arrive. After dropping the boat in and ferrying Scanlon out to his, the pair take off running, heading out of Spring Creek to a backwater that looks good on Google Earth.

 

Idling into the backwater, Britt scopes out a few stretches he likes the look of before stopping about 50 yards from a patch of reeds and snagging a rod. Scanlon starts nearby and goes the opposite direction.

After the first couple casts turn up grass with scum on it, Britt begins to get discouraged. He only caught one bass all day on day two, and giant catfish aside, his optimism isn’t high. A few casts later, Britt has his first fish of the day – a chunky Seminole bass that slack-lined his vibrating jig.

“That’s what you want, quick bites,” says Britt. “That’s as much as I had all day yesterday. There’s deeper grass out here, that’s where they should go when it’s cold. I just hope it wasn’t a false bite.”

 

“Dude, this is such gnarly hydrilla,” exclaims Britt as he fishes along. So far, practice has been frustrating for him, but a quick bite and then another from a pickerel have him excited early. As he continues to zig and zag over the grass, he picks up a frog for some pads and occasionally mixes in a swimming worm.

 

Around 8:30 a.m., Scanlon idles up for a report, and the two start fishing within earshot, breaking down the grass together. It’s not typical for Scanlon and Britt to cooperate this closely, but so far it’s working this morning.

“There’s a few guys I talk to, but me and Casey [Scanlon] share the most,” says Britt. “In this sport you’ve got to network. I can promise you, not one guy does it on his own.”

 

Flipping a worm in some pads generates another bite for Britt, and then he misses another on the vibrating jig. Then, he switches up to a swimbait and catches another.

“We gotta get out of here,” he says. “I just don’t know where to go, but I’ve gotta find more.”

 

Idling over to Scanlon, the pair talk for a bit while Britt zones in on the satellite map on his phone. After fishing a little more nearby with no success, the pair crank up and Britt leads the way to another nearby backwater.

 

Starting a bit closer to the mouth of the backwater than Scanlon, Britt begins firing around a vibrating jig and quickly gets a bite.

“He jacked it,” says Britt. “I’m so stoked right now. I don’t know why now and why here, but I’m getting so many more bites today. I feel OK now, and coming into this morning I really didn’t.”

 

Winding around in some hydrilla mixed with other grass, Britt pretty quickly gets another bite. This time, he lands it – a small one that he hams it up with before releasing. Nearby, Scanlon catches a good one and stealthily lands it on the back deck. Things seem to be coming together.

 

 

After another quick chat, the two pros fish into the backwater. Inside, the water is cleaner and shallower, and the grass is growing up to the surface in most of it. After a little bit of fishing, Britt kicks the trolling motor on high and visually scans the edge of a mound of reeds on his way out. Now, finally, he and Scanlon are going to go their separate ways.

 

Cranking the Mercury, Britt heads farther up the lake in search of another backwater. It looks good to him on Google, but getting to it proves to be a heck of a challenge. After running out of mapped water, Britt idles for a bit before putting the boat up on plane again and then thinking better of it. Almost as soon as he takes it off plane he hits a stump, proving that any run would be far too risky.

Now it’s time to idle. Giving up for now on the backwater of choice, Britt decides to head to another one that’s farther away, but perhaps more accessible. He just needs to get to a channel he can run. Eventually, we make it to a channel, with Britt cringing at every stump the Ranger rolls over. Once in the clear, it’s go time.

 

Running up the Chattahoochee arm, Britt pulls off into a big backwater after a 10-minute run that feels just as cold as the morning run despite the blazing sun. Settling down, Britt pulls out his flipping stuff to probe a stretch of bank with hyacinths and other mat-like vegetation blown in on it. After flipping along for a bit, he gives it up as a bad job – there’s too much wind, and he’s not feeling it.

 

After a short idle to some grass in the middle of the backwater, Britt picks up the vibrating jig again and goes to work. Casting and winding, he thoroughly seins the area for bites.

“It’s so nice when you get quick bites,” says Britt, as though hoping to elicit one. “You could easily go through a good area and be on the wrong pass and never get bit and not know what you missed.”

Out here, he doesn’t seem to be missing much – with no bites for a hundred yards or so he’s not feeling it.

 

Then, just when all hope seems to be lost, Britt gets bit. Swinging a small bass aboard to break the ice seems to confirm to Britt that he needs to fish back here just a bit longer. After shelving the vibrating jig to flip a worm and toss his frog for just a moment it’s truly time to go.

 

After another chilly run back into Spring Creek to drop me off, Britt heads to the house for a pit stop and a snack before heading back out. Two days of practice had him nothing but frustrated, but this morning has been quite productive. With the afternoon to go, Britt needs to put a few more pieces together, but things are certainly looking up.

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2019-03-07-lake-seminole 

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