UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

What Happened to LeBrun?

What Happened to LeBrun?
Nick LeBrun

Nick LeBrun had been planning this day for a while. Almost a year, in fact. 

On day one of the 2019 FLW Cup, LeBrun locked down second place thanks to a 15-pound stringer caught on a stingy Lake Hamilton. But his preparation for the event – his practice, really – had started 12 months earlier at Lake Ouachita. 

Ouachita was the site of the 2018 Cup, where LeBrun finished a respectable fourth after keying in on an off-the-wall pattern of fishing a River2Sea Whopper Plopper around docks. 

“My worm pattern had dissolved, and I picked up a Plopper and caught a 6-pounder the second day,” he recalls. 

That one fish keyed LeBrun into the possibilities to come. After qualifying for the 2019 Cup at Lake Hamilton, which is separated from Ouachita by a dam, Lebrun knew the Whopper Plopper could be a game-changer. 

“I really wanted to catch them on it in this tournament,” he says.

When practice started for the 2019 event, LeBrun had the Plopper on hand. Practice results were promising. 

Nick LeBrun

“I used it on Sunday and caught all my bites and had about 13 pounds,” LeBrun says. 

He then cut the hooks off his bait for the remainder of the practice period to dial in the specifics.

“I knew what was good. I just needed to figure out where to find more of it,” he adds.

By the final day of practice, LeBrun noticed the most productive areas were those being missed by his competition. Seawalls and docks were the starting points, but it was important to get the lure into the most remote places, including under cables, beneath walkways and in cobweb-filled corners far underneath the platforms. 

“That told me no one else had made that cast,” LeBrun says. 

Lebrun is a shallow-water fisherman by trade, and his biggest win – the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All American at Cross Lake – came by making short pitches to cover with a crankbait. In both the 2018 and 2019 Cups, LeBrun did the same with the Whopper Plopper. 

“I specialize in taking a treble-hooked bait and treating it like a jig,” he says. 

Precise casts were made thanks to a 7-foot, 2-inch Fitzgerald frog rod with Sunline braid

Again this year, the Plopper did the trick, resulting in a massive summertime tournament stringer Friday. 

Nick LeBrun

Naturally pumped, LeBrun set out to do the same on day two, but he managed just two small bass, finishing 24th. LeBrun isn’t sure why the Plopper bite faded. Bass would swirl on it but weren’t getting it, whereas on day one they were crushing it.

It’s easy to wonder what happened, and why LeBrun didn’t go to a backup plan. He did throw a jerkbait around docks for a little while, but mostly he stuck with the Plopper. Why?

“I just couldn’t put it down,” LeBrun reflects. “I knew it was a hero or a zero deal. But it was the only thing I found that I could win on.”

And to LeBrun, winning was all that mattered. 

“If I punted and did something to catch a 5- to 7-pound limit, I’d be in eighth place and 7 pounds off the lead, and then you can’t win anyway. I’m not satisfied in just making the cut.”

But isn’t being a pro bass fisherman all about “cashing a check” and avoiding attempts to force a win? Aren’t we taught that when it’s a competitor’s turn to prevail, things naturally fall into place? 

Evidently not for LeBrun. At least, not in the Cup. For more than a year, he’s waited for the chance to make his own luck, living and dying by the sword.

“Coming in to this, I wanted to fish to win,” he says. “I did that. I’d do it all over again and wouldn’t change a thing.”

Nick LeBrun

Tags: joe-balog  headline-story  2019-08-09-flw-cup-lake-hamilton 

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Florida cold fronts are supposed to shut the fishing down, but that wasn’t the case for many of the leaders through two days of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain. Rocketing into the lead from 35th place, Laramy Strickland popped a 31-pound, 6-ounce megabag to put his leading total at an even 46 pounds. In second, Jimmy Washam stayed steady, weighing 21-13 for second and a 41-13 total. In third, Hunter Freeman also made a big jump, hammering out 25-14 on day two to get up to 39-6. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

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Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

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Anglers are enjoying near-perfect conditions for a day-one slugfest in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

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FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the second stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes. READ MORE »

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Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

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Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

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Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener at the St. Johns River with a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitzgerald has previously won a Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns and is in contention to make his 12th top-10 finish with FLW. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

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