UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Top 5 Patterns from Pickwick – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Pickwick – Day 1
Justin Atkins

Grass seemed to be the dominant theme at the top of the day one leaderboard at the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake. Not only did Buddy Gross target grass for his leading catch, but three others in the top five seined the grass for top catches as well.

Gross’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

Justin Atkins

2. Justin Atkins – Florence, Ala. – 21-14 (5)

Local pro Justin Atkins decided to tackle his home lake with a different approach this week and today it paid off with the runner-up spot after day one.

“I know what the deal is here this time of year,” Atkins says. “Everybody wants to get out there deep, graph over them and catch 25 pounds in 5 minutes. I just decided I didn’t want to play that game. So in practice, I spent a lot of time scanning for structure in that 5- to 8-foot zone – hard spots, stumps and isolated grass patches.”

Atkins says that the ability to look ahead of his boat with his electronics was key. 

“I can look out there and see those features out in front of the boat and make precise casts to them," Atkins says. "It’s by no means fast and furious. I’m fishing slow and only getting a bite about every 30 minutes or so. I probably only had 10 bites all day. So many people are looking for the quick motherlode these days; I decided to go back to just fishing and see what happens.”

Atkins says the best part of his day was not seeing another boat near him all day.

“That was the goal,” he adds. “I’m not saying I’m going to win. I just wanted to see if I could still fish here and have a decent catch without looking at 10 other people around me all day. So far, so good. I’m not sure if it will continue tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

 

Brent Anderson

3. Brent Anderson – Kingston Springs, Tenn. – 20-8 (5)

Brent Anderson was also looking to stay away from crowds and fish grass today, however, when he drove by one of Pickwick’s biggest community holes and didn’t see a boat on it, he couldn’t resist.

“I had an early boat number which helped,” Anderson says. “But even then I figured three or four guys would already be there. When I saw it was empty, I wheeled in there and caught most of my weight in about 15 minutes.”

Anderson’s deep spot topped out in 16 feet and dropped to 23 feet. His lure of choice was a bait of his own design called a True Bass BA Spinner. The lure is basically a heavy spinnerbait with five different blades.

Anderson has a late boat draw tomorrow and knows the chances of getting on the community hole will be nil. With that, he plans to fall back on his grass areas to hold his ground in the top five.

 

Michael Brewer and Adam Crowson

4. Michael Brewer – Lawrenceburg, Tenn. – 19-11 (5)

Michael Brewer also targeted an early shad spawn in grass to start the event in fourth place.

“I’ve got one little hole in the grass where those big gizzards are spawning and it’s cast after cast when it’s happening,” Brewer says. “I had most of what I caught early and culled a couple more times after that, all on a moving bait.”

 

Josh Butler

5. Josh Butler – Hayden, Ala. – 18-14 (5)

Josh Butler played the deep ledge game today, fishing 15 to 18 different spots with “typical ledge baits” to put himself in the fifth-place spot.

“The schools seem to be already pretty busted up,” Butler says. “I think some of that was the heavy cloud cover this morning, but some of it is certainly fishing pressure too. Once the sun came out, the fish seemed to want to group back up, but by then, they were already getting hammered by anglers.”

Butler’s one saving grace was an “out of the way” spot that he had to himself, which produced three of his best keepers.

“It’s a deep spot – about 25 to 27 feet deep – out in the middle of nowhere,” he adds. “It’s off the beaten path, but I really think the fish are trying to get out there. This heavy current is keeping them from getting there as quick as I would like. But I’m hoping they’re just getting there and it will reload the next couple of days.”

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2020-05-28-pickwick 

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