UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1
Dicky Newberry lands one of his innumerable keepers.

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was a tough one for many, but some very rich cream rose to the top in the end. With an even 21 pounds of smallmouths, David Barnes Sr. grabbed the day one lead in grand fashion. Of course, he wasn't the only one who caught fish - the patterns from the rest of the best follow.

Barnes' leading pattern

Complete results

 

2. Ray Hanselman - Del Rio, Texas - 19 pounds

Video interview with Ray Hanselman 

Shortly after Barnes electrified the weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds.

While Hanselman’s smallmouth showing was two pounds short of Barnes’ haul, it’s still incredibly impressive, especially considering that Hanselman won all three Texas Division Rayovacs this year and now puts himself in a position possibly to win the Championship as well. 

As it turns out, both Barnes and Hanselman are fishing similar patterns – current breaks – for magnum smallmouths.

“I got two big smallmouth bites in practice,” Hanselman says. “And once that happened, I knew exactly what I was going to do. I like to fish for big fish and once I realized those caliber of fish lived here, my decision was made. Even if I only caught two that weighed 8 or 9 pounds, I’d be happy.”

Though Hanselman was understandably hesitant with the details of his pattern, he did reveal he was using a “big bait” to catch his fish – something that lands right in his wheelhouse.

“One thing I came here kind of banking on is that these fish don’t get a lot of pressure,” he says. “One of the best lakes in the whole country [Kentucky Lake] is just above here, so I’d have to think people don’t exactly fish here a whole bunch. With that in mind, I decided to start right out of the gate with a big bait and big line. Once I discovered the fish would respond to that, my confidence got a little stronger in my program.”

And if anyone knows about confidence right now, it’s Hanselman. With three victories in a row in the Texas Division, who can argue with his big-bait-for-big-bass strategy.

 

3. Brian Holder – Belmont, N.C. – 14 pounds, 6 ounces

Brian Holder was one fish short of having a pretty incredible day as well. Consider that Holder weighed just four bass for 14 pounds, 6 ounces, which put him in third. Two were largemouths and two were smallmouths.

“I lost several big smallmouth that would have given me a really nice bag,” Holder says. “I could have probably replaced a couple of those I weighed in as well.”

Holder says he is junk fishing, targeting mostly current breaks. He started just a mile from takeoff and fished his way some 20 miles up one of the rivers, fishing “anything that looked good.”

“I wasn’t really targeting one species or the other,” he adds. “I’m just fishing for anything that will bite. I definitely had more smallmouth bites overall today, but obviously there are some decent largemouth mixed in as well.”

 

4. Bill Chapman – Salt Rock, W.V. – 14 pounds, 3 ounces

Bill Chapman is the highest-ranked angler on the leaderboard who did not factor smallmouths into his game plan. He weighed in four largemouths and one spotted bass for 14 pounds, 3 ounces.

Chapman’s day started with a long run up into the Smithland pool. But once he got to his fishing location, he caught 16 keepers and had his weight by 9 a.m.

“I grew up fishing on the Ohio River in West Virginia,” Chapman notes. “So I’m pretty comfortable with this type of water. I came here for pre-practice and put in some time way up in Smithland and it reminded me of fishing back home – so that’s where I decided to stake my claim.”

While others above him on the leaderboard are just getting six or seven bites a day, Chapman is banking more on quantity – getting a lot of bites is not the problem. However, he did say several other anglers watched him cull on day one and that worries him a bit with later boat draw in Friday’s second round.

 

5. Dicky Newberry – Houston, Texas – 13 pounds, 15 ounces

Texas Division ace Dicky Newberry rounds out the top five pros after day one with 13 pounds, 15 ounces.

Newberry, too, is running far upriver into a creek to target numbers of largemouth in an effort to cull up.

“There are just gobs and gobs of fish in this one little spot,” Newberry says. “I probably caught 30 off of it first thing this morning. But a lot of them are small. My first limit weighed maybe 8 pounds. So I have to cull through a bunch of them to get anywhere weight wise. I threw back a bunch of 2-pounders.”

Interestingly, Newberry says all the fish are concentrated on one spot and it takes an exact cast to make them bite.

“It’s not like they’re everywhere in there,” he adds. “It’s one exact cast on this one exact spot and if I hit right, it’s game on.”

 

Tags: tennessee-river  ohio-river  ray-hanselman  rob-newell  headline-story  2015-10-29-ohio-river 

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