Mountain Home, Arkansas – South Carolina Pro Britt Myers rallied to finish second on Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. Myers’ 14-pound 15-ounce day one kept him in contention, but had him in 28th place after the first day weigh in. Myers used a Rapala DT-10 crankbait fished in 5 to 12 feet of water to move up the leader board over the four day event.
“I knew I had a solid pattern, but I didn’t have the confidence in it on day one. On day two, I got off to a good start and the confidence really set in. I had over twenty pounds on day two and a good 5-pounder came unbuttoned, or it could have been better,” Myers stated. “The confidence in the pattern for the final two days paid off and I was able to climb all the way to second place. I did have a few come unbuttoned, but even if I landed those fish I probably would have still come up short of Brandon (Palaniuk).”
Myers credits his rod for the success at this event. “The Pinnacle 7’11” crank bait rod was really the key deal. It allowed me to make long casts and get that smaller profile bait down deep enough to get the bigger fish. I tried several other baits that would get down deep enough without such a long cast, but they all had bigger profiles and just wouldn’t get the bites. I had to make super long casts with that smaller profile bait, which is designed to go 10 feet deep, and drive that bait down into the 12-foot range in order to get the bites,” described Myers. “I was using the Pinnacle Optimus XLT bait casting reel with a 6:3 to 1 gear ratio and I used a fast retrieve to get the bait as deep as I could.”
According to Myers another critical piece of the puzzle was light line. “I was using 10-pound class Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon which was super risky in the Bull Shoals rock, but it was another key to getting the bait deep enough for the bigger fish. I didn’t break any off all week, but I did have a few come unbuttoned, but that’s just the story of cranking.”
Myers fished in the Lead Hill area of Bull Shoals where he had read reports of the FLW Everstart winner fishing just a few weeks ago. “I read where he said the event would be won there and that if he couldn’t catch them there, he just couldn’t catch them.”
Myers utilized that information and had and a decent pre-fish to figure out the pattern. “I could catch about 12 to 13-pounds fishing up shallow pretty easy. I figured out that the better fish were deeper. Literally on the same banks I would catch the smaller fish up shallow on one pass down the bank then I would pull out a bit and make another pass and catch the bigger fish. I was almost ledge fishing, but down the banks in the creeks instead of sitting out deep on a ledge. I would feel the bait on the bottom in 10 to 12 feet and then feel it drop off the ledge and immediately get bit. Moving down the middle of the creek I could see them on the graph. With today’s Lowrance HDS Units there’s no guessing, you know they are fish. I feel like those fish in the middle were migrating to the ledge to feed. It was one of those deals where when they moved up you would catch 1 or 2 or 3 real quick, or even two at a time on a single bait.”
Myers feels like he found the winning pattern for the first time in his six year Elite Series career, “I feel really good about the pattern I found. It was a winning pattern for sure. Unfortunately, Brandon (Palaniuk) found a winning school of fish and I ended up second. This gives me more confidence moving forward, and when the time is right, I know I can win out here.”
For a backup pattern Myers turned to a War Eagle Finesse Jig. “When the water got slick and and the fish stopped eating the crankbait, I’d switch over to the Finesse Jig and get a couple good bites each day.”
Over four days, Myers estimates catching over 200 fish including non-tournament species like Walleye, Catfish and giant Bluegill. “I had so much fun catching loads of quality fish, Bull Shoals is an amazing fishery. Fishing was the slowest on the fourth day and I still was able to catch over 30 fish, what an amazing body of water!”
Myers’ second place finish was his best finish ever in the Elite Series, and it comes on the heels of his 16th place finish at Lake Okeechobee. “I feel pretty good right now and am looking forward to Douglas Lake, where I fished in the BASS Open last year and Toledo Bend for the second time as well. I felt a good year like this coming after a consistent 2011 season where I was able to finish in that 30 – 60th place range in every event. I hope to keep it going in a few weeks in Tennessee.”
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