I was lucky enough to take part in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic as a Marshall. On day 2, I drew Matt Reed, BPS and YUM Pro. He went into day 2 in 11th place. He had fished in Sullivan’s on Day 1 and planned on returning there today.
Even though Matt was in the second flight this morning he had some time before the lock closed so he decided to fish an old duck blind near the launch. He spent a few minutes throwing a spinnerbait with no luck. He then started pitching a jig and got a tap. He reared back and a fish came out of the water only to be hanging on to the trailer and let go. The bewilderment showed. Time to head for the lock.
Coming out of the lock with over half the field heading south is interesting, to say the least! We were in the middle of the pack and getting bounced around pretty good. We got to his spot only to find Chris Lane already there. He hadn’t fished this area on day 1 according to Matt. I asked him about how the pros handled situations like this. He said they all are pretty good about it. There are only so many productive areas, and they each end up finding a lot of the same water; they are used to sharing it. Chris recognized the situation and moved to the other side of the area. That is true angler respect.
Matt’s bait was a red/black Yum beaver tail and hooked into a keeper. He’s fishing the grass line that is anywhere from 5-15’ off the bank with the water still cool. I asked him about what kind of line he uses, he said it was 20lb XPS Fluorocarbon. He’ll vary the test with the conditions he’s fishing. He also stated he never uses tungsten weights. This floored me as I thought everyone who is someone was using tungsten. He related a story of a few years back where the tungsten weight had frayed his line, and he lost a key fish which cost him in that tourney. He wrote that incident off only to have it happen again a few months later. He swore off tungsten after that.
He wasn’t having much luck with the beaver while Chris was getting some keys fish. They’ve been circling the area all morning. Matt switches to a Yum Dinger, black w/blue flecks and connects with 1.5 pounder. He’s fishing the Dinger on a 12” drop shot with his bait caster. He uses this technique quite often in these conditions. He picks up another fish that is close to 2lbs on the same set-up. It’s been a while with no bites, but Chris is still getting fish. Matt switches to a YUM creature bait in black/blue and inserts a nail weight into it. He starts throwing the bait at the bank and slowly eases it back. Fishing slow is killing him; I can relate! He rears back and boat a solid 3lber!
Bill Lowen has showed up in this area right on schedule according to Matt. As the three pros circle the area, we watch Bill pick up a good 4lber and shortly after we watch Chris pull in one that is pushing 5lbs! Matt has been watching Chris and tells me Chris is fishing super slow and that I’m watching Matt fish as slow as he can go. He said this is it; I just can’t fish that slow or I’ll throw myself overboard in frustration! It’s time to head for the first lock time, and Matt has a spot in White House that he wants to hit. All 3 anglers head out of there at the same time.
Heading north out of the lock we watch Chris peel off towards Bishop’s and we’re heading to White House. Once in there we see Tim Horton pull in a good fish that looks about 3lbs. Matt is fishing a spinnerbait again through the pad stems and picks up another 3lber. Matt picks up the Dinger again and connects with a good 2lber which will cull one of the smaller ones. We watch Tim leave as he was in the first flight this morning and has an earlier weigh in. Matt is alternating between the Dinger and spinnerbait when connects with another good fish on the spinner.
Time is up, and we head in. He gets near the launch and decides he has 5 minutes to check that old duck blind again. He’s got the motor off and is on the front deck before the boat settles down! No luck in there with the spinner of jig so we idle on over to the check-in.
All in all it has been a great day on the lake with a true professional in so many senses! Matt was very considerate and answered all the questions I had. Between the stories, watching him Chris and Bill all fish the same water with respect to each other, and the sheer joy of being part of this was amazing!
Tight lines and see you on the water!