One species or the other – that’s how the last two FLW Tour events have shaped up, and it may go down that way again here at Lewis Smith.
At Lanier, the top pros were divided into either the largemouth camp or the spotted bass camp. At Cumberland, it was smallmouth versus largemouth. Now at the FLW Tour presented by T-H Marine on Lewis Smith, it’s back to largemouth or spots, with largemouths taking the early edge thanks to David Williams.
The Maiden, N.C., pro sacked up 18 pounds, 11 ounces of largemouths to take nearly a 3-pound lead over Blake Smith.
Now, it’s worth noting that Williams caught his fair share of spotted bass on day one, though, they were all “babies.” In fact, may pros’ bags were mixed, but it’s clear they’re typically targeting one or the other.
Williams is a shallow-water, largemouth guy at heart, and he did his heart right today.
“Today went just like I’d dreamed it,” Williams says. “I culled a few times and was basically done fishing by 10:30 a.m. I actually gave my rod to my co-angler so he could catch some.”
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Williams located a couple creeks early in practice where he seemed to get better quality bites. Best of all, he did so doing what he loves best, which is fishing flooded cover. So despite constantly changing conditions during the rest of practice and then today – which featured even more rain and high water – he went right back to his best areas and immediately picked up where he left off.
Obviously, he didn’t want to give too much away about his pattern, but he did say he only saw one other angler doing what he was doing all day, and even then, it was only for a short time.
As exciting as that is for him, the forecasted sun and slowly dropped water levels may play even more into his hands.
“I think it’s only going to get better,” Williams says. “I don’t know if it will get better weight-wise, but numbers-wise it should. There is so much cover you can’t fish because you can’t get to it. So seeing that lake come down will pull fish to the cover I can fish.”
One question on many anglers’ minds going into the tournament was where both species were in the spawn. The consensus seems to be the majority have spawned out, especially when you consider nearly every fish that crossed the weigh-in stage today was rail thin. Yet, many pros still think there may still be some fish coming up to spawn or some that are just spawning too deep to see. Thus, with receding water and sunny skies, things could continue to change on day two and into the weekend.
Yet, for now, Williams is just happy to continue making “the right decisions,” as he has throughout his first season on Tour.
“Every decision I’ve made this year seems to have been the right decision so far,” Williams says. “I decided to fish just like how I fish back home in these conditions. It worked.”