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Bull Shoals Lake/Norfork Lake Elite Series

Brent Chapman Ė Practice Recap
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The sun popped out while we were heading to the meeting, so weather-wise the tournament looks great. I think itíll make things better. No doubt itís going to be a spawning deal and I think the more sun we get, the more fish will come up and maybe be more aggressive. I think some fish are in a holding pattern and are waiting for the conditions to change and they could go crazy. When we had some sun Sunday, they bit well.

Talking to everybody, it seems that nobody can figure out what itíll take to do well at Norfork. Everybody can catch numbers, but nobodyís caught a 3-pounder that Iíve talked to. When these Ozark lakes got this way it was hard to catch the big ones. Iím going to have an assortment of rods out tomorrow and Iím going to do the ultimate junk fishing day. Once I get a limit, Iím going to stick with baits that have the best potential to get the big bite.

I spent Monday and Tuesday at Bulls Shoals, which Iíve always liked and Iím pretty excited about it again. There will be a tremendous amount of fish caught off beds. I know some guys are totally committed to it. Iíll do it a little bit, but thereís a big difference between finding them on beds and getting them to bite. Some of them are awful spooky.

The quality is definitely better at Bull Shoals. Itíll take considerably more weight to do well there. I think the tournament will be won there, but itíll take two consistent bags at Norfork that will be the key. Iím just not sure if thatís 12, 13 or 14 pounds. Iíll be tickled with 12 pounds tomorrow.

Brent Chapman Ė Day 1 Practice
Sunday, April 17, 2016

Brent Chapman
Photo: Brent Chapman

Today is typically the longest day on the water in practice. I came over here because Iíd never been on it before. As much as Iíve fished the Ozarks, Iíve just never been on it before, and I found out if fishes like the other Ozark lakes. I think there will be a lot of fish caught here, but the challenge will be coming into a quality bite. I caught a lot of fish a lot of different ways, just no quality. Thatís typical for this time of year. It will be interesting to see what the weather does and what the fish do. I thought theyíd be further along and I was guessing the water wouldíve been warmer. I saw between 56 and 59 today. I thought itíd be in the 60s. I donít know if itís been warmer or what. Itíll be a fun week. Thereís always a lot of fish at Bull Shoals, too.

The biggest thing is remembering this is going to be an 8-day event for some people. The guys who make the final day this week will have to make the drive to Wheeler the next day for practice Itís brutal, but it is what it is. I just have to remember to pace myself. The fish are doing a little bit of everything. There are some on beds and are some not there yet and some are probably done already. Norfork is on a different river system than the White River so itís not Bull Shoals clear. It has some color to it.

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